(Note: The video contains graphic footage of lions taking down prey.)
A party of tourists in South Africa's Kruger National Park got a little more than they bargained for last February when a group of male lions on the hunt quite literally crossed their path.
"I have seen a couple of kills by leopard, lion, cheetah, wild dog and hyena," Marten Lange told DailyMail.com, "but nothing previously seen could compare with this experience, because it was so in your face. My guests were absolutely blown away." Lange is the park field guide who captured the hunt on video.
The guide had brought the tourists into the area near the Mantimahle Waterhole after receiving a report that lions were resting nearby. A herd of buffalo had already crossed the road toward the water when suddenly two stragglers came into view -- then the lions caught sight of them too, and the chase was on. Lange reached for his video camera.
Right in front of Lange and his group of tourists the buffalo started across the road, one lion right on their heels. The first made it across but the second turned to make a stand. He succeeded in making the lion back up several paces, but as soon as he turned to run away, the lion made his move.
The buffalo was brought down in the road, directly in front of the tourists. Two lions pinned it down until the other two members of the coalition arrived to complete the kill.
As if witnessing a lion kill wasn't exciting enough, the largest lion in the coalition -- the term for a group of exclusively male lions -- gave the tourists an extra thrill when he abruptly abandoned the kill to approach their vehicle.
Lange cautioned his group to not to move; there is complete silence for the final 45 seconds of the video, which has earned more than 2 million views on YouTube in the six months since it was posted.
The large feline walked straight up to the vehicle and promptly laid down in its shade, even relaxing onto his side.
"It was like watching an exciting wildlife documentary, but now we were part of the action," Lange said.