About the Author

Jess Shillaw


Jess was born in Kwazulu/Natal but grew up in Cape Town. Having an innate love for all things wild but getting to spend little time in the bush while growing up, she headed straight for the Lowveld after school. She completed a guiding ...

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on Tsalala Lioness Kills Kudu: Through the Eyes of Trainee Rangers

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Francesca Doria
Master Tracker

Tsalala lionesses are a go to us all I think. We are getting through a hard time but really no comparison to the difficulties of a single mum with her daughter that are meant to be social and cooperative in a large pride… way to go girls!

Chelsea Allard
Master Tracker

The Tsalala female never senses to amaze me. Interesting about the intestines. I always assumed they left those for the scavengers.

Gillian Evans

OMG that is an amazing story! I love the resilience of the Tsalala female.. we are all rooting for her and her one remaining cub. What a fantastic kill for you to witness. So wish we were there at Londolozi but keeping fingers crossed for 2021!! These blogs and instagram stories help so much for us to stay connected with what is happening! Thank you so much!

Cheung Yc
Digital Ranger

Tsalala is one of the best hunter and mom, surrounded by large rival prides, raising her young by herself…Go through this dry season, then Tsalala and her princess will be safe! Stay strong!

Laura Eberly
Digital Ranger

Amazing! This is a story we can all get hope and strength from, Great Job Tsalala Lioness! Great Job!

Camille Koertner
Senior Digital Ranger

Thanks for the education on a Lioness’ choicest morsels! Definitely impressed with the Tsalala pair. Also your reporting…I felt like I was right there observing!!

Vin Beni
Guest contributor

Incredible display of strength by Tsalala Female.

Kara Taylor
Master Tracker

Wow, amazing that she was able to bring down such a large animal single handily! The Tsalala lioness never ceases to amaze me and I root for her and her daughter!

Joan Schmiidt
Master Tracker

Jess, I loved all the stories, especially like the kudo bull like the lions🤗

Iren Juppa
Digital Ranger

Grandma’s and mother’s genes do not deny. I just hope that both lionesses survive and give birth to more offspring. ♥

Roger Giraldeau

She is a survivor. Hope to see her in September 2021….pregnant maybe. I assume that he daughter will have become a full adult. As we can see, they hunt very well together. And the daughter has the best mentor.

Christa Blessing
Master Tracker

What an amazing lioness! I can totally understand your feelings towards her, Kirst, because I feel exactly the same though I haven’t even met this lioness personally yet. Last year when I was at Londolozi she had just had the cub and was still hiding away. I do hope that I will see her and the half grown daughter soon. It is really admirable how she fends for herself and the cub completely on her own.

Lisa Antell
Master Tracker

We are all rooting for this lioness and her cub, being the underdogs! But I agree that her life resembles that of a leopard, and it pays tribute to how crafty and wise and resilient that these cats can be to survive!

Susan Strauss
Digital Tracker

Wonder Woman strikes again! She is my hero. ❤️❤️❤️

Cally Staniland
Master Tracker

Loved all the trainee rangers take on the morning…. and what a morning! My respect for the Tsalala mother and her cub continues to grow..what a Mum 💗🙏🏻 By the way, what does her name mean ?


My heart stopped when I saw the headline: “Tsalala lioness”, “kill”. No No No!!!! I screamed inside, fearing the worst. Fortunately, I hadn’t yet grasped the sense of the one-liner. I’m so happy that this is in fact a tale of resilience, love and great strength – rather than that other thing beginning with ‘O’. I dare not write it. As they are my favourite pride, it gives me great joy to read that the Tsalala lioness and her offspring ‘cub’ are doing so well. I, too, hold great admiration for this lioness and believe that one can learn from the qualities that she exudes. She reminds me of Manyari, the lioness featured in the documentary, Lioness in Exile. I can only hope Manyari’s spirit is with the Tsalala lioness.
I will keep praying for the pride’s survival and future growth.
Great article! You happened to mention two of my favourite lions (the Tsalala lioness (with cub) and the [young] Birmingham male).


I’ve just learnt a bit more about the Tsalala lioness’ genealogy – she comes from a very strong line of lionesses. This goes some way towards understanding her incredible strength, intelligence and determination. I’m sure the spirit of her ancestors are with her. What an amazing pride. I am in awe of what was, what is, and what is hopefully yet to come.

Mary Williams
Digital Ranger

I felt like I was there from the descriptive stories from each! Kirst you have a way with words for sure!

Paul Canales
Master Tracker

I really love this post, given all the challenges the Tsalala female and her daughter have and will continue to face going forward. I’m rooting for them, and it is heartening to see all the ways this crafty female lives to see another day, and I dare say, thrive. For now, of course but wishing them all the best!

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

What a fantastic sighting for the 3 rangers in training- Tsalala and her daughter on a Kudu kill and a male at that. It’s interesting how each approached the consumption of the meal, one going for the stomach and the other the rump. Is it leopards that don’t eat the entrails?? I always cheer for Tsalala, the success story as a single mom, beating all the odds of surviving without a pride to support her!

Michael and Terri Klauber
Guest contributor

Thanks Jess! What an awesome sighting and we loved your story too! So glad that Tsalala and her sub-adult are still doing well.

Alex McMillan
Senior Digital Ranger

An amazing takedown. What are they going to do with all that food?!

Ian Hall
Master Tracker

Great viewing and very well written as well.

Best wishes in your training and congratulations for doing it at one of the best lodges in South Africa 🇿🇦

Karen Hart
Senior Digital Ranger

Well written exciting story. Thank you for all the wonderful information and the great photos. We are all anxiously hoping that the Tsalala female will persevere in raising her cub as she is so representative of the obstacles we are facing today in this stressful environment in which we all find ourselves.

Mary Beth Wheeler
Guest contributor

Great “word pictures” in this story, Jess! I felt I was there (if only!).

Darlene Knott
Master Tracker

Amazing takedown by this lioness! She is an iconic creature and a wonderful mother!

Dawn Phillips

Wow, I love all of the Londolozi blogs but the ones including/featuring the Tsalala lioness are my favourites! We saw her and her mother/aunt when we were there in 2017 and fell into fascination with the whole history and she does not fail to amaze me. I hold my breath every time I read, in anticipation of her success. She definitely holds a special place in my heart. Be well mama and daughter!


I have such respect for this amazing lioness. She has suffered unbelievable hardship but has shown she has the strength, courage, determination and inbuilt instinct to provide for and protect her cub. For a lone lioness to take down a Kudu of this size is a remarkable feat, truly awe inspiring. Thank you for posting Londolozi very much appreciated.

Nicole Bernhardt
Senior Digital Ranger

I’m playing catch-up today! This was a great blog thank you. I’ve only seen this lioness in the pictures and video Londolozi have shared with us but my admiration for her grows every time you post a new story.

Syy Siu

She’s a legend seriously! Thank you for all the updates! Her story is so inspiring…

Artur Gjoni

Great sighting of the Tsalalas and what a reading it was, amazing stuff, thank you

Tammy Hynes

This is a old story, the mother lioness is dead unfortunately. I’ve been waiting for info on the daughter thought this was finally it, only to be disappointed

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