We were privileged to see the result of a buffalo kill in Greater Kruger. The pride of lions that took down the buffalo was called the River Pride and in total number in the mid-twenties. The adult male lions were not seen.
Then on another Morning Drive we managed to find an awesome sighting of a lioness that had killed a baby buffalo in the night with her 2 cubs busy feeding. We stayed with them for about 20 minutes which was really fun because we were alone and we could hear the lions while they were eating.
After a pleasant lunch at Satara rest camp, we continued on our search into the afternoon. We managed to find more lions, this time an even better view of a female walking across to greet another lioness. Lions are social cats, and often show affection to one another to improve bonds within the pride.
The Mapogo lion coalition was a band of male South African lions that controlled the Sabi Sand region in Kruger National Park. The coalition became infamous for their sheer power and strength in taking over and dominating an area of approximately 70,000 ha (170,000 acres). It is believed the Mapogos killed in excess of 100 lions and cubs in a little over a year. The statistics may be higher given their coverage of such large territories. At its peak, the coalition consisted of six males - the leader Makulu (also spelled as Makhulu), Rasta, Scar, Pretty Boy, Kinky Tail and Mr. T.
The oldest Mapogo male, Makulu, is believed to be unrelated to the other five lions. The story is that the original Sparta pride lost a male sub-adult of 20 to 21 months of age in May/June 2000 and in July 2000, this male of about the same age latched on to the original pride. As a result, Makulu was naturally bigger in size than his fellow brothers. Though not readily accepted by the lionesses, the West Street Males tolerated him and didn't kill him, even though typically, intruding males of his age would be chased off or killed. Field experts believe a likely reason for his acceptance into the pride was because he may have been the offspring of one of the West Street Males and a lioness from another pride (therefore making him the Mapogos' half brother).
The Mapogos first pride clash was in 2006. The Mapogo lions entered the northern Sabi Sand, which was ruled by four dominant males. Immediately upon arrival, the Mapogos managed to kill one of the males, and the remaining three were driven off. With the Ottawa pride's male lion driven off, three lionesses and 11 cubs remained. Due to the male lion's natural instincts, the six Mapogos quickly found and killed all 11 Ottawa cubs, with reports of Mr. T even eating some of the cubs, despite cannibalistic behavior in lions being uncommon.
With all competition eliminated, the Mapogos had successfully controlled eight prides. They were the dominant male coalition of Sabi Sand and killed more than 100 lions from the neighbouring prides during their rule.
Later that same night, a filming crew witnessed the four remaining younger Majingilane lions on the move. Two of them were exposed to Kinky Tail, who immediately charged on them all by himself. They ran with KT on their tail, and the remaining two Majingilane lions came up behind KT. Without the experience of being afraid of anything, Kinky Tail attacked all four of them by himself. Eventually on a dirt road, under a cloud of dust, the four Majingilanes had pinned down Kinky Tail. The four males immediately started to bite and rip apart Kinky Tail. One lion was biting at his neck, another at his back; the third bit off Kinky Tail's testicles and genitalia. The Majingilanes managed to successfully snap Kinky Tail's spine, thus immobilizing him and leaving him with zero chance of survival. Mr. T eventually arrived and attempted to rescue and fight off the Majingilanes, but was outnumbered and outmaneuvered and forced to flee. Two Majingilanes attempted to track Mr. T, but were unsuccessful and returned to kill Kinky Tail. The four lions had started eating most of Kinky Tail's hind legs and his entire tail. He was seen taking his last breath while being eaten alive. During the altercation, Mr. T attempted again to save his brother.
The coalition of six male lions first appeared in March 2006, when they claimed territory of their own by force. Usually, lions are quiet when entering a new area, but the Mapogo clan moved in with great dominance and power, roaring loudly and killing the males from the area with ease.
However, even though this was an extreme case, lion coalitions are part of nature. Only the strongest and most ruthless lions will become resident males, ruling over prides. Male lions will always do what they can to survive and pass on their genes, which forming coalitions allows them to do.
Not only should have a statue but they should be trying to save the last remaining. sublioness who is from the sparta pride. Her & her mother have been alone. Mom recently passed & krueger has outdated rule where they wont interfer w/animals. This a lone 18 mth lioness who will die w/o help. But krueger has always hated mapagos so they wont help. They allowed the killing of 6 magogo sub lions killing part of an era
I absolutely hate canned lion hunting , surely hope people will voice their displeasure and disgust to the various people in the government(s) of South Africa . Mak(h)ulu is my favourite Mapogo ,compassionate , wise , caring , I love the fact that he looked after the older males as well as the original pride he was accepted into , allowing the old kings to die of natural causes. Mr T and Kinky tail were the phyco`s . Second favourite was Dreadlocks , he mainly hung out with Makulu , but talk about a tough animal . How many lions could kill a bull water buffalo by themselves and having his right front paw broken in the process , yet he still stood off 20 plus hyenas until he had a good feed and left it for them . Check out the video , the matriarch of the hyenas had such fear and respect for Dreadlocks , that they never attacked him outright , even though they were in very close proximity to him ,(inches)from behind his back. They just hung around lightly harassing him until Dreadlocks limped away with his broken paw . Perhaps ,the hyenas were wary because Makulu and Dreadlocks were always together , maybe they thought Makulu might show up Dreadlocks did heal up and resume his duties as a lion king . Makulu made sure he had food when he was healing . Love these two lions so much .
A man-eater is something else altogether. Did you know that the famous man-eaters of Tsavo were mane-less Between March and December 1898 a pair of male lions reportedly killed around 130 construction workers. Eventually, the rouge lions were shot and after being used as a carpet for a few years were sold to the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago in the USA where they are on display today.
You can visit the sight of these legendary killers and even stay at the Man-eaters Camp. The male lions at Tsavo in Kenya, generally do not have manes. The best time to visit Tsavo is between June and October and January and February. At these times the game viewing is best and you might just get a glimpse of descendants of the legendary man-eaters of Tsavo.
Two days later, we were alerted to the signs of a kill with vultures circling nearby. We drove to the area and found the four male lions on an adult buffalo kill that seemed to have been made the afternoon before.
The same day as the males were seen on their kill, the Southern Pride lioness was sleeping snug on some warm rocks with her two cubs, when she disappeared, an area filled with rocks, we had to move around to the other side where we found her standing tall on a large rock, scanning her surroundings.
With the Southern Pride female, her cubs and the male lions having moved from their previous locations, we tracked for quite some time before we eventually found them lying in a road. We got far more than we bargained for and what a wonderful surprise it was to see the Southern Pride lioness and her cubs with them! We stayed with them for quite a while before they moved into a rocky area where they continued to vocalise, announcing their presence. What a special sighting!
The only sociable big cat, lion prides are generally made up of a couple of very photogenic males with huge black manes and numerous females who go to the extremes to feed their pride and raise young cubs. The life of a lion is certainly a fascinating one to follow.
18 October 2019Typically, the lioness hunts the food and the male lions come to claim the goods. She decides that's not happening this time with her buffalo, she defends her kill by all means. Images captured by Banda Kutlwano at Khwai Bush Camp
5 June 2019The daughters of the spice girls killed a Zebra last night at Ngweshla. Their cubs enjoyed a good feasting while the lionesses enjoyed their break from breast feeding.This sighting was captured by our safari guide Calvet.
It is well known that lions are the most sociable of cats, living in prides that can number over 30 animals where food is abundant. These prides are controlled by single or coalitions of up to 6 adult males, defending territories in which the core of the pride, the adult females, can safely raise their cubs. The strength of the pride lies in the defending of territory, hunting of large prey animals, and communal care of the cubs. Depending on the availability of food, the territories can cover areas as large as 2000 square kilometres, scentmarked by animals of both sexes and loudly proclaimed by their distinctive roaring. Neighbouring prides will get involved in serious fights over territory, and when new males take over a pride it is seldom a bloodless affair, more often than not killing the cubs sired by the ousted males (who themselves are lucky if they escape alive). All in all, the life of a lion is not an easy one, and their lifespan is limited to only 12 to 15 years in the w