Klaserie River Sands

Epic lion battle in Nsefu

Lionesses take on two male lions in the Nsefu sector, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

© Peter Geraerdts

Written, and photographs, by Peter Geraerdts

During one of my photographic safaris in the Nsefu sector of the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia, I was watching two young male lions nearby a drying lagoon. Lions often position themselves along the last remaining water sources within the area where wildlife is likely to come drink or bath.

Lionesses take on two male lions in the Nsefu sector, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

© Peter Geraerdts

Suddenly out of nowhere six related females from the ruling pride appeared cornering the two young males.

Lionesses take on two male lions in the Nsefu sector, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

© Peter Geraerdts

These females surely didn’t want to have the two nomadic males in their territory, resulting in a short, fierce battle but with minimum injuries for both parties.

Lionesses take on two male lions in the Nsefu sector, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

© Peter Geraerdts

Young male lions are driven out of the pride around the age of three and basically have to fend for themselves, find a new territory to settle and establish their own pride.

Lionesses take on two male lions in the Nsefu sector, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

© Peter Geraerdts

A reason for this sudden clash between the females and the two males could have been that one or more females were having cubs nearby and by fending off the young males they were protect their cubs.

Lionesses take on two male lions in the Nsefu sector, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

© Peter Geraerdts

Lion cubs are very vulnerable especially when the mother leaves them alone for sometimes more than 24 hours when going out hunting with the other pride members. Hyena, wild dogs, leopard and unrelated male lions will kill cubs when they have a chance to eliminate competition.

Lionesses take on two male lions in the Nsefu sector, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

© Peter Geraerdts



Track & Trail River Camp

Track & Trail River Camp is a privately owned lodge located on a breathtaking spot on the banks of the Luangwa River overlooking the South Luangwa National Park. They are an owner run lodge that is specialised in photographic safaris

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