Most lions flee, even from people on foot, but an attack is a possibility and knowing how to react could save your life.
Walking safaris are a relatively new concept, and lions still perceive humans on foot as a threat.
Conversely, as the biggest tourist attraction in many African wildlife reserves, lions have become quite habituated to vehicles and can be approached to within a few feet. Indeed, they often appear totally oblivious to them, despite the excited chattering of their occupants and the clicking of cameras.
Lion in front of a safari jeep. © Marlon du Toit/Getty
Lion behaviour varies from region to region. When I first went to Zambia’s North Luangwa National Park, it was virtually devoid of tourists, so the lions weren’t habituated.
Many of our early encounters with lions there (while we were building a camp) developed into mock charges, which was disconcerting to say the least.
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