By Stacey Leasca
August 20, 2019

If you’ve ever doubted a wild animal’s ability to hide in plain sight you need to watch this YouTube video.

Each day, the fine folks over at safariLIVE take viewers around the world with them as they drive through the Greater Kruger National Park and Maasai Mara National Reserve. The videos typically involve animal behavior lessons, sightings, and glorious views of the African sunrises and sunsets. But, in one of its more recent live videos safari guide Steve got the surprise of his life.

The video begins with Steve stepping out of the safari vehicle to explain a few animal tracks he spotted in the sand. He walks to the back of the vehicle to identify the paw prints as from a lion. He then moves from behind the vehicle toward the grass, where he’s met with quite a surprise — a massive pride of female lions and their cubs.

Steve quickly backs up to the truck saying “oh my word.”

“Ok, so everybody we just bumped into a pride of lions,” he says with a laugh. “Today’s track were very, very fresh, and as you can see they were extremely fresh.”

Though there are an estimated 1,600 lions living in Kruger National Park, the park itself is more than 7,500 square miles, meaning it isn’t entirely unheard of to go on a safari without spotting a single lioness. And that makes this sighting all the more thrilling. And, according to the African Wildlife Foundation, the lion population has declined some 43 percent in the last two decades, making sightings like this even more rare.

Want to try to spot the lions for yourself? Check out the best safari lodges across Africa who will help you safely — and sustainably — visit these lovely creatures.

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