Let the Love of Londolozi serenade you this Valentine’s Day and fill up your cup in so many ways.
And what better way to celebrate the month of love than with an incredible bit of news, read on for more…
Over the past few weeks, the Ntsevu Pride has been going through periods where they are all found together and then all separately, always with one or two of the Ndzhenga males lurking nearby.
During this time, we have seen at least four of the lionesses with noticeable suckle marks and heavy milk pouches. The mothers have been spending a lot of time in the same area and with the Sand River a raging torrent currently, we can’t help but think that the new cubs are close by and likely to be on Londolozi. Recently the first view of these tiny cubs confirmed our suspicions and five cubs have been seen.
One afternoon we set out in search of the lionesses with the hope of seeing these new additions to the pride. As we arrived one of the males was lying on top of a termite mound with four of the lionesses nearby.
After some time we continued further south and found another Ndzhenga Male and a single lioness who were closely watching a passing herd of elephants. The lioness then got up and began to walk towards the Sand River. Watching her full and exposed milk pouch sway from side to side as she walked, we secretly hoped she was on her way back to a den. After following her for a short while she reached a dense, thick area, then descended into a deep drainage where no matter how hard we tried, we could not follow and that was the last we saw of her.
We then looped back to the other four lionesses and the other male lion to find that both males were now together and with five of the females who had just started to get moving.
Now all pacing down the road, females in front, they all froze, lifted their heads intently focused in the same direction. Suddenly in the distance, another lioness began to approach, and she too paused. Once she realised it was her pride, she let off a soft contact call to the rest of the pride, which put them at ease and with this, they began to run towards each other. The ceremonious greeting ensued as they were reunited.
The pride now eight in total (six females and two males) continued to walk down the road as they began to head off hunting as the night sky began to set in.
Now, with all the lionesses out in the open, we had a great view of all of them and each time they walked past the vehicle, I couldn’t help but notice that at least four of these females had suckle marks. So if my maths is correct, and we include the female that we couldn’t follow earlier on, there are five lionesses with cubs, and all likely to be on Londolozi. A lioness will give birth to anywhere from one to five cubs with the average being three or four. So we could likely be seeing a pride with probably 15 cubs to as many 25 cubs. That is an incredible thought. These cubs will vary in age from some being born in November last year, right through to the last litters only being born in the last fortnight. An exciting time ahead for sure!