Shenton Safaris

Adorable sighting: Lion cubs at play

Lion cubs playing with their dad

The cubs playing with South Luangwa’s famous lion Ginger © Nadja Pilz / Croc Valley Camp

Visitors to the South Luangwa National Park have been blessed recently with heart-melting sightings of three little lion cubs, a real highlight of every African safari!

Lion cub with adult male lion in South Luangwa

Sizing up dad © Nadja Pilz / Croc Valley Camp

It is the latest offspring of South Luangwa’s iconic male lion coalition Ginger and Garlic, who share a rather extraordinary bond of brotherly love and actively breed and raise cubs in their conjoint territory.

Pale male lion in South Laungwa National Park

Ginger the lion © Nadja Pilz / Croc Valley Camp

As both male lions share the mating rights with females of their prides, it is hard to make conclusions of which lion is the biological father of the present litter. Both lions seem to tolerate and interact with the cubs in a gentle and non-threatening manner.

A lion cub hangs out on his dad's back in South Luangwa

Ginger quite at ease with a young cub playing on him © Nadja Pilz / Croc Valley Camp

This is quite an unusual arrangement within the lion kingdom, as male lions are notorious to kill the offspring sired by other males in order to spread their own genetics.

Two lion cubs playing together on a dead tree

The cubs left alone to themselves, posing for photos © Nadja Pilz / Croc Valley Camp

Like all children, the South Luangwa cubs love to play and recently made for an amazing sighting when teasing their dad (or maybe step-dad?) Ginger, who couldn’t resist but joining the game.

Two lion cubs playing

The cubs enjoy some time alone © Nadja Pilz / Croc Valley Camp

Meanwhile, Garlic and the pride’s females were catching a snooze in the surrounding bushes.

Three lion cubs sleeping in South Luangwa National Park

Time for a nap © Nadja Pilz / Croc Valley Camp



Croc Valley Camp

Croc Valley Camp is an affordable, rustic haven set on the banks of the Luangwa River in Zambia. The environmentally-friendly chalets are raised on stilts in order to avoid the seasonal floods. Each chalet provides a wonderful view over the river.

Africa Geographic