When we wake up, early in the morning, the small farming town of Bothaville looks like just any other place in the low-lying countryside of Northen Italy. There’s a fog as thick as in the plains of Lombardy, and muted fall colors. Then the mist gradually lifts and the vast corn fields are flooded in sunlight. It’s a very familiar sort of landscape to us, almost like being home – so it seems. Following a dirt track cut among the corn, actually rather good practice for the new drivers, we get to a big fenced enclosure. It’s a breeding farm, for sure, but what they breed here is lions. The big cats spot us immediately and amble close, licking their chops and eyeing our every move with the fixed gaze of someone who’s anticipating a tasty meal. It’s unnerving, even though between us and them there’s a sturdy wire mesh. There’s no mistaking it – this sure is Africa!