2 healthy and proud lionesses led a pride of 7 lithe sub-adult lions through the sparse crunchy brown thickets in search of prey. They were spotted late September and visibility was 100% due to the thinning bushveld, the hallmark of late winter in the Klaserie. It was the time of year when sporadic sprouts of green could be spotted urging their way through decaying vegetation.
Guests were lucky to see this pride, a pride that had never been spotted on Klaserie turf. The lions were on the move, and rangers sensed the pride were ill at ease with their surrounds. They were clearly deciding whether they’d crossed over into no-man’s land and we speculate they may have been pushing boundaries. Plenty of reserves have exploratory prides that dare to skirt the boundaries of other lion’s turf. We assumed this pride may well have been doing just that. The pride were declared unknown and would remain one of the Klaserie’s historical and mysterious lion sightings…
That is, until 2 months later.
During the 2 months prior to the next sighting of this enigmatic and burgeoning pride, we noticed an increase in presence of the 3 Mafikozolo lionesses. The Mbiri males, and the Ross Pride lionesses also appear to be providing fairly consistent sightings while guests are on drive. In conjunction with those sightings, there was also the sighting of the River Pride in eastern block area.
Back to the unidentified pride.
The second time the pride of 9 were spotted was close to the northern part of the Africa on Foot and nThambo Tree Camp’s traverse – a section where we are afforded exclusive traversing rights. The pride were spotted doing what lions do best during the heat of the day – sleeping, interrupted with an occasional stretch and stroll.
It was now up to our avid and knowledgeable rangers to identify this particular pride. After more than a couple sightings, our rangers decided to venture into the curious world of trying to identify the lions. Ranger Mauritz delivered the news of the newly identified pride.
They are the Western Pride of lions. We believe that they come from up north in a neighbouring reserve, and they haven’t met any resistance as of yet from dominant lions. However, the Klaserie is in the midst of undergoing a few lion pride changes so perhaps there’s a bit of re-establishing of prides at the moment. We hope that we will see more of this growing and supremely healthy looking pride.
Ranger Mauritz has furnished us with numerous photos, and he displays quite the creative and technical hand behind the camera, ensuring we only see the best of the best with these Western beasts!
Mauritz says, “There were two females, seven youngsters on the east block. They were just being lions”
Let’s hope the next sighting we have of the Western Pride involves an epic kill. The big question remains. Who sired the cubs?