About the Author

Sean Zeederberg

Blog Editor

As a young boy growing up on an agricultural farm in Zimbabwe, Sean spent every opportunity entertaining himself outdoors, camping in the local nature reserve and learning about all facets of the natural world. After completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental ...

View Sean's profile


on Virtual Safari: Ultimate Game Drive highlights #89

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Senior Digital Ranger

My heart is broken. I cannot comprehend what has happened to this wonderful and special pride. I loved and admired the Tsalala female so much. She, with her daughter, exhibited all the best traits of any animal – human or otherwise. They were a source of inspiration. For the Tsalala female to be taken from us, and, more importantly, from her young daughter who depends on her for survival, is so cruel. I’m devastated – truly, truly devastated. My thoughts are with her wonderful, courageous daughter. Journey well, my darlings!

It is so sad.

Ndhzenga males seems to have failed to show the dominance brought about by the quantitative advantage.Tsalala was once thrived and now they are unfortunate…

I feel the battle between the Northern Avocas and the Ndhzenga Males is not over yet. They are young males that lack the experience that the Northern Avocas have but once all healed they may apply a bit more pressure.

Senior Digital Ranger

I’m so upset about her death I can’t believe how upset I’ve gotten. Why would male lions kill a female lion?

We are unsure as to exactly what happened, there were lions nearby and so we suspect it was them. Maybe because she was pregnant and not willing to mate, fighting over a carcass, or protecting her daughter.

Digital Ranger

The loss of Tsalala female has not just deeply saddened but also left me with very disturbed feeling to comprehend about her daughters future……Ndhzenga, Avocado and Birmingham coalitions no doubt have escaped serious injury but overall lion dynamics in sabisands isn’t something to cheer about as other coalition’s like plains camp, tumbelas, nkuhuma also not safe at the moment from each other…only time will tell how and what the future holds for these lions….thanks for the update and keep it going.

You are correct, Vaseem. It is not something to cheer about but is fascinating to see how it all unfolds as none of us really know what will happen and only time will tell.

This is sad news indeed that this admirably brave lioness was killed and her daughter has now to fend on her own. Let‘s hope that she will be as successful as her mother was and will be able to raise some cubs.
The interactions of the lions are really interesting. It is a hard life out there in the bush.

It is such sad news, but not all hope is lost, hopefully she will defy the odds and can raise at least one litter of cubs.

Absolutely tragic news about the Tsalala female, especially with everything she’s overcome. Why would the male lions kill her. Is it that she was protecting her daughter or that she maybe wasn’t interested in mating with them? Or could possibly hyenas have killed her?

The Tsalala Female had been through an incredibly rough time. It is unlikely that the hyenas would have killed her, but not impossible. If it was the Male lions that killed her, it could have been fighting over a kill, or because she was pregnant and not interested in mating, or even protecting her daughter. It is so tough to know for sure.

Sean, That’s terrible news about the Tsalala lioness! What will happen to her daughter now? Could she join another pride? Your storytelling in the videos seems to get better each week! Thanks for keeping us up to date!

The daughter is nearly three years old, so she should be able to survive, times will be tough for her but not impossible. I highly doubt that she will be able to join another established pride, if there is any chance of her joining any other lions it may be some of the sub-adults that break away from the Ntsevu Pride or Nkuhuma Pride, but still is unlikely.

Thanks Sean, We will keep our fingers crossed and look for updates from you and your team! 🙂

Hi Sean, well we were expecting a fight between the Avoca Males and the Ndhzenga Males, from viewing the footage from last week. So here it is , from both sides the lions have been injured and we can see them limping. It looks as if two of the Ndhzenga Males did not compete in the take over. Those roars from those lions are very impressive and loud, very intimidating. So sad to hear about the Tsalala female has been killed and the young female will now be on her own. Hope she survives being alone now.

Well Sean, on the one hand you’ve given us fantastic footage and audio of the Ndhzenga pride and then broke my heart over the news of the likely sighting of the Tsalala female’s body being seen in the Sand River. She’s been a favorite of mine for years now and I’m so grateful that I was fortunate enough to spend a morning with her and her daughter. I know that the circle of life spares no one, but it’s especially sad to think she was killed by neighboring males. Why would they kill her, a female? Anyway, I’m rooting for the Tsalala daughter to make her own way, practicing the lessons learned from her mother.
The shoulder replacement recovery process is slow but I just stay focused on my next visit to Africa and Londolozi next year. Thanks for asking.

It is incredibly sad Denise, but as you say it is the circle of life. We are unsure as to why the males will kill her, there are a number of reasons or a combination of all of them, fighting over a kill, protecting her daughter, not wanting to mate with them because she was pregnant. We don’t really know.

That is great to hear.

This is the saddest news I’ve ever heard in years. I think the Tsalala ladies were a symbol of resilience for lions and us all, frail and frightened with the pandemic, and a hope for conservation. Her daughter must be very saddened and frightened, all alone, losing her mother who likely saved her life. A tragedy. Wonderful male lions i hope they will all recover there are less and less on this planet.

They were a symbol indeed.

Lion dynamics continue with so many side storied. Farewell to Tsalala Female, hoping the younger lioness can continue the saga!

Indeed, Vin, there are always so many other side stories going on and the dynamics are always shifting.

Senior Digital Ranger

My heart couldn’t be more broken about the Tsalala female. She had such a hard time in her life, the odds always stacked against her—I can only hope her daughter has a better one. This is just horrible news I cannot imagine how all of you are feeling. I wonder if she was pregnant and carrying. Just so very, very sad 😢

It is such sad news, and what makes it worse is that she was pregnant.

Very sad to hear about the Tsala lioness. Is there any chance the young lioness may hook up with another pride? Does anyone know where the Biringham males have gone? And are they gone for good or not?
Thank you

Stephen, it is unlikely that she will be able to join another established pride of unrelated females, they will show a lot of hostility towards her. Her only chance of joining any other lions would be the sub-adults of either the Ntsevu or Nkuhuma Prides when they break away. This is still unlikely though.
We believe that the Birmingham Males are near the Kruger Park boundary in MalaMala. If the young Ndhzenga Males hang around here and constantly roar, it wouldn’t be in the Birmingham Males’ best interests to return.

What an intense week it’s been with all the lion activity and to end with the tragic loss of such a brave and courageous mother. My heart goes out to the Tsalala young female 🙏💔. May she carry her mother’s strength and go on to enjoy a more peaceful life with cubs by her side 🌈💞. Devastated 😔

We really hope that the young Tsalala Female will be able to keep the Tsalala Pride going.

What sh…….. hope the Tsalala girl grows old, with lots of her cubs around, so that the Tsalalas will be great again…… Would it be possible that because the Nzdenga’s have left their territory, some other young males were trying to be big boys and therefore the Tsalala Pretty Girl paid the price? I just don’t have the lay out of the Sabi Sands ready, so no idea where Singita is in relation to Londolozi………..

Hi Irene, No I don’t think the incident with the Tsalala Female has anything to do with the Ndhzenga Males. This happened far to the west of Londolozi, and the Ndhzenga Males come from the south.

So very sad news. I have followed and admired this brave pride of two. Let’s hope the daughter will survive but for now she will be quite lonely.

Let’s hope so.

Awesome footage of the Ndhzenga males, Sean, especially of them roaring together. I was thrilled to see 2 of them together last week – but I don’t understand why they wouldn’t stick together during their quest for dominance, as a foursome they would be pretty untouchable.

You might find that the two of them were a lot more confident and went charging ahead without the others, or they could have been caught by surprise and separated.

Senior Digital Ranger

Very nice discussion! I appreciate the Londolozi philosophy of observing the various lineages of leopards and lions, but not interfering in the sequence of events.

Thank you, Paul. It is so great to track the lineages and family lines that go way back.

I have such beautiful photos of the Tsalala lionesses from early July on Dulini, at a spectacular sighting that we had of them. Really breaks my heart to know that the subadult is on her own, but recently we heard that she had been seen with kills and looking fine. Keeping all fingers and toes crossed for her safety and good health!

Connect with Londolozi

Follow Us

One moment...
Be the first to this photo
You and 1 others this photo

Filed under
10 April, 2798
Add Profile