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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

Please remember the

Please remember the information is pieced together from Sighting Reports and Newsletters from Londolozi, Elephant Plains, Djuma Game Reserve, Savanna. Some of the information may be conflicting.

Tsalala/Chalala/Selala/Chalada Pride - Note: This pride is known on Mala Mala as the Marthly Pride. (Thank you Andrew)

This Pride's roots come from the same original Pride as does the Roller Coaster/Shaw/Castleton Males.

In 1997, 2 females broke away from their original pride of the Castletons. They became known as the Tsalala Pride named after the Tsalala Pan they frequented early on.

These two Tsalala Lionesses mated with the 5 West Street/Sparta males (who also sired the Mapogos) and produced 7 cubs early in 1998. Sadly, only 2 cubs survived a male and a female. Eventually the male was killed by poachers leaving only the female cub that is the Oldest of the Tsalala Pride today known as BB.

One of the two original first Tsalala females died in 2000 from a zebra kick leaving the remaining adult female and her sub adult female cub, BB.

By 2002, the cub, BB, had matured and remained with her Mother. Both Mother and Daughter mated with the remaining 2 Split Rock/Marthly Males and both produced cubs in December of 2002. Unfortunately, the Mother was killed by Hyenas and her cubs were lost. Her daughter, BB, remained along with her two female cubs that are known today as the "Young" Tsalala lionesses that we see around Elephant Plains.

BB, mated again with the Split Rock/Marthly males in 2005 and produced a litter or 4 (3male, 1 female) and her two 30 month old daughters remained with her. Tragedy struck again when in Dec 2005 it is speculated that a fight with Hyenas may have occured and left BB with no tail. Bitten off close to the base. She survived but by March 2006 only 2 young male cubs remained. Some conflicting reports on time line come into play now. The two daughters around the end of 2005 left their Mother and went with a male lion believed to be from Kruger. The names associated with him are Serengeti/Kruger Male/Vulolo/Rocky. It is speculated the two daughters left their Mother to ensure the safety of their Mother's cubs as the Serengeti/Vulolo/ male, "Rocky", would have killed them.

Of BB's two remaining male cubs, one was killed by the Roller Coaster/Shaw/Castleton males late in 2006. The remaining male cub is called “Solo“ and just recently has been accepted into the Eyrefield Pride.

Now for how the "Young" Tsalala Females got reunited with their Mother, BB and her sub adult son. Though the Young Tsalalas moved off with the Serengeti/Vulolo male and produced litters in April and July of 2006. By early 2007 reports were coming in that the Serengeti/Vulolo male and the two "Young" Tsalala females and most of their cubs had been killed by male lions. First thought the 2 Split Rock/Marthly males to be the culprits. It was said that two of the cubs survived and some how had been reunited with BB, their Grandmother. Soon this story would unfold as untrue. The truth apparently was the Mapogos had killed and eaten "Rocky" the Serengeti/Vulolo male. The two "Young" Tsalala females survived as did their 6 cubs and they were seen again in the EP area around May 2007. The conflicting side to this story is that the two Daughters, their 6 cubs, BB and her two sub adult male cubs were all together in Dec 2006 when attacked by the Roller Coaster Males which resulted in the death of one of the sub adult male cubs.

In June of 2007, BB was seen with suckle marks indicating she had cubs but no further reports were made on any cubs so they must have been lost at some point.

In July 2007, the two Young Tsalala females were reported seen on Djuma. There were only four cubs with them and one adult female was limping. It is not known what became of the other two cubs. During the report month, two more cubs disappeared. It was reported by EP that two cubs were killed by the Mapogos.Before the end of 2007, only one female cub had survived. In September 2008, a ranger from Elephant Plains reported the last surviving sub-adult female, now over 2 years old, was dead. No information on how she met her demise was given but a report from Savanna says she had successfully joined the Ximungwe Pride of which the Tsalalas originated from. Let's hope the reports on her death were incorrect and she is indeed alive and well living with another pride.

BB was reported in Feb of 2008 to have a 1 1/2 month old cub and it is speculated that a Mapogo is the sire. Below are a couple of videos of happier times for BB, Solo (her sub adult son), and the cub. (Videos by jednaxle)

March 2008, one of the Tsalala females has one 3 week old cub per reports from Elephant Plains. The Tsalala females are trying to keep the Mapogo Males away from the den site as they fear for the cub's safety even though they have been mating with Mapogo Males recently as well as previously in November 2007.

Tsalala Pride February 2009 & Approximate dates of birth:

BB "Tsalala Mother" - January 1998 (Alive and Well on last reports)

BB's Sub Adult Son “Solo“- July 2005 (Reports indicate Solo is trying to stay clear of the Mapogo Coalition) UPDATE: Mala Mala has reported (Feb 2009) that Solo has been accepted into the Eyrefield Pride. Same Pride the Mapogo/Eyrefield Males originated from.

BB's 1 Cub - Dec 2007/Jan 2008 (Believed Deceased July 2008 - Speculations are some of the Mapogos may have killed the cub though it was thought that one of the Mapogos had indeed sired the cub.)


BB's 2 Daughters - December 2002 (previously reported born in Dec 2003) - Alive and Well on last report. Possibly with cubs sired by the Mopogos.

6 Cubs - April 2006 (2 males, 1 female) or July 2006 (2 females, 1 male) (5 were reported Deceased by October 2007. Most of the cubs deaths were attributed to the Mapogo Coalition. Last surviving female cub was reported by Elephant Plains as being Dead by September 2008 yet reports from Savanna Lodge June 2008 states she was accepted into the Ximungwe Pride from which the Tsalala pride originated from.)

1 Cub - Feb/Mar 2008 (Deceased)


2009 - Both BB and her Two Daughters may have bore new cubs sired by the Mapogos.


Updated March 2009

Aquila and Karen in VA

Aquila's picture

Hi Sabine, I don't know any

Hi Sabine, I don't know any specifics on the pecking order but imagine there is one or certainly will be in time. The oldest (unrelated one) is or was probably the dominant one as he first set out with only two of the oldest related ones back towards the end of 2004. This unrelated male from my readings is a very independent lion and very bold and brave even on his own. I suppose that came from his fending for himself and not really being accepted by the pride he had latched on to. Yet, when the West Street males were dwindled down in numbers and got up in age, it was this youngster that was responsible for many of the kills that helped support the pride.

I've read and heard that several of the related ones seem to have closer bonds to their same age sibling. At some of the kills or kill steals, not all are willing to call the rest of the coalition to dinner or respond to roars by the others that are searching for them. Makes one wonder if in time they will split off in groups of 3 or 2.

As for names, I haven't read of any names the rangers call them but some on a live drive have given nicknames to a few. I think most have heard the two youngest (due to their unique hair dos) called Mr T and T 2. Rather those nicknames will catch on only time will tell. LOL

sabine's picture

Fantastic information! 

Fantastic information!  Thank you  :-)

Because of their relation and number size, have you learned if they have a pecking order when it comes time to eating or are they as relaxed about this as they seem to be about mating with neighbouring prides?  Also, do the rangers have individual names for each member?

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