The black-maned lions that roam freely through the Central Kalahari Game Reserve are tough predators who traverse the barren desert landscapes in search of prey. Their distinctive presence is foreboding and unpredictable. They’re the true kings of the Kalahari. These lions are not used to game vehicles and shy away from the presence of humans. There’s an atmosphere about these lions that commands respect.
The males, with their flowing black manes truly are majesti. They’re the pride of the Kalahari. The reason for the black manes? It is thought that the manes regulate temperature. Their dense black manes retard heat loss which keeps them warm during the bitterly cold desert nights. Of course, this is debatable. Some say their black manes are due to them being a remnant population of the Cape Lion. Irrespective of their origins, they are a sight to behold.
Haina Kalahari Lodge is in the enviable position of being located on the outskirts of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, which means it’s an ideal destination for game viewing and a prime location for the black-maned lions to scope out new territory.
There has been an interesting development at the Haina Kalahari Lodge. Adriaan, the lodge manager from Haina, believes that a new pride of lions has traversed its way across from the Central Kalahari into Haina territory. The pride comprises 3 large females, a dominant male lion (he has been with the pride for 3 years) and 3 young males who are beginning to reach sexual maturity. This is problematic for the dominant male who wants to rule the pride. He is trying to oust the two sub-adults to protect the pride from the full testosterone of these two strong males. Unfortunately, it is two against one. It is vital to keep the pride in order – one of the females has 4 cubs roughly 3 months old and the other female has 3 cubs roughly the same age. The third female has 5 sub-adult lions, 2 of which are the males that are trying to take over the pride.
When male lions begin to reach sexual maturity they will need to procreate with females in the pride. Males who become the new leader after a takedown of the current leader will kill the suckling cubs, causing the females to go into estrus and mate with the new ruling leader of the pride. This could leave us in a predicament – if the 2 sub-adults defeat the current dominant males they will probably kill off the cubs. The next few months at Haina will be interesting, if not harrowing. Adriaan and his team will be watching and monitoring these Kings of the Kalahari!
Who will rule the pride? Will the sub-adult males fend off the dominant male? Will the cubs survive? Only time will tell ! Adriaan will keep us posted with the latest updates and the internal sagas within the Kings of the Kalahari pride.
If your guests are interested in finding out more about the black-maned lions and the Kings of the Kalahari, then we suggest a safari at Haina.
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