About the Author

James Tyrrell

Photographic Guide/Media Team

James had hardly touched a camera when he came to Londolozi, but his writing skills were well developed, and he was quickly snapped up by the Londolozi blog team as a result. An environment rich in photographers helped him develop the photographic skills ...

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17 Comments

on Photo Feature: Tsalala Cubs of 2011

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

Wonderful memories James. I’ve got a few photos of the Tsalala pride of 2011 as well. I do hope the pride survive. It is a costly lesson shooting in jpeg. Making mistakes is sometimes the only way I learn what not to do.

Joanne Wadsworth
Senior Digital Ranger

Always wonderful to look back and reflect on old images. Yours are both unique and lovely. I also appreciated the sharing of your own photographic journey of do’s and do nots. You know, I think James is very valuable to Londolozi.

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Thanks Joanne, very kind of you to say 🙂

Dipti Dahal
Explorer

Wonderful photos James! Any word on the three males of the Tsalala breakaway pride? From what I recall they had moved off on their own a while ago.

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Dipti I believe only two have been seen together, I think on Sabi Sabi and Mala Mala if my memory serves me correctly.
Not sure of their current status unfortunately…

Iren Juppa
Explorer

Thanks for the Memories. ♥

Denise Vouri
Digital Tracker

Your reflections and accompanying photos are a tribute to this amazing pride. Additionally, you always pass along some useful information whether it concerns flora or fauna or photography tips. It is so true about jpg vs raw – had I only realized the difference I would have taken a different camera on my trip in 2007 and my previous years’ photos were all shot with film. Last year I did shoot in raw and it made a definitive difference- now, just to get the best exposure for the varying backgrounds and lighting!! Next trip……

Deana Amendolia
Explorer

Thank you for sharing these photos! A trip down memory lane. We first met the Tsalala pride (and Sparta pride) in 2011 and they continue to have a special place in our hearts. We are hopeful they can pull through this rough time. We must have a thousand photos of them by now, always good to look back through old times.

Peggy Fox
Explorer

Very cool! Its helpful to know the history before I first came to Londolozi in 2016.

Ian Hall
Senior Digital Ranger

One of the things about shooting on slide, is it teaches you to be more selective. I miss that

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Ian,
I agree. Every photograph was a decision carefully weighed up. If you botched it, it cost money!!

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

Really great archive!! I’ve always shot in JPEG and I have to admit that they can look over-edited with certain photos. Recently I tried shooting in RAW for the first time and I have to say it was a very different experience on Lightroom. I will definetely use it a lot more, but I just need the opportunity to practice.

Michael & Terri Klauber
Digital Tracker

James, What an fantastic story and thanks for you honesty on your early images. We have quite a few of what I would call “rookie” jpg images for our earlier experiences at Londolozi too. From our learning at Londolozi we are RAW all the way. I know we saw some of the cubs together and you have reminded us that we need to spend some time looking back!

We were wondering if there is a “identification system” with lioness (discounting the obvious Tailless females) similar to leopards? We are remembering that the Majingilane males were always identified by their specific markings….

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Michael and Terri,

Great question – and a frustrating one at the best of times. We have been working on a lion ID kit for some time, but there is such turnover that it requires constant reworking. To be honest, our main focus has always been on our leopard ID kit and we probably haven’t been as diligent with our lion record keeping as we could have been, tending to ID lions simply by their prides than as individuals. Lions also have spot patterns like leopards, but they are slightly harder to make out. Features like torn ears, blotches on noses, and colouration usually help us tell them apart, but in a small pride (eg Tsalala) it’s never usually a problem. Given that the Ntsevu pride are now 6 strong, and the Mhangeni pride are splitting and we will be seeing a lot more young lions about the place, it might be time to revamp our individual Lion identifying. Watch this space…

Mj Bradley
Explorer

Thank you for the wonderful photos and story of the Tsalala’s of 2011. While you may not have been the photographer you are today, they are still photos most of us would be proud of. I hope the Tsalala pride can somehow find a way to make it back from the brink.. It is sad to see such a legacy fade away.. I know they leave a rich ongoing legacy but they are no longer known as the Tsalala’s. Thank you James..

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

HI MJ,

Don’t worry, they are still very much known as the Tsalalas. It just remains to be seen whether they’ll come back from the brink or not. We’re all keeping our fingers crossed.

D. Phillips
Explorer

What a beautiful collection. So precious. I thank you.

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