A Frickin’ Lion Safari

It was purely coincidental that I had just been to see some majestic lions and other beautiful African creatures when Cecil the lion was brutally killed by the most hated dentist in the world. I joined my Little Sister Tabitha, her partner Nick and their son – my grandson – Ryker, on a beautiful sunny day at African Lion Safari. 

We decided to take the safari bus because Ryker would get a kick out of the monkeys and none of us wanted to drive through the monkey habitat. When Tabby was a child, she and I took my CR-V through there and watched helplessly as monkeys hilariously tore off a windshield wiper and danced all over my hood! I wasn’t going to take a chance with my Soul.

LIttle boy in a light blue shirt and dark blue baseball cap smiling brightly

It’s a shame that at two years old, Ryker won’t remember this particular trip because he was simply full of joy and wonder. At times he sat on the lap of his Mom or Dad, or stood on mine, and proudly named each animal (sometimes after being reminded or prompted!) while his eyes widened to toonie size. This lad is beyond adorable, but I realize I’m biased. It’s so funny when he walks holding his Daddy’s hand, mimicking Nick’s mannerisms, right down to putting his free hand in his pocket. He’s being brought up with love and attention and he’s a fascinating little being.

Adult male lion suns himself on a tall rock formation

This is the Safari’s Cecil, although I can’t remember his name. He is the head of the pride and majestic doesn’t quite cover the feeling of his presence. I definitely had the urge to shoot him, with my camera, of course.

My favourite part is always the elephant swim. I don’t know what it is about elephants, but I feel a real kinship with them. And I always find myself with tears rolling down my cheeks as I watch them. They’re so sensitive and smart and wonderfully graceful in the water.

three adult elephants with only their heads above water as they swim

There are about 97 other species of animals as well as free shows with admission featuring beautiful birds and other critters. They also have a large water park and lots of places to eat including, much to my delight, salads and wraps alongside the traditional burgers and fries. Ryker took a ride on an elephant and had a blast. It won’t be his last trip there and I hope it wasn’t mine!

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