The photograph just moments before the lion made an offensive move is now going viral on the Internet.
Nature photographer Atif Saeed, 38, told ABC News today the exhilarating experience was "indescribable."
Saeed said he captured the breathtaking photo in January of 2012 when he was granted the opportunity to go inside the lion's habitat to take a photo.
He drove his car in and sat on the ground near the car with the door left open, he said, adding he was only a "jump away from the lion."
"The feel of the aggressive, approaching lion from the camera is something that can't be described," Saeed said. "I was witnessing every small detail of movement that no photograph or movie can show."
Saeed said the lion seemed to treat him like prey and after a few minutes, the lion "offensively moved" in an attempt to attack him, so he immediately jumped in the car and luckily escaped unscathed.
"It was a pretty close encounter," he said. "I was laughing afterwards at the time, but I don't think I'd ever be able to do something like that again."