About the Author

James Tyrrell

Photographic Guide/Media Team

James had hardly touched a camera when he came to Londolozi, but his writing skills that complemented his Honours degree in Zoology meant that he was quickly snapped up by the Londolozi blog team. An environment rich in photographers helped him develop the ...

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36 Comments

on A Once-in-a-Lifetime Sighting

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Nicole Nisbet
Member
Guest

Abolutely Incredible James!

Jenny Bowen
Member
Guest

What brilliant photos – and yes, I have never seen anything like this before, what a life stopping moment. I have seen a wild dog kill and a 3 day old ele but never a lioness carrying her cubs. I am going to put that at the top of my wish list….. and expect to be disappointed!

James H
Member
Guest

Unbelievable! Extremely jealous! Well done JT.

David Dampier
Financial Manager

Good work JT-easy to mess up opportunities like that in the excitement of the moment, which you certainly did not do. Much envy!

Rich Laburn
Head of Digital

Those cubs are incredible to see. Hard to believe they grow up into such phenomenal predators. Good to see the Majingilane lineage coming through stronger than ever.. Well done.

Ed
Member
Guest

Adam,
I suppose these could be the cubs from the mating we saw in mid-August. Very cool.

Adam Bannister
Member
Guest

Ed these may well be the ones. Very exciting to see. Well done James on a magical photo! Print that out large and put it on the wall forever

Sarah
Member
Guest

Wow! This is now on my bucket list!!

Linda Holland
Member
Guest

Incredible…wish I had been there.

mike.paredes@gmail.com
Member
Guest

OMG. The planets aligned for those shots, you lucky dog. But great photography!!!

Geri Potter
Member
Guest

Amazing! Thank you!

Katie Tice
Member
Guest

We celebrated with amarula & coffee immediately after. An amazing experience–especially considering it was my 2nd drive in the bush….ever! What a great way to spend the last day of 2011. Good luck beating this one in 2012, James.

Courtney McGuigan
Member
Guest

There are no words for how incredibly exciting this is. You must have been trying not to jump out of your skin! Very, very jealous, James. Well done to you and Ecks for a) not getting killed while tracking her on foot, b) maneuvering to not miss the show and c) remembering to take pictures! Thank you so much for sharing!! ….P.S. you’re not allowed to resign until after my next visit. 🙂

Merle
Member
Guest

You beat me to it…Mike.paredes…OMG! We got to see four-month old cubs in their first human sighting, and sadly got to follow one of the cubs, who we affectionately named Shayne, miraculously survive 5 weeks on his own and then be killed by one his own elders. This is amazing and now I know there are new cubs to follow and hopefully survive until I return to see them in person. Well done James.

Chris
Member
Guest

Absolutely fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing – you folks are so lucky. All we talk about lately is how wonderful our time was there and how nothing else will probably ever compare. You told the story so exquisitely that I can feel the shivers as if I witnessed it myself. I can’t stop looking at the photos!

Morty
Member
Guest

Great shots! May I ask what camera was used??

James Tyrrell
Member
Guest

Morty, I was shooting with a Canon 1000D which is a pretty entry-level body, but the lens was decent, a Canon 70-200mm f4 IS USM. Not quite as good as the 2.8 but still more than adequate for this situation as the light was fine. Luckily the lioness wasn’t too far away either, so the small amount of cropping on the final photo did not affect the quality of the image.

kanadid yassin
Member
Guest

INCREDIBLE SHOT JT VERY EXCITING TO SEE VERY JT WELL DONE

Linda
Member
Guest

Great moment. Does this mean both the older Sparta lionesses have cubs now? There were two cubs born in late Sept 2011? as well? How many in total now? Thanks heaps.

Kion
Member
Guest

I love Londolozi, but this story was a bit overhyped.

Rich Laburn
Head of Digital

I disagree Kion, it is an incredible experience to be able to witness brand new lions cub in the wilderness and I feel that the story captured the excitement and emotion of this event for many people. What part did you feel was overhyped? rich

James Tyrrell
Member
Guest

Kion, the magic of the bush is that everyone has their favourite animal or bird or tree, and something that can be amazing for one person can be boring for another. It is the individual emotions or play on your senses that can make something incredible for the individual, as your own experience is completely subjective.
This is by far and away, for me at least, the best thing I have ever seen in the bush, and I am pretty confident it will remain so!
Like Rich, I would also be interested to know why you feel that the story was overhyped, as this is certainly NOT something that you see every day…

Kion
Member
Guest

From the title of the post I expected something of such a rarity and intrigue as “Battle at Kruger” or something like that. Though of course it’s very rare to see on safari (unless you spend a lot of time out there, know the pregnant females, and look for them), females carrying their newborn cubs between dens is something that happens, well, every time that a female has newborn cubs…quite a few times.

Still, I do think this sighting is cool and that the lioness was so relaxed even with those guys out of the jeep. It amazes me how savage the animals can be with one another, but because the animals are accustomed now to jeeps and people, and modern day (and looking) humans are not part of the evolutionary hard wiring of their brains which register prey, predator, or competitor, like sharks in the ocean, they typically ignore humans unless the humans act really silly.

Adam Bannister
Guest contributor

I personally feel that to see a lioness carrying her new born cubs is a more special moment then the much HYPED ‘Battle of the Kruger’. Thats just my opinion.

Geri Potter
Member
Guest

I don’t know anything about ‘the Battle’ to which you refer…but I find it amazing ANYTIME I see these lions being as gentle, caring and tender as they are with their cubs and prides. Everyone knows they CAN be brutal and are amazing preditors…and obviously they battle and on occasion, eat their own’, but to witness this in pics and on video, is special! I can’t imagine how amazing it was in person! Congrats to all for spotting and photgraphing and THANKS AGAIN for sharing!

Syl
Member
Guest

Thank you for sharing this treasure with us. My smile can hardly fit in the room. So glad you were able to capture the moment. May the little ones live long healthy lives.

Terry
Member
Guest

Amazing. When I went to Africa I finally saw two lions on day 8 out of the 10 days that I was there. When I did see them they hid in the bush! You are so lucky to have seen this lioness move her cubs as they are so elusive. Thanks so much for sharing your pictures and writing your blogs. I look forward to it everyday.

Irene
Member
Guest

What an amazing experience! To see a lioness carrying her new born cub… Makes me want to visit Londolozi again.

Graeme Marais
Member
Guest

Tyrell… Unbelievable. That is something Ive always dreamed of seeing. Well done

Andrea Woolcock te Kloot
Member
Guest

EPIC James! You didn’t tell us about this. Thanks again we had a fantastic time, will definitely be back!

John Holley
Member
Guest

JT, INSANE, INSANE sighting!

All that clean living of yours finally paying off!

Great shots!

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