As our walk continues we’re joined by some clients. A pair of older Asian women; most likely Chinese, given that country’s ties to Zim. It’s then that the awkwardness of our situation starts to surface. Before the walk, a client liaison from the front office wanted us to go through lion safety training with the clients, which we did. But it’s something we’ve already been through both previously here and in Livingstone, and we’re not exactly clients, per se, even though the front office is treating us as such. We’re also not exactly volunteers, even though that’s how the handlers are treating us. Like the cross-border bridge between Livingstone and Victoria Falls, we feel like we’re in a bit of a no man’s land here and it seems no one quite knows how best to handle us; or, to be frankly honest, even cares. I just hope the bungee doesn’t break and we end up in croc-infested waters.
That said, I still pinch myself. The golden light of the morning African sun is sweeping sideways across the fields surrounding us, I’m with my sweetheart, and we’re walking alongside two lionesses that we love dearly. During the walk Penya and Paza spy some impala in the distance and leisurely stalk them, but the antelope do a good job of keeping several hundred meters between themselves and the Ps. I do a bit of filming and also try to take some still photos, but I always seem to be in someone’s way, whether or not I actually am, so I’m not feeling particularly confident behind the lens this morning. At the end of the walk it’s a delight to sign off with the obligatory “Thanks for the walk, ladies!” What I didn’t know at the time, which I desperately wish I had, was that it would be our only walk with the Ps during our AP visit. In fact, it would be our only lion walk at all while we were at Antelope Park.