Terrifying moment huge lion inspects safari sundowner cocktail table

This lion photographed investigating safari-goers’ sundowner drinks might have woken up with a roaring hangover head in the morning. Luckily the large male decided against a gin and lemonade and made his way to a waterhole nearby.

He was photographed cheekily checking out the alcohol on offer for guests on safari in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe.

Sundowners are traditional sunset cocktails and drinks often served at the end of a hot day out on safari watching wildlife in Africa.

Guide Ona Basimane, 41, took these amazing photographs of what was perhaps the best wildlife encounter of the day for his guests.

Ona, who leads specialist photographic trips throughout Southern and East Africa, said the male on display is part of a coalition of two dominant males in the area, part of the Linkwasha pride.

He said during the day they had seen the two males in the morning in one area but the two big cats were nowhere to be seen in the afternoon.

He said: “We drove all over the area but had no luck sighting. Eventually, we gave up as the sun was setting and decided to set up our sundowners by a waterhole in the same area.

“We had concluded that the lions may have left the vicinity that morning, but we were barely into our drinks when I spotted the two lions approaching us from about two hundred yards away.

“They were coming out of a woodland close by and we watched as they approached and eventually stopped and lay on a termite mound.

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“Keen to approach them and get the pictures before the last rays of sunshine disappeared so we decided to leave our drinks-set up and go to the lions.

“But as soon as we got there, they promptly both got up and walked past us, towards the drinks.

“We had no choice but to follow behind as they got there first and proceeded to investigate and sniff around before deciding to carry onto the waterhole and drink water instead.”

Ona, who is originally from Botswana, has been a safari guide for over 15 years and is also a published wildlife photographer.

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