2024 Edition

Atzmon Dagan

Asleep

Lioness sleeping on an acacia tree, Tanzania, 2023

Category - Into the forest

Asleep

This photograph was taken in one of Tanzania's largest parks, the Serengeti, whose name means “the endless plains” in Masai, and which is one of Africa's richest wildlife reserves. It is home to one of the largest populations of lions, with around 3,000 individuals recorded. As well as incredible hunting scenes, one can also witness the lions taking a siesta in the trees of the Serengeti. Groups of lions and lionesses settle down in the shade of baobabs, acacias or sausage trees, or climb into their branches to rest. Here, a lioness is asleep in an acacia tree (Acacia tortilis), an emblematic tree of the African savannah, with a characteristic flattened top that can reach up to twenty metres in height and presents a magnificent tangle of branches. I spent an hour with this beautiful lioness, waiting to get the “money shot” I was expecting – the lioness jumping down from the tree. When I realized that she was not going to wake up any time soon, I asked the safari guide to turn the jeep around so I could focus on this great scenery that was there the whole time.

150-600 mm f/5-6.3 Lens - 1/250 sec at f/6.3 ISO 1800