When it rains, it pours in Nxai Pan in northern Botswana. Lush plains scattered with vast herds of antelope stretch to the horizon. It is a veritable paradise. But Nxai Pan is a place of harsh contradictions. For when the rainy season is over, the lake dries up, leaving behind only cracked, desiccated salt pans as the desert, and its devastating heat returns. The biggest contradiction of all, then, is to call a place of such struggle “hell on earth” – because for some – this is still paradise. The lions of Nxai Pan have perfected the art of survival in some of the harshest conditions in Africa. A coalition of two mighty male lions rules this empire, their tenure spanning almost a decade. Their territory is vast, their females are loyal, and their hold on their land is ironclad. But they’re getting old, and the looming dry season holds the promise of being one of the deadliest yet. Can these desert kings and their megapride dominate another dry season, or will this be their last?