Harriet Smith Photography


"For The Love of Africa"

AFRICAN SAFARIS - Trips Of A Lifetime

Fierce Grace

Country: South Africa

Fierce Grace

This is a picture of a majestic male White Lion truly resembling the legends created by his ancestors.  With backlit sunlight creating a halo effect around most of his body, one cannot help but know that he has 'The Spirit'. His golden eyes look directly into the camera as he crosses the well chewed grasses surrounded by timeless trees.  He's huge. He's graceful. He's fierce.  He has 'The Spirit'.  He is the legend.

All over the African continent, from Egypt in the North to Bushmen in the South, legends of the White Lions existence grace ancient oral traditions and cave paintings. From the distant Nile culture in the North to Zululand's Valley of a Thousand Hills in the South, storytellers spoke of the arrival of these legendary animals.  In Senegal in the West, and Somalia in the East, legends proclaim the White Lions magical powers. Senegalese legend describe the White Lions as ancestral beings of the highest order; creatures who only take on physical form on earth at a time of ecological crisis.  Other White Lion legends:

'Lions of God - who came from the stars.'
'A gift from God'.
Bushman and Zulu shaman describe the White Lions as 'Children of the Sun God'

There is one place only on earth where these mythical creatures have come to life - and that is in a 200 square mile area called Timbavati, a wildlife region bordering on South Africa's Kruger National Park.  Timbavati in the ancient Shangaan language means 'the place where something sacred came down to earth - like a bird or angel from the heavens!'  Why the rare White Lion occurs among lions only in the Timbavati area is unclear.

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