Big Cats, Big Stories

It’s Big Cat Roundup Day, a day that we’ve set aside to share a few momentous occasions with our ferocious felines. This is a big story day, where we won’t be sharing images of lions lying around. Today is a bigger and better day, where we celebrate cats doing what they do best: taking down prey, nurturing cubs, stalking, and devouring their meals in the most gluttonous fashion. We reached out to our guides across all camps and collated the updates from our Kruger side. Here are the more unique sightings over the past month.

Loving Lions, Ferocious Feeders

Location: Africa on Foot | nThambo Tree Camp

Having been rewarded with both leopard and lion sightings over the past month, the Klaserie is really beginning to shine as a big cat paradise. The recent batch of Vuyela Pride lion cubs is absolutely thriving in their environment, looking well-fed and healthy. When cubs are born, the mother stashes them in a secret spot to nurse. Once they reach six weeks, they are introduced to the rest of the pride. These cubs are now joining the rest of the pride at the ‘dinner table’, having grown from strength to strength

Here is a list of the crazy antics from our lions and leopards:

  • The Vuyela Pride took down THREE buffalo and spent days feasting on the carcasses
  • As if the pride isn’t big enough, a Vuyela male and female were caught mating!
  • In an interesting turn of events, five DIFFERENT lionesses were spotted on the Klaserie traverse. They have been identified as the Sark Pride. They are the natal pride of the Vuyela males.
  • The Sark Pride was spotted again, this time feasting on a zebra kill.
  • Two leopard cubs were spotted stuck in a tree, one was balancing on a thin branch! Hyenas were circling below, trapping the cats up above.

Setting aside their playful antics and aggressive take downs, we were fortunate to receive a captivating collection of photographs from Stew Nolan, who skillfully captured our lions in a few endearing moments. From intimate mating scenes to heartwarming moments, his images beautifully reveal the essence of lion behavior.

Lions of the KlaserieBig Cats of the Klaserie Lion Love in the KlaserieMale Lion in the KlaserieLost Lioness, Clever Cat

Location: Chacma Bush Camp

This might not be a “big story”, but it deserves to be called out in today’s blog post. When we’re traversing crunchy khaki bushveld and travelling down unchartered dusty roads, it’s pretty easy to get lost. That’s why lodge signage is always a good thing. We didn’t quite expect one of our top Apex predators to display the capacity to read when lost! These two images were certainly taken in the right place, at the right time.

Lions at Chacma Bush CampLion Paws at Chacma Bus h CampGrietjie Pride Lion CubsChacma's Grietjie PrideChacma Sub-adult Lion

In more news from Chacma Bush Camp recently spotted the Grietjie Pride of lions gorging on a buffalo kill, with their cubs in tow. There was a clear display of hierarchy at the food table when Karen snapped these images. The lion sightings at Chacma have certainly escalated over the past few months, indicating that the local prides of the area are finding abundant prey and water sources on Chacma’s traverse.

Leopard Looks, Friendly Felines

Location: Nyala Safari Lodge

Nyala Safari Lodge is certainly in the heart of big cat territory in the Greater Kruger’s Balule Nature Reserve. Camp manager, Dave, sent through these incredible images of their recent cat sightings. The images that impressed us the most, were the ones of the leopard and her cub. Their affectionate moments and bond is evident in these pictures. Leopardesses are great mothers and usually nurture their cubs until the age of two, teaching them independence and how to thrive in the wild. After cubs separate from their mother, they typically linger near the edges of her territory and frequently cross over.

Lions at Nyala Safari LodgeNyala Safari Lodge LionsMale lion at NyalaLeopard at Nyala Safari LodgeLeopard Close-upLeopard and CubNyala Lodge and Leopard Cubs

Looking for the ultimate Kruger safari where the focus is on spotting big cats in a natural environment? Let the Sun Destinations team arrange the perfect safari in Africa for you. Our Kruger camps and lodges are all located in private Big 5 reserves.