It takes a certain type of person to wake up, see a bunch of lions licking the dew off their tent, and then decide that the rational thing to do is just film it. On the other hand, it’s not as if you have a whole lot of options from which to choose. Francie Francisca Lubbe recently posted this video to the Facebook page of Kgalagadi Sightings, a group dedicated to wildlife footage from the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park on the border of South Africa and Botswana. The recording was reportedly taken on May 9.
Lion encounters of this type are very rare, and the animals can be very unpredictable depending on their temperament. The lions of Kgalagadi have a reputation for being wary of humans, leading to few conflicts with visitors. Officials estimate there are currently 450 lions in the park consolidated within 40 prides. Due to the arid nature of the region, the lions have been known lick morning dew when water is scarce.
“Prides exists on the Botswana side where they have no access to surface water for long periods of time,” stated South African National Parks. “This phenomenon has been observed in other lion populations, too, where animals lick dew from grass or their own body hair in order to keep themselves going.”
Moisture collected this way might not be enough to sustain an adult lion alone, but it is a good supplement until the animals find a more dependable source of water. In this case, it just so happened that the tent provided the perfect collector for morning dew. Thankfully for these campers, the lions were not interested in some breakfast as well.