Rarely has there been a more consistent time to view lion cubs on Londolozi.
For a few weeks now, the latest cubs of the Tsalala pride have been denned in a beautiful section of the Manyelethi riverbed, just over a kilometre north of the Londolozi camps. The two adults in attendance – the older tailed female and her daughter from 2011 – have been spending a considerable amount of time with the litter, which means that most times when the den is visited, the cubs will usually be outside either nursing from their mother or playing in the sand.
The Tsalala pride are well renowned for hunting in the daytime, and a pattern we’ve been noticing over the last few weeks is them leaving the den in the late morning only to be back there by evening with full bellies. I’m sure the extra cover provided by late vegetation growth has aided them considerably in their hunts.
The Matimba males have been seen with the lionesses near the den on a couple of occasions, but over the last couple of weeks have been seen in the southern parts of the property far more frequently. As of this morning they have just finished a buffalo kill and have started to make their way back north. It is a hot day today and they probably won’t move again until this evening, especially having full bellies.
Although the roars of the Birmingham males are regularly heard to the NE of Londolozi, they have yet to make a serious incursion onto our land. Possibly they have enough territory to satisfy their immediate needs, but being five young males just entering their prime, they certainly represent a significant future threat to the Matimba coalition’s current occupation on central Londolozi, and their offspring.
For now the cubs remain in their little enclave of the Manyelethi. The den is pretty secure against large predators, providing a number of small cracks and crevices into which the cubs can scurry should danger threaten.
We hope for more amazing viewing over the next few months.