For a single heart stopping moment, they stood and stared at each other with just meters between them.  Four male lions, confident and big, had piercing gazes locked on Adam and Solly.  A low growl sounded, reinforced by two, then three low rumbles from either side.   Stepping backward slowly, Adam and Solly created distance between themselves and the coalition eased back down into the grass, never letting their sights off the pair.  There was an undeniable tension in the air.  An intangible energy which had already set the Majingilane coalition on edge.  Something was in the air.  Something was up….

3 of the 4 Majingilane Coalition

3 of the 4 Majingilane Coalition

Two minutes later the four male lions got up and walked straight past the Land Rovers.  Suddenly, like a flash, one male set off at speed into the dense bush amidst rampant thunders of aggression.  Seconds later, the remaining three members of the coalition were by his side, forcing themselves onto his quarry, delighting in the savage violence they could inflict on the lone hyena.

It is not uncommon for lions to kill hyenas; hyenas to kill lions; leopard to kill hyenas; hyenas to kill leopards and lions to kill leopards.  The hierarchy of predators is competitive and it has bred an environment where the strongest survives.  Sometimes you win by yourself, at other times you may lose despite being in a group.  Such is the nature of life.

There was nothing particularly unusual about this interaction between the 4 males and the hyena.  Male lions have an intense loathing for hyenas and typically act aggressively towards them.  Whether this is to secure their territory for the safety of the pride, for fun or simply as a revenge from earlier incidents is all debatable.

What I found to be fascinating about this interaction was the unbridled aggression that these dominant males displayed towards the hyena.  Merciless, demonstrative and intensely aggressive, the Majingilane Males look as though they are out to prove a point.  And whatever that point is, every lion, leopard and hyena in the are should take note.  The longer these Majingilanes move through their newly acquired territory, enforcing their rule, the longer they are going to here to stay!

Photographed by: Adam Bannister
Filmed by: Steven Foreman (Londolozi Guest)

Filed under Guests Wildlife

About the Author

Rich Laburn

Head of Digital

Rich is the driving force behind Londolozi’s online storytelling and the Londolozi blog. His passions of digital media, film and photography, combined with his field-guiding background, have seen him take the Londolozi blog to new heights since he began it in 2009. Rich ...

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on Majingilane Murder

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Sheila Patel

Great article and video! Thanks for sharing!

Geraldine Day-Perkins

Awesome video!!

Todd Albright

Great shooting Adam. We missed those four on our recent trip but saw plenty of others.


Sorry that you missed them, they are quite something to witness. Which other prides of lions did you get to see?

JJ Keyes

Amazing – good share!

S.w. Tsang

Can’t blame the hatred from the male lions towards those hyenas ! Hyenas if not kill at least they bully the lions when the lions are young to steal their kill. As the protectors of their pride & king of their domain , they kill keep their enemies weak & down

MJ Bradley

Wow, was that really over 3 yrs ago? A life in the bush is not easy for predator or prey.

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