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Moggy

Predetors and Safari visitors

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This may seem a silly question, but it is something that I have been trying to find out for years.....

 

A hungry Lion / Leopard etc. Open sided Safari vehicle stuffed with delicious Safari goers.

 

If the predators are that hungry, why do they not attack the Safari vehicles / people that are driving through their territory, or do they but we just never get to hear about it?

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Posted (edited)

This is how it's been explained to me a couple times. The jeep looks like a very big "animal". They don't necessarily see each individual yummy safari goer. This is why they tell you to keep arms and legs in the jeep- don't break the lines and stand out. I was in a jeep once with some lionesses right next to us. The moron in the back of the jeep (and he'd been one pretty much the entire time while out on the drive) swung his leg over the edge. The guide turned around and in the most terse and strong way said "get your leg back in the jeep". As the moron did, one of the lionesses zoomed in on him in a way that definitely seemed to say...."hmmm, medium rare please". One of the few times I was nervous as I was on the same side. No idea if the theory is right, but that incident will remain with me forever.

Edited by lmonmm
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I have heard the same explanation as @Imonmm.

 

I have a couple of kids and we were in open vehicle with a lion maybe 20m ahead. The group was talking very quietly but when one of the kids spoke the lioness peaked-up the higher pitch voice and focussed in on him. So if you stay quiet and keep your movement to a minimum all should be well. I remember having a lion walk about a meter or so by the open vehicle - next to my kids; I think everyone held their breath and the sort of thing you remember on safari.

 

The one exception to all this that I know of is in Ngorongoro Crater. They don't permit open vehicles there and I have seen a couple of different pics from there with lions standing up and looking into vehicles. Not sure what's going on there or why.

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I am not sure it's that easy - according to your theories, the situation would change rapidly if a human being left its vehicle and was thus "recognizable" prey. However, we all know that most predators (even lions) start running away if a human approaches it on foot (unless, of course, they are mating, have a kill or cubs nearby). In my opinion, it's in their genes that humans are primarily hunters, stronger than them. Yes, naturally there are exceptions from this rule but a rule it is, nevertheless. Otherwise nobody would allow (or undertake) walking safaris.

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Posted (edited)

What usually happens when somebody breaks the perimeter of the vehicle, by standing up for example, is that the lions will recognise him/her as a human and get up and run off. In most areas in Africa lions actually fear people. The usual flight distance varies from place to place, but when you're in a car you're usually closer to the lion than this flight distance. So if you then suddenly stand out as a human, the lions usually will run off (if they can, if they feel trapped between bushes and the cars, or if there are cubs who can't get out of the situation quickly enough things might turn out differently).

Edited by egilio
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I'm one of the most nervous, high strung people I know (think uptight house cat) and I've never worried about being out in a vehicle very close to lions, etc. I've been told by a few guides the same thing @Imonmm has.

The stories you read or see in the news about people being attacked on safari is when the person leaves the vehicle for whatever reason (usually a foolish one). I don't think since I've been paying attention to safari-related news that I've ever heard of anyone being attacked by just sitting in the vehicle.

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all sounds familiar just remain calm and enjoy

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I have heard the same explanation as @Imonmm.

 

I have a couple of kids and we were in open vehicle with a lion maybe 20m ahead. The group was talking very quietly but when one of the kids spoke the lioness peaked-up the higher pitch voice and focussed in on him. So if you stay quiet and keep your movement to a minimum all should be well. I remember having a lion walk about a meter or so by the open vehicle - next to my kids; I think everyone held their breath and the sort of thing you remember on safari.

 

The one exception to all this that I know of is in Ngorongoro Crater. They don't permit open vehicles there and I have seen a couple of different pics from there with lions standing up and looking into vehicles. Not sure what's going on there or why.

 

The Ngorongoro Conservation rangers should also ban stupid folk with selfi sticks leaning out of the top of their safari truck while a hungry lioness is resting in the shade just below. I don't have the most extreme picture - where she was almost upside down with hair just above the lion and selfistick in the air - but these provide context

post-51374-0-08339200-1490537658_thumb.jpg

post-51374-0-29029100-1490537675_thumb.jpg

post-51374-0-21285800-1490537693_thumb.jpg

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Echoing what @@ice and @@egilio said, my experience with lions is they will run away, at least assuming it is day time. When I dropped my sunglasses out of the vehicle in Mana Pools and our guide, Doug MacDonald, said he would open the door and grab them, I was worried it wasn't safe for him but he said it would be no problem. He opened the door and had to step one foot out and two of the three lions we'd been watching immediately jumped up and ran a little ways away - one stayed right where it was. I felt bad to have disturbed them but as we drove off they were already returning to their shady spot.

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