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Africa Geographic
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Shenton Safaris
Lion pride with cubs
© Greg McCall-Peat

Written, and photographs, by Greg McCall-Peat

The answer has to be nothing short of extremely cute. There is something about seeing lion cubs that creates a warm feeling deep down into one’s soul. Perhaps its because when they grow up they have an awe-inspiring presence to them, yet when they are so small their clumsy antics couldn’t be further from that image of power and domination they show as adults.

Their playful wrestling is all part of their training for the day when they are big enough to take down a buffalo – though now it merely looks entertaining and quite frankly adorable.

Two lion cubs playing
© Greg McCall-Peat

Here at Umlani Bushcamp, we are fortunate enough to have eight of these little balls of furry cuteness to view whilst out on safari, and we have had some quality sightings of the cubs as they rough house in a riverbed close to the den that the lionesses from the pride are keeping them in.

Lion cub with mother
© Greg McCall-Peat

It seems that all the lionesses in the pride gave birth more or less at the same time, so the cubs are all of similar age.

The lionesses can then take turns to look after and nurse the cubs should one or more of the mothers be away hunting for extended periods of time.

Lion cub and adults resting in the shade
© Greg McCall-Peat

Although the cubs all look pretty identical to us, it is amazing to see the bond between the different mothers and their cubs. They know exactly which cubs belong to which lioness.

Lions cubs playing in the sand
© Greg McCall-Peat

Even at rest these cubs are just too cute for words. This makes writing about them very challenging, so how about we rather let the pictures do all the talking?

Lion cub playing with sibling
© Greg McCall-Peat

It is going to be exciting times here watching all these cubs growing up and become important pride members one day, under the protection of both their pride and the two strong dominant males in the area.

Lion cub and adult resting
© Greg McCall-Peat

And with the abundance of prey animals found within their territory the future looks bright for these little ones. We look forward to watching them grow.

Attentive lion cub
© Greg McCall-Peat
Ndumu River Lodge
Umlani Bushcamp

Umlani Bushcamp is located in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, which shares an unfenced border with the Kruger National Park. This is true Big 5 territory and guests have an opportunity to see lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino on safe, expertly guided game drives and bush walks.