My first day at Lionsrock – what an awesome start! :)

So…wow! It is just incredibly awesome here!

Yesterday afternoon, Anel picked me up at Johannesburg Airport and we had a 3 hours drive to Lionsrock, Bethlehem. She told me a lot about the sanctuary, Four Paws, the work they do and the animals they keep. The landscape is just gorgeous, and as the sun went down and the world seemed being on fire we approached Lionsrock Sanctuary.

When we arrived, it was already dark. I met the other volunteer, Natasha, with whom I share the accommodation and who also volunteers for the big cats. She’s an awesome person who loves animals and who knows a lot about them. I’m glad she’s here, she’s just unique. After my arrival, I went to bed soon, excited to wake up the next morning.

Today I woke up as the lions were roaring. I could not stay in the house any longer, I was just too excited about everything. So I went for a walk in my pyjama. I met some friendly horses right in front of the house and some friendly lions, too.

After breakfast, Anel took Natasha and me to a Game Drive. Jazz and Afra, the two lovely dogs, accompanied us and were as exicted about the trip as we were. Anel presented us all the cats, telling us their names, their (sometimes too sad) past and their characters. I was just overwhelmed by all those impressions and those incredibly beautiful and powerful wild cats. Some of them, such as the tiger Coda or the lioness Andy, love humans and communicate with them. I cannot put into words how elegant and powerful it looks when those amazing animals move.

After the Game Drive we had a look at the big pride which was being fed. So much meat! Legs and heads and ribs… We really got hungry at that point. But before lunch, Anel took us with her when she released the snake which she found in front of the house, on the mountain – a Puff Adder. I have never seen such a big wild snake before. And I’ll be perfectly well with it if that doesn’t happen so often in the future, too.

In the afternoon, Natasha showed me the enclosures where the lions and tigers are that will be on my round for the next few weeks. I will have to spend time monitoring 4 of the lions and the tigers from Starlight Fischer in the mornings. We had some trouble locating all lions and tigers since the area is just huuuge and we got lost from time to time. But oh yes, it was a wonderful walk, even though we were scared of any stick or poo that laid on the ground. Who knew if it wasn’t a snake! They often pretend to be dead. So as you have a closer look at them, they gonna spit at you or bite you. And then you may die. But well, we just saw sticks and poo, no real snakes.

After the walk, we visited Coda, the adorable show-off-Lion, again. He loves humans and likes to show off and walk with people. His best friend is Jazz, the dog that came with us. But Coda had eaten before and he did not show up as he was just lying inside, digesting all the meat. Jazz, Natasha and I were a bit disappointed, but we gonna see Coda again, once he has slept and relaxed enough.

The evening was really nice. We didn’t have electricity for around 2.5 hours, since the government wants to save money and thus cuts electricity for some time every day. So we spent a really cosy evening with Elke, who came at our place. We had some wine, some good talk and time passed fast.

So I really have to go to sleep now.. I’m excited to wake up as the lions roar and to spend the morning with the lions Andy, Nora, Kongo and Seeta, and the tigers from Starglight Fischer.

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