In 2010 the Majingilane coalition came roaring in to Londolozi and dethroned the Mapogo. Because of this shift in power, four young lionesses belonging to the Tsalala pride followed their fathers and fled into the western reaches of the Sabi Sands.
Two years later, these same lionesses, renamed the Tsalala Breakaway Pride and now old enough to be potential mates for the Majingilane, returned to Londolozi and in their first oestrus cycles, mated with the same males who drove them away all those months ago.
Although believed to have given birth to previous litters, any evidence of cubs has been brief and fleeting, and we believe these litters were all lost.
Recently, however, one of the females was found on Londolozi territory on an impala kill, and on closer inspection, two small and nervous cubs were seen to be accompanying her, poking their heads up timidly from behind a patch of long grass.
The irony is not lost on us that these cubs, fathered by the Majingilane, are nevertheless descendants of the Mapogo, and if they survive will continue the bloodline that their fathers fought so hard to destroy.
Written by Helen Young
Photographed and filmed by James Tyrrell