On my final game drive of the week, we got to be in the darkness with my beautiful pride of lions one last time. It was a different experience to be with them at this hour, this is when they travel, when they hunt. All of the little ones rushed up along side us, looking at us straight in the eye asking, "Do I know you?" "Should I care?". After they got bored checking us out, they returned to the lesson at hand; their moms teaching them how to hunt, and of course, a little bit of play as well. We sat there for a good half hour watching them interact with each other, then followed as they marched down the road to find their dinner for the night. With the big cats, you can shine light on them at night and it doesn't bother them at all because the light gets absorbed behind the retina and is reflected back out. For this reason, we could shine the lights around them and get an intimate viewing of their night time habits. The antelope don't have this trait, so you have to switch off the lights immediately if you see them. As we started to head home, we noticed a herd of impala grazing directly in the path that the lions were walking. We stopped, switched off the engine and the lights, and listened... There in the pitch black of the bush you can almost hear your own breath, your senses heighten in anticipation of witnessing a kill. We heard the "Pbffff!" of one of the impala, it was her danger call. Then a slight rustle, then complete silence... The impala had seen the lion, so it was too late, there was no attack this time. I was both disappointed and relieved at the same time. It would have been a thrill to witness, but I also didn't have to listed to the scream of a dying animal. Here are a few of my favorite photos from the night, I'll miss my "babies", as I got used to seeing them almost every day. The gaze of my one special little lion will stay with me forever, it's precious beyond words to feel a silent conversation with such a stunning being. A sweet connection with one of God's great creatures.