By Jamie Smith
There is gold at the end of the rainbow – but it’s not money, it’s a magnificent lion.
This adult male was spotted by professional wildlife photography guide Andre Cloete, 41, relaxing on a granite rock formation.
With clouds and moisture hanging in the air, the sunlight shining down on Kusini in the southern Serengeti, Tanzania, created a large rainbow, which came to rest right on top of the lion.
At the same time, the majestic predator was scanning the landscape from his lookout, while his pride sheltered in the rocks below.
Andre, shareholder of C4 Photo Safari, said: “It’s a unique image – the lion with the rainbow in the background.
“It’s not often that the elements align and nature and weather combine with each other so well.
“I was visiting the southern Serengeti in an area known as Kusini as part of our annual wildebeest calving and predator safari.
“The granite koppies form strongholds for the lion prides of the area and often cubs are born within the confines of the rocks.
“We arrived early in the morning to find a male lion feeding on a wildebeest carcass at the base of one of the granite koppies.
“A lioness was having a drink in golden light at one of the nearby puddles.
“The lioness approached the male lion and after a brief interaction the male lion left the lioness to eat the wildebeest and climbed up to the top of the granite boulder.
“He was silhouetted against the sunrise, and the prior evening had been rainy and cloudy and we saw there was a rainbow towards the west.
“We quickly realised if we got the other side of the boulder we could get photos of the male lion in golden light with a rainbow in the background.
“He was very obliging and posed for us for the brief period that the rainbow remained.
“Lion populations in Africa are under a great deal of pressure whether it be from poachers, habitat loss, or hunting and human-lion conflict.
“The Serengeti population is large and healthy and this rainbow represents a beacon of hope to me that this male and his pride may raise numerous litters of cubs within the protection of those boulders.”