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Wildlife . People . Travel
Klaserie Sands River Camp

Written by Declan Kelly, an Amakhosi Ranger

With Amakhosi being a Big 5 Game Reserve, one tends to see the extraordinary on a weekly, if not daily basis.
However, when the Old Boss met the New Boss… well that’s the sighting that dreams are made of…

©Philip Khumalo

The night before, the King of the Jungle had met the usurper to his throne, a young Male lion had been cornered high on a lookout spot. But it wasn’t just the old male that the youngster had been fighting it was the whole pride!

Instead of supporting the usurpers claim, the three females rallied around their king and the youngster was surrounded, he mounted a valiant defence but in the end realised he was outnumbered and ran to the safety of the bush.

The following day, after hearing about this incident, I made the decision to investigate further whilst on a game drive. I was accompanied by several guests and we immediately headed to a high point up a hill to get a better view. Just as we reached the top we spotted a very majestic looking adult male lion. He was surveying his kingdom and appeared relaxed and regal.

©Philip Khumalo

Looking down the valley we noticed the three females lying in a clearing in the bush, they couldn’t have been more than 200 metres from the road. We seized the opportunity to take photos before making our way back down to continue our drive. We didn’t get far, one of the guests  let out an excited shout, “it’s him!! It’s the young male again!!”

He was using our departure to escape. He had been hiding in the bush that whole time, too afraid to move.
Suddenly the king appeared and the youngster came to a stop.

©Philip Khumalo

The young male was tired of running and wanted the matter decided now. The atmosphere was tense, would the old male allow him to join the pride, knowing that one day the usurper will again try to oust the old Male from power, or will the pride kill the usurper in one swift move

The old male beckoned the pride to his side and as the females appeared it became obvious that the young male had little chance of escape. Despite the odds stacking against him, this young male proved to be no pushover, he stood his ground and it began…


Video by Sven Paton

I was honoured to have witnessed it

Now remember, if you found this account interesting, just imagine how much better it is when you’re here in person!


Amakhosi Safari Lodge

AmaKhosi Safari Lodge, situated in the heart of what was once the great Kingdom of the Zulu in northern KwaZulu-Natal. AmaKhosi Safari Lodge, is situated on the banks of the Mkuze River, in its own Private Game Reserve and is home to the big 5 as well as an abundance of bird life.