About the Author

Pete Thorpe

Alumni Ranger

Pete was a Field Guide for Londolozi for 4 years, contributing to the blog as a fantastic writer as well as photographer. Right from his very first bush trip at the age of four, Pete was always enthralled by this environment. Having grown ...

View Pete's profile


on Are The Northern Avoca Male Lions Looking For More Territory?

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Othawa male in the last picture

Thanks Tino, we have adjusted the post.

It will be great to have another big pride at Londolozi. Will the Nkuhuma pride move further south?

That’s the question we’re hoping will become a reality!

Thanks. I have been following the Northern Avocados for a couple of years and I am very fond of them. They seem to be great fathers and the Nkuhuma pride have successfully (so far) have raised quite a lot of cubs under their stewardship. Blondie is one of the most beautiful lions I have ever seen.

I think that possibly the male lion in the last photo is actually the Otthawa male

Nope, its Blondie Avaca Male

*Northern Avoca Blondie

Thanks Gabriele, we have adjusted the post.

How in the world do you keep track of all these male lions that seem to come from everyone! it has to be exciting but a bit hard on you neck keeping up with them! Seriously in the 6 visits we have made to Londolozi (we hope not the last) we have not seen that many lions!! Thankyou Victoria

Hi Victoria,

Lions do move great distances, thus we may go for many days at a time between sightings. However, there are times when we have continuous viewing for days on end too! We keep track of their movements as best we can by communicating with the guides at all the lodges around us.

Both formidable coalitions, they’ve done so well with two great prides siring many cubs, i hope it stays as it is without confrontations and no lion gets killed, thanks for beautiful images and the update @Pete Thorpe and Londolozi team

Lion politics and dynamics are so interesting! I am super interested in a post about the various dynasties !

Very impressive, those Avoca males. I am looking forward to hearing more of the development of those interactions. Great pictures.

I’m slightly confused. A few days ago it was said that a single Birmingham male chased the Northern Avocas back where they came from and now this is saying the Northern Avocas are roaring within Birmingham territory which is South and East of camp as I’ve read before.

Hi Zaahid,
Both can be true. Lions can cover a lot of ground, and they have been roaring all over the place.
Best regards

Who is winning these mind games in your opinion?

Well, I had to do a bit of work this morning to find your blog as it didn’t automatically post to my email account – strange. Anyway, the encroachment of the Avoca males would make for very interesting dynamics within Londolozi’s territory and as you mentioned, it would be fantastic to have two prides to watch. I’m guessing the Ntsevu pride is going to have to break apart as so many of the cubs are sub adults, especially the young males. Exciting times ahead and I’m looking forward to following the stories.

Hi Denise,

Apologies for the mishap with the blog email, we had a technical glitch on our side that has now been resolved. You will continue to receive daily email notifications as normal again.

With the Ntsevu pride being so large, there is a good chance of a pride split sometime in the near future. The same thing happening with the Mhangeni Pride back in 2018 when the litter of 12 was pushed away from the pride of four females. Let’s see what happens…

Lion dynamics constantly shifting and changing. Very fascinating.

Digital Ranger

we found one alone on the southern bank of the Sand River. He called several times, before walking right across the breadth of the reserve in response to two lions calling in the far north east of the area. We eventually left him walking and scent marking as he headed straight towards Mala Mala to the east. This is a bold move, as he traversed right through areas in which we would normally expect to see the Ntsevu Pride and Birmingham males. Is this the third Avoca male that patrols on his own from the other two Avoca males?

Hi Tim,

There’s a goo chance it has, however we have seen the two brothers south of the Sand River before too.

good* chance

Senior Digital Ranger

nature has evolved lion dominance or hostile Territorial hijack stories as its way of gene replenishment method.Female role of being catalyst is unsung.Lioness promiscuity in countering siblicide is fundamental in understanding lion male behaviur.Age & Expirience are pivotal ,not ignoring strength in numbers (coalition). physical condition mirrors testosterone quality

Sean, Your header image of the male lion is stellar and we added it to our favorites! Where does the name Avoca come from? We love keeping up with the lion drama – keep it coming!

I’ve passed on the compliment to Sean for you!

The name ‘Avoca’ most likely comes from the original property name from somewhere north of Londolozi where the Lions originate. This is the case with the Birmingham males, Sparta Pride and Othawa Prides to name a few.

Their natal pride is also called the Avoca Pride, and their fathers were also called the Avoca Males as well. But there is a property in the Timbavati called Avoca

Wonderful writing Pete! … I got a definite feeling of unease thinking about the cubs and the potential danger they are in… You certainly get to experience ‘Nature raw in tooth and claw’…. something which we City folk( a wild generalisation and apologies for any folk who are not ) do not experience often…We no longer fear the roars in the night ( except from kids demanding drinks or a particular car or dinosaur toy 🦕 😆)… or keeping watch that the fires 🔥 are kept fed and bright ,to ward off danger of the ever watchful gleaming yellow eyes at the edge of the shadows…Our often sanitised worlds forget that battles ,for territories and dominance are being played out in the Bush in deadly ways…This Potential leadership takeover will be incredible to watch , and I am sure tragedy may follow too…. I am interested in how you, as a Rangers who see life and death up close , cope with the loss of animals you have come to know …I look forward to your next story!

Hi Maxine,

Yes, we are very lucky to be living in close proximity to these wild animals and witnessing their stories playing out. As much as we try to remain neutral, it’s inevitable that we feel a sense of loss from time to time out here as animals come and go. I suppose it’s part of what keeps us enthralled out here!

Will definitely be interesting to see what plays out over the coming months of 2020 and into 2021. I too think there is a strong likelihood the Nkuhumas will move with the Avocas, but I also hope that they don’t so as to allow the Tsalala Lioness and her daughter to continue to thrive. At this point I think it is safe to assess that the Blond-Maned and Orange-Eyed Avocas are operating on a different agenda then the Dark-Maned Male is in the north. I have never heard of a coalition operating in such a way before.


Senior Digital Ranger

Confrontation is never nice but sometimes inevitable. As long as abundant prey is available no real showdown is expected.

Connect with Londolozi

Follow Us

One moment...
Be the first to this photo
You and 1 others this photo

Filed under
10 April, 2798
Add Profile