When on an African safari, lock your doors



While visiting South Africa, the Sutherland family had a one-of-a-kind experience with an inquisitive lioness. The bold big cat ambled up to their car, and unexpectedly opened the door.

Lion Opens Car Door A wild lioness decided to open a family’s car door while they while they were on a safari. (Image: Screengrab via, YouTube)

Durban: A place to visit
Rare elephant twins born at Pongola Game Reserve
Watch: First trailer for Neill Blomkamp’s new film Chappie
Gallery: South Africa’s rich and colourful heritage
So this giraffe walks into a restaurant … and the video goes viral

Publishing Media Club South Africa stories - click here

Priya Pitamber

Imagine driving along on safari in an African game reserve, on the look-out for the Big Five.

You stop to take photos when you spot a pride of magnificent lionesses. And while you’re filming the felines, one of them casually ambles over to your vehicle – and gets a little too close for comfort.

That is exactly what happened to the family of Joshua Sutherland when they were on holiday in South Africa. “Did you know lions could open car doors?” Sutherland wrote in the accompanying text to his video. “My sisters were visiting our parents, while serving a mission in South Africa, and had an experience of a lifetime.”

The video, taken in 2014, has gained traction and had had more than 8 million views at the time of publishing this story. The reaction has been quick in coming, with the The Huffington Post noting that they hapless holidaymakers had definitely learned a lesson. “A family watching lions from the supposed safety of their car learned you should always lock your door.”


Luckily for the family, the car door closed automatically. A female is heard on the video: “Oh my gosh I didn’t know they could do that,” she says, followed by nervous laughter. The video has gone viral and has set social media platforms abuzz: