You can live like a real Lion King in this cottage – where you will live less than a metre from big cats.
GG Conservation in Harrismith, South Africa, is offering guests the chance to rent a three-bedroom house at the sanctuary, with 77 lions prowling the grounds. Stays are listed on Airbnb from £82 per night.
Suzanne Scott, 50, the conservation director, says the rental is perfectly safe thanks to strong electric fences surrounding the building.
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GG Conservation in Harrismith, South Africa, is offering guests the chance to rent a three-bedroom house at the sanctuary, with 77 lions prowling the grounds. Stays are listed on Airbnb from £82 per night
Suzanne Scott, 50, the conservation director, says the rental is perfectly safe thanks to a strong electric fencing surrounding the building and a novelty is the nightly chorus of roars
From the outdoor patio you can barbecue while listening to the massive mammals roar, as well as the chorus of birds all around you.
Suzanne, who is originally from Leeds, Yorkshire, says guests get so close to the lions that they will feel ‘part of the pride’ and that it’s perfect for viewing their behaviour.
The wildlife enthusiast explains: ‘You are very close, less than one metre from a lion when stood at the fence. From the step, porch or patio of the house you are two metres away.
‘It makes you feel that you are almost living among them, as part of the pride. The best part is being able to hear the nightly roars of 77 lions in surround sound, it is truly awe inspiring to listen to.
‘The properties where we live are surrounded 360 degrees by lion camps hence the “surround sound”.’
GG Conservation is a non-profit sanctuary and booking fees from the Airbnb go directly to the charity to help it conserve the lions. Statistics show that lions are at severe risk of extinction due to a combination of hunting, poaching and habitat loss
Guests can enjoy a drink while watching the lions slink by (left), Suzanne showcases just how close the lions can get (right)
Guest safety is ensured by regulation fencing.
She says: ‘The lions are all in lion camps – enclosures – behind strong fencing which is all to South Africa Nature Conservation standards for captive predators.
‘We also have electric fencing on the inside and top of all the camps. This is a necessary precaution to take for the lions’ safety, as lions can kill each other through fences if they wanted to.
‘The electric shock from the fences makes the lions stay away from the fences and keeps them safe from each other.
‘The added benefit of electric fences is also extra security for guests.’
Game drives can be arranged for an extra cost on request and ‘magnificent walks’ are also possible in the neighbouring nature reserve. Above, Suzanne with a friend looking out over the land
The reserve is also home to wild antelope, zebras, elands (ox-like African antelope), ostriches, impalas, wildebeests and bontebok, which is a special kind of antelope found in South Africa, Lesotho and Namibia.
Game drives can be arranged for an extra cost and ‘magnificent walks’ are also possible in the neighbouring nature reserve.
Along with three bedrooms, the Airbnb boasts an indoor log fireplace, a fully-equipped kitchen, a master bathroom, barbecue grill and internet access.
Statistics show that lions are at severe risk of extinction due to a combination of hunting, poaching, habitat loss and disease.
Within 50 years the lion population has dropped from half a million to 20,000 today – making them officially endangered and their existence critical.
Suzanne left her sales job in the UK to be the director of the conservation four years ago
Suzanne left her sales job in the UK to be the director of the conservation four years ago and is keen for visitors to experience the magic of Lion House.
She concluded: ‘Guests can just live among the lions, observing first-hand the majesty of the lion species.
‘They can watch their natural behaviour, and see the interaction between the lions and their pride mates which is often very interesting, heart-warming and amusing.
‘We are unique in that we are an ethical lion sanctuary with no breeding or public interaction allowed.
‘But people can watch lions being lions very close up, whilst also knowing their booking fees to our non-profit organisation are helping to keep the lions safe and protected. It’s a win win!
‘One can also witness beautiful African sunrises and sunsets.’