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LIONS - Nkorho & Elephant Plains Area

test_1's picture
LIONS - Nkorho & Elephant Plains Area

Karen in VA and Aquila wanted to share some bits of information/background on the lions in the area that we have picked up from various sites (Mala Mala, Londolozi, Djuma, Nkorho and Elephant Plains) and their sightings databases.

List of lion prides:

  • Mapogo Coalition
  • Tsalala Pride
  • Manyeleti Males (Young)
  • Roller Coaster Males
  • Split Rock Males
  • Styx Pride
  • Windmill Pride
  • Nkuhuma Pride

edited by the moderators to add :

This topic is only for information about the lions in the Nkorho and Elephant Plains area.

Questions and other info are welcome, anything off topic will be moved to another forum or deleted.


Aquila's picture

Thanks Ice!  Great

Thanks Ice!  Great info!

About this: "(If The Styx ladies could , they would kill ALL leopards!) (mapogo blood)?"

The Styx adult lionesses are one of the prides thought not to have fallen under the dominance of the West Street males who sired the Mapogos so I don't believe they come from the same bloodline as do the Mapogos.


Aquila's picture

donnabac wrote:Aquila, Thank

donnabac wrote:

Aquila, Thank you for continuing to piece the puzzle(s) together for us Laughing. I started watching the cams about the time Blondie was killed. I now understand how attached we become to these beautiful creatures.


You're welcome Donna!   Had a bit of lion action yesterday in Djuma.  A wee bit confusing but seems some of the Mapogos were in the area.  Tracks indicated a fight by at least 3 male lions had occurred.  Tracks of the Styx Pride and their cubs were there in the roadway as well but later they were spotted and accounted for per radio reports.  In the morning, two Mapogos, Kinky Tail and Mr T were found with one Styx pride lioness near the Quarantine area.  Kinky Tail had a severe limp with injury to his right front leg/foot.   The Styx lioness finally made her escape from the boys when they let their guard down for an instance and she took off at a fast pace even though she too was limping.

Reports were coming in that two male lions (Mapogos) were chasing the Manyeleti male.  The chase ended at the Northern border of Buffelshoek when the Mapogos gave up the chase.   It is believed the Manyeleti male was one of the three fighting during the night or early am as the tracks had indicated.

When last seen after dusk, the two Mapogos (Kinky Tail and Mr T) were seen heading out of Djuma and probably back towards Mala Mala.  They were on the trail again of the Styx Pride.  Kinky Tail was walking better but had to take frequent rests.

Seems the Mapogo saga continues.


Iceage's picture

Aquila! Thanks so much for

Aquila! Thanks so much for the info! It is really really much appreciated! it takes away the confusion that the the Windmills and the Nkumha pride beeing the same pack off lions.

As you all know the windmill pride is my favorite Lion pride Smiling

Picture By Andre Batchelor.

They are travellers, they dont like cars , they dont chase leopards opposite to the Styx ladies (If The Styx ladies could , they would kill ALL leopards!) (mapogo blood)?

The Windmill Lionesse's as far as i know have no relations with the Mapogo's ( Lets keep it that way!)

So much info can be found on -->

some Highlights! ( Hope this is allowed) --> Copy and paste from Malamala->

when they were viewed they were seen to be more nervous than our other lion prides. This makes sense as in the parts of Kruger which they are usually found in, does not have much human exposure

the lions of the Windmill Pride do not seem to walk on roads as often as lions from some of the other prides do and this can sometimes make things more challenging to find them. On one occasion this month they were 'found' by some rhino which were being followed and, upon walking through the sleeping lions, chased them for a while. The younger lions of the Windmill Pride showed some sort of interest in the rhino, but most the others simply slunk away, apparently not too pleased at having their slumbers so disturbed

Only five members of the Windmill Pride were seen this month and all sightings were way out of the expected area which this family typically stays in. The group of five was a motley crew - an ancient lioness in a state of emaciation and whose lower canines were mere stumps, an adult lioness, two of the 30-month-old lionesses and one of the young males. A more useless hunting party could hardly be expected - full of enthusiasm but little skill. Or so it seemed.

At the last sighting of the Windmill Pride this month, they were enthusiastically advancing upon a herd of impala (which were actually aware of their presence) when a herd of elephants arrived on the scene, took exception to the lions and chased them away. The lions managed to retreat with some dignity.

the Windmill Pride always moves with extreme caution. They seem to head out with purpose, but then, when something is detected, everything waits. It's as if they know that when a target is in the area, mistakes must be minimised and there should be no haste at all. There is little of the rapid circle and rush tactics employed by some of the other families of lions and consequently much patience will be needed if dedicated action is to be seen from the Windmill Pride.

A young female leopard walked into them. The leopard saw them before they did and, perhaps not knowing just how far she had walked into the scattered lions, she made a panic-stricken run towards a tree, the natural avenue of escape for a leopard. The noise of the leopard crashing through the brush alerted the lions, but when they saw her secure in the tree, they paid her little further attention, even when they walked off for the start of the nights activities, they merely bypassed the tree. It was almost as if they accepted that any attempts to dislodge her (after all, they all compete for the same animals) would simply be energy wasted from a very finite pool. Most pragmatic carnivores - or so it seems.

the Windmill Pride has unique patterns of behaviour. Following them hunting can prove frustrating as their extremely cautious approach as they move through the bush really tests ones patience.

Whilst on the move, the lions encountered three Rhinos which were firstly curious and then somewhat put out by the presence of the lions. The Windmill Pride tried their best to be somewhat nonchalant about the rhinos, but on one or two occasions had to give ground to the giant beasts. The rhinos eventually moved on and the lions continued on their way.

Perhaps the most interesting sighting involving the Windmill Pride was of them coming within less than 100 meters of the Charleston Pride. Both families of lions simply must have been aware of one another, but instead of there being a fight, the two prides lay down looking at one another. The Windmill Pride was probably in the wrong, having been caught trespassing in Charleston Pride territory. Probably as a result of not behaving aggressivelyand also perhaps due to the presence of the adult male lions which control both families of lions, no fighting was seen to occur. The Windmill Pride moved out of the area.

the lions remained in fine condition, probably from regularly killing large animals. At one sighting they were seen resting up, fat and satisfied, close to the skeleton of a freshly killed adult male waterbuck

When the Windmill Pride had rested up and their stomachs were not so swollen, they set off again and almost immediately ran into the four lionesses from the Styx Pride. Having 'hometown' advantage, the Styx Pride dominated and chased off the Windmill Pride.

The Windmill pride at Nkorho webcam->
Windmill Lion Pride at Nkorho 1-30-09--05: 20 CAT
Windmill Pride At Nk, 21st April 09
Windmill Pride and Rhino at Nkorho
29/09 01.05

Picture's --> By karin from NK

Picture's from Penny2 from NK (who had the privilage to be at NK Lodge when the windmill pride visited! ( I am Jealous)

** Edit **

Uploaded more picture's but i deleted them

( I have 70 + picture's on  this pride). LOL


donnabac's picture

Aquila, Thank you for

Aquila, Thank you for continuing to piece the puzzle(s) together for us Laughing. I started watching the cams about the time Blondie was killed. I now understand how attached we become to these beautiful creatures.


Aquila's picture

Nkuhuma Pride aka

Nkuhuma Pride aka Kuhuma/Koehuma Pride

Information/background on the Nkuhuma Pride has been gathered from various sites (Mala Mala, Djuma, Nkorho, Elephant Plains, Arathusa, Simbambili) and their sightings databases along with helpful Rangers and staff at the various lodges and reserves answering questions sent their way. Special thank you to Chris Stamper, former Guide at Djuma Game Reserve.

Nkuhuma Pride .- Little was known of this pride prior to the last quarter of 2006 when they started frequenting Djuma and Buffelshoek most likely coming into the area from Manyeleti Game Reserve/Kruger National Park. When first viewed, they were very skittish and it was hard to tell how many members there were. In the beginning, reports were of 10 lionesses, one young male and two beautiful adult males. Seems one lioness and the young male disappeared early on possibly moving back into their original territory. This left five adult lionesses approximately 6 to 12 yrs of age and four younger lionesses approximately 4 to 5 yrs of age. The two dominant males were believed to be between 8 - 10 yrs old. The lack of any cubs suggested the two adult males had recently taken over the pride.

The Nkuhuma Name - The pride was first named by the Guides and Trackers of the Djuma Game Reserve. On one of the very first sightings of them, they were seen lying near a Brown Ivory tree close to Jordaans Dam in Buffelshoek and the name Nkuhuma, which means Brown Ivory in Shangaan, was given to them.

They are also sometimes referred to as the Kuhuma pride with Kuhuma meaning “come out”. Elephant Plains lists their name as Koehuma and states it means “eight” in Shangaan. Various other spellings of their name may be found also ie Kahuma, Khuma.

December 8-9th 2006 - 5 of the Nkuhuma lionesses attacked and killed one of the two surviving Sandy Patch lionesses. She was last seen feeding on a zebra kill on the 8th and the next morning the 9th, her lifeless body was found not far from where the Nkuhuma pride was found and the tracks told the sad story. The death of this Sandy Patch lioness ultimately resulted in the death of her young cubs as well.

During the first part of 2007, there was literally a cub boom. At one point, it was believed the numbers swelled to upwards of 20 plus cubs for this pride.

The Nkuhuma Pride were seen regularly in Djuma throughout most of 2007. The two dominant males, were called Blondie and Dozie those that got to know them. They soon became a favorite and much loved pride of lions with visitors.

Another favorite character of this pride is Snaggletooth also known as Wonky Jaw. She apparently had a mishap years ago that left her jaw skewed with her right canine protruding at an odd angle up over her lip. She always looks like she is smiling thus some Rangers call her Smiles.


The relatively peaceful life this pride enjoyed continued until December 9th 2007 when Blondie was killed by members of the Mapogo Coaliton. He and his brother, Dozie, had been South of Djuma in Chitwa Chitwa mating with two Styx lionesses. The six Mapogos were in the area and some were attracted to where the Nkuhuma Males were by the territorial roaring of Blondie and Dozie. Arathusa Rangers found 3 of the Mapogos mobile and roaring when they first reached the sighting on their AM drive. They followed the lead male to where two more were found with one of the females the Nkuhuma males had been mating with the previous day. Later on their AM drive after following four Mapogo males as they followed the Styx female around, the four males and one Styx female were found calmly resting in the shade.

Upon their return in the afternoon, they found two of the four Mapogo males mating with two females while keeping the other two at bay. Other reports had indicated that one of the females had fled North with Dozie only to turn around and head back down South and apparently joining the other Styx lioness.

The Arathusa Rangers reported that later into the afternoon drive they came across the severely injured Nkuhuma Male known as Blondie. Blondie was said to be unable to move. Some reports said he was paralyzed. The four Mapogo males were only 200 meters away from where Blondie laid. The next day when the Arathusa Rangers returned to the sighting , they found the “badly mauled remains of the once proud Kuhuma male”.

After Blondie’s death, the pride consisted of nine lionesses, upwards to possibly 20 plus cubs, and Dozie the surviving Dominant Male.

January 12th 2008 - The next devastating blow to this pride came in the early morning hours before dawn on the 12th when five of the Mapogos stealthily came into Djuma and attacked the Nkuhuma pride while they were on a Giraffe kill on the Djuma side of the Buffelshoek Dam. Dozie the dominant male was not with them. Some reports say the Mapogo males were on the scent trail of the lone Sandy Patch lioness and just happened upon the Nkuhuma pride while others speculate they came into the area seeking out the Nkuhumas in an effort to take the pride over.

The results of this attack were not fully known as the Nkuhuma pride fled apparently in all directions but eventually ended up back in Manyeleti. What was known was the death of at least one male cub whose body was found that morning and speculation was that several other cubs were also killed. Over the next few days, reports were coming in of another Nkuhuma lioness injured and cubs lost/separated from the pride. Two lionesses were seen sneaking back into the area searching for lost cubs but had to flee as the Mapogos were still there. With the confusion during the attack, adults and cubs alike running for their lives in every direction, it will probably never be known what the actual toll on the Nkuhuma pride and their cubs was.

By March 13th 2008, the Nkuhumas again felt safe enough to start frequenting the Djuma area. That false sense of security didn’t last long.

*Guests at Djuma had reported awesome sightings on the 11th and 12th of March of Dozie and 9 possibly 10 lionesses with 13 - 14 cubs in attendance (plus there were reports of another two small cubs still at a den site). The guests also reported seeing five of the Mapogo Males near Galago Camp on the night of the 11th.

On the 13th of March, tragedy again struck the Nkuhuma Pride. The Mapogo males had once again attacked the magnificent Nkuhuma pride. Guests reported seeing two lionesses and a single cub running across the road in front of their game vehicle shortly followed by a single very frenzied Mapogo Male. The Nkuhuma trio managed to escape their pursuer. Unfortunately, one lioness did not. Wildearth videos showed the lifeless body of a beautiful lioness laying not far from the road. Rangers and guests reported upon their arrival, one Mapogo male was not far from the dead lioness with a partially eaten cub in his mouth. A short distance further, another Mapogo with a dead cub. In all, it was thought that at least four cubs were killed along with the brave lioness that tried to protect them. Surely, with 5 large males attacking them there must have been more injuries or even deaths within the pride.

After this attack the Nkuhuma pride and their dominant male, Dozie, fled to the North. Sighting reports for them were few and far between. The dominant male was still being seen occasionally coming into Djuma throughout May 2008 and there were other sightings of him for a few months after. Then he just seemed to have vanished. Possibly he went further North or even into the Kruger National Park. As for the rest of the pride, sightings were mostly of 4 to 6 lionesses at a time together with upwards of 8. The cubs were said to be 6 males and 2 females. Possibly more survived and the pride had just split up as some sightings were reporting 5 - 6 cubs seen, with 4 - 5 lionesses.

Snaggletooth survived the attacks and was reported several times to be with the young Manyeleti Males mating in 2008 and at times was accompanied by another lioness. Video footage from Africam:

Lioness @ NK! 8-26-08 video by Scatron

A Nkuhuma lioness was viewed and photographed by Trappies, who was on Safari in July 2008. She was severely injured and limping. Less than two months later, the same lioness was on the verge of death and literally skin and bones. Trappies also saw and photographed Dozie while on his July visit into the area. Dozie was looking as beautiful as ever.

Various reports of the Nkuhuma lionesses and cubs indicate they started moving into some of the Eastern areas and even venturing South. Towards the end of Aug 2008 they were found on a buff carcass South of Nkorho and just North of Mala Mala. It was during this same time period that Mala Mala reported 4 sub adults (2 males and 2 females) believed to be Nkuhuma youngsters on their property close to their Northern border. It was apparent that the lionesses were not too far off as these youngsters were still dependent on their mothers for survival.

Sadly on Aug 31st, one of the sub adult males was again viewed and it became apparent that he was near blind. He was stumbling into bushes, trees and was calling for the rest of his pride. He was not seen again until Sept 5th when it became clear he was totally blind. More than likely he was the victim of a spitting cobra. Due to the sensitive nature of the situation, the sighting was closed. The youngster was estimated to be 15 mos.

It wasn’t long until this unfortunate youngster ran into the Styx Pride and their cubs. He was viciously attacked on two occasions by the lionesses with the second attack being far worse. The Styx Pride left the youngster severely wounded and the Mala Mala Rangers doubted he would last the night. No further information was reported on this youngster but it is almost with certainty that he did not survive.

September 6 2008 - A pride of lions visited the Nkorho Pan and were seen on Africam's live cam. By the size of the pride and their nervousness, it was assumed to be the Nkuhuma Pride. This was just 4 days after they had a run in with the Styx Pride and Two Mapogo Males in Djuma.

Lion Pride at Nkorho 09/06/08

October 29, 2008 - Mala Mala reported the Brown Ivory Pride (Nkuhuma Pride) being into the Northern area of their Reserve. At this sighting, there were four adult lionesses, two sub adult males, and three approximately 10 month old cubs. These numbers, ages and sexes of the sub adults/cubs conflict with other sightings of this pride after the flight from Djuma and the threat of the Mapogo Coalition. This sighting adds credence to the possibility that more of the Nkuhuma Pride may have survived and are moving around the area in smaller core groups.

Video from Africam.

Manyeleti & Nkuhuma 17Nov08 by Sagresta

So what of the Nkuhuma Pride in 2009? They are still seen in Buffelshoek and surrounding areas and are even venturing back into Djuma more frequently.

January 19th, 26th, 28th, & 29th 2009 - The Nkuhuma Pride was seen in Djuma. The sightings consisted of 9 - 10 total members to include a mix of both adult lionesses and sub adults. Snaggletooth was also present on those sightings.

On the 30th of January, five of the Mapogo Coalition to include the dominant older male were seen also. The Nkuhuma pride fled the area again.

March 2nd 2009, Snaggletooth was seen mating again with the Manyeleti Male inside of Buffelshoek. .

More recent sightings included four lionesses (one being Snaggletooth) and five to six sub adults. Of the sub adults, there were 3 males and the others were females. Two of the male sub adults had left hip injuries with one being severe. One of the female sub adults was also seen with a slight limp. The one youngster with the sever hip injury could barely walk when seen on May 5th and it was thought the leg may be broken but by May 7th he was not in as much pain and was putting more weight on the leg. It looked as if his hip may have been dislocated and if so, one can only wonder what the future may hold for him?

We can only hope the number of members being seen on individual sightings do not reflect the actual count for this pride. Hopefully, they are just moving about in smaller core groups and there are indeed more Nkuhuma lionesses and cubs out there surviving.

Please remember this is a compilation of information gathered from many sources and nothing is set in stone. Corrections/additions will be noted as more information comes forward.


(*Dennis Vohs and party visiting Galago Camp)

Aquila's picture

Windmill PrideInformation

Windmill Pride

Information gathered from Mala Mala, Elephant Plains, Nkorho, Djuma and Africam.

The Windmill Pride is fairly new to the Nkorho/Elephant Plains/Djuma area. They originated from Central Eastern Mala Mala near the Kruger border in an area known as Windmill. Due to their close proximity to Kruger, they have often disappeared into the Kruger National Park for many months at a time.

This pride has been followed by Mala Mala since 2000 when they started keeping the history updates on the lion prides seen on their reserve.

The Windmill pride was a very large pride in early 2000 numbering 17 to 18. The pride consisted of 8 adult lionesses, 3 sub adults, 6 cubs ranging in age of 8 to 13 months in age and accompanying them was a 4-5 yr old male. Exact status and make up of the pride was not possible due to extremely wet conditions and flooding in the area at the time.

Over the years, their numbers varied with births, deaths, and the disappearances of various members both adults and cubs alike. The pride often would split up into separate cores making it even more difficult to keep tabs on the wellbeing of the pride and the number of their members.

The Windmill Pride mainly were under the dominance of the three Ridge Rock Males during 2002/2003. The four Skukuza Males became the dominant males for the pride in 2005 With the death of one male, the other three continued to dominate the Windmills right up until they disappeared once again into Kruger during 2006.

In mid 2006, when the pride again disappeared into Kruger, sightings included only 4 to 6 lionesses though it was thought the pride still consisted of 8. The two youngest listed as an adult approximately 4 years 7 months and a sub adult approximately 3 yrs 8 mos, the other adults ages were unknown. Around this same time frame, two lionesses were thought to have recently given birth and that would have explained their separation from the pride.

Towards the end of February of 2007, the pride reappeared once again in Mala Mala and consisted of 7 lionesses. They again returned to Kruger and were not seen for many months. In December 2007, 3 adult lionesses and 5 cubs made a surprise appearance again in Mala Mala. The approximate age of the cubs were 2 males 1 yr 6 mos, 2 females 1 yr 6 mos and 1 male 1 yr 3 mos.

The most recent reappearance of this pride was in January 2009. Recent sightings consists of 2 to 3 adult lionesses and 5 sub adults. The sub adults would have been born around the time of the mid 2006 disappearance and thus would have been sired by the Skukuza Males whose disappearance from the area seemed to coincide with that of the Windmill Pride.

Known sightings of this pride in the recent months include Mala Mala, Nkorho, Elephant Plains and Djuma.

They were sighted in Djuma on Weaver's Nest Road on April 27th 2009. First they were thought to be the Nkuhuma Pride but it was determined they were indeed the Windmill Pride. A few days after this sighting, they were found on a Buffalo kill in Mala Mala near the Kruger border. They remained on the kill for several days and had an Impala kill also.

Looking forward to seeing and learning more of this awesome pride.

Approximate ages for the Pride for April 2009:

3 Adult Lionesses - Ages Unknown

2 Sub Adult Males 2 years 10 months

2 Sub Adult Females 2 years 10 months

1 Sub Adult Male 2 years 7 months

Due to the infrequency of this pride returning to Mala Mala over the last few years, the age of the sub adults is only an estimate.

May 2009

Aquila's picture

Update to the saga of the

Update to the saga of the Mapogos versus the Eyrefield Pride, Roller Coaster Male and Solo (the young Tsalala Male).   Latest reports indicate that so far the Roller Coaster Male and Solo seem to have come out of the attacks since April 8th by the Mapogos unscathed.   Sadly, two of the Eyrefield sub adults have been reported killed in these attacks.   The most recent report from previous week found Solo, the Roller Coaster male and 6 of the 7 surviving sub adults together within Mala Mala but missing were the 3 adult lionesses and one female sub adult.   It is not known the reason for the separation but hopefully the missing members will reunite with the rest of the pride and haven't fallen victim to the Mapogos.

The attacks were reported to have taken place in Londolozi.

Information acquired through the site and/or shared by their head Ranger.




Aquila's picture

Some disturbing news

Some disturbing news reported last week on Mala Mala.   Seems they had reports that 8 of the Eyrefield pride were heading back towards Mala Mala from the West.  The other 4 including Solo (the adopted young male and son of BB from the Tsalala pride) were under attack by the Mapogo Coalition/Eyrefield males. 

8 Eyrefield lions, 2 adult lionesses, 3 young males, 3 young females, were found later in the morning near Rattray's camp.  Missing from this group were Solo, an adult lioness and 2 youngsters.   Eventually that evening the pride was said to be moving cautiously back towards the West.

I certainly hope this pride, the Eyrefields, did not lose members to the Mapogos which happened to have originated from this very same pride (2 adult lionesses are their sisters and one may very well be the mother to some of the Mapogos).   :(    Solo, the young Tsalala male, that had been constantly stalked and under attack by the Mapogos when he was still with the Tsalala pride had just recently found refuge with the Eyrefield pride.   I pray he made it through this ordeal.

No reports on the old Roller Coaster male and his whereabouts.   I hope he wasn't with the Eyrefield pride during this confrontation as he is the dominant male for that pride as well as for the Styx pride. 

Joe14's picture

Oops, sorry about that. I

Oops, sorry about that. I don't know how I wound up in 2008, I thought I was in '09. I'm glad to know that there were no new incidents like that though.

Ingwe's picture

donnabac wrote:from March

donnabac wrote:

from March 2008, not recently.

Whoops!  Thanks Donna!

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