Written by: Manuel Graf
I was fortunate enough to recently spend 10 days in the African wildlife haven of South Luangwa National Park. On my trip I had some spectacular sightings, but there was one that really stood out for me – my first sighting of Ginger, an unusually light-coloured lion with an orange hue.
I’ve seen a lot of lions on my past trips to Africa, but when I saw Ginger for the first time, I was almost speechless. Ginger is the dominant male in the area around Mfuwe Lodge, and is a magnificent specimen that stands out as a result of his unusual pigment, which is believed to be caused by erythrism – a rare condition in lions. Together, his brother Garlic and him rule the turf in this region.
Early one morning, while it was still dark, I found him feeding on a dead elephant. After his delicious meal he laid down on the open plains with one of his ladies and, just before midday, he started to mate with her. I found him again just before sunset and he looked like a very content and satisfied lion – well fed and happy with the day’s activities!
As it began to get dark and was time to leave, he gave me a knowing look and I bid a fond farewell after a few special days of having the fortune of viewing this incredible lion!