Pride of Lions Block Entrance to Tourist's Toilet

Jan 12 2017

Surprise, surprise…who would have thought a person would have to double check their surroundings before jumping out to go to the toilet whilst on safari. This is exactly what happened to 43 year old, Business Developer & Sales Manager, Corlette Wessels.






Corlette told “It was a relatively quiet morning and we decided to go to Melkvlei picnic spot, Kgalagadi (Closest lodge to this area is Tswalo), for coffee. Luckily, from experience we are aware that the lions also thoroughly enjoy this picnic spot. Since we have 2 children we are always extra careful in these areas.

Driving up to the toilets we spotted a male and female lion on the right hand side of the picnic area and this got us thinking where were the rest of the pride? As we came closer my 8 year old daughter was begging to go to the bathroom. When we approached the toilets we suddenly noticed one of the lion’s tails sticking out and immediately knew, no toilet or coffee for us today…. There they were, the entire pride sleeping behind the toilets in the shade!



We sat there for a while just admiring this amazing KijKij pride and how relaxed they seemed to be. We warned other people who pulled in to go to the bathroom that the lions were behind the toilets just in case they tried to get out their vehicles. They also received the “Not today message…”.

One couple got out of their car thinking that we had just happened to park close to the toilets and not that we were actually watching the lions. I immediately started my vehicle and drove over to them to give them the warning and as you can imagine they were very grateful.

Some of the international guests complained to SANParks and asked them to chase the lions away, which apparently happened later as the cleaning team arrived to clean the toilets.


I’ve seen this pride at the picnic site several times over the years, as it has great shade and is very close to a waterhole. It’s always a highlight for me to arrive at this spot and see the lions there having claimed the area for the day.


What you cannot see here in the video is the Pale Chanting Goshawk that was trapped between the toilets and a piece of wire fence. We’re not too sure how it landed up there but as it tried to get away, one of the lions attempted to grab it with her claws through the fence and we felt terribly sorry for the bird. Once back at the lodge we reported the bird to the ranger and can confirm that it was later released unharmed.






Just as an afterthought, always remember to check behind the toilets before leaving your car. I once found a Cape cobra inside the bathroom. This is nature and we are visiting their home so it’s important to respect it”.

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