Leopard tours speaks out on lion-touching incident

ARUSHA based Leopard Tours, a Safari outfit whose vehicle was involved in the lion-touching incident has condemned the infamous sight that elicited mixed reactions earlier this month.

The tour operating firm, through their Facebook page, condemned the action of the guest who endangered his own life, that of the driver-guide sitting next to him, and the safety of the other guests in the safari vehicle.

“We were shocked, like everyone else in the travel industry and the public that follows our activities, when we learned about our guest attempting to touch a lion while game viewing in Serengeti National Park,” a detailed statement posted on their social media network read.

While the Safari outfit acknowledged that Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) rules and regulations on interfering with were clear, the tour operating firm maintained that the said guest and other members of the group in the safari vehicle were briefed about the TANAPA  regulations by the driver-guide before starting their tour, saying they were at a loss on how things unfolded later in the game drive.

Leopard Tours further argued that the situation was completely beyond the control of the driver-guide.

“He did what he could do considering he was taken by surprise and did not expect this could ever happen in the National Park,” read the statement.

The Safari outfit said, it found it inappropriate to hold the company responsible for actions of the passenger who was properly briefed about rules and regulations governing the existence of national park, further insisting that their driver desperately tried to save his dear life and that of other passengers.

It described the driver as a well-qualified guide with over 10-year experience in tour guiding, who holds a Certificate in Wildlife Management and Tourism from the highly acclaimed Mweka College of African Wildlife Management.

There was, on the said date a group of six guests travelling in a safari vehicle when they came across a pride of lions inside Serengeti National Park.

One of the passengers who had occupied the front seat next to the driver-guide opened the car door, much to the surprise of other occupants the driver-guide.

The driver-guide is said to be shocked, and reacted by pulling him as he leaned over to touch a young lion passing near the vehicle.

“The guest used force to reach out and touch the lion on its back, even as other members of the group tried to stop him. The guide managed to hold him back from tipping over and closed the door. The guide discontinued the game drive and drove back to the lodge,” the Safari outfit wrote.

According to Leopard Tours, the driver-guide reported the incident to the company’s management who would then reach out to TANAPA for further action.

Related Articles

Back to top button