Campers take refuge in their car as fearless big cat raids their tent in Botswana – and it’s in no hurry to leave

  • The curious big cat wandered into campers’ tent in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Botswana, before disappearing into the darkness with some of their belongings
  • Videographer Robert Hofmeyr dashed for the safety of his car after spotting lion
  • The big cat was caught on camera after he tried eating his sleeping bag, grabbed a camping chair and stole his brother-in-law, Andy Caldwell’s blue pillow

This is the moment a curious big cat strutted into a camper’s tent and stole his belongings while he camped in a wildlife park. Robert Hofmeyr, 43, and his brother-in-law Andy Caldwell, 39, were planning on filming the sunrise in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Botswana when they were rudely interrupted by a lion. The startled pair quickly hopped into their car to watch on from afar as the predator explored the inside of their tent at around 6 am on Thursday, 1 July.

As it rummages around their shelter, the pair’s fruitless attempts to clear him off include beeping their horn and trying to block him from the tent. After having a poke around inside, the cheeky lion is seen clutching Andy’s blue pillow in its jaws before disappearing into the darkness.

Robert and Andy were up early, hoping to catch a glimpse of the sunrise from inside the sprawling African nature reserve.  But upon returning from brushing their teeth at the crack of dawn, they were shocked to find a young male lion prowling outside their tent. Wildlife cameraman Robert captured the footage from the safety of his car and remarked on the ‘curious’ nature of the big cat. 

He said: ‘The interesting thing was that he did not pause for a second – he just walked calmly into our camp.

‘The lion wasn’t aggressive at all. He was just curious. He showed no fear of humans or vehicles.’

In the three-minute clip, viewers can see the curious big cat leaving the tent with its prize: A blue pillow. Commentating over the development, Robert says: 

‘We have a bit of a problem now because the lion is eating Andy’s pillow and we can’t get out the car.’

After snacking on the blue pillow, the lion then opts for a chewier proposition, Robert’s camping chair. Flipping the camera to the inside of their vehicle, the nervous pair are watching on in anticipation. 

The ‘curious’ lion refused to leave the pair’s campsite, scuppering any chance they had of watching the early morning sunrise

The lion continues to circle the tent before Andy moves the car closer to the entrance, hoping to block the lion off from stealing any more of their belongings. Robert added: 

‘The lion decided to taste my sleeping bag, which was less amusing to me at any rate, than Andy’s pillow, so we started the car and drove towards the tent which caused him to drop the sleeping bag and move off a bit.’ 

‘Once the lion realised he was blocked from entering the tent, he went and grabbed my camping chair and ran off into the bushes and chewed that for a while.’

‘Eventually, the lion got bored of playing with our things and moved off into the darkness.’

By Jacob Thorburn (for Mail Online)

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