20 Lions Squeeze onto River Bank to Drink

A pride of 20 lions squeeze to drink water from a small stream in the Sand River and create the perfect image.

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Nadav Ossendryver, the Founder and CEO of, captured the picture-perfect moment and shared his story and footage

“It was our final morning out on safari here at the famous MalaMala Game Reserve. As fate had it, the morning started off rather slowly. We had been searching for the elusive leopard, but had no luck in doing so.”

“As we made our way back to camp, something unexpected happened! It all started with a family of elephants bathing in the Sand River. Even though this may be a common sight on safari, we stopped to watch the elephants play. After all, it was our last drive; we needed to make the most of it.”

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“And then, as if it were scripted, movement in the background! Two ears at first appeared behind the elephants. We immediately knew it was a lion. That lion came down the ridge and started drinking right in front of us.”

A pride of 20 lions squeeze to drink from a small stream in the Sand River

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“We looked up back on to the sandbank, and suddenly another lion popped out, and another, and another! This was the Kambula Lion Pride that we had found. We began hoping that they would all come down to drink in a line, as lions do on rare occasions. Our prayers were answered!”

“It was all so perfect in the end. 20 lions lined up perfectly in front of us. Drinking from the pool of water that was in the river bed. Because we had chosen to park right in front of the pool of water, we had the best seats in the house. But also, we later realized, the worst seats as well.”


“The thick and wet river sand that we parked on to watch the lions caused us to get stuck. As the lions began moving off one by one and we tried to follow, but, the car wouldn’t budge. The rest of the guides found it pretty funny. A group of tourists stuck in the mud, surrounded by 20 lions!”

20 lions squeeze to drink from river

“Eventually the camp manager was able to send help and get us out of the sticky situation. In that moment, it was not so funny for us, but looking back at it now, it definitely was a funny coincidence!”

Written by Mohammed Kathrada

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