About the Author

Kirst Joscelyne


At less than a year old, Kirst went to her family’s hut in the Greater Kruger National Park, and has been fortunate enough to continue to go there ever since. Sharing a passion for the bush with her family, led to countless trips ...

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on The Tsalala Pride – Back to Where it all Began…

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Kirst, I loved lions🤗

Me too Joan! Thanks so much

Digital Ranger

Thank you for the update! I am cheering for these brave ladies!

Thanks Linda! Definitely an exciting time and one we hope continues

Love this story. Thank you.

Thanks Dawn! Glad you enjoyed it!

Beautifully written and so interesting… it’s great to see how successful animals can be thanks to their plastic behaviour and strong genes. I wish them a bright future and many generations to come around Ximpalapala coppie (imposing luxury trees!)

Thanks Francesca! It is great to see the linage over time and be able to follow their story.


Suzanne I share your enthusiasm for this pride and too hope that in grows in the near future! Will keep you updated as their story continues

The Tsalala Pride do have a great story…which happily seems to be continuing. Lovely photos of the young lioness.

Thanks Marcia. It truly is a great story that we are fortunate enough to follow.

Senior Digital Ranger

This made my week to hear about this truly magnificent lioness with all she has been through and that finally, one of her Cubs has and will hopefully coni true to survive. We are all routing for her. Thank you for sharing this wonderful news!

Thanks Johanna ! Let’s hope this pride continues to grow!

It’s so wonderful that these two lionesses have been successful so far. I somehow admire the Tsalala lioness: it needed an awful lot of determination and dedication to her cub to rear the young one on her own. A great lioness of a great lineage! I do hope she and her daughter will be successful in the coming years.

Christa I couldn’t agree more! So happy you were able to see them on your stay here! Always is great to see them and watch how their story unfolds.

Kirst, thanks for the update on the Tsalala females! We too are very excited that they are making it in this unique situation! We also had forgotten how special Ximpalapala is to their history. It is one of our special places and and we are looking forward to our next hike up the Koppie! We also remember a time when we could not go up there, because there were cubs denning, and as we got closer we were able to see two tiny heads with their ears against the backdrop of a beautiful sunset at the very top. Amazing!

Michael and Terri what amazing memories! I must say it is really special seeing them back to where this pride all began all those years ago! Who knows hopefully in months to come history could repeat itself (well we can hope of course)

Hope to spot the two during our visit in July!

Vin we look forward to welcoming you in July and will definitely have to see if they are still on the reserve.

Hi Kirst, absolutely loved this update and was wondering if you all have seen any signs of the older Tsalala lioness mating with the Avocas recently or that she may be coming back into estrus? Would you say their biggest worry is other females now?

Hi Michael,
We haven’t seen her mating with the Northern Avocas on Londolozi but I do know that she was reported mating with the one Avoca male around February this year on Mala Mala. With her cub now approaching 2 years of age it is the expected time for her to fall back into oestrus as her ‘parental’ responsibilities for her daughter decrease as she becomes independent. I suppose though only time will tell…

My goodness but there are a lot of different lion prides on Londolozi, all are defending their territory as best they can. Hopefully there won’t be a powerplay and we hope they don’t fight with each other to take over each other’s territory. That will be catastrophic. The younger Tsalala female is beautiful and one of these days she will be as big as her mom.

Valmai the younger female really is and definitely has those hazelnut eyes of her mother. The lion dynamics are something that is ever changing and in the next few months is certainly something to keep an eye on with male coalitions getting older and younger males moving in and around this territory. Furthermore, as previous litters of various prides (Mungheni and Nstevu) reaching age of independence.. your guess is as good as mine!

Wonderful blog Kirst! What a very strong character these Tsalala females have! All of them have it! We hold thumbs for these two that their little pride becomes a large, well known Tsalala Pride once more! Beautiful lionesses actually! Very impressive. Wendy M

Thanks Wendy, I must say I do hope in a few years to come this pride would be numbered more than 5! I suppose until then we just have to wait and see

I’m so happy to see both alive and well. Can’t help but to keep rooting for them.

Indeed I think we all are secretly rooting for them too!

Senior Digital Ranger

Don’t ask me WHY, but seeing the “Mama Tsalala female” always makes me happy! I say to myself,..”There’s my girl!” (She is so extraordinary and special!), .. and when looking at her daughter, she’s not one for which you can say “She’s a little Rough, Tough Muff!” – Although her eyes give way to a definite female lioness, I look at those golden eyebrows, .. and Oh Boy! I sense that she’s quiet,” yet she has an inner ferocious streak that’s been nurtured to uphold her survival skills!
Together, they are a dynamic and inspiring duo that furthers that “All things are possible through perseverance.”
Thank you for this update Kirst! It fills my heart with joy, pride and Hope for these two, for all that they have contributed for what it means to be survivors.

I must say I get a bit of that feeling too! Incredible to see them especially with the daughter being almost fully grown!

Kirst, lovely to have a little history on the two Tsalala lionesses. I have to say, though I have not had the pleasure of seeing them in person yet, they are definitely my favorites. They certainly had a rough time last year and I have worried for their welfare every since. Wouldn’t it be just so super if they did mate with the Avoca Males and take up residence again in the Ximpalapala Koppie 👌🏻🙏🏻💗

That would be great indeed! Hopefully on your next visit they will be somewhere close by !

And didn’t this Tsalala mom den this cub at Ximpalapala Koppie?

Yes Mary! They were denned just next to the koppie itself! Amazing to see them back in this area and almost surreal to go back and look at the cubs being so small and now seeing her years later.

It is SO wonderful to see how well they are doing! What an accomplishment for the mama, and her daughter will be a strong sleek gorgeous reinforcement while hunting.

That is the hope as her daughter gets older and soon too at the age to have cubs herself!

Senior Digital Ranger

It always warms my heart to hear good news about this pride. I truly admire them. They demonstrate the best qualities by which we could live. I pray that they can establish a territory and grow their pride. God bless Tsalalas.

Thanks Lisa! I also do enjoy the story of the Tsalala Pride.

Thank you sooo much for posting this update about my girls Lady Tsalala and her little princess. I have been worried about them as I couldn’t find any updates on their welfare. I have followed the Tsalala/Marthly pride since I started following the Sparta pride. The Tsalala’s are my favorite pride. I am hoping and praying that this pride thrives in the future. I recently also was hoping to hear good news the Sparta pride, since it was just the one lioness and her daughter also. I got bad news on the mother and heard the daughter was still alive but in bad shape, this was two months ago and I fear both are dead now. I also follow my handsome boy Nguvu, the King of Singetta and his beautiful queens with little Tina. Once again, Thank you sooo much for this long awaited update! Please post more stories of them when you all get a chance and any updates, thank you for all the work you guys do on behalf of all animal conservation and in the preservation of lions and big cats.🦁🦁🦁🦁❤️

I guess I’m nostalgic as well because I got goosebumps when you mentioned they are in the same place as their ancestors. I love these 2 and so hoping they continue to build their pride 🥰❤

Kirst, how fortuitous your blog came out today, as I was in the middle of editing my photos from our morning with the Tsalalas. I must admit that having followed the saga of the Tsalala pride, it was such a thrill to spend part of my morning just watching this mother/daughter duo, watching the hyenas nearby, finally heading off into deeper grass for a rest not far from the Ximpalapala koppie. Both are beautiful lionesses, but the mom has that intensity behind her golden, somewhat woeful eyes. Photos will be ready soon!

Thank you for featuring my very favorite lioness and her cub( who I’ve seen since Shaw’s only 3 months old). I love these 2 so much and am rooting for them every day!

Great stuff, so beautifully written, great to hear the mother and daughter doing well, Tsalala lioness is a formidable hunter and a devoting mother, so glad she made it on her own to raise her cub. So far so good for them. Thanks

Senior Digital Ranger

It is wonderful to know they are still doing well. The young female is a beauty and I wish them both the best in their future. Thank You for Sharing

Lionesses never fail to amaze me.
The once huge Castleton pride has now been reduced to an amazing 7 year old Mother and her 2 year old daughter. Just as BB once did… princess Tsalala is saving the Tsalala legacy.

Thank you Kirst

Wishing the Tsalala Pride all the very best!! Do keep us updated Kirst!!

Great write up.
Who was the father/s of the original Tailless born in 1998? West street males?

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