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Have you seen lions mate? Carolyn Harper (AFR guest) has!

The sun had set and the light gave an orange glow to the hills as we roamed through the bush in our game drive vehicle looking for the mating lions. They had moved from the place where they were spotted the day before and our guide had been driving up, down and around a small section of land where he was told they had moved. All of us in the vehicle were a bit tense because it was getting darker and we wanted to find them.

It was our rest day at the Borana Lodge after five amazing days of biking through animal conservancies in Laikipia. I was glad for the rest and my legs were as well. The Lodge is spectacularly perched on a hill above the Borana Conservancy with breath taking views. I could have spent the whole day on our private veranda but I wanted to see the lions.

After what seemed like an hour driving in circles and in the soft light of dusk we finally spotted the male emerging from a thick bush-covered area. He was traveling slowly but with steady focus. We traveled along side him (all cameras set to video-mode) until we came upon the female; his object of intent. Lions mating is incredible to watch and we were able to see it up close from the open-sided but safe confines of the vehicle. An experience I will never forget.

And the whole Adventure for Rhinos trip had so many unforgettable experiences. When we signed up for the trip I knew we were going to bike and hike but I wasn’t sure how many animals we’d see. On our last game drive leaving Borana before starting our hike, I felt satisfied. The rhinos, zebras, lions, giraffes, gazelles, buffalo, warthogs, cheetahs and so many others I’d seen over the six days in Laikipia were good enough. Yes I did my mental check-off list of the different species we encountered. But more importantly for me it was an awakening of my reverence of their beauty and power and vulnerability. And that’s something I will cherish forever.   

Written by Carolyn Harper, Bainbridge Island, WA

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