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Kate Arthur

Guest contributor

After a few years of working in the world of economic consulting, Kate’s love of adventure, wilderness and sense of curiosity led her to move away from the city and join the Londolozi guiding team. It was amidst her years of studying politics, ...

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on Respect for the Elders: the Original Mhangeni Lionesses

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The longevity and resilience of the two Mapogo daughters is remarkable. They become mothers again at the grand old age of 14/15,as both lionesses were nursing cubs late 2023 and early this year. Truly a success story. The two Majingilane daughters,as well as the solitary Birmingham sired lioness will have to carry on the baton from these two wise heads when their time comes.

Just a bit on the Mapogo coalition. One was born in 1998 ( Makhulu) and then 3 were born in 2000 ( Pretty Boy,Rasta and Dreadlocks/Scar ). The 2002 Mapogos are Kinky Tail and Mr. T .

Thanks for the insight David!

Hi Kate, elders are my favourite topic and those lionesses bear an incredible lineage. I guess nobody is as famous as the Mapogo or Majingilane coalitions. I know of lionesses that died at 17 or even 18 in the wilderness, it’s a pity this one is so weak. But it’s so touching how the pride respect and help her, sometimes it seems that animals are better than humans just by acting following their nature. I had heard that one Mapogo was older, Makulu, do you know exactly who else? I love the Mashaba female, she looks incredibly well and has had beautiful and very successful daughters. Thanks for this moving Blog

Thanks Francesca! Yes I believe Makhulu was born in 1998 and the others were born across 2001.

Thanks, Kate, for this blog on the history of the Mhangeni Pride. It is really amazing how the lions form such strong social bonds and that they care for older members of their pride or maybe even sick ones. Wonderful to be able to watch this circle of the lions’ life as a guest of Londolozi.
First time I saw them in 2013 and now, a few generations later, it’s great to see such an old lady again in the company of her family.

Thanks so much Christa!

Kate, this made me tear up all over again. I’m so thankful our group witnessed this beautiful Mhangeni pride lioness. Thank you for writing a lovely tribute to her life.

Ah thanks Marcy! Glad you enjoyed this blog.

Thanks Kate for this story about the remarkable Mhageni lionesses. They truly are a testament to the resilience of a lion pride in SabiSands, especially the elder female. I had the good fortune to spend time with them in 2016, an amazing experience to be with 16 cubs and their mothers. And now those cubs have formed their own pride.

Thanks Denise. I am glad you have spent time with this pride too.

Wonderful historical summary, Kate. I remember the Mapogo from my visit to Singita in ‘07, and later the Majingilane and the Tsalala grandmother. These 2 senior lionesses have seen an amazing span of years and lion dynamics. As another senior female, I can relate!

Thanks Mary Beth!

Amazing article, the Mangheni pride is my favorite, I wish they’d visit Londolozi more so we could have more of these great sightings,

Just a small correction, there are actually 10 cubs in the pride ( 5 males and 5 females ), the youngest one turns 1yo this month and he is the son of 1/2 elder females! The other 9 are a few months older.

History on the Mangheni pride is very interesting. They are a close pride with the elders, which we see in your images are heartbreaking to see them in this state. May the legacy of the Mengheni pride live on.

Thanks Rein and Valmai!

A beautiful tribute to a trying and successful life in an unforgiving environment. I only hope that her end comes without suffering. She has shown remarkable strength and resilience to have left such a legacy.

I agree. Thanks Chelsea

Unbelievable! The pictures and learning of the Elders living such a long life have made my day!

I’m so glad. Thanks Michael.

Kate, thank you for bringing me up to date on the Mhangeni lionesses. They are truly remarkable animals. Your picture were excellent and showed the life cycle of the pride.

Thanks William.

Senior Digital Ranger

Such a wonderful, colorful history the Mhangeni Pride has.. They carry some of the most famous coalitions
dna. I have followed the Tsalala and their prodigy for many years. They are one of the first prides I followed in the Sabi Sand. Rest in Peace Mhangeni Queen and may your pride carry on your long legacy.. Thank you for the lovely blog.

Thanks Mj! Glad you enjoyed the read.

Thaanks for the update, Kate. I saw the Mhangeni pride in November ’21 and there were 8 of them, including 1 younger cub. Alfie said they were keeping their heads down and as far away as possible from the new Ndzhenga coalition.

Thanks Suzanne! I am glad you have spent some time with this pride!

Master Tracker

Kate what a super article – it highlights what is so special about Londolozi, some lodges will just show you lions, but at Londolozi the pedigree and back story will be known. It’s a very rare attribute

Thanks very much Ian

Wow, how very interesting and amazing to see this aging lioness, especially the fact that the pride keeps her integrated as long as she survives! Thanks Kate!

Thanks Paul!

I believe the bad teeth Mapogo daughter has passed recently, is this true? If so RIP to a great legacy, a brilliant mother.
On a side note, Makhulu was born in 1998 with Rasta & Prettyboy born Jan 2001, Dreadlocks born March 2001 & Kinky Tail/ Mr T born Nov 2001.

Thanks very much. And yes, since writing this I believe that is correct.

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