Big Cat Diary

There has been much talk and excitement about the two Kalahari male Lions that were introduced into our reserve in January, and thus we thought it might be a good idea to follow up on their progress in establishing themselves in the reserve.

To be honest, we think the introduction has gone very well indeed, they have fulfilled their role as “northern lions” after a much-awaited physical interaction with our southern coalition. Initially, the two, four-and-a-half-year-old brothers slowly made their way south from the release sight so a clash seemed inevitable! En-route they successfully hunted and consumed a buffalo, and therefore making their presence known. Soon after, this being only a week after their release, they boldly stepped into the southern males’ territory. We first became aware of their presence when we found two of the males from the southern coalition (roughly 8 years of age) anxiously and eagerly patrolling the northern parts of their territory.

It was an incredible thing for our guests to witness, the two 200kg beasts were actively patrolling, scent marking, roaring and rushing about the bush. We weren’t able to keep up with them and eventually lost them as they ran off, no doubt in pursuit of the intruders. That night a staff member of the reserve witnessed the first interaction, teeth, claws, roars and growls sent the two new males in retreat back to the north and the victorious southern males aggressively held out on their territory. Unfortunately for one of the northern males he was singled out by the two southern males and given a tremendous beating whilst his brother fled north. He sustained rather serious injuries to one of his legs and subsequently the two northern boys were separated in the large expanse of the north for about a week. Eventually they tracked each other down and were reunited, sore, rattled and bruised but no doubt ready for a further encounter when time renders the southern boys older and perhaps weaker!

For the moment, they have their own territory up in the north as they take stock, and strengthen themselves for future battles something no doubt our guides and guests will be eagerly awaiting!!!


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A Big 5 multiple award winning 4 Star lodge, set within an Endangered Species Protected Area in the magnificent Manyoni Private Game Reserve, offering peace and tranquillity with friendly hospitality. Our beautiful lodge has the most spectacular views in Zululand.

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