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In PHOTOS: The majestic Serengeti lion

August 19, 2013 10:43 IST

In PHOTOS: The majestic Serengeti lion

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How close to a lion would you dare to go? Right up to their face could be the answer if you have the technology up your sleeve.

Photographer Nick Nichols and videographer Nathan Williamson made several extended trips to the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania between July 2011 and January 2013 to photograph the Serengeti lion, Africa's largest carnivore.

The Serengeti lion is of low build, but very large and powerful, with a short, tawny coat, white underparts and a black tail tuft; adult males have long manes. The park has some 3,500 lions grouped into a couple dozen prides

Nichols shot 2,42,000 images and Williamson recorded 200 hours of video, often while lying on the floor of a specially outfitted Land Rover.

The photographs are featured in the August issue of National Geographic magazine.

National Geographic was kind enough to share six photographs from the series

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Image: This magnificent, dark-maned male is named C-Boy. In the photo: C-Boy, defending his interests, confronts that peril on a daily (and nightly) basis.
Photographs: Michael Nichols/National Geographic

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In PHOTOS: The majestic Serengeti lion

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C-Boy mates with a Kibumbu pride female. After fathering cubs, a resident male can be displaced by other males. His young offspring will then be killed by the new males or left to die.

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Photographs: Michael Nichols/National Geographic

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In PHOTOS: The majestic Serengeti lion

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The Vumbi pride rests on a kopje, or rocky outcrop, near a favorite water hole. Lions use kopjes as havens and outlooks on the plains. When the rains bring green grass, wild beasts arrive in vast herds. A pride of lions consists of related females and offspring and a small number of adult males

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Photographs: Michael Nichols/National Geographic

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Older cubs like these Vumbi youngsters are raised together as a creche, or nursery group. Pride females, united in the cause of rearing a generation, nurse and groom their own and others’ offspring.

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Photographs: Michael Nichols/National Geographic

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A male often asserts his prerogatives. C-Boy feasts on a zebra while the Vumbi females and cubs wait nearby, warned off by his low growls. Their turn will come.

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Photographs: Michael Nichols/National Geographic

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In PHOTOS: The majestic Serengeti lion

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The Vumbi females -- their pride name is Swahili for “dust” -- kill a warthog they have dragged from its burrow. Such small meals help bridge the lean, hungry, dry season, when cubs may otherwise starve.

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Photographs: Michael Nichols/National Geographic

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Top PHOTO features of the week

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