After a refreshing two week break from work I am delighted to be back at Londolozi Game Reserve. Ready for another enchanting six weeks behind the wheel. Ready, to head out into the magnificent bushveld every day to find and observe Africa’s wildlife. Ready, to try convey some of the stories, photographs, video and magic to all of you loyal blog followers and nature lovers.
As I sit down to write this, the thunderous call of the a male lion echos around the camp; a restless Woodland Kingfisher trills away and a camp manger giggles beside the staff pool. Summer is here and it is wonderful to be home!
Sadly, I start off with a rather alarming update. In the two weeks I have been away from Londolozi a number of lions from my favourite pride have not been seen.
The lions unaccounted for are all from the Tsalala Pride:
The single daughter of the legendary Tailless Female.
Born back in July 2012 this little lion cub looked to be in good shape. Having overcome the initial obstacles of early cubhood, she was of the age where she had left the various den-sites and was actively following her little family. This cub was very special as it was the 6th litter of the old female and was thought by many to be Tailless’ last. The Tailless female has been seen numerous times but her daughter was last seen at the end of October!
The newest litter from the Tailed Female.
The litter of three that was born in mid October have not been seen. Now we are all still holding thumbs that the mother has just moved them to a den-site that we have not been able to find. However, the thing that makes us all nervous is that this female has been seen mating numerous times throughout November. Is she mating to keep the Majingilane happy, or has she lost her 4th litter?
So potentially the pride have lost four cubs in the last few weeks. Now, I am the first person to admit that lions continue to surprise us and that a three week absence by no means confirms death, but it is worrying nonetheless. Those regular readers will remember the remarkable story of the 5 month old lion cub that survived 5 weeks alone…anything is possible.
So, this pride continues to endure and continues to allow us unprecedented access into the roller coaster lives that they lead.The highs and the lows! We will continue to bring you the latest developments from all the animals at Londolozi, not just the lions, as the christmas season reaches a climax.
Written and photographed by Adam Bannister