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Dan Hirschowitz


Dan developed his love for the African bush whilst growing up on a family run farm in the Kwa-Zulu Natal midlands. Growing up in the bushveld he was surrounded by wildlife and finds his passion in what nature has to offer. After completing ...

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on The Plains Camp Males and One Ntsevu Lioness Meet

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This is exciting! The two Plains Camp males are definitely the biggest in size in all of Sabi Sands. The larger of the two is an incredibly big male. Their closest rivals on the size barometer might be their two half brothers in Mala Mala that are dominant over the Torchwood pride. A strong legacy from their fathers,the Mantimahle males.

As exciting as this is,one does have some angst. These two males have very young offspring in the Mhangeni and Ximungwe prides. They still need their presence in the West for at least 18 months. With the number of males in the Sabi Sands extraordinary high,now is definitely not the time for an expansion. Would leave their legacies in these two prides in peril. Conversely,the Ntsevu pride has young cubs that these two would not take kindly too. Definitely a lot to lose from both sides.

How big is the large one when compared to, say, Hairy Belly?

I think it is important to note that the Plains Camp males are only 6 years old,only turning 7 later in the year. So they’re still quite young and have more room for further develop the more they get into their prime. Makhunga is a massive male,belies his relatively tender years. I think with time,he definitely will be bigger than the legendary Hairy Belly,who was absolutely enormous.


Dan, Great to see a post from you as always! How exciting to see that connection! Those males are imposing for sure! Will she look for other males to mate with?

What an exciting encounter between these two lions.
If the brother has to take the back seat for this time, will he also have a chance to mate with the same lioness later or maybe in between, when the bigger brother is maybe sleeping? How does it work in general: Is the bigger lion most of the time the successful one, or maybe the one who is the first one to find out that she is ready to mate?

I’m eager to see how the lion dynamics continue to shift as new cubs are born.

Thanks Dan, those Plains Camp males are certainly very impressive. Any idea how old this Ntsevu lioness is?

They were sired by the Majingilane coalition in 2012.

Hi, this may lead to a conflict with the two Ndzenga males, or? Maybe this one lioness will go after other males, if the Plain Camps males don’t stick to her…

What a fantastic opportunity you had to witness the courtship ritual between these two lions. Given the lineage of the Ntsevu female, mating with this impressive male who already takes care of two prides, could prove to be problematic for the both of them unless she meets up with different male soon. I’m assuming she’s part of the Mhagene pride that split from their natal group and became the Ntsevu’s. Now the majority of that pride has become the Kambulas, leaving a splintered pride behind. With this change, the remaining Ntsevu lionesses need to choose their mate carefully, given so many other dominant males are nearby so their cubs won’t be in danger. Exciting times ahead!

Dan that is good news as there will be new cubs from this mating session and the genes from this huge lion will be carried over. It is a pity the other brother had to stand and watch. Maybe one of the other Ntsevu lionessess will come on heat so that he can also have his genes carried forward. Spectacular to see the ritual and eventually the mating itself.

This could be very exciting over the next year as new cubs emerge. Keep us informed Dan.

My guess would be that this is the infertile lioness since one of her sisters has 3 cubs and the other one might have new cubs soon, if not already.

But yeah this larger PCM is huge! The only other male in the Sabi Sands that I think might match him is one of the 2 Mantimahle males from the north, they visit Sabi Sands from time to time, coincidentally they are the PCM’s half-brothers, also sired by the 5 Mantimahle pride males.

Very handsome males. Do you know if she mated with both of them?

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10 April, 2798
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