A guided game drive in the Kgalagadi rewarded photographer Michel Rademaker with a prize sighting of a lioness and her cubs. One of the little ones proved particularly inquisitive.

Since Wild reader Michel Rademaker was a little boy, he hasn’t been able to get enough of Africa’s wildlife. A visit to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park turned into a dream come true when a lioness and her cubs made their appearance.

Michel recalls the adventure: “On the second morning of our stay at Nossob Camp in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park at the end of May 2014 my girlfriend and I decided to do a guided game drive. We had already done a guided sunset drive the previous night which was quite productive and thought why not? It was unfortunately freezing cold and we didn’t see anything interesting for almost three hours. We were disappointed and stone cold. Close to camp on our way back I saw something in the distance and screamed: ‘Lion!’ It was actually a lioness and our guide, Melissa du Toit, recognised her. The particular lioness was in the company of her three cubs.

Picture by Michel Rademaker

“It was our lucky day. We could hear them making all these funny noises in the distance as they were trying to keep up with their mother. They were making their way in our direction and I was hoping photo opportunities would improve. The mother would stand still every now and then to give us a stare. Slowly the whole family was walking towards us.

Picture by Michel Rademaker

“We had never seen such tiny cubs before and were over the moon. One of the cubs was particularly interested in that big brown thing we call a truck and the youngster didn’t follow his mother as fast as she probably would have liked it to. When the little one finally caught up with the rest of the family Mom was clearly not happy with the curious cub’s behaviour.

Picture by Michel Rademaker

Picture by Michel Rademaker

Picture by Michel Rademaker

Picture by Michel Rademaker

Picture by Michel Rademaker

“Before long (the encounter unfortunately didn’t last longer than six minutes) they disappeared out of sight. It was one of the most special experiences we have ever had and hope for many more in the future.”

About the photographs

All images were taken with a Sony Alpha SLT-A55V and Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di VC USD lens.

About the photographer

In October 2010 Michel and his girlfriend visited South Africa for the first time and fell in love with the country’s wildlife. Since 2010 his passion for photography has grown by leaps and bounds and forms a big part of the fun of being in Africa. Michel was born and raised in the Netherlands and is looking forward to his next SA adventure.

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