Memorable sightings are part and parcel of a Kruger safari, right? While most guests expect to see a kill when they hear about a lion sighting from a passing vehicle, our guests got to see something much more unique – animal interaction in its most basic sense.
During a recent game drive in the Kruger National Park in South Africa, Outlook Safaris’ guests spotted a lion and a lioness mating. Our vehicle was also one of the first ones there, giving us the perfect view of this scene.
Lion mating practices are fascinating and usually quite aggressive. Having said that, these two seemed fairly nurturing towards each other. The number varies but it’s said that lions can mate 20 to 40 times a day or every 15 to 20 minutes… sounds exhausting!
Copulation can be extremely painful for a lioness (males actually have barbs on their penises – ouch!) but if successful, she’ll produce young about three-and-a-half-months later.
It’s not always a given, but when a male cub reaches maturity, and should it be kicked out of the pride, it would then form a separate one with other males that have also been ostracised. However, young male lions that are submissive to the dominant male or older male lions usually stay within the pride. The dominant male has a crucial role in the pride – that of a protector – and he is also expected to mate with all the lionesses in that pride.
One thing’s for sure, for Outlook Safaris, this lion and lioness sighting on one of our Kruger safaris, was one for the books!