African watering holes are a gathering place where all sorts of thirsty animals — prey and predator alike — come together for a drink. But, according to a tourist’s recent video, a wet tent also will do just fine.
While camping at the Mabuasehube Game Reserve in Botswana on May 9, Francie Francisca Lubbe was surprised to find three very curious lions licking her rain-drenched tent — while she was filming inside, mere inches away.
“What a privilege,” Lubbe wrote on Facebook. “It rained during the night and 3 [lionnesses were] licking the water from the tent.”
Campsites at the Mabuasehube Game Reserve are located inside the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and have no fencing around them. Campers, the park’s official website warns, may encounter predators “in and around your campsites.”
Because “water is a commodity in the Kalahari” desert, rain provides visitors with an “excellent wildlife and wilderness experience,” the website says.
Lubbe wrote in a Facebook comment that she and her fellow campers didn’t try to hide when the lions approached their tent. Instead, they just watched quietly, according to USA Today.
Don’t disturb them and they “will leave you alone,” Lubbe explained. “Respect.”
According to the Smithsonian magazine, when you see a lion, the best thing you can do is stand still and make yourself look bigger.
Lubbe’s decision to quietly observe was a smart move. Plus, she walked away from the encounter with some very sweet footage of the fierce and thirsty predators.
Watch as the big cats quench their thirst on Lubbe’s tent, below.