Harriet Smith Photography


"For The Love of Africa"

AFRICAN SAFARIS - Trips Of A Lifetime

King Of The Beasts

Country: South Africa

King Of The Beasts

This is a picture of an extraordinary male White Lion relaxing on the closely chewed, shaded  grasses.  His eyes, with their reflective white underneath, stare right at the camera.  The sunlight backlights his glorious heavy mane. The haunches and fore quarter are visible evidence of power.  This is the stuff from which legends are made:  
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'

Yet there is one place only on earth where these mythical creatures have come to life - and that is 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!"

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