The dangers of lion attacks in Africa are a real threat and must be anticipated for any visit to the bush country. Even in wildlife preserves, precautions must be taken to ensure your safety from these large, fast predators.
Listen To Your Guide:
If you are going into the African bush on safari, take careful note of what your hunter or guide has to say about security. He or she does this for good reason: your personal safety.
Avoid Late-Night Travel:
In most safari camps or bush camps, you sleep in tents or chalets well away from the kitchens and entertainment areas. This means that late at night when you make tracks to bed there is a very good chance that there will be wild animals around. Most are harmless, but there are also occasionally lions on the hunt as well. Try to get tucked in before nightfall, be vigilant and stash weapons close at hand.
Always remember that lions are wild animals. They are dangerous, night and day. Never get out of your vehicle to take “a better photo.” These animals can move at astonishing speed, and they will have you before you realize what’s happening.
Don’t Disturb Dinner Time:
On foot in the African bush, stay close to your escort, who will be armed. If you do happen upon lions, which can happen, possibly when they are feeding, move quietly backwards and try to head in the opposite direction.
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If you come across a lion in the bush, never turn your back on it or try to make a dash for it. That tells the lion that you are a potential meal, and it will run you down in no time.
Don’t even think of trying to climb a tree for safety. Lions often spend quite a bit of their time in big trees, and they will get you no matter how high you climb. One swipe with a claw and the lion will dislodge you.
Failing all else, if you unexpectedly come face to face with a lion, pull yourself up to your full height, raise your hands in the air (to give the impression that you are very big) and shout in a loud voice.
Stay Close To Transportation:
If nature calls, get your driver to stop in a fairly open area and go immediately behind the vehicle to relieve yourself. Do not move away because lions can and do appear at any time in the wild.
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This article was originally published in the SURVIVOR’S EDGE™ Fall 2015 edition. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.