Harriet Smith Photography


"For The Love of Africa"

AFRICAN SAFARIS - Trips Of A Lifetime

Lion Male_216

Country: South Africa
Region: Limpopo
Location: Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Lodge: King's Camp 

Face Shot

This picture shows the scar free, perfect face of a mature male lion in stunning detail, every hair and whisker standing out.  His mane looks to have been just coiffed, but the hair itself is stiff and wiry. The color of his coat and mane is not so much determined by the color of the hair, but by the ratio of light-colored to dark-colored hairs. In addition to its primary role of protecting him during fights, it has been discovered that female lions prefer males with bigger and darker manes. Unfortunately, his mane also attracts trophy hunters.    

His golden eyes, gazing past the camera, are proportionately larger than in other comparable-sized animals. Lions, like most cats, are visual animals. His eyes are well-adapted for use under very low light. The white area just below his eyes helps reflect light into the eyes to further improve night vision.

This picture was taken in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve.   The Timbavati Private Game Reserve lies in the western region of the Kruger National Park, north of Sabi Sands Game Reserve, the borders between all of them unfenced, allowing greater freedom of access to wildlife. The reserve covers about 150 000 acres of pristine African bush. Kruger National Park itself is another 5 million acres in size, about the same size as Israel or Wales.  From stone age on, man never permanently settled the large tracts of land now comprising the Timbavati Reserve; leaving it truly wild land.
Timbavati in ancient Sangaan means 'the place where something sacred came down to earth from the heavens' and refers to a sub species of lion known as the 'white lions of Timbavati'.  Two white lion cubs were first spotted in 1975 and today there is a whole pride of white lions in the greater Timbavati area.  Timbavati in general is known for its lion prides. 

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