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Africalover

Lions in camp

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Hi.

Have any of you had lions in camp touching the tent like shown on this video.

I have had lions close to my little dome tent, but never this.

Don't show this to upcoming safarier, going bush camping, they might cancel 馃榾

Cheers.

https://www.facebook.com/AfricaThisIsWhyILiveHere/posts/1246895162046768

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@@Africalover Your link is not working BUT if it is the clip where a male lion (plus one other) is pacing around the front of a tent, the front flap is up, the man is telling it to go away and music is playing....... it is apparently a set up filmed near Johannesburg with 'tame lions' for a project.

The clip I saw yesterday has now been removed but got a lot of us going on FB until the story came out. :)

Those of us who have done this sort of camping know well that the rules are closed flaps, keep quiet etc. if you want to remain safe.

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@ Wilddog - this is the link. If this is the case, I might remove the topic. You are right. But a lot of fly camping is done in open tents, which I allways think is too dangerous in big game area. I never put the flaps down, only if it rains. I want to see what's going on outside during night.

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Seems to be working now.................

Yes that is the one. No need to delete topic/post.................

Interesting for others.

Some ST menbers on FB, including myself, came across it yesterday and we all had the same reponse as you. It was only later we were advised of the filming for some TV programme a couple of years ago.

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@ Wilddog - this is the link. If this is the case, I might remove the topic. You are right. But a lot of fly camping is done in open tents, which I allways think is too dangerous in big game area. I never put the flaps down, only if it rains. I want to see what's going on outside during night.

in May last year a 15 year old camping inside Crocodile Bridge in KNP was dragged out of his open tent and seriously injured by a hyena, loosing an eye

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@ Ice - I have heard about this incident, their tent was totally open. I allways have the green heavy duty mosquito net in the dome tents closed down. As far as I know most accidents happens because of ignorance or bad timing.

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I recently went fly camping with @@Kitsafari in Gonorezhou National Park and didn't think that it was at all dangerous. The mossie domes were zipped close when we slept out at night,and

my guides Ant Kaschula and Scott Pelly were slepping in their domes near me. I just loved fly camping.

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@ optig - If nothing dangerous comes around a Mossi dome it's ok. I have had lions, elephants, hippo, buffalo, hyena, ect. Within 2m. From my 2,4x2,4m dome tent literally looking at them through the green heavy duty mosquito net. I am not sure I would like to encounter - for instance lions or elephants within 2m in a lightweight Mossi dome.

Cheers.

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The only lion which laid against my tent ever was the lone female in Liuwa. Often had lions close to where I slept (<5m while sleeping under a mosquitoe net, with other people just sleeping in the open), lions mating next to my tent, but never against the tent.

Apparently the video you posted was filmed about 4-5 years ago for a show by Kevin Richardson.

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@@egilio - you are far more experience than me in Africa. When you are saying, in the open - you mean in a Mossi tent?

I don't consider me a sissy, but I would find it very uncomfortable to be surrounded by lions or elephants in a lightweight mossy tent. I love to sit up in my tent looking out on what's around. I am not sure that is wise in a mossy tent. I find it exiting enough to watch a bull elephant 1m from my tent and listening to the rumble from it's stomach.

Cheers.

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With 'in the open' I meant 'in the open', just on a sheet or mattress, not under anything. I was under a mozzi net, surrounded by others. In that case we were building a boma with quite a big crew, about 20 people. I've slept in tents, little tents, without the rain fly (ie, just the mozzi netting) and waking up looking at the belly of a bull elephant...quite an experience but not something I would feel comfortable doing day after day! In a bigger tent...different story. I've often slept on the hood and the roof of a car, just on a little mattress without any cover (as long as there were not mozzies).

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@@Africalover I think lions / animals in camp is worth a topic of it's own.... In trip reports, photo's on the net and each of our experiences this stuff happens more than some people might think.

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We've stayed at camp adjacent to the Mara Triangle a few times. It is a larger camp and we try to go in shoulder season when there are few other visitors and it's relatively quiet. The camp has a low, broad fence to keep elephants out (about 2 feet high x 2 feed wide). On our first visit during the orientation walk someone commented about staying in a fenced camp and our guide said "oh don't worry, the cats just jump right over it". We've seen cat tracks and heard occasional stories of staff seeing leopards early in the morning as they were opening the kitchen, etc. (which we though was just fodder for the tourists). On our last trip the staff told us that there were three younger lions (~2 years old) that would sometimes hunt warthogs in the camp (as they were a bit less skittish and presumably a bit easier to catch). There was one incident when two lions were pursuing a warthog through the staff area in the early morning hours. The warthog and one lion went running by the sanitation block (staff loo) when out stepped one of the camp staff from the loo. He was knocked to the ground by the second pursuing lion who fortunately was so focused on the warthog that he just kept going. Needless to say he was quite shaken up!

On our last day we were leaving the camp very early and were driving down a narrow, forested stretch of dirt road within the fenced camp perimeter, (which I've walked down before), when we saw two of the lions hunting warthogs. The wart hog darted out of the bush on one side of the road, crossed in front of our vehicle and ran into bush on the other side, closely chased by a lion. A second lion emerged and carefully scanned the bush area where the warthog entered. After about a minute he leaned back a bit on his haunches and pounced headfirst into the brush. We were so surprised at our good fortune and transfixed by the unexpected action before we even left camp that we didn't notice the third lion behind our vehicle. She slowly sauntered by the side of the open sided Landcruiser; after she passed by we observed for a few more minutes until she too went into the bush. At this point we slowly reversed the vehicle and travelled a few hundred yards down the road (and around a small curve) to a wooden guard post to warn the askari on duty. I excitedly exclaimed "tatu simba cats" and pointed down the road. He gave me a look of slight confusion and patience (as if thinking: just another crazy tourist all exited because he thinks saw lions, isn't that nice). Our guide then explained to him in Swahili what we'd just seen. The askari looked back at me as his eyes grew big. He let out a low whistle and slowly stepped backwards into the guard shack and closed the door.

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Posted (edited)

post-5263-0-11347600-1484493374_thumb.jpgpost-5263-0-60489400-1484493395_thumb.jpgpost-5263-0-17160800-1484493416_thumb.jpg

Apologies for the poor picture quality!

Edited by PT123
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~ At roughly 4:30 am on 1 February, 2016 I was the sole guest staying at the Nairobi Tented Camp.

My tent was up on the hillside in the forest, above the main path where I鈥檇 seen a bushbuck the previous afternoon.

I woke to a loud rasping sound which seemed to be within several meters of the pillow where my head was resting.

There was the unmistakable sound of something brushing against the tent less than half a minute after the rasping ceased.

I fell asleep several minutes later.

The next morning while I was photographing birds 鈥 there are many around the Nairobi Tented Camp 鈥 the security staff talked with me.

Smiling, they asked if I'd heard the leopard during the night.

What leopard?鈥, I asked. They said it had passed through the camp pre-dawn in deep night.

I told them of my experience. Two went off to look around my tent, returning and confirming that tracks were there.

That's the only leopard I've heard but not observed or photographed.

Tom K.

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NAMIRI PLAINS CAMP. SOUTHERN SERENGETI. TANZANIA.

July 2016. 2 of the notorious 6 brothers, arrived for lunch one day, also聽one slept at the back of our tent one night and roared constantly before being moved on by camp staff at 01.30, a memorable experience.

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I had a bit of an unusual experience. This wasn't the 1st time I have had聽a close encounter, so I wasn't unhinged about it.聽

It was about the beginning of June. I left South Luangwa NP driving in my landrover, going to North Luangwa NP midday. I knew that I was not going to make it and planned on camping, on my own along the way. I made it North of Luambe NP and found a spot聽off one of the hunters tracks.聽Built a fire, made dinner, enjoyed a couple Mosi beers, the night sky and the symphony of the evening. It was getting cold and late, so聽I climbed up into my rooftop tent. In the middle of the night, I felt the landy move. Looking out I could see a couple lions laying by the glowing coals of the fire. Being the person I am, I decided to look underneath me. There inches under the tent(and me) was a lion on the bonnet. A little unnerving. I quietly聽slid back,聽zipped up the mesh, and eventually fell back to sleep. In the morning, my bunkmate and her buddies were gone, thank-you very much.聽

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Great experience - when was that?

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As with others here, when camping lion, elephant, hippo and hyena have been frequent and close camp visitors after dark, though rarely showing any interest in our netting domed tents.

However, recounted here before so apologies to those who have read this before.

2011 in self-driving in mana and staying at Mana, at Mucheni 3.

When we arrived late afternoon to set up camp 3 large, old male buffalo were under one of the large trees where we usually pitch tents. They moved off as we parked and we didn't think much more of this. However, after dark, the buffalo returned and settled down next to the tents. With a little clapping and shoooing and shouting, they reluctantly moved off again and we were able to retire for the night. However, after about 10 minutes it was clear that the buff's were returning. This became particularly apparent when they settled down against the tents - causing the tent walls to bulge inwards and encroaching into the sleeping area. Our first night was a little unsettled, but this routine was repeated nightly for the rest of the week and we got quite used to the noises of the buffalo's digestive systems, and awakening each morning to one of these huge creatures staring at us, face only a foot or two away.

Things got especially interesting on the fourth night. We had all gone to bed, and had been joined shortly after 'lights-out' by 'our' buffalo as usual. At about 2am I woke to the unmistakable sound of lions calling. They were clearly walking in our direction. The buffalo started to get agitated, shifting and snorting, causing the tent to bulge ever inwards. It is always difficult to judge how close lions are in the stillness of an African night - but they sounded very close - eventually blood curdlingly close! Their proximity was confirmed when I was able to hear their footfall. I was variously thinking 'what the hell am I doing here?';'this tent is really not going to provide a whole lot of protection if the lions attack'and'how on earth can I get out of here quickly'. Whilst I was too scared to so much as move, I did open my pocket knife in the hope I would be able to cut my way out of the tent if the worst happened. Thankfully it didn't, and the lions just kept moving through, but this is almost certainly as scared as I have ever been in the bush and I didn't get too much more sleep that night. I think it was the darkness and not being able to see precisely what was gong on which I found especially unsettling....that along with what seemed like a very real possibility of becoming an integral part of a lion / buffalo squabble!

In 2015, camping at Mucheni 2, completely unbeknown to me until I returned home to Sussex and was reviewing trail cam footage, a female leopard聽cam and sat on the boot-mat outside of my tent - so about 3' from sleeping and oblivious me. 聽

Shame, that would have been well worth waking for.

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this is why I hate to go to sleep at night when I am in Africa...you always hear something, near or far.

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@Africalover 聽 聽That happened in 2001. Just one of many unexpected things that occurred on my safaris.

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