The Ntsevu pride are by far the most impressive that we see on Londolozi.
Currently 21-strong (6 lionesses and 15 cubs), and usually moving with one or more Birmingham males in tow, a 24-lion sighting is not out of the question.
They recently killed a sub-adult giraffe on an open crest near camp, and ranger John Mohaud took the following series of pictures as the lions headed down towards the Sand River to drink:
Standard formation for a big pride on the move is the cubs clustered in the middle or at the back, with one or more big males trailing slowly at a distance. The Birmingham males can just been seen in front of and to the right (in picture) of the vehicle in the distance.
Ranger Dean de la Rey and his guests had just enjoyed the incredible experience of having a massive male lion walk right past their vehicle. This Birmingham male is the one most often found with the pride, and he is also the one most often seen coming west to meet up with the Tsalala lioness.
It will invariably be a couple of the bigger females up front. As active as the cubs might be to get going, it will always be the adult lions that get the pride on the move.
It is truly something to behold, having so many lions on the move at once. A couple of the females have been seen limping quite badly though, so we are hoping this isn’t a sign of troubled times ahead…
Finally at the river, the pride lines up at the main channel to drink.
The pride eventually ended up lying on huge boulders in the middle of the Sand River, where with full bellies they remained until well into the evening:
These big boulders remain cool during the hot afternoons, and provide a comfortable and safe resting spot for lions.
The cubs continue to grow and we should soon be seeing the youngest litter of four being properly introduced to the pride. With so many mouths to feed, bigger and bigger meals are going to become necessary, so the next giraffe kill we find the Ntsevu pride on may very well be an adult.