Lion Country: Night and Day

Young and Vulnerable

Series 1 - Episode 1 Young and Vulnerable



The trouble with watching documentaries about lions is that males are so hopeless. The females of a pride do most of the hunting, while the males laze about like entitled lunks.

In theory they protect the cubs from danger but in this first of a new series filmed in Zambia’s Luangwa Valley, there’s a scene where a male has been left in charge while the females hunt, and we watch as he decides to wander off, leaving the cubs at the mercy of an advancing herd of buffalo. Thanks a bunch, dad.

There are other dramas as we follow a pride’s private life, as well as the news that lionesses can plan, manipulate and deceive. Males, not so much.


Cameras follow two prides of lions in their territory of Zambia's South Luangwa National Park over the course of six months. A cub's curiosity gets the better of him when it strays from the pride's territory, and becomes easy prey for leopards and hyenas. A lioness tries to rejoin a pride, but many of the males in the group are resistant to the idea. The camera crew gets closer to the big cats than they bargained for, and are forced to beat a hasty retreat.

Cast & Crew

Narrator David Morrissey
Editor Rama Bowley
Executive Producer Martha Holmes
Executive Producer James Smith
Series Director Beth Brooks