The story about the 14 lions that were spotted in the area around Foskor Mine in Phalaborwa, South Africa, has been widely publicised. On our recent tour of the town, we found that people were not at all concerned about the lions.
The town of Phalaborwa is the only town in South Africa which directly shares its border with the world renowned Kruger National Park. So sightings of wild animals in this town is not an unusual occurrence. Some of the locals told us that they are living in harmony with the wild life. Elephants can be seen foraging for plants and reeds on the banks of the Selati river which is just within walking distance from the town. At night, hippos can be spotted crossing the streets in town and drivers have to be careful when they drive around town at night as the hippos are not clearly visible at night due to their dark brown colour. Other than that, and for time immemorial, there has never been any incident of wild animals attacking humans in this town. A local tour guide told us that other than the crocodile, no other wild animal, including lions and leopards, will actively hunt for humans. They prefer to keep a safe distance from humans and will only attack humans if threatened.
However, recently, and ironically at the same time as the 14 lions were spotted near the town, an elephant trampled a security guard, contracted to Foskor Mine, to death. The circumstances under which the incident occurred are not known as the guard was alone on night duty at one of the mine’s work sites at the time of the the incident.
Despite this, the locals insist that their town is very safe and they appeal to both domestic and international tourists to visit their unique town in order to experience nature first hand.
Nature enthusiasts are streaming from as far afield as Germany, the Netherlands , France, Italy, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Britain, the USA, Canada etc to come and enjoy the hospitality of this town. South Africans are also not to be outdone in this gold rush.
There are many local lodges, hotels and guest houses specifically designed to cater for these international and domestic tourists. The local Phalaborwa Accommodation Association has registered in excess of thirty establishments ready to serve the needs of these tourists. For anyone travelling to Phalaborwa and looking for the best accommodation, TT can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or +2779 581 1841 to get in touch with any of the establishments. The tourism association has said that Phalaborwa is referred to as the town with two summers as there is hardly any winter here with the lowest average temperature being 15 degrees Celsius.