The King of Masai Mara, Kenya.
We came upon this big guy in an open field around dusk on our game drive, just laying there, sniffing the air casually. We had no idea where his pride was or even if he was part of a pride. Young males are forced out of the pride around 2 years old. They form bachelor groups and follow migrating herds until they are strong enough to challenge male lions of other prides. A group of males stay in power in the pride for around three years before another bachelor group takes it over.
He was just one of a number of lions and lionesses we viewed while staying several days at Richard’s River Camp, a private conservancy bordering the Masai Mara in Kenya. Being set in a conservancy means contributing revenue to a conservation area, which has fewer other travelers, and the option to do bush walks and night game drives which are not possible inside the main Mara.
We stopped and watched him for a while. He seemed quite content all alone. It still unnerves me when these wild animals lock eyes with you when they are only 10 or 20 feet away. But at that moment, it was a perfect time to capture a portrait of this majestic wild animal. Captured with a Nikon D810, Tamron 150-600 lens at 350mm zoom, f/8, ISO 1600, 1/250 sec.