Location : Casella Nature Park , Mauritius
Darr ke aage JEET HA !!
Amidst all the butterflies in the stomach while experiencing the gorgeousness of the Land of beaches & water sports , we landed on the most enthralling “Fear Factor” for a life time which encompassed our decision .
Once we made our successful entry in “Casella Nature park”(natural Habitat for various species of Birds and animals brought from across the African nations)& ensured not to miss this life time experience , we had to be strong from within, although panic reflected our faces & soon gripped over us when we were asked to fill up the “Undertaking form” .
“Literally shock waves traversed throughout the body when we had to take on the accountability ( & we signed on the undertaking form) for any untoward episodes which might have occurred in our lives in the next 20 min & lasting for 45 minutes in the deep jungle, walking with the Lions.”
But the very next moment was too hilarious,our tour guide asked us to select one of the lean sticks available from the bundle with the justification that incase there comes any attack from the “Big Cat” this lean stick would help in self defense…Well hard to digest ,as that one lean stick would not even hurt a child;) ,but we hastily took our attack weapon!!
6-7 people with 2 guides ,all standing in one line ,lending an ear with full concentration to the directives being passed upon ..not to look directly into Lion’s eyes ,not to tease or shout ,or make sudden noises ,when to use our weapons(sticks),actions to be taken in case anyone left behind in the jungle, God all these verdicts seemed to be passing through my head ,as the announcement came of 2 new members coming out of the protected area to join us & take us for a walk. 1-2-3 & here I saw two huge Lions coming out & marching straight towards us ,What a moment that was ,hearts beating in sync (more than 200 beats) ,body shivering & turning pale ,each trying to hide behind another, but at the same moment this fabulous scene made us fall in love with the Majestic beasts ,One white ,named as Ginger & another Brown ,named as Mauli (One was 5 yrs & another was 7 years old) .
Soon our VVIP guests were a part of our troop, walking ahead of us & sometimes rushing into the field, sometimes climbing the rocks, & playing hastily.
Suddenly I heard that my guide calling my name to be the first one to “feed Lion Ginger” .NO NO NO,GOD SAVE ME!! ..but finally post assurance of the professional guides ,I amassed the confidence & Yes ,with trembling hands ,pale panic- stricken look, I took the stick, to the edge of which a piece of LION-feed had been tied upon & slowly pushed to the mouth of Ginger . The Cat turning its head & eyes towards me ,with fear I closed mine unable to meet his eyes ,but in the next second ,he was nibbling the feed ,& I exclaimed that I was SAFE!! Yes guys , my turn to feed the Cat was over & I was very much safe, very much close to my dearest hubby thanking GOD multiple times!! Such a thrill it was.
Next 45 minutes passed, progressing in deep deep jungle ,our VVIP’s climbing the rocks ,playing in the field ,trying to get hold of the bait ,we walking besides them ,touching their manes ,gracious tails one by one .
Suddenly, to our utter surprise, we found that only Ginger was ahead of us ,& we at the last of the troop. As soon as I turned, to my shock ,I could see Mauli walking behind us ,gosh ,I just found myself stumbling on the grasses & climbing the rock ,while sending the gestures of immediate help, which soon came by the photographer guide coming behind Mauli. Really ,I have no words to describe those 5 minutes unnerving me & fainting me all through cursing my decision for the act of bravery .
Those 45 minutes came closer & closer as we ended our walk & thanked our guests , now more of our friends by waving them & pledging to “SAVE these beautiful Cats” with the sip of energy drink (provided complimentary post this gallant actJ) .
Outside the Jungle ,our guides provided us of the Certificate & amazing pictures of us & the Lions ,captured by them .
NO reservations against calling this as “WONDER OF WORLD” ,an adventure never to miss ,FEAR FACTOR & enthralling moment ,Panic & ecstatic feelings ,all gushing at the same time !