About the Author

James Tyrrell

Photographic Guide/Media Team

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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23 Comments

on The Lions That Act Like Leopards

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

Does the Ntsevu pride hold territory over the whole southren section? Is it possible that there is a space south of the Sand river where the Tsalalas can be safe?

Joan Schmiidt
Master Tracker

James, I loved all the photos, I especially liked the Lion Tasala🤗

Kara Taylor
Digital Tracker

I’m really rooting for her and her cub, it’s been quite while since there has been any news on them – I seem to root for the underdog!!

Francesca Doria
Senior Digital Ranger

Tsalala mum reminds me of Lady Liuwa of Liuwa Plain National Park in Zambia. In opposition to Tsalala she was the sole lion existing but just like her she had managed to survive on her own perfectly, although she clearly felt lonely as she looked to humans for companionship. I wish those very successful lionesses to live long and pass their strong genes onto their offspring. Hope you will keep us updated with them

Cheung Yc
Digital Ranger

Finger crossed for Tsalala lioness and her cub!

Darlene Knott
Digital Tracker

It is indeed a scary time for this lioness and her cub! Wishing them safety from the incredible number of possible threats. Keep us posted.

I look forward to hearing about the Tsalala duo with each blog that is posted. If somehow they are able to survive and thrive thru the next 3 months it will redeem for me the whole of this hideous year. Greg Pingo and Equaliser provided me with a heartwarming sighting of the Mama on my last visit, one which I will never forget. Cheers!

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Ever since the Tsalala female became the single member of her once formidable pride, she’s garnered an audience rooting for her survival and success. Now to have successfully raised a cub to sub adulthood is an amazing feat and I have fingers crossed that this summer’s plethora of water and game will not ultimately lead to their demise due to the influx of other large prides. Time will tell!

Ian Hall
Master Tracker

Fingers still crossed for them , could they move into the plains and away from the larger prides?

Wendy Macnicol
Digital Tracker

I have a huge admiration for the Tsalala lioness and her daughter! They have been so quietly independent for so long, they deserve to live out their lives. Do hope this happens – or somehow will be accepted by one of the other prides (hopefully?) Thanks for the story, James!. WendyM

Michael Fleetwood
Senior Digital Ranger

James, positively and optimistically assuming that the sub-adult female makes it to two years and beyond, how do you foresee the two females’ future playing out over the coming year and a half or so? Obviously it is tough to guess anything in the bush, but with the two Birmingham Males getting older, the Ntsevu females (older) reproducing again, the sub-adult females and males possibly going to split, the Nkuhumas and their growing sub-adults moving south and two of the three Northern Avocas pushing into Londolozi, there are just so many moving parts I only hope that when the time comes for her to reproduce again, the Tsalala Lioness mates with the Birminghams, Avocas, and even the Othawa Male if he is around. To give some perspective of the Avocas’ arrival in the northern Sabi Sands, the last set of Nkuhuma sub-adults (the four younger females of the pride) were about five-months past their second birthdays when the Avocas began to be seen with the Pride regularly.

Suzanne Gibson
Guest contributor

hi James, I’ve been reading my diary from our trip exactly 3 years ago, and noted we saw the Tsalala pride, then consisting of the adult female plus 4 juveniles (which I’d seen as cubs the previous year). Would all of those juveniles have been males and therefore dispersed soon afterwards?

Christa Blessing
Senior Digital Ranger

I love these two lionesses and hope that they may have a future at Londolozi.

Mama Lioness
Digital Ranger

it’s always wonderful to see the Tsalala Pride. They each have their own adorable facial/features and energy that bring about a special smile to my day.
Thanks for sharing your insight and pictures of this “super trooper family.”

Trish Monck
Master Tracker

James, if any other lions get near the dear Tsalalas, will you please shoo them away quickly? lol Her ancestors have given her much natural wisdom and talent. I hope they will always be safe and have long lives to get that bloodline multiplying safely and strongly. My two most favorite lions in the world, I have to see them someday, hopefully soon.

Cally Staniland
Senior Digital Ranger

Gosh James what a daunting thought for the pair with 20 enemies closing in on them. I can’t get that video out of my head of the Ntsevu pride attacking the Tsalala female..the thought of another violent confrontation sends chills down my spine. 😳🙏

Michael and Terri Klauber
Guest contributor

James, With three prides in the vicinity, Tsalala must hear them and must be intently staying off the radar. We are hoping they make it through and that the mother is able to produce more cubs at some point to continue her lineage!

Mj Bradley
Senior Digital Ranger

The two Tsalala Ladies are doing well, I think in time when young Tsalala is big enough to hunt well and breed, they will find somewhere to call their own. I have admired this pride for many years and hope they can continue and return in full glory. Thank you for the updates

Liam Donnelly
Explorer

Thanks for update, always good to hear from them. Seeing her with all 3 cubs was one of the best sights of my life! It’s very interesting that where there were once 3 mighty prides in the Sabi Sands when I first started visiting, there are now 3 single lionesses with just one cub each fighting for survival. The Sparta pride and Ximhungwe prides, along with the Tsalala pride (who at least have 2 new prides as a mark of their success).

I am not a ‘lion person’ but I love the Tsalalas. I WANT to see them make it.

Pauli Bakker
Digital Ranger

Hi James… I’m a passionate admirer of the gorgeous Tsalala Queen and now her sub adult princess….they’ve both defied the odds for so long …brave clever and resilient but when you explain the locations of these imposing prides , it really is of great concern….. particularly as summer approaches…as you say, more movement by the prides…so where can they go?…….just hope that they manage to hold onto their secrecy for a long long time….does the Birmingham male ever seek her out these days?….thanks so much for this update James…always wonderful to hear anything about them….

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Pauli we haven’t seen that particular Birmingham male with her for a long time. That’s not to say they haven’t ever been together, we just haven’t seen it…

Paul Canales
Digital Tracker

Si interesting, and wishing the best for the Tsalala pride!

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