James Suter, guide and filmmaker, first guided on the N’wanetsi Concession in the Kruger National Park and got to know the many lion prides that frequent this area. Recently he had the chance to go back to see one of the prides from his days as a guide – with the welcome addition of rarely-seen white lions.
White lions are thought to be indigenous to the Timbavati area, and haven’t been sighted in this area for decades and so it was very unexpected to see them. So unexpected, in fact, that no one believed the tracker that first radioed in the sighting.
Capturing these lions on film was a challenge, especially with limited shoot days, but with the expertise of the guiding team at Singita we were able to get some beautiful footage of the pride and the cubs.
One has since passed on from natural causes, but the older male is alive and we hope that he will live to see adulthood.
The white coats possessed by the white lions of the Timbavati, and now those in Kruger, were not the product of albinism (a relatively common condition resulting from a failure to develop pigment), but from another condition called leucism, in which the pelt is white but the eyes and skin are pigmented. Read this interesting article for more on the black & white of African wildlife.
While white lions are bred in cages and on small fenced farms for the trophy hunting industry in South Africa, it is good to see these lions in a natural state where they will be protected and are free to live a life in the wild.
To comment on this story: Download our app here - it's a troll-free safe place 🙂.
HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF AFRICA GEOGRAPHIC:
- Travel with us. Travel in Africa is about knowing when and where to go, and with whom. A few weeks too early / late and a few kilometres off course and you could miss the greatest show on Earth. And wouldn’t that be a pity? Browse our famous packages for experience-based safaris, search for our current special offers and check out our camps & lodges for the best prices.
- Subscribe to our FREE newsletter / download our FREE app to enjoy the following benefits.