When it comes to mealtimes, lions are notoriously competitive. A hunt is usually followed by a frenzied free-for-all as the big cats snarl and growl their way to a spot at the carcass. It’s a tangle of claws and teeth that’s best observed from a distance. But for this family on safari in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, avoiding the feeding frenzy wasn’t really an option …

While visiting Kruger in August this year, Jade von Holdt and her family were lucky enough to witness a pride of lions chase down and kill an impala at Kumana Dam south of Satara rest camp. After watching the kill from a distance, von Holdt began filming the action as the pride tucked into their meal.

When a tussle for possession of the carcass broke out between two of the lionesses, a meaty ’tug-of-war’ drove the duo straight towards the von Holdt’s vehicle. In a flash, they were within touching distance, with the rest of the frenetic pride in tow.

”By this stage we were unable to move as [the lions] were literally up against the car with some cubs even under our car,“ von Holdt explained on the KNP - Best Place on Earth Facebook group.

Fortunately for the von Holdts, a pride this size will usually make fairly quick work of an impala carcass and it’s likely that the lions moved off soon after finishing off their meal.

The feeding hierarchy in lion prides is only loosely defined, but typically the stronger males will have have first dibs on the meal, followed by lionesses and cubs. Chaotic carcass-squabbling like this is usually more intense when the pride is hungry and there is not enough meat to go around. At smaller carcasses, lions have been observed breaking off chunks of the kill to claim as their own. This allows individuals to move away from the chaos and enjoy their meal in peace.