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Sean Cresswell

Safari Guide

Sean is one of the humblest rangers you are likely to meet. Quietly going about his day, enriching the lives of the many guests he takes out into the bush, it is only when he posts a Week in Pictures or writes an ...

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on The Week in Pictures #224

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Blair S
Member
Guest

The Mzanzeni Female? who is that I assume shes a young female whos been renamed

Sean Cresswell
Safari Guide

Hi Blair, yes she is the previously known Dudley Riverbank young female and has been renamed recently after being very territorial from middle 2015, around her late mother’s territory.

Chris J
Member
Guest

Hi Sean, It seems only Hairy Belly and Majingilanes were involved in the battle but where was Ginger during this time. Was he involved in a battle against Othawas and Hipscar? Or he was sheltering in south?

Hipscar and Othawa pride have not been seen some days. Do you think it has a connection?

Sean Cresswell
Safari Guide

Hi Chris. Thank you for your comment, but believe otherwise. Although the two Matimba males were separated by quite a distance for several days following the Majingilane’s arrival, tracks indicated that they were together at the start of the night and during the encounter. In previous sightings involving a convergence of the two coalitions we have observed the clear determination and eagerness to attack by dark maned Majingilane; often seeing him leave the other two behind as he chases towards Matimba’s. Tracks indicated that one lion had been mauled severely before the Matimba split occurred. Therefore, dark maned Majingilane must have caught up to slowly fleeing Matimba’s, who saw him alone and both attacked for a brief time before the second and third Majingilane males caught up. This would’ve been enough time to inflict the injuries to him. Secondary injuries to another Majingilane male would have happened soon thereafter and the fight which progressed could have split the Matimba’s while the Majingilane regrouped. Two of the three had superficial injuries. Hipscar Majingilane male was not present at all, and we believe there isn’t a connection between Matimba males and Othawa pride as they have not come near to contacting each other recently.

Alex
Member
Guest

Beautiful pictures Sean,the Nanga female was seen in the north yesterday and she had suckle marks so maybe that’s the reason why she has been more elusive.

Sean Cresswell
Safari Guide

Thank you, Alex, yes she seems to be denning in a very rocky area close to the Manyalethi riverbed where she has denned numerous times before. She has unfortunately lost several litters in the last few years and we are hoping she can succeed with this one. The litter is very recent and still much too young to try view but the area in which she is denning is well hidden and so we will hope for the best for her!

Ezequiel Almada
Member
Guest

Great pics, as always.

And I have to say, I’m very surprised that the Matimba males, at least Hairy belly, have come without any injuries after those encounters. These boys are great.

Also, love the pick of Inyathini, he looks so grumpy thinking: “Oh, not her again…”

Diana V
Member
Guest

Many thanks. My heart and soul are lifted for the day thanks to your lovely images and words.

Ricardo
Member
Guest

Finally some news about Ginger! Thank you Sean. I think we all had our fingers crossed. I’m guessing we don’t know whether he was involved in the latest scuffle with the Majingilane…? It’s sure quite the feat for Hairy Belly if he held his own against three of them! But a part of me wishes Ginger was there as it would have been more of a statement for the Majingilane to stay away and hopefully Londolozi can have some cubs soon with the awesome Matimba genes. On another note, love the photo of the sky at night – with so many city lights we tend to forget just how many stars there are. Awesome photos!

Sean Cresswell
Safari Guide

Hi Ricardo, thanks for the comments. Please see my above reply regarding the two Matimba males’ presumed involvement in the latest interaction. We believe both managed to injure two of the three Majingilane males, probably at separate times of the night before being split in a chase.
Also, see the Tsalala cubs pictures in http://blog.londolozi.com/2016/03/the-sighting-of-a-lifetime/ who are fathered by the Matimba males. Their survival will directly depend on the males’ future dominance in this area… More at stake now!
Thank you and I’m glad you appreciate the overlooked night sky!

Mary Beth Wheeler
Member
Guest

These are ALL truly special images, Sean! I’m so glad to see Nanga again and the Matimba and Tsalala cub shots are awesome. And that blue-eyed elie – wow! We kust made reservations to return for 2 weeks next April; I don’t know how I can wait for a year!

Ian Hall
Member
Guest

There are some wow factor photos there-real wall candy-especially the dust bathing ellie and the giant Kingfisher. I have a thing about Kingfishers and had one of my best ever game drives with Andrea at the Causeway photographing them.

Di Riddel
Member
Guest

Beautiful photography Sean..you make the bush come alive…well done

Prem Wilson
Member
Guest

Beauitful pictures leopard ??

Chris J
Member
Guest

Thanks for reply Sean.

mike young
Member
Guest

Thnx Sean! which Tsalala lioness is the mother of the new cubs?

Sean Cresswell
Safari Guide

Hi Mike, the mother is one of the two older adults, she is sister to the tailless female. Therefore, the mother is the tailed female who is also mother to the younger lioness (who has now reached maturity but yet to have a litter of her own). These two tend to remain near to the cubs while the tailless female and four sub-adults of late 2013 move independently. We will have to wait and see whether they will all rejoin or another Tsalala breakaway pride is eventually formed.

Gillian Evans
Member
Guest

Great selection of photos Sean. I’m missing the magic that is Londolozi.. Great night sky!

Chris J
Member
Guest

Hi Sean, I have seen Scat Nosed Majingilane. He is a huge Male. I have not seen clear photographs of these Matimba Males but many people say they are big Males. Are these really that big? Are these bigger than scar nosed Majingilane?

Sean Cresswell
Safari Guide

Hi Chris, yes these Matimba males are large lions. It is hard to compare lions in the wild but I am of the opinion that any male lion who manages to survive the nomadic years when they are very vulnerable to older and stronger dominant males, will be in the top range of the species; meaning the strongest and most attractive genes reproduce. Thus, all males who acquire their own dominance (as Mapogo, Majingilane and, now slowly, Matimba coalitions have done) are significantly big and powerful cats. The dark maned Matimba male has a stunningly extensive mane giving him a big appearance but the blonde maned Matimba male may be a heavier individual. Both are large, nonetheless, but courage and determination will have to carry them through, as scar nose Majingilane male (along with dark mane) are still very formidable. Time will tell…

Chris J
Member
Guest

Thanks Sean. It was really helpful.

Wendy Hawkins
Member
Guest

Oh wow that is a very unusual & not often seen picture of the Giant Kingfisher! Beautiful thank you for an amazing set of pictures!

Murtaza S.
Member
Guest

Thank you, Sean, for your clarifying the Matimbas – Majingilanes recent battle. Now, it all adds up! The 2 Matimba fight Dark Mane Majingilane, with the other 2 Majingilane coming to Dark Knight’s rescue and driving away and scattering the two Matimbas. Thus, Dark Mane took the brunt of the injuries charging against two dominant and powerful males in HB & Ginger. Wow, Dark Knight is crazy brave!!

Murtaza S.
Member
Guest

Sean, I was wondering about the same thing as Chris regarding size. I have noticed Ginger (on camera, at times) seeming bigger than HB. The mane can be deceptive. I would LOVE to see the Majingilane and the Matimba in the same pic or video, side-by-side; however, as you seem to suggest there probably won’t be much difference in size between them. They are all dominant males with great genes.

verney
Member
Guest

hairy belly has such a resemblance to the now late Makhulu of the infamous Mapogos, gasped in shock for a few seconds before the caption set me right. Both truly iconic male lions!

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