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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26 Comments

on The Ntsevu Fracture

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Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

I have always thought of the Ntsevu as a super pride. I understand that the young males will leave the pride at some stage. Hopefully all the lionesses will get together with their new cubs and be a “super pride” again.

Karin Maclarty
Explorer

Agree with you James. Feeding that many lions will become more and more difficult for the pride. I must say though, seeing the entire pride altogether last week was a pretty awesome experience.

Francesca Doria
Senior Digital Ranger

Wonderful images of the royal family… the history of lions pride are better than any tv series on humans very intriguing and you never know what the single individual will do… just guess the next move

Joan Schmiidt
Master Tracker

James, I loved all the photos, I kept the mating, I also kept Lioness with male🤗

Ian Hall
Master Tracker

You wonder whether there will be more than one pride -reforming and where does the Tsalala fit in?

If my memory is correct , I thought that you gave the Othawa male little chance owing to not being part of a coalition ?

Gillian Evans
Explorer

That is the most magnificent photo of a male lion at Londolozi that I have ever seen! Mane blowing in the wind! How wonderful to see!

Michael and Terri Klauber
Guest contributor

James, How awesome to see the lions perched on top of Plaque Rock. The resting shot is regal! It looks like the lion dynamics are potentially on the move again!

Great observation…and it applies to more worldly environments than just lions!! “A lot of lion behaviour is fairly confusing, and we have to make assumptions based on scant evidence”. Another interesting blog, James!

Andrew and Daniel Bolnick
Digital Tracker

James it seems to me that this is kind of a nice problem to have. #Londolozi. Seems like the prime spot

Andrew and Daniel Bolnick
Digital Tracker

James it seems to me that this is kind of a nice problem to have. Seems like the prime spot

Kara Taylor
Digital Tracker

The shot of the Othawa male and the Ntsevu Lioness on Plaque rock was AMAZING ! Is it me or is his mane absolutely gigantic ?

Doug Hammerich
Senior Digital Ranger

I wonder if any of the cubs are in danger due to a dominant pride male having doubts as to their parentage.

Christa Blessing
Senior Digital Ranger

Great photos!

Christa Blessing
Senior Digital Ranger

This lion really looks like the king of the animal kingdom

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Well it seems there are three major prides in the area now- Ntsevu, Mhagene and the Nkuhuma(sp?) with the Avoca, Birmingham and Othawa males. So many females and cubs, sub adults….. must be exhausting for all of you in that area of Sabi Sand to keep track of the movements but we’re looking forward to continued reports.

Pauli Bakker
Digital Ranger

Hi James…. Thanks for this extremely interesting and informative update re the Kambula/Ntsevu pride….things are certainly changing re their pride dynamics!…not to mention more pressure put on our gorgeousTsalala queen and her princess!…..also .if Prince Othawa is away mating here then he’s not protecting his own cubs , which could be a concern with nomads potentially coming in….so many aspects coming into play here….sounds like v unsettling times as was predicted a few months back….(apparently for leopard dynamics as well so I hear)…always look forward to your updates…thanks once again James….hoping our Tsalala pride keep vigilant and safe….. they are loved and their stories are followed by so many of us….

Paul Canales
Digital Tracker

Wow, this is a fascinating development. It will be interesting, and I’m guessing exciting to see how this all develops! Best of luck to them all as these developments unfold!!

My wallpaper has been updated, what a spectacular photo of the male from othawa and his partner. Is he mating with the ntsevu lioness at risk of confrontation with the males from birmingham?
Is the othawa male already at its peak? It reminds me of rasta mapogo and Hip scar manjigilane

Michael Fleetwood
Digital Tracker

James, thanks so much for the update! Very interesting dynamics for sure and how I wish I was there with you all (my hope is to somehow get from America as a young college student to become a guide some day) to document it. Do you anticipate the few lionesses with new cubs being seen more together to form a new creche of cubs with the other females eventually joining and thereby forcing the sub-adults to fend for themselves? Also, is the lioness in the last picture a different female than the mothers of the two older litters or one of the mothers of the three cubs or one cub previously documented here on the blog? Looking forward to future blog posts on the lion dynamics and keep up the great work!

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Michael;
I’ve actually been away for two weeks and have just got back so I’m unsure as to which lioness is the mother of which cubs I’m afraid. I have yet to see the new litters…
It’s a good question as to whether the new mothers will tend to spend more time together, as one of the whole reasons for coming into oestrus concurrently is so they can allo-suckle and give the cubs a higher chance of survival. I can’t actually say. Any time I make a call as to what will happen next the lions do something to surprise me, so I’m hesitant to g out on a limb here. I imagine that might be the case, but ultimately my guess would be that in 6 months to a year’s time, the 6 original lionesses will be back as one unit with much younger members, and the current sub-adults will have been pushed out…
That’s a guess purely on what we’ve seen with the Mhangeni pride and how the Ntsevu pride themselves formed…

Carly M
Explorer

Beautiful pics!!

Cally Staniland
Senior Digital Ranger

The Othawa lion looks simply magnificent with the wind catching his mane ! An incredible photo James!! So when they split and possibly regroup from time to time would there now not be aggression between them ? Particularly if there is a new family from the Othawa male…🙏❤️

James Tyrrell
Photographic Guide/Media Team

Hi Cally, it’s hard to say. I imagine the whole idea behind mating with different males is to confuse the paternity; the lioness will just need to mate with the Birmingham males within a short window.
We’ve seen aggression from the dominant males before when the Matimba males were chasing the Ntsevu females around because they (the lionesses) had been mating with the Matshipiri males: https://blog.londolozi.com/2017/01/09/matimba-males-chase-mhangeni-breakaways/

Cally Staniland
Senior Digital Ranger

Thanks James. I have read the blog of 2017/01/09 and then ended up going back to even older blogs where a cub was killed by his father and so on. Fascinating reading and as you say, so difficult to pinpoint reasons for the change in behaviour as it’s not seen to be a character trait. That’s the wonderful thing about nature..the unpredictability that keeps it ‘wild and free’. 🙏❤️

Kris Dirk
Senior Digital Ranger

Big families will eventually break up if the food source gets reduced. Great pics.

Lisa Antell
Senior Digital Ranger

So we do know that the youngest Ntsevu cubs are the Birmingham’s? Othawa is then a danger to those cubs….hopefully we will be able to see the entire pride together a little bit longer…..they are really stunning!

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