If you have not yet heard of Kevin Richardson – WHERE have you been?

Just google ‘Lion Whisperer‘ and you will see so many amazing photos and videos of Kevin with his lions. Some will simply take your breath away.


His extra special relationship is something to witness and has been the subject of movies, documentaries, YouTube videos, books etc. So after seeing some of his work on YouTube, we decided to volunteer at his Lion Sanctuary in South Africa.

On our very first day, we set off from our living quarters to where the animals were kept to put in a few hours work. We certainly hadn’t expected Kevin to be there, let alone to actually meet him. But Kevin was incidentally filming in one of the enclosures with five of his lions and a small Argentinian film crew. And we were lucky enough to be chosen to help with the filming. Unfortunately caught unawares, the only camera equipment to record the experience were our iphones – argh!

It was a particularly hot day so the three Argentinian film crew in their cage were getting quite uncomfortable as they filmed for two hours in full African sun. It turned out quite funny to watch. How many times would you see humans in a cage and lions with Kevin roaming free?

Kevin sat on the ground whilst being interviewed. I knew what was coming next. One of the female lions walked up to him and instantly plonked down on his lap to distract him and get some strokes. Thats all fine but when a cat like that weighs more than 120kg, its not like having a small domestic cat on your lap. Watch her interaction and love for Kevin…

Once filming was done and they had to leave the enclosure, it was like watching the Three Stooges. Kevin being such a relaxed affable guy offered to carry their equipment as they shuffled their cage out of the enclosure. One of the lions became rather mischievous.  She decided to play just like a domestic cat, trying to trip Kevin up as he walked alongside the cage, swiping his back leg with every step-very funny! This lion whisperer truly rocks…

[Photos and videos by Tony and Irene Isaacson]

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