Lions are the world’s most social felines. They live in groups of related females, called prides, which may include up to 40 individuals, including adults, subadults and cubs, plus one or more resident males.

Every photographer—amateur and professional—who’s been on a Natural Habitat Adventures trip is familiar with that catch-in-the-throat feeling when a wild animal comes within close range of your camera lens. And if you’re quiet and patient, often something magical happens: a whale breaches on your side of the Zodiac, or a polar bear stands up to investigate your Arctic tundra vehicle window.

One photographer recently had such a moment with a big cat in Africa. Watch the short National Geographic video below. Photographer Mattias Klum entertainingly describes his rare, natural encounter with a lioness—and the perfect shot that resulted.

Here’s to finding your true places and natural habitats,