The lion sleeps ... undisturbed by traffic on a warm tar road in Kruger

17 April 2020 - 13:03 By ERNEST MABUZA
A pride of lions sleeps on the tar road outside Orpen rest camp in Kruger National Park on Wednesday afternoon.
A pride of lions sleeps on the tar road outside Orpen rest camp in Kruger National Park on Wednesday afternoon.
Image: Kruger National Park section ranger Richard Sowry

The lockdown which has led to the closure of national parks has presented Kruger National Park's lions with an opportunity rarely witnessed by tourists - taking a nap on a warm tar road during the day.

The pictures were taken by ranger Richard Sowry and the park said the pride was usually resident on the Kempiana Contractual Park, an area Kruger tourists usually do not see.

The park shared the photographs of the pride on the tar road just outside the Orpen rest camp on Wednesday afternoon.

South African National Parks closed its tourism facilities to the public from March 25 in support of the nationwide lockdown.

SANParks spokesperson Ike Phaahla said the pictures were rare because animals would normally stay away from the roads because of continuous traffic during the day. However, they liked the road because it was warm and dry compared with the bush.

He said rangers were working at the park.

“Rangers are essential services, they look after fauna and flora, infrastructure and the entire ecosystem of the Kruger National Park.”