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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.


Iceage's picture

katip wrote: That pattern of

katip wrote:

That pattern of shooting wild animals  is unfortunately world wide. In spite of all kind of developement homo sapiens is still thinking  in a primitive way meeting a wild animal. Following Africam has given me a lot of hope for animals--but maybe it is just a dream.

Sad, sad,sad!

I have to agree on you Katip. I saw some furious reactions about what happened ( YES I AM MAD ALSO!)  But its like you stated a world wide problem.

Just look what happened to the Bears, Wolve's , Cougars and more of the wild life animals in Europe, Asia, and the Usa  and many more parts of planet earth!

Now  to be back on topic:about the 1 young male that might have escaped ?

I have questions:

It was reported that he went back in to the "reserve"protected area again.

I am sure that he will be on the look for his family pride some days even weeks ?

Will he be on his own now ? What happens if he meets another pride? Is there a chance that he will be accepted ? Ore does he make a big chance to get killed.

I asume if ( we still dont know)  he meets the Mayeleti Brothers, he could team up with them ? ( they might accept him because they need help now that 1 is badly hurted) (or worse)

I just do not know enough on how Lions behave in the wild bush and how the pride's are interfering and have relations with eachother.

(and how important age is ?)

Will the Mapogo's recognize him as one of their cubs ?

Still i am sad that this pride has been taken out.

They were beautifull animals! (i googled on picture's and writings about the Sand river pride).Cry

Take Care.

(Sorry for my english) i speak it better then i write it).

katip's picture

That pattern of shooting

That pattern of shooting wild animals  is unfortunately world wide. In spite of all kind of developement homo sapiens is still thinking  in a primitive way meeting a wild animal. Following Africam has given me a lot of hope for animals--but maybe it is just a dream.

Sad, sad,sad!

Joe14's picture

Wow, that article is even

Wow, that article is even more depressing than the original report. The parks official seems to believe that all lions are bloodthirsty maneaters who will hunt and kill humans as soon as they're given the opportunity. I'd be embarrassed to hear a young child parrot that ridiculous stereotype, let alone someone who works as a game official. Such a senseless and ridiculous tragedy.


Of course the killing of cows is problematic for the villagers and they deserve to be compensated for that. But, if the Leopard Hills site is to be believed, and I see no reason why it shouldn't, the reserves are more than willing to provide such compensation. 

 I really can't come to grips with this complete disrespect for nature from these officials. I have been enjoying the webcams and reading up on the many different Sabi Sands sites for a couple of years now, with an eye toward a trip to the Sabi Sands in 2010. As much as I appreciate the hard work of those who work at Nkorho lodge and contribute to this site and the cam, and the efforts of those at other Sabi Sands in updating the wildlife diaries, I really do have to question whether I'd want to contribute to Mpumalanga Tourism (after all, the Sabi Sands are part of Mupmalanga) when those responsible for the tourism in the province as a whole show such contempt for the wildlife within their borders. I guess there's always Tanzania...

Aquila's picture

According to contact with

According to contact with Leopard Hills, they are aware of the possible survival of the one cub. They will post if and when they have any news of him.

Ingwe's picture

Many thanks Aquila for

Many thanks Aquila for posting.  It's so sad and such a great loss.

I found an article in an Afrikaans newspaper


.... the translation of the article appears on the Sanwild site.

Cattle killing lions shot

Jan 25 2009 10:13:24:370PM - (SA)

Buks Viljoen

Six lions that killed a cow on Friday night near Hazyview in Mpumalanga were shot yesterday.

Officials of the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks agency started searching for the lions in thick bush adjoining the Sabi Sands Game Reserve on the weekend.

The lions escaped from the reserve on Friday night after it is alleged that a dominant male attacked and drove the animals from the reserve.

During the course of the night they caught a cow near one of the tribal chiefs “kraal” at the Dumphries C-settlement near Nkuhlu.

The fleeing pride of lions consisted of 7 animals – two adult females and five young males between the ages of 18 months and 2 years.

All but one of the young males was located and shot said Mr. Jan Muller of the Mpumalanga Parks Agency.

It is alleged that the pride of lions left the reserve on Friday after the perimeter fences was damaged in a flood the past week. The river remains in flood up to 200m wide in places.

Muller said that their efforts to chase the lions back into the reserve were unsuccessful.

“The bush in the area is very thick and because large numbers of people live in that area our department feared for the loss of human life.”

A decision was made to shoot the lions. Two years ago another pride of lions were shot under similar circumstances.

A pride of 11 lions left the reserve in the same area in April 2007. On this occasion the pride of lions killed 36 head of cattle belonging to the Dumphries community. Most of the pride members were then also shot.

donnabac's picture

OMG. Thank you for telling

OMG. Thank you for telling us Aquila. How incredibly sad and unnecessary this was!


Joe14's picture

I should apologize for my

I should apologize for my comments about the surrounding communities of Sabi Sands as I did not mean to insinuate that they were intolerant of wildlife. My understanding was that a former sabi sands leopard was once shot by community residents when entering a nearby community despite showing no threatening behavior, but that is still not enough to blame community intolerance for the tragedy that occurred a few days ago. I do realize that the communities play a vital role in staffing the lodges on the Sabi Sands as well. 

However, I stand by my other comments regarding the zoo-like characteristics of the Sabi Sands reserves, with some qualification. Kruger is indeed a large, well-protected natural reserve. However, in the other directions, the borders from the Sabi Sands strike me as zoo-like in nature, in that the so-called dangerous animals are often summarily shot when they leave the reserve properties. When animals escape from zoos, the same thing often happens. Sometimes zoo officials are utilized to attempt to tranquilize and recapture them, but sometimes they are shot by police officers or other similar personnel. Still, my "zoo" comparison is just as much about the animals lacking the freedom to inhabit or traverse the areas outside the reserves as it is about the specifics of how they are treated when they leave.

Perhaps it is unrealistic to expect the Sabi Sands neighbors to tolerate lions or leopards roaming their communities. I know it occurs in other parts of Africa, but apparently it is unacceptable here. To me that's too bad, particularly in light of their proximity to Sabi Sands and Kruger, but obviously it isn't up to me. I would certianly like to see more of an effort made to return the animals to the reserves though, if their presence cannot be tolerated outside the borders.


Still, I am not optimistic at all that there will be any lessons learned here, in light of the history of similar occurences in this specific area. The report in this thread indicates that the lodges are investigating and attempting to enhance communication with the conservation authorities, but I'm not sure why this process would be any more successful now than in years past.


As the article indicates, a similar event with other members of the Sandy Patch pride occurred a few years ago, and yet officials did not learn a lesson from that incident. Instead, they did not hesitate to slaughter the pride members once again this time around. Likewise, I can give two separate examples of leopards who resided in the Sabi Sands and were shot when they left the premises. These are the incidents that I know about, I would be surprised if they are the only ones. 

At any rate, while the report expresses good intentions in terms of communication with conservation officials, I am just not optimistic that anything will change after this incident, since similar occurrences have happened in the past and those lessons did nothing to help the Sandy Patch pride. I would love for some good to come out of their needless slaughter in the form of conservation officials working with the reserves to help return them to the Sabi Sands, but history indicates that it is not the likely outcome.

Let me be clear, I am not saying that the lodges are not doing enough to communicate with conservation officials and the community. They may well be doing all they can to attempt to change how such events are handled. However, as the past has shown, good intentions and effort by the reserves may not be enough to prevent similar incidents going forward.

Chardon Miller's picture

 Rest in peace sweet pride.

lion at sunset


Rest in peace sweet pride. <tears>

Chardon      white         

donnabac's picture

Well said, Ngala. It is

Well said, Ngala. It is heartbreaking. There are a few places left that provide some semblance of what was. The lodges and the communities around them are trying. We must keep working.


Ngala79's picture

I am saddened by the loss of

I am saddened by the loss of an entire lion pride due to the fact that they left the reserve where they were protected. I then read Joe14's comments regarding the communities surrounding the reserve and the apparent 'zoo' that is the Sabi Sands/Kruger area. There are very few truly wild places left in the world and the Kruger is definitely one of those places. 

I feel that these comments are completely unfounded, the communities had nothing to do with the lions being shot, the decision to shoot the pride was taken solely by the conservation authorities. This decision to shoot the pride was made, as far as I am aware, without the consultation of the lodges, who would have provided a means of returning the lions to the reserve, as in the previous cases of the leopard leaving the reserve.

The communities are well aware of the importance and benefit of having the wildlife, many of the surrounding villages are where the bulk of the lodge and hospitality staff are sourced. They do however have a right to the safety of their possesions and person and with lions roaming this could not be gauranteed. This however does not warrant the senseless killing of an entire pride!

The loss of these lions should be seen as a lesson that we learn from and can avoid in future, through proper communication by all of the involved parties, be they the conservation authorities, the communities and the lodges. These are issues that we have to deal with in conservation and yes there are times that we are overjoyed by a result or outcome but then there are days, like today where things don't work out, but we have to continue and work at getting it right.

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