Coalition. Interaction. Confrontation. Powerful words. Exciting words. All words used recently on the radio referring to the Selati and Majingilane coalitions.
The Majingilane continue to make themselves scarce. Not seen on Londolozi for over a week now, reports keep filtering in from the west that the all-powerful coalition continue to establish themselves beyond our western boundary. They have been seen mating with at least one lioness from the Otthawa pride, and the longer the current situation continues, the more it seems that the Selati males have been pushed out once-and for all.
Three years ago, before the Selati males (who were then a young coalition of 5) had taken over the Western sector from the Mapogo, they spent a lot of time in Londolozi’s southern areas, dogging the large herd of buffalo that often roams down there, and becoming specialist buffalo hunters in the process. Their formative years equipped them well to take on these massive bovines, and there was a stage in which one could almost guarantee a lion sighting simply by finding the large herd of buffalo and driving back along its tracks. If you didn’t find the Selati males actively hunting the herd they would almost certainly be feeding on a buffalo they had killed during the night.
It was therefore with a sense of deja vu this morning that I heard that the two remaining Selati males had been found on Londolozi’s central areas, following the trail of a large herd of buffalo. Nothing happened during the morning, so we will possibly have to wait until tonight to witness any interaction or hunting, but these seasoned buffalo killers will definitely be worth sticking with after the sun goes down.
I doubt the Selati males will return west. If they do, a swift repulse by the Majingilane is the most likely outcome. The fate of what was until recently the third member of the coalition is uncertain, but we believe he has been killed by the Majingilane. If this is the case, he will be the second of the original 5 to meet his death under the onslaught of their teeth and claws.
The Majingilane in the west, the Sparta and Tsalala prides left relatively vulnerable in their absence, and two nomadic male lions hunting buffalo in the centre of Londolozi.
It seems like the stage is set for an epic winter amongst the lions of the central Sabi Sand.
Written and Photographed by James Tyrrell