What could be cuter than a tiny lion cub, playing with its mother’s tail? Our appreciation while watching this precious creature at close range was tempered by knowing the reality that a very small percent of lion cubs make it to adulthood. This little one would have many hurdles to face, and unless this mother would return to the pride where other lionesses also had cubs, it would be off cycle with siblings, cutting its chances all the more. We found ourselves wrapped up in a dozen “what-ifs”, particularly as a BIG male was within close range and definitely aware of the female. We watched him follow her scent trail, lifting his head to fully sample the smells, bearing his teeth in the process. Africa is a raw place, with much to teach us about impermanence. For this moment, this day, we felt the magic of new life, the bond of mother and young that crosses species boundaries without anthropomorphizing. That we had a good half hour to watch these two groom, play and sleep, and that we would find them again, two kilometers away with one VERY tired cub following that long tail was a marvel. That we were alone with them, far from other vehicles was all the more so, thanks to the efforts of our amazing camp crew. One of the best things about going MOBILE, on a camping safari is that sense of wilderness gained away from lodges, airstrips, and other centers of activity.