We didn’t Strictly run over, a lion, of course. Though I may have created a slightly different impression with the words ‘I should tell you about the lion we ran over’, which was not, I admit, completely true. Or, in fact, ‘true’ at all.
You’re not allowed to run over lions. I think that counts as hunting. You’re not allowed to hunt the animals At ALL – my beloved was very clear with me on this point. Mainly because I kept saying it would be a lot more fun if we were handed guns, or at least throwing knives, at the entrance and given free rein.
Not because I wanted to actually kill anything, I was just seeking to make the whole experience a bit more, you know, Interactive.
Ostriches (lady), water buffalo.
LOTS of water buffalo!
Lion far away!
You know, I’d never quite understood before why people always said they wanted to be lions, or what the big deal about lions was.
On that day, I realised. In the whole nature thing, everyone’s always running away from someone else, everyone’s always looking over their shoulder anxiously, for who’s trying to eat them this time.
Apart from if you’re a lion. Lions aren’t afraid.
If you’re a lion, you’re like “Yeah? Whatever. Who gives a shit, I’m a lion, fuck off.” Because you’re not very verbose, you see, because you don’t HAVE to be, because you’re a lion! Do you see?
I don’t think I’ll ever be a lion, or really want to be one, but for that moment I could suddenly understand why someone might want to. Because that must kick arse, never being afraid. Rowr. Anyway.
Our driver started shouting: “A LION! OVERTHEREALION!” and raced toward toward it in the Nissanny minivannithing.
We could see a face, hidden in a bush. Certainly something, but it was so far, and so we stood up and stuck our heads out of the top of the flip-top roof, and stared into the nearing distance we were bumping towards, rushing past bushes, and whizzing past brush and, brushing past… on almost two wheels, skidding around the corner to see the faraway lion we nearasdamnit run over a lioness. There. Lying on the road, on the corner of the road, a lioness. Just us, and her. She didn’t give a fuck, clearly. I looked at her, she looked at me, then slowly, lazily, looked away again. Because she’s a fucking lion, etc.
“Fucking STOP OhmyFuckingGOD! LionLIONhereLION!” I calmly requested the driver. And, screeching to a halt he eventually sees why the upstart tourist have deigned to shout, and starts radioing all the drivers of the other Nissany Minivannythings to come have a gander with their own canned pale meercats, standing on their hind legs, cameras in hand.
Lion! Close-up (lady)
Within minutes we were surrounded by dozens more vans, and the lioness got up, stretched, and, bored, went to stand in some bushes to stare at the buffalo, and we couldn’t see her from any angle, because there were 8 vans of the the Greater Spotted species of screaming British idiot in the way.
But I did see her. And she saw me. And neither of us were afraid.
Except possibly me a bit. Obv. She was a fucking lion and that.
Apparently, safaris, they are much the same, collective staring-and-pointing-wise, as another popular exotic holiday activity: swimming with dolphins. I was told about this by a dental assistant, only after the holiday, only after I got back and was lying with my gob flopping, suitably terrified.
“Yeah, we went swimming with dolphins, it was alright. We went oot, three boat-loads of us, and drove around fer a bit until someone spotted one, and then they called fer the uther boats, and they all came round and formed a little triangle aroond the dolphins, and then we all had to stand there, and on the coont of three – one, two THREE, we all jumped in.”
That’s not the quiet, peaceful, meditative experience I’d always imagined.
That’s what’s known as a fucking ambush, mate.
[Will tell the last, and by far the soppiest, part of the story in the next few days, when I know for damn sure everyone will have stopped reading by. In the meantime, I may still be updating dull realtime stuff by twittering]