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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 Tribute to the Majingilane

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A fitting tribute. It was one of those life experiences that we will always remember, having viewed the Majingilane several times at Londolozi. We were privileged.

Master Tracker

Wonderful photos, I guess my favourite is Jacqui Maris side lit lion

James Tyrrell – I always read and especially love your posts. Thanks you so much for the visual history of the incredible Majingilane era. I can only imagine the empty hole they leave by departing this earth; a space to surely be filled by other lions as they continually endeavor to establish and keep their territories. But your tribute here confirms my sense that these four were a special entity, rather in a league of their own, and as you say, a prime example of the absolute beauty of the best of the wild. To see them live out their whole life from young to prime to fading away was truly a privilege that I know you will always treasure. Thanks for sharing.

I have no words to add. You’ve said it all with compassion and objectivity. Bravo!!

Beautiful tribute James, gorgeous film Rich, and as always, so appreciate your blog. Having spent time in the bush with this coalition, heard their roars, heard your stories of their lives, your tribute has left me feeling both heart broken and heart warmed, but mostly feeling so blessed and grateful to have known these beautiful creatures…..

Digital Ranger

Therefore, their roars rejoined the sound of thunders and lightning…

Hi Ann,
A nice way to put it…

On our very first visit to Londolozi we were out with Jess and Jeff and came across the 4 lions having a group map. As we sat and watched them, one woke up and came over to the left side of the car sat down and looked for what seemed a very long time at me husband who was sitting there. After a few minutes he decided we weren’t so interesting and went back à fell asleep one one of his brothers. We got an instant idea of the majesty and strength of thes wonderful animals. It is sad that they are no longer with us. Victoria

A fitting tribute to the kings of Londolozi!

How very interesting! Loved the photos and the movies. Sad to see this beautiful pride gone, but it is the way nature works for all of us. Their existence is just a lot more brutal than most of ours. Thanks for sharing, James.

Very moving tribute James ! We share your sadness. The Majingilane coalition has been among the Londolozi heroes who will be remembered of by many of your guests and staff members. Many thanks. J & Y

Thx James. It was an honor boys! Love u, Miss u ? GM thanks for coming back east to see me during our visit to Londolozi. ❤️

Wonderful tribute, James. I’ll always remember Milton tracking three of them resting together during our visit in 2013. We were then treated to the fourth coming through the bush in the distance and then, when he reached them, nuzzling each one before lying down himself. In 2017, we were lucky to see two of them together, our last glimpse. Wonderful memories.

Senior Digital Ranger

Thanks for sharing this beautiful tribute to these powerful and magnificient brothers.

Senior Digital Ranger

Thank you for this wonderful tribute! It will feel awkward not seeing them around anymore after all these years.

Hi Alessandra,
I know the feeling…!

Senior Digital Ranger

Wow wow wow Richard Laburn your video is so amazing & humbling if that is the right word, as we realise how small & insignificant we are if we had to face that on a daily basis! I always loved the blogs of the Majingi’s! I would like to ask James T a question, have new lions ever been introduced into KNP/Sabi Sands area & where did the lions in these coalitions come from? I hope that is not a stupid question, but I am curious as new lions have been introduced into Addo & some from there swopped out!

Hi Wendy,
Not a stupid question at all.
To be honest I can’t say for sure, although I doubt it; the Kruger park and surrounding reserves is big enough for a healthy gene pool, and the lack of fences means their is enough dispersal. It’s certainly possible that Kruger lions have been translocated OUT of the park, but bringing new lions IN seems unnecessary to me..

We were lucky enough to see three of them in Sept 2017 with Alistair and Robbie. What an amazing sight that will never be forgotten. Hard to believe that they are gone. What a legacy.

This was a very moving post. I remember reading about the scar nosed majingilane lion but I didn’t know he passed on. The pictures shows a truly amazing bond between the 4 lions. Wish I knew them sooner.

Exceptional tribute, James. What a legacy to South Africa! Wonderful array of images spanning time. I especially enjoyed the video…. masterful power! Sad they are gone.

A great post and a wonderful video. One of my favorite sightings of all my visits to Londolozi was of three of the Majingilane brothers sitting at the airstrip surveying their kingdom. An image I won’t soon forget.

Hi Jeff; it’s such a nice view from up there, I remember how one used to get such a great sense of them surveying their kingdom, as it were…

Mesmerizing video! Roaring lions call me back to Londolozi.

Hi Judy,
hurry back!

Knew it would come JT 😉

A special tribute. The spirit of the legendary Majingelane will roam the Sabi Sands forever.

PS – Thanks so much for the pic bru, I hope you like Japanese whisky

Haha to be a true Majingi fan you need to at least spell their name correctly!

What a fabulous look back. What is the average age for these lions? This made me feel like I was ready for a game drive before I finished the piece. Thank you

Hi Andrew,

For a male in the wild, 14 years is considered a good innings.
Without knowing exactly where the Majingilane came from (although there are certain indications that they were born into a pride somewhere near the Orpen area of the Kruger Park), all we can do is estimate age based on size, mane growth and behaviour, so we estimated them to be around 13/14 years old when they died.
Best regards

Wonderful tribute James and great video Rich! While there in Sept. 2013, I was so privileged to have spent time watching the mighty Majingilane patrolling Londolozi. They were majestic and beautiful and I was awe struck watching them walk past our Land Rover, and knew that it was a moment I would never forget. I was heartbroken to hear of their passing. The Majingilane were a coalition like no other and they will not be forgotten. Thank you for sharing all your beautiful images of these extraordinary boys with us James, and your image of the 4 of them together below Varty camp has always been my favourite. Beautiful, strong, majestic Majingilane.

What a touching piece, James. I love the photos too – esp the one of the dark maned lion in the mist, the missing canine and dark mane, and Mike Sutherland’s black and white. Beautiful. Just beautiful. Let’s see how the Birminghams fare and if they will they evoke as strong an emotion as the Majingilanes. On a separate note, I was last on the blog a few weeks ago and I see that a few really good changes have been incorporated. It’s so much easier to view photos on the phone now without having to constantly enlarge and reduce them. Regards.

Senior Digital Ranger

Thank you for this well deserved and well written tribute to the Maginilane Coalition. I remember seeing them on safari drives and loved following them on the Londolozi Blog. In one of your statements above you say that Scar Nose & Hip Scar were 1 & 2 and they also were the last to die. I thought it was Black Mane & Scar Nose, with Black Mane being the last who disappeared. Now we look forward to a new era of the Birminghams. I hope they are as wild and wonderful as all those who came before. Thank you for you word regarding how some treat lion coalitions like sports characters, I think I will share that.

So what coalition replaced the majingilane lions?

Frank in the west it is the Matimba males and in the wast the Birmingham coalition.

Really miss these guys. Thanks for sharing. The memories will live on forever.

Lovely post. Do you know what killed them? I hope the hyenas found them and got to eat that scourge of their existence.

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