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Tsalala Pride

Anonymous's picture
Tsalala Pride

Tsalala Pride

Please remember the information is pieced together from Sighting Reports and Newsletters from Mala Mala, Londolozi, Djuma, Savanna, Nkorho, Elephant Plains, Singita, Exeter, Arathusa, Ulusaba, Inyati, Wildwatch, Idube, Leopard Hills, Simbambili along with helpful Rangers and staff at the various lodges and reserves answering questions sent their way. 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)

Lion Family (Tsalala Pride) Elephant Plains - 1

Lion Family (Tsalala Pride) Elephant Plains - 2

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.

Update May 2009 - Elephant Plains reports that the Tsalala Pride has six cubs approximately seven weeks old. These cubs were sired by the members of the Mapogo Coalition.

By July 2009, BB had appeared with 2 more cubs bringing the total to 8 cubs for the pride.

Video by Londolozi Game Reserve Aug. 2009. Look how aggressive the young cubs are while feeding.



Feb 2010- All 8 cubs are alive and well. Simbambili reported the cubs have been sexed and there are 2 males and 6 females. Under the protection of the Mapogo/Mlowthi males, Kinky Tail and Mr T, these cubs have a very good chance for survival.

Update July 9, 2010 - Up until just recently, the Tsalala pride and their 8 cubs had been doing exceptionally well. The cubs growing strong and big from the excellent hunting abilities of their mothers.

June 19th/20th - The pride and 8 cubs made a kill at Elephant Plains near the lodge. The sounds of the feeding frenzy could be heard on the Elephant Plains live cam. At dawn, the entire pride was seen coming to the pan for a drink and a rest around the Elephant Plains waterhole.

There were concerns after Kinky Tail (Mapogo/Mlowathi male) was killed June 8th by the new young coalition, the Majingilane males, that Mr T, Kinky Tail's brother, would head back to the Tsalala pride and possible put them in danger of attack by the new coalition that seemed intent on finding and destroying him.

Those fears came true during the night and early am of June 28th/29th. The four young males found the Tsalala pride along with Mr T in Londolozi. A fight ensued. Lions scattered both North and South. Eventually, Mr T was reported to have rejoined his brothers in the West. The Tsalala pride and youngsters were reported scattered here, there and everywhere. The deaths of two cubs being reported and believed to be one male and one female.

A report from Arathusa for this morning, July 9th, indicates the Tsalala pride has reunited and is on their property near the lodge. All 3 adult lionesses survived as did 6 of the 8 youngsters.

Update thru Oct 2010 - The Tsalala Pride have come upon harder times since the death of Kinky Tail and the departure of Mr T. They ventured further West and met up with Mr T and some of the other Mapogo males. While on a kill there, they had a run in with the Ottawa Pride and the pride was once again scattered.

Reports of the youngsters being seen scattered and on their own are becoming all too familiar. On one such incidence around Oct 8/9th in Londolozi, four of the young females ventured upon a hyena den. The outcome was tragic for one. She was severely mauled and death seemed imminent. The next morning, no signs were left of her.

Londolozi's Blog - The Demise of the Tsalala Pride

Graphic Video of the young Tsalala female at the Hyena den.


The other three young females were found safe lying up near the airstrip.

Another young female seemed to be missing and the only surviving young male had been seen wandering around on his own for awhile.

The adult females have also been split up frequently. Mostly from the threat of the Majingilane males. Various sightings of BB alone or with one or more of the youngster were common as were sightings of her two adult daughters being on their own. On occasions, the adult lionesses were viewed mating with the Majingilane males. Most likely in an effort to placate them while the youngsters could escape.

On October 21st 2010, Londolozi reported seeing all eight of the Tsalala pride together again (3 adult lionesses, the 3 hyena den survivors, the missing young female and the young male). A sighting that is getting rarer all the time and one that didn't last long as the next day two of the adult lionesses were again with two of the Majingilanes.

Sadly, the Tsalala pride now numbers only eight (3 adult lionesses, 5 youngsters).

UPDATE Nov 2nd 2010 - The sub adult female thought to have been killed in the Oct 8th/9th encounter with the Hyena Clan is ALIVE! She has been seen by both Londolozi and Mala Mala rangers a few days ago. She is missing most of her tail and is in poor condition but has reunited with some of the pride.

The pride again numbers 9 in total.

Update: Things change so fast in the bush. Happiness one day to sadness another. On November 4th, 2010, two Majingilane males came upon two adult Tsalala lionesses (the Sisters) along with the sub adult male and the little half tail sub adult that had miraculously survived the previous months attack by Hyenas. This occurred at a dam in Arathusa. The two Majingilanes killed the last surviving sub adult male of the Tsalala pride and then set off to track down the fleeing half tail sub female.

You can read more about this encounter from Simbambili here: Leopard Diaries 1st - 8th November 2010

On Nov 12th, 2010, Londolozi reported finding the Half Tail sub adult female dead near a Giraffe carcass that the four Majingilane males were on. It was apparent that the males had killed her.

BB, the tailless older adult lioness, has been seen since this incident along with the surviving four cubs of the pride.

Let's hope she can stay one step ahead of these males and keep those youngsters alive.

Sadly, the Tsalala Pride is down to seven total (3 adult lionesses, 4 sub adult females).


Updated November 2010

By Aquila and Karen in VA

Lion_Blogger's picture

Sadly, I have added an

Sadly, I have added an update about the deaths of two of the Tsalala sub adults.   The Majingilne males have killed two more since my last update.

donnabac's picture

Hopeful News!! Incredible...

Hopeful News!! Incredible...


Lion_Blogger's picture

Wanted to add a quick

Wanted to add a quick update.  The Tsalala sub female that was severely attacked a few weeks ago at the hyena den has survived.  She has been seen by both Londolozi and Mala Mala rangers a few days ago.  Everyone had assumed the worse and that she was dead.   Most of her tail is gone and she is in very poor condition but she has reunited with some of the pride.     Blog will be updated soon to reflect this information.

Gerda's picture

Tsalala pride female,

Tsalala pride female, BB.

Elephant Plains - May 2008



BB with cub, (cub believed to have deceased in July 2008)

Elephant Plains, 18 May 2008






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