The lion dynamics we are experiencing here at Londolozi at the moment are extremely interesting, to say the least. Since the arrival of the Ndzhenga Coalition in early November 2021, we’ve seen a shift in the movement of the lions of Londolozi. The Ntsevu Lionesses gave birth to 11 cubs in early October 2021 which provided us with some amazing Lion viewing.
Early that November the four Ndzhenga Male Lions arrived on Londolozi causing absolute havoc for the local Ntsevu Pride and Birmingham Males. Not only did one of the Birmingham Male lions fall to the arrival of the ‘new blood’ (assumption no fact) but we also saw the mothers of the 11 cubs flee further towards the eastern boundary of the Sabi Sand in an attempt to keep their cubs alive. Over a few weeks of trying their best to avoid the four new male lions seven of the eleven cubs were unfortunately lost.
On the 24th of March 2022, five months later we headed out on a morning game drive towards Londolozi’s eastern boundary. We switched off the engine to allow ourselves some time to listen out for any potential alarm calls. Not too far away, as we’d hoped, a herd of impala started alarming rapidly. Our vehicle, along with ranger Jess Shillaw’s vehicle rushed into the area to hopefully find what had spooked the frantic herd.
As we arrived, Jess, myself and our guests were hit with something very unexpected. Two of the Ntsevu mothers and the four remaining cubs were walking through a clearing. They were back. We could see they were moving very anxiously. Every couple of seconds the two mothers would glance back over their shoulders to see if any danger was approaching from behind. They would then break out into a trot, trying their best to get as far away as possible. Distant roaring from the Ndzhenga Males kept them moving pretty much all morning. The six of them managed to get far enough west where we hope they’re out of the danger for now… at least from the Ndzhenga Coalition.
The honest reality is that these four cubs will never be safe. Their father is no longer territorial in the area and the new male lions aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. The good news is that for now, they are a fair distance away from the threatening males. It’s exciting to see how these two brave mothers will do all they can to raise the last four cubs of the Birmingham Coalition. I look forward to writing a follow-up blog on the progress of these young Lions. Stay tuned for what’s to come.