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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 Lion Update: An Evening with the Ntsevu Pride

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Interesting that the Birminghams might not reign as long as the Magingilane. How old are they? Do they still go to the north of the Sands? Will it be like the Matimbas that came and went?

Senior Digital Ranger

The Birminghams are 7 & 8 yrs old and they just went north last week and chased off the 3 Avoca Males..

Interesting observations James. I’m wondering if the difference between the Majingilane and Birmingham coalition is that the former had more focus within their territory early on and the new guys on the block are trying to figure it all out. The months ahead should prove to be interesting and hopefully there will be several new cubs to bring us all new stories.

Hi Denise,
It’s an interesting one, as the Birmingham males have been around for a few years already, but are relative newcomers to Londolozi.
The Majingilane came in very quickly, so were off to a bit more of a flying start, so to speak.
We’re all hoping for a whole host of cubs too!!!

I am excited to hear the Birmingham males have seemed to settle down south now. Hopefully some cubs will soon follow. Thank you for sharing. I love the cover video. Always so dramatic at night

Hi Irene.
Agreed. The spotlight just brings such focus onto the action, with zero distractions!
When are you back for a visit?

Hello James,
I will back on the 23rd of August and will be staying at Varty camps for 7 nights with my friend Monica. It will be her first stay at Londolozi but second safari. I know she is in for a treat. I hope you will be there during my stay and hope to see you then. Irene

I had the same thought, James, as to why you feel the Birminghams possibly may not reign as long as their outstanding predecessor, the Magingilane? They seem well organized, well fed and well “serviced.” So? By the way your storytelling was wonderful and tied in well with the images.

Hi Joanne,

Thanks for the kind words.
There’s nothing to suggest they can’t be around as long as the Majingilane, it just seems unlikely, as the Majingilane had such an incredibly long run. It’s just as much a case of circumstance and timing with regards to the tenures of other coalitions as it is with the health or strength of the coalition itself…

Senior Digital Ranger

They probably won’t be in Londolozi for as long as the Maginjilane, they showed up around the North in 2015 and the Matimbas wisely decided to move south. They could be a dominant coalition for 8 yrs.. but that means they have to be smart as well as strong.

Informative as usual, James. I was wondering if you could create a lion family tree for us? That’ll help those of us with weaker memories to keep track of ancestors and descendants, and of course put th lion blogs a bit more in context. Thanks and enjoy your weekend.

Hi Malavika,
We are actually working on one as it happens. It gets complicated fairly quickly but we’ll see what we can do.
Unfortunately a simple family tree doesn’t convey even a tenth of the drama involved, but it is a useful resource.

James, How awesome to have so many lions in the neighborhood! The nights and mornings must be awesome with all the sounds!

Hi Michael,

It has been a particularly vocal couple of weeks! Things are getting interesting…

Very interesting to follow the establishment of these males, wonder what comes next.

Female lion groups will often split into groups depending on family ties or allegiances in times of hardship to improve their chances of survival, though it’s more the norm in harsher climates like the Namib and the Kalahari. How regulrly does it happen in the Lowveld?

Callum as you say it must be largely circumstantial.
Size of pride will also play a large role I imagine, with bigger prides often struggling to provide enough food for all mouths. Unless they’re regularly taking down big prey species.
A long-term study would be far more revealing than a simple few years of observation, so unfortunately I can’t say for sure how frequently it happens down here..

That makes sense. Unless a large pride takes down buffalo or giraffe regularly then I guess it is unlikely they will all be together regularly. Would the Ntsevu Pride be an example of that?

Senior Digital Ranger

Always a pleasure to get the latest lion goings ons James. After a year of anticipation, we leave for South Africa next Friday and while the following week will be spent in the Okavango Delta, we’ll be in Londolozi the week after that. Who knows, maybe our paths will cross. Either way, extremely excited and looking forward to time at one of the most amazing wildlife experiences one can have on the planet

Hi Phil,

Things are certainly getting interesting, with the Mhangeni females coming back East, and the Matimbas returning, seemingly from the dead!
Looking forward to having you here! Come pop in to the Creative Hub – I should be around.

Best regards

Thanks James what news on the other males are the Avocas still around and think I heard the Matimbas came back all but briefly

Hi Mike,
As far as I know the Avocas have been spending time in Sabi Sabi and southern MM. Apparently there are three new Avoca males that have entered the reserve to the north. From the same pride but younger than the pair to the south, so they left a little later…

Great story of events. Lions have always amazed me and I hope that these young males do well and thrive as they have a nice pride of females to help that along. I assume they are younger and not as organized on getting the priorities straight. Time will tell, as we watch the pride grow and our Birminghams become the Kings.

Thanks for this information on the birmingham males

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