Lebombo Lions

Kruger National Park | April 2018

Six different lion prides were seen during this month with a total of 77 sightings being recorded over this time period, and if that was not exciting enough there has been some interesting developments that have taken place amongst the lions of the N’wanetsi Concession. As always, sightings of the Shishangaan Pride have been good and consistent, with the white lion and his brothers still offering great viewing opportunities.

Late one afternoon, as the sun was setting, the Shish Pride were found attempting to hunt a herd of buffalo. Slowly the lions crept forward, the wind in their favour and the buffalo none the wiser of the impending doom lurking in the long grass. Once within striking range the wind turned and the buffalo

became aware of the presence of the big cats. Chaos ensued, with the herd stampeding towards and scattering the lions in all directions. As all in the sighting waited for the death bellow of a buffalo, something unusual happened. There was much growling and snarling, and it became apparent, unbeknown to all in the sighting, four unknown newcomer males had heard the commotion of the hunting attempt, and they had seized the opportunity to attack the hapless Shish Pride. The newcomers were chasing and biting some of the Shish youngsters, causing the pride and the buffalo to scatter in all directions. The sound of the victorious newcomers’ roars filled the night skies. Are these the new kings that might unseat the ruling Shishangaan Males?

The four newcomer males most likely made their way into the area because of the fact that two of the Shishangaan brothers were found courting a lioness from the Shishangaan Pride, causing the resident territory holders to be preoccupied in their mating endeavours and letting their guard down, allowing the intruders to temporarily breach their area.

The two brothers were however found on several occasions after that in the core of the territory, and the newcomers were lying low after their return. The third Shish male (with the injured hip) was found on several occasions with the Mountain Pride, where he too was seen showing interest in one of the Mountain Pride lionesses. We are hopeful that their mating sessions were successful and that we will see some new additions to both the Shishangaan as well as the Mountain Pride within the next couple of months.

Speaking of cubs, we are proud to announce that the Mountain Pride has three new additions that have made an appearance. They were first sighted early on morning drive just north of Double Crossing. They are estimated to be around two months old, and although their mother introduced them to the rest of the pride, they are still quite small and can’t walk too far with the other females. For that reason, the cubs and mom tend to keep around the Double Crossing and Cubs Crossing area.

The Northern Pride was also seen around the northern reaches of the concession, and the Xhirombe Pride was found towards the southern sections and towards the Mozambique border.