A Glimpse of Tanzanian: A Group of Lions on the Tree in the East African Savannah

People often say that ants can climb up on the tree, we are accustomed to the saying; even there is a kind of dishes called ‘ants on the tree’. But if you talk about the lion climbing on the tree, many people would think that is weird. With a body so big, how can a lion climb up on the tree? It is not a cat! Some of the information on the lion said, because the lion is a feline, so it can also climb up on the tree. To my memory, there was a booklet which gave the introduction on the Lake Manyara National Park, it said that, in the park, when the leopards and lions did not hunt on the preys, they generally habitat on the tree.

As to the saying that lions can climb up on the tree, I also not used to believe in it, just thought that it was only a legend, not truth. However, in the East African savannah, by the occasional personal experience, I have witnessed the fact that the lions did climb up on the tree. Here, let me make a detailed introduction to the readers on my witness of a group lion climbing up on tree in the East Africa prairie.

That day, we took a sport utility vehicle and drove in the Serengeti prairie. After having seen some other animals, the driver and guide constantly exchanged the information on the whereabouts of the lions with his colleagues through the high-power walkie-talkies, trying to locate a place to see the lions. He also kept driving in the grasslands to seek the lions. He looked for a long time, it seems that where were no results, without any trace of the lion.

After a short break at a camp in the National Park, we went on the road to look for the lions. About less than 20 minutes of driving, the driver pointed to a tree in front of the distance and said the there was a lion on that tree. Then, he drove the car near the tree. We fixed our eyes on the tree which stood alone on the huge prairie, on one of its large branches there sat a female lion.

Previously, although I have seen the wild lions for many times, each time I saw them having activities on the ground or lying. This time, I have really seen the lion in the tree for the first time in my life. Oh, not only ants can climb up on the tree, but also the lion can climb up on the tree. The lioness sat on the branch for a while, then stood up again. Then, like a cat, walked on the branches. Our car stayed there, we faced at the lioness on the tree and looked her for a long time before we took leave.

The next day, as planned, we had to leave Serengeti and proceed towards Ngorongoro. Because we did not see so many lions on last day, the tour guide feel sorry for us. He decided not to take the northern route of Serengeti, which he often traveled, and drove the car towards Ngorongoro on a southern route that he had not taken.

By going on the south route, I got a windfall. First of all, we met the flamingo in a small lake after we drove a short distance. After having watched the flamingo, we went on the road for half an hours, and saw a spectacle again. In front of us, there were several cars around a tree; the people inside the car were watching something. General speaking, this should certainly be some good things out there.

We approached a little nearer and had a look, the case was that there habitat with a dozen lions on that tree! Not only on the tree, under the tree, another dozen of lions were lying on the grass . The lions on the tree were most lazily lying on the branches, with their limbs hanging down, seemingly sleeping there or taking leisure. Of course, some lions which sat on the upper part of the branches looking around, behaving like guards. Compared to the above mentioned scene of a single lioness on a tree, the case of so many lions perched on the tree in all directions was really a rare spectacle.

By facing at the group of lions on the tree, we took photos for a while, as it was a rare opportunity to see so many lions, especially on the tree. At that moment, there appeared a new situation. From a little distance, I saw a large lioness waking out of the bushes at the other side of the meadow below the tree. This large lioness was seemingly very prestigious among the group of the lions both on the tree and below the tree; she might be the grandmother of the lions. Because as soon as she appeared, some lions below the tree started to walk or run towards her. A few lions on the tree also climb down from the tree to walk towards and greet the large lioness. According to the tour guide, the large lioness might have captured some prey over there, then she came here to call the other lions to follow her for sharing the prey. As lions were walking, they just passed two SUV typed vehicles in front of us, people inside the car were busy with photographing at the lions and to I even took down the pictures of the lions together with the people inside the SUV to prove that the lions were very closed to the people. A famous poem by Bian Zhilin could give a good description of such scene: you stand on the bridge to see the scenery, the one who stays upstairs and see the scenery is looking at you, the moon has decorated your window, and you have decorate someone else’s dream .

I did not know how long we stayed there for watching the lions. Finally we decided to leave. We tried to go in the direction of Ngorongoro. We turn a few circles on the way, and we also saw an African wild dog. Somehow, we were led back again in front of the same tree where the group of lions habitat. However, this time we stopped the car in a better position, in the positive light direction of the lion tree. Because of the right direction of light and a closer distance with the lions on the tree, we took a lot of better photos this time. I also shot a few selfies by taking the lions on tree as the background. As we were too close to the lions on the branches, they seemed can jump from the tree into our car.

Such a good opportunity, such a good angle, I should utilize it. Cha, Cha, Cha, Cha, by facing at the lions on the tree, I took lots of photos of them in different poses. These photos were rare for me, very valuable ones. To our opposite, on the other side of the tree, there also parked two cars, the people inside the cars were shooing photos of lions on the tree or under the tree.

After the photo shooting, we went on the road again. After encountered with the Bianconeri numbered in tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands which were in the migration, as well as the number of elephants, the miracle for us to see lions was not over yet. Our car approached a plot of bushes and high grasses about 10 meters in diameter. The tour guide told us that when he was far away from the bushes, he had known that there were lions hid inside the bush plot. Then, he push hard the throttle of SUV typed vehicles, issued a huge roar. Sure enough, the huge roar scared out several lions.rom the bushes. Hehe, although the lions were not afraid of people, they feared of the SUV typed vehicle driven by people. They were three lions and one lioness. Our driver and tour guide used to be a staff at the Serengeti National Park, involved in the protection of wildlife. He was very familiar with the habits of lion, in very far distance he could tell if there was a lion or not. He was not afraid of the lion. This time, even he made a fun with the lions. He drove the car towards one male lion and chased it, which scared the male lion escape desperately by running its four feet. Hehe, lions were also afraid of people, this was the first time for me to having seen it in my life. Of course, the lion was not afraid of people, but it was afraid of the SUV type vehicle inside which we stayed, and which looked like a monster. We sat inside the car, so we dared to catch up with the lion. However, if you dare to get off the car to try, you will immediately be torn into eight pieces by lions.

Well, this is the story about the lions climbing up on the tree, I hope you readers will like it. The photos which I took in that experience with lions should be very rare.



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