We were making our way down the Hoanib when he came out from behind a bush on the riverbank. He was beautiful. Strong and young. And by the collar around his neck I immediately knew who he was. His brother followed soon after and the two young male lions made their way down the dry river toward an unknown destination.
Namibia has a population of about 800 lions, similar to the period 1965 to 1980. Over the past 25 years, a fluctuating population in the Kunene Region in the northwest has increased from 20-30 animals to about 140-160. It is the only really significant lion population outside of protected areas in Namibia. The rest are all contained within national parks, except for small populations in some private wildlife areas.