About the Author

Kirst Joscelyne

Ranger

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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35 Comments

on Lions of Londolozi for World Lion Day!

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Michael and Terri Klauber
Guest contributor

Kirst, Thanks for the fantastic update on all the Londolozi Lions! You are right that it’s a fluid situation and challenging to keep up with. It is amazing that there are so many lions in the region. We have always enjoyed saying that there is more drama in lion warfare than any of the “housewives” shows on TV!

It seems to be that way at the moment Michael and Terri.

William Paynter
Master Tracker

Kirst, thanks for the update on the lions of Londolozi. It will an adventure to track the prides as they go forward. Lions are truly a remarkable species.

I couldn’t agree more William!

Francesca Doria
Master Tracker

It’s always exciting and interesting to read about lions and leopards dynamics. I’m over the moon that the Tsalala lioness found a mate! Her roaring couldn’t be unanswered. She’s tenacious like her mother! When she finds a male to mate with it will be perfect! I’m glad to read that the Birmingham male is still alive! A formidable lion, and so handsome, always the unlucky Othawa male was even more gorgeous, a sign of fitness for sure…

Thanks Francesca, time will only tell what will happen with the Tsalala female.

Ulrike Stohrer
Explorer

Thanks for that interesting post! I have learned a lot, and the best discovery is, that I am born on World Lions Day! How great is that, today is my birthday, and I always felt a deep connection to lions since my early childhood!

Vin Beni
Guest contributor

My bithday also!
(Leo–the lion.)

Sean Zeederberg
Blog Editor

Happy belated birthday to both of you, Ulrike and Vin. I hope you had the most incredible day.

We hope you had a lovely birthday Ulrike! Happy World Lion Day!

Vin Beni
Guest contributor

Fantastic job Kirst!.I will definitely keepthis post archivrd for handy reference.
Our video of all of the Ntsevu sub-adults strolling past our vehicle at night is viewed with awe by our friends.

Thanks Vin! Happy to hear you got to seem them during your stay!

Lisa
Explorer

I care about all these prides but my heart is with the Tsalala female. I miss her mum very much. She was a true warrior and wonderful teacher to her daughter. I hope the Tsalala female and the lioness from the Mangheni pride stay together. It’s a return to her original pride – which was the Tsalala pride. God bless them all.

We hope they stay together too! It seems that her mother did indeed teach her well!

Susan Young
Explorer

Happy World Lion Day
I know lions are so strong and amazing but they often look so sad.
The lone Tsalala female cub/ female is amazing and so strong as she reaches 3.5 Years. Let’s hope she finds some company and a potential mate to take this strong gene forward.

Thanks Susan! We are hoping swell.

Christa Blessing
Master Tracker

Thanks for this interesting blog on all the lions at Londolozi. You certainly have a great number of prides, I think. And the interactions between these prides are really fascinating. How nice for the Tsalala lioness that she seems to have an experienced companion. Maybe there will be a new pride for her.

Christa we can certainly only hope that the Tsalala Pride continues to grow!

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Wow Kirst, this is such a comprehensive piece detailing the various prides in and bordering Londolozi. I can only imagine the time and effort that went into your report and I for one really appreciate being caught up to date. Time will only tell how these prides will grow, splinter or disperse but for now, you all have exciting viewing in the months ahead.
There was no mention of the Kambulas, a breakaway pride of the Ntsevus if I understand correctly, and this pride mainly inhabits Mala Mala – is this right? Do they cross over the border and interact with the Ndhzengas?
It was good to see my favorite lioness looking fit and healthy, abb no d certainly hope Tsalala has found a friend in the Mhagene older lioness who is alone as well. Soon she will be ready to mate and then her life will become even more interesting. I love those deep amber eyes of hers which were captured beautifully. Thanks again for a terrific story!

Hi Denise thank you! The Kambula Pride is the Ntsevu Pride which just known by a different name by the different reserves. Their territory extends from us into their reserve. The Ndzhzenga males are currently dominant over the Nstevu/Kambula pride and are currently mating with various females. Her amber eyes are certainly unforgettable.

Michael Fleetwood
Digital Tracker

Great write up Kirst! Love these in-depth dynamic looks! It would be fascinating if the Mhangeni lioness stuck with the Tsalala female (given the Mhangeni females were born to Tsalala lionesses before breaking away, would she and the Tsalala female be considered the Tsalala Pride still, theoretical of course?). The Nkuhuma lioness you mentioned with the leg injury (the Purple-eyed lioness) was actually born in the early part of 2012, so is several months older than the two sisters with the Plains Camp Malesl sadly, she died last month.

Good question Michael. I think time will tell! Personally I would hope it would remain the Tsalala Pride considering that the original Mungheni female herself was a part of the Tsalala Pride all those years ago. Yes sadly she was not in good condition when we last saw and has not been seen since.

Francesca Doria
Master Tracker

Ps who’s the gorgeous lion in black and white of the introduction? It seems that in countries like Zambia there are more and more maneless lions…. happy World Lion Day!

Thanks Francesca, the black and white lion is the Othawa Male.

Awesome. Thank you very much . Happy Lion’s Day ♥️

Valmai Vorster
Master Tracker

Gosh Kirst your update on the lion dynamics is incredible. So happy to hear that the Tsalala female has found a friend in another female lioness. Hopefully they both can join a pride. The black and white foto is it the Ottawa male lion. I also loved the Birmingham male lions very impressive cats.

Thanks so much Valmai. Ever changing dynamics for sure!

Mike Dominici
Explorer

Great recap! It is great to see the lions thriving in that area and not being victims of hunters, poaching, snares, farmers and tribes like so many areas in Africa. Their lives can change in an instant and there are no guarantees for survival. It’s a wildlife Game of Thrones like no other species. Many of these lions have reached celebrity status through the internet with their entire lives and epic stories meticulously documented and available for the world to witness. It is fascinating.

Thanks Mike. It is quite amazing to be able to follow the lives of these animals.

Irene Henkes
Digital Tracker

Thank you Kirst, that is a great overview. Now, I know some prides are related to others and started out as ‘breakaway’ from that. I seem to remember it was the Tralala pride at first that had some breakaways?
I keep getting confused about this……

The first breakaway pride from the Tsalala Pride then became the Mungheni Pride around 2011. Unfortunately, since the Tailless females passed away they have struggled with their numbers and haven’t had any breakaway prides since then

Kara Taylor
Master Tracker

What a comprehensive look at the Lion Prides, great work! I have long wanted to see the lineages. I remember distinctly one trip being with the 4 Birmingham Males all roaring beside our vehicle – something so indescribable and emotional. Sad that they are no longer but that is nature’s way.

Lisa Antell
Master Tracker

Very good summary of all of the lions! It is quite a feat to keep track of them!

Jim Heywood
Explorer

you may remember the quick editing session we had early Aug. Hated you because you showed me the masking tool in Lightroom and I though it was going to really mess up my work flow. Happy that not only is the tool really simple and effective BUT it is also duplicated in ACR which is in my work flow. Thanks for your partnership with Lucky to give all of us a wonderful experience. If I can figure out how to do it, I will post some of the images. Best to you!

Paul Canales
Master Tracker

Terrific recap on the current, yet see milt ever changing status of the loins of Londolozi Kirst! It will be fascinating to watch the how all of these factions and relationships evolve over time. I’ll be tuned right here!!

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