Life Video

By Josh Saunders

You can live like a real Lion King in this cottage where you will live less than a metre from big cats.

GG Conservation in Harrismith, South Africa, is offering guests the chance to rent the spot where you can view 360 degrees of lions from £55 ($70) per person a night.

To reach the three-bedroom self-catering cottage a member of the team must drive visitors into the fenced off enclosure.


Suzanne Scott, 50, the conservation director, originally form Leeds, Yorkshire, says you are so close you will feel “part of the pride” and that it’s perfect for viewing lions and their behaviours.

From the outdoor patio you can barbeque while listening to the massive mammals communicate and roar, as well as the chorus of birds all around you.

The sanctuary has over 77 lions both tawny and white within multiple prides there are also wild roaming antelope on the reserve.

In other parts there are also zebras, elands, ostriches, impalas, wildebeests, bontebok and numerous bird species.


The Airbnb also boasts an indoor log fireplace, full kitchen, 1.5 baths and can accommodate up to six guests at one time.

Suzanne said: “You are very close, within less than one metre from a lion when stood at the fence.

“From the step, porch or patio of the house you are two metres away.

“It makes you feel that you are almost living amongst them, as part of the pride.


“The best part is being able to hear the nightly roars of 77 lions in surround sound, it is truly awe inspiring to listen to.

“The properties where we live are surrounded 360 degrees by lion camps hence the ‘surround sound’.

“The animals that can be seen from Lion House are obviously mainly lions- but we also have a large range of wild game antelope free roaming on our wildlife reserve.

“Beyond the lion sanctuary there are also Zebra, Eland, Ostrich, Impala, wildebeest, waterbuck, bontebok and many bird species.”

Despite being so close to the wild-roaming lions, Suzanne says the enclosure is perfectly safe.

PICS BY GG CONSERVATION / CATERS NEWS: Pat – irish family – and Suzanne – from Leeds – with the local zulu king whom they have a great relationship

She added: “The lions are all in lion camps – enclosures – behind strong fencing which is all to South Africa Nature Conservation standards for captive predators.

“We also have electric fencing on the inside and top of all the camps. This is a necessary precaution to take for the lions’ safety, as lions can kill each other through fences if they wanted to.

“The electric shock from the fences makes the lions stay away from the fences and keeps them safe from each other.

“The added benefit of electric fences is also extra security for guests.

GG Conservation are a non-profit lion sanctuary that aim to protect, preserve and show love to the lions within their care.

Statistics show that lions are at severe risk of extinction due to a combination of hunting, poaching, habitat loss and disease.


Within 50 years, the lion population has dropped from half a million to 20,000 today – making them officially endangered and their existence critical.

Suzanne left her sales job in the UK to be the director of the conservation four-years-ago, now they are opening Lion House up to the public.

Suzanne said: “Guests can just live amongst the lions, observing first-hand the majesty of the lion species.

“They can watch their natural behaviour, and see the interaction between the lions and their pride mates which is often very interesting, heart-warming and amusing.

“We are unique in that, we are an ethical lion sanctuary with no breeding or public interaction allowed.

“But people can watch lions being lions very close up, whilst also knowing their booking fees to our non-profit organisation are helping to keep the lions safe and protected.

“It’s a win win! One can also witness beautiful African sunrises and sunsets.”

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