Ontario's African Lion Safari Park has a lion safari bus tour for patrons because it's safer than using your own vehicle to go through the park.
By safer, I mean safer for your vehicle.
Provided you don't get out, or open windows, you're never in any danger even when surrounded by big cats, like this lion below.
The bus tour lasts an hour and there are plenty of stops along the way to take photos.
And the bus windows are kept clean so your photos will come out okay, as you can see from ours.
Lions are famously 'sleepy' (males are supposed to spend 20 of every 24 hours sleeping, a bit like teenagers really) and they certainly are pretty relaxed when I've seen them, whether in a zoo or a safari park -- unless it's feeding time.
That usually captures their interest.
The mane, by the way, protects the male from teeth and claws during the frequent battles with other males for the post of 'head of the pride'.
Clearly, lionesses are more active -- at least based on our photos, which is an admittedly small sample.
Actually, that is true in real life too. Lionesses do most of the hunting and bringing up the cubs when lions live in the wild.
Here's why mom above was probably on the move. Youngsters, no matter what species, are generally pretty active.
This one was wrestling and gnawing a bone and other handy items that were to hand -- maybe it was teething:)
In the next fenced area are the cheetahs, a very superior looking animal. They watched the people, and the lions next door, with expressions approaching disdain. Their speed makes them fearsome hunters on Africa's grasslands -- they're the fastest land animals, over short distances.
Cheetahs rarely breed in captivity, the guide told us, so the Safari park is very proud of the 40 cubs their cheetahs have added to the world's stock of this sadly declining cat.
The lion safari bus tour also takes you through areas that include rhinos, giraffes, wildebeest, antelopes, bison, and deer.
The Park also has a a boat ride. This ride isn't designed to show you close ups of African animals; it's a 'ride' through a gentler part of the park where you do get to see primates and waterbirds, such as this stork.
The boat tour lasts 15 minutes and it's covered so not a problem for those susceptible to the heat on sunny days.
And better still the boat and train rides (next section) are included in the price of your ticket so it's well worth taking.
Finally, there's the train ride, which also lasts about 15 minutes and the carriages are also covered. Like the boat, this is a 'ride' and not intended to exhibit the animals; however, you will almost certainly see deer and and different waterbirds, such blue herons and local ducks.
As i said earlier, do both rides as well as the lion safari bus tour. They're a relaxed open-air way to see some of the gentler animals in the Park
For the latest updates on the African Lion Safari, visit their page here.
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