2011 Safari to Kruger and Nkorho. Blog Part 9 - Lions near Nkorho Bush Lodge
During our visit to Nkorho Bush Lodge we saw three prides of lions and learnt the background stories about them.
The KNP pride (Kruger National Park pride) is also known as the Fourways pride. As its name suggests the pride spends much of its time in the KNP but also comes into the Sabi Sands area. We saw the two lionesses and three cubs (two female and one male) several times during our stay. I understand that there are also KNP males, but we did not see those.
The best sighting was on one morning when they were walking across a plain and then into the bush. One lioness led the walk:
followed by a female cub and then the other lioness:
At the back was the male cub:
but boys will be boys and he kept swatting the legs from under the female cub and then the rough and tumble began:
On another occasion we saw them crossing the road:
One of the prides often found in the Nkorho area of Sabi Sands is the Tsalala pride of Grandmother BB and her four grandaughter lionesses who are just within months of their first oestrous. BB has no tail having lost it to a hyena previously. We saw these five lions several times:
The Tsalala pride have a follower who is a Styx pride sub adult male. He is a plucky fellow who is not yet accepted by them and follows at a distance. Sometimes he feeds off their kills.
The first night we watched the Tsalala pride hunting Impala in the bush but they were not successful and we left them. The next morning we heard that they had brought down a buffalo near the Arathusa dam but the noise had attracted 3 of the Majingilane males who had chased the Tsalala off the kill. Over the next three nights we watched the Majingilanes feed off the buffalo kill which got increasingly stinky until the smell on the third night was quite overpowering.
The Majingilanes are the coalition that killed two of the Mapogos a year ago and are the prime males in the area. Watching these magnificent animals over a period of time it struck me how lions live on the line every day. Not only had there been this massive take over by the Majingilanes a year ago the four young female lionesses are under threat from the Majingilanes becasue they did not father them. But in just four months time when they enter oestrous the Majingilanes will be pursuing them to mate with them and wil then protect them when they have their cubs.
Similarly the young Styx male is under threat from the Majingilanes because he is not part of their coalition. Interestingly though, as you will see later, they seem tolerant enough to allow him near when they are feeding. However I am sure that sharing lionesses with him is not on the agenda.
Here are a number of pictures of the Majingilanes:
One of the best sightings was the night that the sub adult Styx male was on the kill with one of the Majingilanes whilst another one was asleep nearby having gorged himself on the kill.
Interstingly it was clearly the young Styx that was the agressor as shown in this video here.
This episode ended when a third Majingilane came into the area and seemed quite agitated. Sensibly the young Styx made a rapid exit. He was closely followed by two of the Majingilanes and their territorial roars shook the night!
Lions get very sleepy after their gorging on a kill as well as thirsty:
What magnificent creatures they are. It is a privilege to be able to see their world a little closer.