Throwback Thursday: Lions out of Focus

Generally speaking, focus is the central point of attention or activity.  We may agree that it’s important to focus on whatever we want to get done. I’d like to add that how we focus on something may actually determine whether or not we’ll live to tell the story. Seriously.

I learned this lesson many years ago in South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. Before dinner on our first day at the safari lodge we opted for a sunset game drive. We climbed into a typical “safari jeep” ready for an adventure. Our guide drove us around the park and we saw many different types of antelopes, zebras and water buffaloes. Very exciting! But more excitement was to come.

antelope in Zambia Luangwa National Park
A large antelope in South Luangwa National Park

About an hour into the drive, our guide told us that before we’d return to the lodge for dinner, he would drive us down to the Luangwa River to see the sunset. It was spectacular, he said, and we might spot animals who come there to drink in the early evening hours.

A few minutes later we approached the river banks. Already from afar, we could see a herd of elephants crossing the river.  We stopped on the high river bank and the driver left the engine running (we were in the wild). My hubby, who sat in the front passenger seat, rigged his camcorder.

Elephants crossing Luangwa River Zambia safari
A herd of elephants crossing the Luangwa River (click to enlarge)

The view was magical. On the left side of the vehicle we could see elephants of all sizes: large adults, youngsters and adorable babies.  And on the right side a gorgeous African sunset. My hubby was recording for dear life.

Luangwa river Zambia sunset
Sunset on Luangwa River

That’s when we spotted a group of female lions. They were basking themselves in the last rays of the setting sun, probably strategizing about the upcoming hunt. They were very close and very calm.  We watched them breathlessly from the relative safety of our vehicle.

A lioness on the bank of Luangwa River

Suddenly my hubby moved. His eye still on the viewfinder he stepped down from the open jeep to get a better view. And landed right in front of the lions! He was so focused on capturing the sunset that he had not seen what all others saw, the lions. In an instant, he was the easy catch, a free meal, so to speak. I was about to scream, but the driver was faster. In a fraction of a second and without a word he grabbed my hubby’s arm and pulled him back into the vehicle. Then he backed out of there, slowly and calmly.

Luangwa River Zambia
Luangwa River at sunset

That was a close call. My tiny lesson was that how we focus on something matters. Of course we should focus on what needs to get done. But not so narrowly that we lose sight of what is going on around us. Things can change fast.


23 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: Lions out of Focus”

    1. I’m sure he wasn’t. This was our first safari ever, about three months after arriving to Zambia…new camcorder…excitement. We were real rookies on the wild back then 🙂

    1. Yes, Luangwa is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen. This happened on our first safari ever…and on the many to follow I never saw the camcorder glued to his shoulder the same way again.

  1. words of wisdom from that lesson…
    stunning photos, Thank you for sharing them…
    Take Care…You Matter…

  2. What beautiful pictures sweet Tiny. The one of the lion is just amazing. They are such beautiful animals and the beauty of that one sure shows in the picture. Glad the guide was able to grab your husband and get him back in the jeep, that must have been a very frightening lesson to learn. Sure happy your husband was not injured or worse. Loved these pictures. Hugs

    1. Happy you liked the evening safari, Maggie! It was our first and the lesson was quickly learned. We were lucky to have such a quick thinking guide. Hugs

  3. Greetings from Japan!
    Thank you for visiting my blog today. It’s my pleasure to discover yours and I look forward to enjoying more of your photographs and writing. My husband & I also dream to visit Africa someday… Thank you for sharing your adventure, and a very important lesson 😉

    Best wishes,

    1. Thank you Takami! I hope you wil have an opportunity to visit Africa some day…I learner many lessons there during our long stays in different countries. I love your photography and will come back often!

      1. Thank you for your kind reply! I am honoured if you enjoy my photos, and you’re always welcome to visit my site. I will surely visit your blog often 🙂

        I agree, we can learn so much for visiting/experiencing other countries, and also even in our daily lives. Wish you a great day!

  4. 🙂 That might be best! This adventure was far too real, but a good lesson for the many safaris to come while we lived in Africa.

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