About a week ago, we set out on our morning drive in search of the male lions that we had heard roaring while we were having our breakfast. It wasn’t long before two males were located around Planks Pan, and only moments later a third male was found in the Sand River south of the Causeway – less than a kilometre away from the aforementioned duo. No doubt that they were three of the Manyelethi males (the male with the missing canine was the absent party). The dominant male with the dark mane was lying on a sand bank, basking in the morning sun as his brothers searched for him. After a few more roars they eventually managed to find him… and then we were treated to quite a spectacle as the three playful brothers met up with much affection. It was a photographers dream as the lions were gloriously lit up by the morning sun. And things got better as they briefly took a break from nudging, pawing and climbing on top of one another to cross eastwards through the river before settling down for the day.
The Styx pride had been in that very spot the night before and the Eyrefield pride had also been in close proximity that night – but both prides had seemingly made a hasty retreat from the dominant male coalition.
The male with the missing canine was viewed the next day as he and the male with the scar on his hip were enjoying the company of two of the Marthly lionesses at Bicycle Crossing.
While we’re on the topic of lions, here’s some more news…
The Styx pride had an unfriendly encounter with an unknown adult male lion close to Mlowathi Dam.
We witnessed both the Styx and Eyrefield prides bringing down prey. The Styx pride caught a nyala just outside Main Camp, and the Eyrefield pride were involved in one of the most epic kills imaginable as they brought down two adult buffalo cows within a metre of each other right out in the open! Amazing right?! Now factor this in: some of the cubs joined in! Jumping on the backs of the buffalo as the lionesses were still trying to bring them down!
The Charleston pride, as well as the Hilda’s Rock pride were also viewed going after buffalo down in the south.
More to follow…
Pieter van Wyk
Ranger – MalaMala Game Reserve