The River Pride   

Pamushana | February 2020

We had a great sighting of the River Pride recently, they were resting and sleeping in the dappled morning light after a night’s successful hunt. The pride consisted of two adult males, two sub-adult males and five lionesses.

The River Pride has an interesting history. It used to be the biggest pride on the property, numbering 14 lions. It split into two prides two years ago, one pride of nine (the pride we saw and photographed here) and a pride of five which now have their territory on the Hippo Valley side of the Chiredzi River.

The pride of nine have split again, one unit has six lions – three males and three females. The other unit has three – one male and two lionesses, and they have moved north and were seen at Lojaan Dam a few days ago.

It’ll be interesting to see if they regroup or if this split results in new established prides in the next few years, in which case we will need to come up with some new pride reference names.

The River Pride specialises in killing dagga boys (old buffalo bulls) and wildebeest. Two weeks ago they killed a dagga boy close to the lodge, and after only two days the skull and the rib cage bones were left.

After feeding lions will move away from the kill site and look for a shady spot where they will spend their time grooming, scratching and cleaning themselves by licking the blood from their paws and faces. They will also spend most of the time digesting their large meal.

The River Pride has not had cubs for a while now but we are sure once the dynamic is more settled they’ll produce some new additions.

These three photos show the pride members enjoying the morning after a good night’s feed.