The young male lion with an already-impressive mane lowers himself onto his female companion, a powerfully built lioness nearly as big as him. Then he begins, thrusting away as a dozen cameras shutter and whir, sometimes clawing her back if the female is not in the right position. Each paroxysm of pleasure elicits roars in miniature, creating a series of noises akin to those of an over-enthusiastic and congested frat bro. And the lion lasts just about as long.
Out of the myriad reasons in my life that I’ve sprung out of bed at 5 a.m., watching lions have sex over and over again was not one I could have predicted. Yet here I was.
It’s on my second day of game drives, in Madikwe Game Reserve on the Botswana border, that this “do it how they do it on the Discovery Channel” moment occurs. When I began planning my South Africa trip this winter, I asked the folks at Go2Africa (one of the region’s best-rated travel companies) to find me a Kruger alternative for a safari. One of our main goals at The Daily Beast is getting our readers away from the crowds, and their suggestion of Madikwe (which is also malaria-free) could not have been better.