About the Author

James Tyrrell


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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on Matimba Males: Far South

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Vaseem baig

Wow!! James, what a fantastic piece of news about the formidable Matimbas. You made my day as I was like many desperate to know about their whereabouts injured, alive at all.

This wonderful blog of yours is something to cheer about and thanks a lot for the same and continue to update all who are passionate like me about lions of Sabi sands…

Tatiana & Brian Cavanaugh

Awesome read James! We’re already missing our friends at Londolozi! We will keep reading, thanks again for everything!

Penny Adamson

Loved staying at Londolozi in 2012 and love these updates!

Suzanne Myers

Thanking you for update on my favorite boys!! The MATIMBAS were the first lions in 2011 I was introduced to! Therefore following and being introduced to them and the TSALALAS- they became my favorite!! Broke my heart when BB the older tailess was killed by her own!!! Now it seems there are so many coalitions I get lost!!!!! LOVE reading this EVERYDAY! Thank-you so much, Suzanne Myers

Ezequiel Almada

Great article, as always.

Did you notice any injuries on Hairy Belly?


Thanks for the update – that was an interesting article! The Matimbas are boxed with a lot of coalitions and trying to avoid conflict. If they do leave Londolozi and the Sabi Sands, there will be a void for another coalition to expand into their (Matimba) territory – most likely the Birminghams.

Johnny Arikono

Regarding the Majingilanes. “If they heard even the slightest hint from a rival they would respond almost immediately”. Mmm not completely true. The Majingilanes were chased in what used to be their own territory in EP by these same Matimbas. In May of 2015 two of Majingilanes ran for cover when these two Matimbas came down roaring with anger. And they ran back from Matshapiris also of last year. So by the contrary my friend the Majingilanes not always responsive to challenges.

Hi Johnny,
I don’t know about the EP incident, but I was there myself in 2015 when the Majingilanes turned and ran from the Matshipiris. That was after they had already chased them a long way, out of their (the Majingilane’s) usual area of operation and essentially onto foreign soil. The initial chase began exactly because the Majingilane had responded to a threat! It was only when they were far out of their area and realised they had divided their force that they turned around.
Take a look at this post from a few years ago. http://blog.londolozi.com/2012/10/lion-warfare-majingilane-vs-new-males/ The Majingilanes acted in exactly the way I described.
My comments about them responding to roaring related to the time when they were dominant over Londolozi. They are not really anymore, although by coming back to chase the Matimbas on a number of occasions they show they are still not a spent force. How they respond to roaring these days I am not sure, since we so rarely see them.

Leslie Jackson

Great blog, so glad I was there to see them.

Mike Ryan

Thanks James for the update, I am on the train back from London but you always manage to bring the memory of the bush back


Thank you for perfect news, that they are together and in good condition with full stomachs 🙂 it was good step to get a bit away from 4 of majingilane males. Key is to keep it together

Jill Grady

Thanks for the update James, I love hearing about the Lions. I hope the Matimba males will be okay, they took such a beating from the Majingilane, but seem to have survived that. How are the Sparta and Tsalala prides doing, in particular, their young males? Your pictures are fantastic, thanks for sharing!


James, those lions look to be in such great condition,as do all the other animals.My daughter recently returned from Zambia with photos of very thin and raggy lions,they looked like they needed a good feed and a clean.The londolozi animals all seem to be in prime condition.Thanks for the update,I hope the blonde lions wound is healing.

Hi Ezequiel,

Nothing too serious that we noticed. Just the standard cuts and scratches to be found on a male lion…

Kenneth MacLeod

Hi James having returned to the two Tsalala females I hope all is well with their two cubs, there hasn’t been any news on them, that I have seen anyway, can you give us an update, cheers Kenneth


Thanks for the update. It’s great to hear that the Matimbas are uninjured and back around.

Sean R

Any news on the young Sparta males and tsalala males? What about the Sparta that joined mangheni pride?

Johnny Arikono

Yes EP incident happen last year, mid of 2015 in May. The Majingilanes were in their own territory according to Ranger report and got chased by Matimbas. And the Matshapiri incident they only chase one of the Matshapiri males. It was when the Matshapiri male find his brother they reunite to roar and challenge the Majingilane and chase them back.

Ezequiel Almada

Thank you, James. It’s much appreciated. I always enjoy reading your and the blog’s articles. Thanks for taking the time to inform and teach us about these amazing beasts.


Hi James, can the 2 matimbas join their brothers up north and go against the now the 3 majingilanes or the Birminghams

Hi james! Was there any lion bigger than hairy belly? Thanks

Hi Scar, James has left Londolozi. That Matimba Male was one of the bigger lions around at the time.

Hi again Sean,i’m sure your familiar with the bboys,i heard Nhenha is the largest out of them and if so how much woukd you estimate him to weigh,doesn’t matter if its not spot. And also if youve seen the bboys who had the largest paw tracks and how long. Sorry for the long question and thanks!

Nhenha is the biggest currently, but there was another brother Mfumo that was massive. I would estimate Nhenha to probably weigh 210kg when in good condition. It is difficult to say the length of the tracks as we haven’t really paid enough attention to measure the tracks of each of them. If I get a chance to measure his tracks I will do that for you.

Thank you!

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