Game parks are a lot of fun, but probably Lion Park stands out in the crowd for providing one of the most varied experiences among all the places we visited. In one day, you get to walk with a Cheetah, feed ostriches and giraffes, watch zebras pass by and lions eat the main meal on their week. All this packed in one Sunday morning, before lunchtime. So let's get started! If you can, try to visit the park on Sunday as it is the day when lions get fed, so it's pretty exciting to watch them walk in circles waiting impatiently for their horse legs.
The morning starts with the cheetah walk. First thing is to pick him up and drive to the area where the interaction takes place.
As soon as the cheetah comes out, you are allowed to pet him while he gets small pieces of meat. Cheetahs - unlike leopards - can be tamed so they are not dangerous to humans in this kind of situation. They are beautiful, lean animals, engineered for speed. The tears running down their eyes are placed there to increase their vision on high speed. Their paws do not have retractile nails, for a good grip at peak speed, same goes with the very long tail, good to balance their body. He will constantly walk towards the shadow, unless there's a special reason i.e. meat to stay on the sun. If they don't get any meat, they will hit you with the paw in order to get some. Overall, it is an impressive experience to get to be so close and even pet the animal. They may look very long, but they are also lean so their weight always stays below 65kg.
From there, we went into the lion cub interaction area. Here you are allowed only a few minutes, with these cute animals we also met in Ukutula.
While waiting for the 12 o'clock tour to start, you can go feed jiraffes and ostriches. They are harmless and a lot of fun.
It's about time for lunch and the lions know it. Some people come into the park with their private vehicles but we chose the safer and more comfortable option of doing it from the park's own van, so we can also listen to the explanations of the guide and ask some questions. Mothers fetch some meat and find a spot where to feed their cubs. Dominant males will eat right in the middle, as a showcase of power. Today there's meat for everyone, while if you come in a weekday it would be very different and maybe only the dominant males will get a bite. It continues to be extremely impressive to me how social lions are. They live in huge prides, share food and do not fight with each other, not even when sharing enclosure in a game park like this one.
Lion Park [WEB]
The park is on the process to reallocate into a larger area, so I will not include map but advise you to check the website.