For many of us, we can rest pretty easily knowing "in the jungle, the lion sleeps tonight." However, for some thrill-seeking tourists, there is nothing quite like flirting with danger and getting as up close and personal to these predatory animals as possible. Luckily for them, there happens to be an Airbnb in South Africa that will quite literally let them sleep just meters away from more than 70 lions.
As Travel and Leisure reported, the appropriately named Lion House is located on the property of the Glen Garriff (GG) Conservation Wildlife reserve and Lion Sanctuary, which houses and protects over 70 lions. Potential guests of this unique Airbnb are given the incredible opportunity to unpack their bags and sleep inside the quaint little cottage, all while live lions roam right outside the door.
The three-bedroom Lion House comes complete with a full kitchen and BBQ area on its patio so visitors can relax with some outdoor dining and listen as the lingering lions "chat" to each other in a unique surround sound experience. The cottage also includes wifi, which means that perfect snapshot of a lion standing only meters away can be shared to friends as quickly as possible.
"You are very close, less than one meter from a lion, when stood at the fence," Suzanne Scott, the Lion House's host, and conservation director, told Daily Mail. "It makes you feel that you are almost living among them, as part of the pride."
Anyone who might feel just a little bit wary at the prospect of sleeping so close to these large animals can find comfort in knowing they're actually kept behind an electric fence and can't actually get close enough for visitors to make any real physical contact with them.
"The lions are all in lion camps - enclosures - behind strong fencing which is all to South African Nature Conservations standards for captive predators," Scott said, adding that the electric fencing is a necessary precaution for both the guests' and lions' safety, as the lions have been known to attack each other through fencing.
"The electric shock from the fences makes the lions stay away from the fences and keep them safe from each other," she explained.
According to Daily Mail, the GG Conservation prides itself on being an ethical lion sanctuary with no breeding or public interaction allowed. All booking fees made from their Airbnb go directly towards conserving the lions, who are at severe risk of extinction. Within just 50 years, the lion population has dropped from half a million to an alarming 20,000.
The cottage will cost renters £84 or about $107 USD per night, which certainly sounds like quite the deal considering the rare opportunity it allows its guests. That is, the chance to wake up and live alongside lions while witnessing firsthand how these incredible creatures behave.
"[Guests] can watch their natural behavior, and see the interaction between the lions and pride mates which is often very interesting, heart-warming and amusing," Scott said. "People can watch lions being lions very close up, whilst also knowing their booking fees to our non-profit organization are helping to keep the lions safe and protected."