Lion Climbs Into Campers Tent
Occurred on May 4, 2021 / Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Botswana
Info from Licensor: "My brother-in-law Andy and I were doing some filming work in Mabuasehube, on the Botswana side of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. It was our first night camping, and we woke up early in the morning to be at the pans for first light. It was about 6 am, it was still dark, we were making coffee and brushing our teeth when I looked up and the eyes of a young male lion caught in the light of my head torch. I said "Andy, there's a lion, get in the car." and we both jumped into the vehicle. Once we were in the car, I grabbed my GoPro and started filming. We noticed that the rear doors of the car were open and, having seen the lion casually entering our tent, we weren’t too keen on the idea of his joining us in the car for coffee as well, so we decided to drive a little bit away, jump out, close the door and then come back. The lion then decided to taste my sleeping bag, which was less amusing, to me at any rate, than Andy's pillow, so we started the car and drove towards the tent which caused him to drop the sleeping bag and move off a bit. The lion was healthy and he was not at all aggressive. He was just curious. He showed no fear of humans or vehicles. What scared me in retrospect, is that I had just happened to look in the direction the lion was approaching from. If I had not looked up, or if he had approached from behind the car or tent, we would only have noticed him when he was a couple of meters away. If that had happened, I think I would have run away, which would have been a very bad idea. The lion continued to circle around the tent, so we moved the car as close as we could to the entrance to the tent, to stop him from going in there again. Once the lion realized he was blocked from entering the tent, he went and grabbed my camping chair and ran off into the bushes, and chewed that for a while. Eventually, the lion got bored of playing with our things and moved off into the darkness. The grass was long so we were not sure how far it had gone, so we jumped out of the car, zipped up the tent, and went for our morning drive. We came back a few hours later to assess the damage. While a lion in one’s tent is rare, lions commonly enter camps in the Mabuasehube area because uninformed visitors leave taps running or bowls of water out for them, rather than leaving them to live normal lives in their natural habitat. Most visitors sleep in roof-top tents or caravans, so they are relatively safe."