Lion dynamics have been up in the air over the past couple of months and change is bound to happen soon. With the Birmingham Males reaching an age where they are starting to lose condition and the Northern Avoca Males starting to push further south, no one is entirely sure what is next for the lions of Londolozi.
Although these are the two dominant coalitions that we are seeing at Londolozi at the moment, there is another younger coalition that is catching everyone’s attention. The Plains Camps Males, who fearlessly move between the Avoca and Birmingham Males’ territories on a regular basis. Although they are making some waves in the lion dynamics here at Londolozi, I still believe that the presence of older, more dominant male lions around Londolozi will keep them at bay for the time being.
Estimated to be around 5 years old, the Plains Camp Males are still a year or so away from reaching their prime. It’s because of this that I do not believe the Plains Camp Males are moving through the area in pursuit of a hostile takeover. Rather, I believe it is the nomadic and opportunistic traits of a younger, not yet dominant coalition, that are searching for any opportunities that might present themselves. These may come in the form of a female in oestrus with no dominant males nearby, allowing them the chance to mate, or finding a male on his own that they could potentially overpower, or come across a vacant territory to claim.
The death of the Ottawa Male has left a vacant territory and a pride with no dominant male watching over them in the western parts of Londolozi. In my opinion, this would be the safest bet for the Plains Camp Males at this time. The only thing not working in their favour is that the Mhangeni Pride has relatively new cubs and will not just allow these males to come in and kill their cubs. Even though the Mhangeni Females are smaller than the Plains Camp Males, they will still be able to hold their own against them due to sheer strength in numbers.
Although moving west and trying to take control of the Mhangeni Pride seems to be the safer option, it doesn’t appear as though it is what these Plains Camp Males wish to do. They would rather move around within the heart of the Birmingham and Avoca Males’ territories. The appeal of these territories is that they are situated around the Sand River and holding these territories means that there is greater access to female lions. Still being nomadic lions but insisting to stick around could allow for a glimpse into what we will be seeing for years to come as we watch the Plains Camp Males start to hold their own territory in the heart of Londolozi.
The lion dynamics at Londolozi are changing and something will happen soon. Let’s just hope the Plains Camp Males are around to be a part of it.
Filed under Lions Photography Safari experience Wildlife
The situation with the various scenarios, regarding the male coalitions,is like a good novel. We can’t wait for the next episode,in their endeavors.
The competition between the lions is always fascinating.Let’s looking forward to the future story！
Sounds very interesting, love it!! Does anyone know where these Plains camp guys come from? Not related to the prides already around?
Patrick, What an exciting time! Three coalitions will keep things very interesting to follow and we will just have to see whether they are able to find their place and connect with a pride. It’s hard to predict and lion warfare is ever-changing! Thanks for the update!
Indeed…Interesting times ahead !! Thanks Patrick for keeping us up to date. 🙏❤️
The lions’ dynamics are really very interesting. The Plains Camp Males are indeed very good looking lions. Maybe they will be luckier than the Ottawa male who met his fate so prematurely.
I am looking forward to hearing more of these lions and all the other ones at Londolozi.
Glad that we were able to see both Birmingham males during last visit. Also got a first-time look at the Avoca males. My money’s on them!
Patrick this is going to be very interesting to see what materialize with these three different male lions. The plains campmales are such a stunning duo and I think they are just waiting for the right time to make their move. They are still young and maybe they are trying to get more experience and be more mature before taking their chance of a coalition.
I’ve heard this story for a long time that the BBoys will lose territory, that they will be subdued, it seems that someone is hoping for that to happen.
But the BBoys always come back stronger, it is evident that age is an important factor in the fall of lions, however these two males (BBoys), are bigger and more experienced than the coalitions that are around them, don’t try to take them away of the game early, as they have already shown what they are capable of. They are still in good physical shape.
The PC boys are beautiful lions but they still need to mature more.
Avocas are a real danger to BBoys, but BBoys are still strong and can stay in the game.
Like the spring grasses moving to and fro in the gentle breezes, so it seems the male lions are drifting in and out of the Birmingham’s territory, perhaps looking for an easy take-over or as you stated, seeking an available female for breeding purposes. Since the Ntsevu sub adult females are of the age to produce cubs, this could be an interesting combination. I guess my question would be, where could they set up a pride since both the Ntsevu and Nkuhuma prides occupy territory within Londolozi’s borders And the Mhagene seem to move east at times as well. So much to ponder, imagine and I can hardly wait for the next big event! C
I can’t believe yet that the Othawa male is no longer… at the same time the resilience of the Birmingham males keeps me un awe, almost like the Tsalala lionesses. Real masterworks of nature.
It does feel like a daytime high school drama of who’s dating who, who’s sleeping with who, who’s picking a fight with who, and who is going to be the next prom king. We all wait eagerly for the next episode.
Fascinating dynamics thanks Patrick for the update and super pictures.
Hi Patrick, thanks for the post! Not sure if you were aware, but the Plains Camp Males have been seen in the Western Sector with the Ximhungwe Lioness, and also recently were seen mating with one of the Nkuhuma Pride lionesses further north of Londolozi around Othawa/Robson’s property and Elephant Plains boundary. Certainly think they are ones to watch and the fact they are still around would indicate they have a chance to establish themselves do you think?
Saw these boys hiding in a dense thicket on Dulini on July 6th…….they were definitely not being very visible or obvious. Such is the life of a nomadic male lion coalition…….
An interesting blog Patrick. The lion dynamics are fascinating. Thanks for sharing with us – enjoyed it.
These young males look very impressive and appear to have a promising future as kings. I think that will depend on them staying together at all times. If one gets caught alone by another coalition it could prove disastrous. Let’s hope they make it as rulers and no lions die in the process. Please keep us informed. Amazing story lines with male lions.