6 burgeoning young male lions were spotted cruising down the rocky gravel road in the Maseke Game Reserve. Their swag displayed a sense of youthful confidence and powerhouse of formidable strength. This appears to be their kingdom, and they rule it with a dominant attitude. Our Maseke lion sightings have only been of this male coalition, which begs the question – where are the females? Male lions normally seek our territory with a ready availability of food, water and females! Young males want to continue their bloodline and will seek females to conquer and prides to take over. Lionesses tend to stay in their natal prides for life, and may split-off into sub-groups.
In time, we are sure the lionesses in the area will emerge and seek out the coalition. We are enjoying the various Maseke male lion sightings, and in time we will establish their history. Our first sighting of the Maseke crew happened a few weeks when we noticed 6 of them strutting their stuff down the gravel road, scent marking their territory and contact calling. That was our first sighting, so we needed to establish if they were visiting, or if this was their kingdom. Then they were spotted again, just doing what lions do best – sleeping for up to 20 hours during the heat of the day, with not a care in the world. We can confirm that these lions belong in these thickets!
Shortly after the this sighting, 4 of the males were spotted tucking into a buffalo kill. We managed to spend over an hour with the coalition, watching the boys gorge themselves on their meaty meal. The following day, a large lone male was seen enjoying a bit of solitude with the kill. He seems to be older than his counterparts, and has a more prominent mane. A few days later in the early hours of morning, this same male was spotted replenishing his thirst on the banks of the waterhole.
The complex dynamics within lion prides continuously astounds and baffles biologists and rangers alike. Their behaviour is often textbook, but there are moments that contradict all that we know and understand about lions. Nothing is forever within lion prides, and pride behaviour is always shifting when male cubs come of age.
For now, we are enjoying regular sightings of these dominant kings, and seeing them on a kill was most certainly a highlight!
These Maseke male lions own the night. And the day. And the land!