Summer has arrived and the rains have come, and that means one exciting thing: the big herds of buffalo are returning to the area, and we expect to witness some thrilling action from the legendary buffalo hunters of the Manyeleti. The lions of Tintswalo are renowned for their competence in hunting large buffaloes in dramatic conflicts that showcase their immense strength, strategy and stamina.
With green shoots decorating the bushveld, the buffalo are back and we’re eagerly anticipating the upcoming lion-buffalo clashes.
Tintswalo’s regular lion prides have been prowling about as usual, and we’ve already been treated to a few amazing sightings as the powerful carnivores gather around the watering holes after the summer thundershowers. In one month alone, we’ve been able to watch five different prides and three different lion coalitions.
The Mbiri Pride has already pounced into action with the buffalo herds, and recently hunted down a large bull, fortifying their reputation as the Manyeleti’s most formidable hunting pride.
We were excited to discover a new pride in the far north of the reserve, consisting of seven strong-looking females and five cubs.
It’s always wonderful to find new lions! The dynamic of the region undergoes an exhilarating change as they come face-to-face with other prides.
At Tintswalo, we now refer to this new pride as the Orpen Pride, and the two large males that move with them as the Orpen males. The two males are imposing and strong, and as they migrate further south into the reserve, they pose a real threat to the Koppies males.
We’re eager to see how this pride integrates into the existing lions of Tintswalo!
We’re also expecting to see some cubs on the reserve, in the very near future.
The young Avoca males have been spotted with the Talamati females in the south and further north, the Koppies Pride has enjoyed the company of the Red Road male.
Like an African Game of Thrones, the lions of Tintswalo experience regular upheavals and transformation, with the change in power dynamics and the arrival of new blood on the reserve.
At this time, we have record of ten factions currently roaming the Manyeleti:
Orpen Pride (NEW!)
• 2 males
• 4-6 females and cubs of about 5 months.
• The dominant male in the pride is known as ‘Junior Nkuhuma’, and he’s originally from the northern Sabi Sands and southern Manyeleti where Nkuhuma reign.
Koppies Pride with Red Road male
• 3 females
• 1 young male of about 1.5 years old
• 2 – 5 females
• 2 young males of about 3 years old – these males are now independent
Mbiri Pride plus Nharu young male
• 4 females
• 7 sub-adults about 2 years old
• 1 young Nharu male 3 years old
• These 3 powerful males are about 10 years old
• 3 females
• 8 sub-adults about 3 years old
• 5 females
• 3 males that are about 5 years old
• Last time we saw the Nkuhumas, there were 11 lions in total
• Last time we saw the Torchwoods, there were 10 lions in total.