It was the height of the dry season in the Zambezi Valley, and my wife, Catherine, and I were camped near a waterhole that attracted a variety of thirsty game animals. We were on a leopard hunt with my apprentice PH and his wife, but there were other big cats nearby that weren’t quite so hard to track down. A pride had claimed the area as its territory, and the lions were curious—as felines usually are—about the humans intruding on their space. We spotted them daily, usually at a distance. The dominant male sported a short bottle-blond mane and was named accordingly.