A highlight of any trip to Africa is the chance to see lions up close and personal. When there is nothing at all between you and a lioness a few meters away you really appreciate their size and strength. Apart from one disconcerting incident when a lioness bored holes through me with her eyes and followed along behind the vehicle for a few meters they mostly ignored us. (Apparently, like most animals, they can't distinguish between us and the vehicle). Lions spend a lot of time lazing around in the shade during the day but if you are prepared to wait long enough they usually do something albeit just before or after dark.
Spotlighting and photographing lions at night was a great experience though I wasn't lucky enough to witness a kill. It is quite challenging photographing at night due to the low light levels. We are fortunate in this digital age to have at our disposal the increasingly high quality of high ISO images taken with modern DSLR's like the 5D mark 2. Even shooting at ISO 6400 it was possible to get images that were usable - something that would have been extremely difficult even 10 years ago. Having image stabilization in lenses also makes it easier (provided the lion is not moving too much) and I was able to make images with both my 300mm and 500mm lenses. As always though the key is keeping the camera as stable as possible and trying to create interesting compositions.
I was not able to fit all my many lion images in my main galleries so I have included a few extra's here. The last pic is an example of how close we were able to get to them.