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Africa Geographic Travel

On a recent early morning game in Hwange National Park, we made a fantastic discovery of some tiny lion cubs with their mothers. Buli, our guide, informed us that the two lionesses had been seen mating with a male named Xanda some months back. Xanda, a son of Cecil the Lion, has recently come into his prime, and the cubs seen here are thought to be the ‘grand cubs’ of the legendary Cecil. Written and filmed by: Graham Simmonds


©Graham Simmonds
©Graham Simmonds
©Graham Simmonds
©Graham Simmonds

Xanda holds a large swathe of Hwange and was recently seen chasing off two nomadic young males on his own.

Cecil the lion
©Graham Simmonds

He obviously took after Cecil the lion, who held vast areas of Hwange during his reign and fought off many would-be challengers single-handedly, even when he was sometimes outnumbered three to one.

Guides from Hwange lodges had seen the cubs a week before when they numbered 10. During our sighting, we counted only eight.

Cecil the lion
©Graham Simmonds

We watched for a while as the cubs called to their mothers and the mothers back to the cubs to move them to a new location.

©Graham Simmonds
©Graham Simmonds

We left them be as they disappeared into thick bush, hopefully to continue the legacy of Cecil.

UPDATE: Xanda was subsequently also killed by trophy hunters

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Africa Geographic Travel
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