Lion cubs face a high mortality rate in the wild and are completely helpless when born, relying on their mother for nutrition and protection. Lionesses stash their cubs in den sites for the first few months of their life, ensuring they are protected from plundering scavengers and revengeful testosterone fuelled male lions seeking to take over prides. Needless to say, there are numerous factors contributing towards the low survival rate of lion cubs in the wild. Seeing them is a rare privilege and we only really spot them when their mother deems it safe enough to release them from her designated den area. We’ve noticed a similar themed thread that has woven through from last week through this week, which is the heavy presence of lions and cubs in the wild.
There has been a notable increase in lion cub sightings while on drive with Ezulwini Game Lodges. Our videographer Rogan spent a few days lapping up the spoils of River Lodge, and was taken aback at the abundant sightings of the healthy Kudyela lion cubs (sired by the Machatons). Upon arrival at the lodge they stumbled across a pride of 22 lions! There goes Ezulwini Game Lodges, overachieving again.
Chacma Bush Camp is also enjoying a wealth of little lion sightings, with the growing Maseke cubs spotted bumbling around the edge of a waterhole. Coupled with the lion cub sightings, the team encountered a pack of wild dogs on the trot. They enjoyed the antics that ensued after a kill was made, and a few snatch and grab sessions between pack members that provided entertainment for our guests. Rewind back to lion sightings and we’re happy to report that both the Lamai females and Maseke males were also spotted.
Umkumbe Safari Lodge guides have had plenty of fun with their recent guests, teaching them about how to handle harmless snakes and plenty of other useful wildlife facts. The highlight of the week has to be the sighting of leopards Ndzanzeni mating with Nweti, and then also the close encounter with Nweti casually sniffing the wheel of the game viewer.
Africa on Foot and nThambo Tree Camp have enjoyed a few lion sightings recently, with the most epic sighting being that of two lion prides entering into a dramatic scuffle. The days following the fight, the defeated lions were spotted in an open area, licking their wounds and tending to their bruised egos. There were plenty of sub-adult lions in the pride of 11 that took on the pride of 9 – young and brave!
Those are our highlights from our Kruger camps. Below we have a selection of images from last week. We trust you’ll enjoy our selection!