Walking with Lions

Our small group starts walking quietly down the dirt path with our Zambian guides, in nervous apprehension. The King of the jungle, several kings to be exact, are lying in wait for our arrival.
Curious heads rise as we approach, and I look into the eyes of the great lions, and the stark realization of my place in the animal kingdom is known.
We are taught the proper way to approach them so we don’t startle or spook the lions. Our hands slowly touch their soft fur, feel their strong muscles, their lungs breathing, the purring of contentment as we scratch their underbellies.
It then becomes time to go for a walk. These lions need no leash, and most likely wouldn’t tolerate one anyway. We are in their land, guests in their environment, and we walk beside and behind them as we venture into the Zambian bush.

Probably my highlight of this experience was holding the lions tail as we walked, and brushing it up against my cheek.
Even as I am typing I still can barely fathom what I did….
as I went walking with the lions of Africa.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?