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Written by: Bobby-Jo Clow

These images were taken in the Moru Kopjes area in the Central Serengeti, Tanzania. 

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We were busy taking photos of thousands of wildebeest and zebra that formed part of the great migration when the lions were spotted about one kilometre away in a sausage tree.

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We were able to get close enough to the lions to create some really unique images. We were close enough that we could hear their vocal interaction – some of them were even snoring!

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The pride was at least 25 strong and at one stage I counted up to 15 lions in the tree. Watching the lions trying to reposition themselves in the tree was very comical as they are very clumsy and lack the leopards climbing skills. One lioness had an incredibly rotund belly and she was letting it all hang out whilst perched on the tree.

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Our amazing guide Firoz informed us that due to the recent rains the grass was quite long in the Serengeti and that lions climb the trees to escape the insects that thrive in the long grass. Our guide informed us that it is not common to see lions in trees, especially 15 of them at once and this was indeed a special sighting. When your guide gets his camera out and starts taking photos – then you know.

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This sighting also allowed us to observe some breeding behaviour. The male lion pictured in the photos had been mating with one of the females and she was most likely at the end of her cycle as she was not very receptive towards him and was getting very aggressive whenever he tried to pursue her. The lioness eventually climbed up into the tree to escape the male. As he started to follow her a young lion came to her defence and snarled at the male and stopped him from climbing the tree.

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For more fantastic pictures of lions see our gallery: Wild Royalty

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