While on safari with my guests in the Manyeleti Game Reserve, we were lucky enough to witness this tiny lion cub’s first introduction to this spectacular wilderness area, under the watchful eye of its protective mother. This photograph was taken as the lioness moved her cubs from the den sight for the first time. One by one, she escorted the vulnerable cubs to a rocky outcrop which would become their new playground and safe haven, until they were big enough to meet the rest of the pride and would be exposed to life in the wild.
This lioness gave birth to 4 healthy cubs which she hid very well in a dry river bed, keeping them out of harm’s way. On a number of occasions when this particular lioness was located, usually while she was hunting, we followed the lactating female to the place her cubs waited for her return. The riverine vegetation and location of the den was so dense that we could never get a view of the new additions, until this special day.