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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23 Comments

on Lion Warfare: Trouble Brewing

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Jill Grady
Member
Guest

Thanks James, the maps were very helpful and your blog very interesting. I hope the Majingilane will continue on for some time to come. I saw them in Sept. 2013 while at Londolozi and was in awe of their beauty and strength. All this lion activity will definitely be interesting, to watch to see what happens next.

Jan Baldwin
Member
Guest

James,

An excellent report. Than you. We wondered about the Sparta Pride, as we saw them on our visit in 2008. The male was getting quite old and there was concern about just how long he could hold onto the pride.

We also appreciate the map and location of neighboring reserves. Seeing the immense territory as a group gives great insight on where the prides and unknowns are located. Thanks. Keep us informed as this scenario plays out.

kevin savage
Member
Guest

GREAT stuff JT – tracking lion coalitions and maps? WIN WIN! This is very exciting stuff and although the manjingys remain my sentimental favorite, I do understand the dynamics involved / forces at play here and realize at their age what inevitably lies ahead. 🙁 I like to think they are enjoying their retirement out west with the ladies – every time I see a picture of them they look fat (full) and happy 😉 The Sparta males are also a sentimental favorite, I had opportunity to see them back in August (4) and they left a big impression on me. I am hoping they steer clear of the incoming coalitions and are able to return as adults to take over for their dads. Regarding other Male lions in the area: Are the two remaining Seltai brothers also in the west? I’ve been following the Birmingham males (from afar) and as you say they seem to be a force to reckon with, my money is on them right now. Lastly, the Styx males and the Fourways males are good looking dudes! Thanks again!

Ian Hall
Member
Guest

This is the sort of article that shows just why Londolozi is so very special. In other words it’s not about a noisy Land Cruiser getting up close and too personal while the driver says “here is a lion”, the scholarship and empathy with the land and it’s wildlife goes right to the heart of the DNA of Londolozi

Brian C
Member
Guest

Thanks for this assessment James T. If the 5 Birmingham males stay together, the next year will be very interesting. I hear they are scent marking and roaring to the north of Majingilane territory. Months ago I did not believe the power of the Majingilane could be realistically threatened any time soon (or that Camp Pan male would be gone before the end of the year). I am thinking a bit differently now.

Blair sinclair
Member
Guest

Camp pan isn’t dead

Brian C
Member
Guest

Thx. Good to know. Sorry I am off topic about the male lion dynamics- but I thought Piva Young Male had displaced Camp Pan. Is he still around his old territory or avoiding it? Has he crossed the Sand River and been hanging out on MM more (he has been sighted some on MM in past)? Anyways I am looking forward to hearing more about these male lion coalitions in 2015 [and maybe a Camp Pan male update at some point]. This is a great blog.

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Brian, it does look as though Camp Pan may have finally been displaced, as he was seen near the Londolozi camps the other day for the first time in years. Update coming soon…

anne beazley
Member
Guest

Thanks for naming “the boys” in the photo…..I have a huge folder I’ve saved from your site and hopefully will some day will finish an attempt to paint them. Was in Tanzania in Oct.: saw 2 prides with 9 small cubs each, a couple of lone males, and 5 mating pairs. Wish I could make it to Londolozi…….I am grateful for your blog cause I discovered I’m to old for another big trip!

Chris Rogue
Member
Guest

The Birmingham Boys need to mature a bit more, but I predict they will be the ones to dethrone the Majingilanes or take on the Matimbas and win.

bg
Member
Guest

I think the majings prime has recently peaked. If the 5 Birminghams can all stay together and alive for another year(give or take), they will become a real presence in the area. I also think they(Birminghams) would have better odds pushing west rather than east. As of now,as an intact fighting unit majings still have the upper hand in any conflicts. The only way I see majings running into any trouble right now is getting cornered while separated,which has been their success story as a coalition. The majings have displayed a superior lion intelligence realizing if they always are together they will live and rule. Any comments or replies welcomed.

James T
Member
Guest

Thanks for the comments everyone. It turns out the unidentified coalition seen crossing the Sand River yesterday morning was in fact the Fourways males. Possibly looking to cause trouble in the area…

Bader
Member
Guest

The Charleston pride has two males that venture off on their own sometimes. Could it be them?

Sean R
Member
Guest

The map with boundaries was really helpful. Maybe in the next article like this you can also include an overlay for the different prides to go along with the male coalitions and game reserves. This is great! Thanks!

Robin
Member
Guest

James, the two males in the first photo is infact the 2 Charleston males and not the fourways, one of the fourways males have a bit darker mane(majingilane son) .
But i have to say an exellent work on the blog and the map so we can have a god idea of where the sightings wore.
Great enjoy it every time thanks 🙂

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Thanks for the update Robin. What are the movements of these two males? Do they still spend time with the female?
James

Mike C
Member
Guest

Thanks for the post James! I read this blog religiously leading up to our trip in July and still read it weekly. Always look forward to the lion warfare pieces as their dynamics and social interactions really intrigue me. Really hope the sparta young males can make it through. They were a favorite while visiting. Also rooting for the majingis to hold on, their story and dominance is impressive.

Tim
Member
Guest

Thanks James for the information.Now my question is when Life Sibuyi and Mike Sithole tracked them on foot and disturbed the two unknown male lion’s where they were resting on the west bank of the Sand River and the lions ran east and swam across the river, looking back towards where they had arrived on the west bank.These lion’s cannot attack them or the lion’s know that these men are armed?!The Matimba’s used to be 6 and i read somewhere that one of them disappeared.Now i am reading here that the sixth is reported to be spending time with a pride in the Kruger Park.How true is it that the sixth one is still there and i wonder how safe it is for this 6th Matimba on his own.If all the Matimba’s were to reunite i do not think the Birmingham male’s can be a match because Birmingham lack the experience and need another year to reestablish themselves!

James
Member
Guest

Very fascinating account of the different lion dynamics there. I always enjoy the blogs and the responses from followers. It al started being interesting when the Mapogos muscled into the Sabi sands, killed the cubs, sub-adult males and everything else they perceived as a threat to their authority including some females. The Mapogos ruled by tooth and claw as only male lions know how and that is how they died.., by tooth and claw. Then came the 4 Selati Males and now the very dominant Majingilanes and Matimba coalitions. I personally did not like the Majingilanes in the beginning but warmed ip o them as they have always remained united and repulsed all threats to their authority from within and without, thus protecting their hard earned prides, prime hunting grounds and raised many cubs. I however wonder, for how much longer? The ecosystem needs new genes soon or later. I see the Birmingham boys positioning themselves for a shot at both Matimba territory and possibly Majingilanes land. They have the best chance in my opinion but were recently split Up after an apparent scram with the Matimbas. Well, you can not write a script on what male lions are going to do tomorrow and that is what makes them and what they do and not do very interesting. The suspence is more that any movie I have ever watched. Thanks to you, rangers and trackers for the awesome updates.

James
Member
Guest

Any idea on the status of the 2 remaining Selati males? How did the other 2 Selatis die? Where are they now, holding a territory of their own or back to being nomads and not so much eligeable bachelors? Anyone has video of the encouter of Selati and Birmingham boys; Birmingham and Matimba sram?

Lachlan
Member
Guest

Great article.I was reading through and thinking these stories would make so much more sense with maps and territories marked on them and then the maps came up. Very handy and makes it all much clearer. It would be very interesting to see a version showing the entire Kruger area (though that would be no doubt very time intensive and I doubt anyone is going to put their hands up for that in a hurry). Looking forward to more posts and getting to Londolozi eventually as well!

Mike D.
Member
Guest

The lion dynamics in this region are simply amazing. The large coalitions of males seems uncommon but it required in this land of lion warfare. It is great to see so many surviving to adulthood in spite of the odds being stacked against them. These are the only such detailed accounts of lion family lineage that I am aware of. It is a real life drama of true lion life being told. Please keep us updated. This us amazing stuff !

Irene Nathanson
Member
Guest

It is interesting to look back less than six months ago and see that Fourways were just stepping in. From what I have been reading lately they are seen pretty regularly now. I am hoping that is the case and I get to see them when i am there in September.

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