Who could fail to be moved by Charm, alpha mother and feminist icon, in last night's Dynasties, moving heaven and earth to keep her pride going against the odds? It reminded us all at Original Travel HQ that life for lions is nearly always tough (no matter what The Lion King may have taught us), but life on a safari break needn't be and, as your holiday guardian angels, we thought it only right that we put together three of our favourite lion-spotting destinations…
The Masai Mara, Kenya
Starting with where Charm and her, quite frankly, adorable cubs call home (seriously, is there anyone who didn't just want to pick them up and squish them? Yes, we know, strictly forbidden and for very good reasons, but still), Kenya's Masai Mara is one of the most densely populated wildlife areas on earth. Naturally this makes it pretty dense with tourists as well. Luckily, we're in the know on the best out-of-the-way camps and have a little black book of guides who know isolated spots for tracking wildlife away from the other 4x4s.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
South Africa's Eastern Cape is, thankfully, malaria-free which makes it the ideal spot for a family safari adventure. Parents can take their own pride to see lions, elephants, cheetahs, warthogs et al without worrying about persuading them to swallow much-maligned malaria tablets. Family friendly guides and plenty of activities, from fire making and bush art to braai-ing (a sort of South African barbecue), means that parents can enjoy plenty of alone time, and even an evening game drive sans enfants.
Hoanib Valley, Namibia
Namibia's vast deserts are home to some rather special lions. The big cats who live in the country's far north have adapted over the course of thousands of years to cope with their desert environment. In a display of survival of the fittest, they have slightly smaller paws, need less water and have longer legs to keep them higher above the hot sand. On an aerial safari, it is even possible to spot them hunting seals on the beach.