New Lions in Klaserie: Enter the Mapoza Males

Earlier this month, we reported the presence of two unknown male lions intruding on what we know to be Trilogy lion territory. This pair of males entered the equation right in the middle of a tense couple of days, as the Mabande male (also a newcomer) had staked his claim by mating with the Ross Breakaway lionesses and fighting with the Trilogy males. Amid all this excitement, these two males were spotted looking very wary and keeping a low profile. Since then, we learned that these two lions are known as the Mapoza males, and they have decided to stick around…

Mapoza male at a buffalo kill at night

Mapoza male at buffalo kill

There is no confirmation on where exactly these two male lions came from when they arrived on Africa on Foot and nThambo Tree Camp traverse, but it is safe to speculate that the pair wandered in from the Kruger National Park. There are no fences between the Klaserie and the National Park, and the skittish behaviour of the lions makes us think they have probably come from an area where not a lot of commercial activity takes place. The males are estimated to be between 4 and 6 years old – one looking slightly older than the other, and it is likely that they are relatives/cousins from within the same pride.

They go by the name ‘Mapoza’, which means ‘those that chase’ in Zulu. This is a fitting name, seeing as the two males managed to chase the Mabande male out of his comfort zone getting snuggly with the Ross Breakaways in Trilogy territory! Mapoza is also a name that poachers are known to use for Field Rangers, which is apt because Field Rangers make it their business to chase poachers far away. So, that’s that: the Mapoza males is what the two lions go by, and we got acquainted with them on the weekend when they killed a buffalo not far away!

On Friday morning, both Africa on Foot and nThambo Tree Camp came across the Mapoza males on a freshly killed buffalo kill. One male – identified by his thinner mane – is notoriously skittish and remains well hidden from sight, while the bigger, blonde male is more relaxed around the vehicles. That night, guests got another look at the Mapoza males and discovered they were being harassed by the ever-pesky hyenas, making for an unforgettable sighting in the dead of night. We are certainly keeping out noses to the ground with these guys, and we look forward to seeing how the Trilogy and Mabande react to the presence of these guys in the territory…

Mapoza male getting more relaxed in the Klaserie

Mapoza male lion peering out of the thicket

Mapoza male lion lying in the grass