Family visit to see the lions.

Today, I thought I’d show you a few photos from our time in Johannesburg with our daughter, son and three of the grandchildren, but firstly, I must tell you my tale.

We did the seven hour drive from our home in Durban and it was uneventful, except for a few very tense moments after we’d been going for about an hour. We were on the motorway, travelling at about 100kmph, when Sienna asked for her Barbie blanket which was on the floor in the front of the car with her dad. He passed it over, and it was put on top of her doll which lay between us on the seat. A short while later, Sienna said that she was cold, so I picked up the blanket to cover her, and there in the doll’s long blonde hair, was what looked like a very large cricket. We both sat mesmerised by this thing, hardly daring to breathe.

It was so shiny and very still, that we both thought, at least we hoped, that it was one of those plastic trick insects….until it moved ever so slightly. Oh horrors! I wanted to scream blue murder, but daren’t distract hubby who was driving, so I just said, “Jeff” in a very small voice, and thankfully he heard me and turned around. He too was horrified, but knew he had to be the hero, so he reached to pick up hubby’s jacket which was between the seats. I suddenly had visions of squashed cricket all over the only jacket he had brought with him, and remembered having stuffed a handful of tissues into my bag, on my way out of the house, just in case we needed them. I carefully extracted a few, still without breathing, and passed them over. My son knew that he had to get this operation right the first time, as there would be absolute bedlam in the car if that cricket starting leaping around. Thankfully, he aimed right, as he desperately made a grab for it. Result, one squashed cricket, and two females who could breathe again. Now I’m sure that some of you brave readers would, without a second thought, have simply picked it up and nonchalantly tossed it out of the window. Right?? πŸ˜†

Here are a few photos of more pleasant creatures, taken when we visited the Lion Park on the Sunday.

The white lion cubs were too adorable,

and we all had a turn at petting them.

We then went for a drive to see the adult lions, who were just ambling around right next to the cars. We were of course, told to stay in the car with the windows closed.

It was almost feeding time, and when the meat truck arrived, there was a mad stampede to get there first.

The hyenas also got their share, but this one didn’t want to share with this hungry-looking bird. It looks like a type of crow, but maybe bulldogsturfΒ  the bird expert, can please enlighten me as to what it actually is.

The giraffe feeding platform puts you at eye level with these docile creatures. We bought a bag of food pellets, and waited our turn.

I love this close-up taken by my son. “Hellooooo.”

We spotted this cheetah lying, rather well camouflaged, in the shade of a tree.

We also saw ostriches,

and a gorgeous family of meerkats. This photo is especially for Colonialist Β  who is rather partial to these little creatures. πŸ™‚ This is the lookout, and we waited around for ages hoping he would stand up in that typical meerkat pose. When he eventually did, he was quivering so much that the photo was very blurry. 😦

It really was a great family day, and tomorrow I’ll show you a few more pics of our time together.

73 comments on “Family visit to see the lions.

  1. What a “tale”!! It has everything…drama..suspense..a creepy leaper…frightened damsels in distress and a handsome hero! LOVED the beautiful animals πŸ™‚

  2. Great photos. I love photographing animals at our zoo. I would not have been as quiet as you were at seeing that large cricket. Thanks for sharing your day with your family. Still trying to catch up.


  3. Can you imagine if that cricket had got loose! Himself loves big cats and would dearly love to have one…..he must dream on! You have a very good looking famdamily.

    • I hate to think what mayhem would have ensued, SC. πŸ™‚ The lions are adorable, both big and little. Being a Leo myself, I am a little biased. πŸ™‚

  4. Fantastic pictures – I love the giraffe!!!

    Funny story about the cricket. I remember hubby and I jumping out of the car when a very large hairy spider began to walk across the inside of the windscreen πŸ˜€

  5. I just want to cuddle those darling cubs and I’ve always loved meerkats -at least the ones I’ve seen in films. My pup reminds me of one when she walks around on her hind legs, or just poses standing up. I’ve never seen one in real life though. Lucky you and the kids!

    • They are very cuddly, although we were told not to touch the top of their heads. or their tails. I guess that like most babies, they too can get irritable. πŸ™‚

  6. The close up of the giraffe is hysterical. The cricket story equally funny. I would have freaked myself. I’m ok with them out in the open, but NOT in the confines of a car. YIKES!
    Gorgeous shots.

    • I’m so glad that you had a few giggles at my cricket story. It didn’t seem funny at the time, but looking back, I can see the funny side. I bet our faces were a picture of terror personified. πŸ˜€

  7. Fancy playing cricket on the way to Joeys!
    The doggie does look wild about something, but the puddy tats are very cute.
    Nice shot that of cousin Malcolm.

    • Hehehe. I’d rather not play cricket in the car. πŸ™‚ Glad you liked seeing your cuz. When he eventually stood up, he was quivering so much, that the shot was all fuzzy. Very disappointing. 😦

  8. Scared of a cricket?? I don’t believe you.
    The lion cubs are too precious and I would love to see them.
    I didn’t know that a giraffe’s face was so bumpy-looking.
    The meerkat looks ready to jump at someone.

  9. I particularly love the photos of the lion cub and the giraffe. Looks as though you all had a great time – after you got over your cricketing episode, of course πŸ˜‰

  10. I was wowed! I’ve seen these animals before,none so close (ok,the Giraffe,we few some once) only at Americanised zoo’s. Brought back some pleasant memories for me of the kids,thank you πŸ™‚

    The DC

  11. I knew it was a pied crow but confess I don’t recall ever seeing one on the High Veld. Have Mole Crickets (the dreaded Parkhurst Prawn) migrated to the coast??Jiminy Cricket doesn’t scare me at all, but am terrified of those really big, mean buggers!

  12. That’s exactly what it is (the bird)… Corvus albus the Pied crow…
    Your Hyena is actually a wild dog, not trying to correct you but this is such a wonderful post, with magnificent photos… been there often and it always ends as such a lovely family outing… thanks for the share Dear… really wonderful…

    • Thanks so much,. I knew that you’d identify it immediately. πŸ™‚ Thanks for spotting my hyena ‘oops’. I’m really such a city girl, not to know the difference. πŸ˜€ Glad you enjoyed my photos, bdt.

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