Safaris & stories
Africa Geographic
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Africa Geographic Travel
Lionesses lying down
© Tintswalo Safari Lodge

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.

Male lion walking
© Tintswalo Safari Lodge

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.

Lion pride with buffalo kill
© Tintswalo Safari Lodge

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.

Lion pride with lionesses and cubs
© Tintswalo Safari Lodge

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!

Two male lions
© Tintswalo Safari Lodge

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.

Lion and lioness
© Tintswalo Safari Lodge

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

Birmingham Pride
• 2 – 5 females
• 2 young males of about 3 years old – these males are now independent

Lion and lioness
© Tintswalo Safari Lodge

Mbiri Pride plus Nharu young male
• 4 females
• 7 sub-adults about 2 years old
• 1 young Nharu male 3 years old

Avoca/Giraffe males
• These 3 powerful males are about 10 years old

Nharu Pride
• 3 females
• 8 sub-adults about 3 years old

Male lion grooming
© Tintswalo Safari Lodge

Talamati Pride
• 5 females

Avoca males
• 3 males that are about 5 years old

Nkuhuma Pride
• Last time we saw the Nkuhumas, there were 11 lions in total

Torchwood Pride
• Last time we saw the Torchwoods, there were 10 lions in total.

Male lion
© Tintswalo Safari Lodge
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Tintswalo Safari Lodge

Settled on the unfenced western boundary of South Africa’s Kruger National Park, at the heart of the African bush, lies the private Manyeleti Game Reserve. Sharing the vast Manyeleti wilderness with only one other commercial lodge, the luxurious Tintswalo Safari Lodge offers all the raw, natural beauty of Africa.