Sabi Sabi yesterday, today, tomorrow

southern pride females

by Sabi Sabi on May 2, 2013

After a relatively long absence, the Southern Pride females were once again in Sabi Sabi. Having found their tracks leaving a neighboring reserve and moving onto our reserve this morning the search was on. Following the tracks of four large females, we managed them to locate them on the central western reaches of the reserve.

The group consisted of the four older Southern Pride females including Mandleve (Floppy Ear), which is fuel for a much-needed debate on the location of the younger females. As well as the sub adult males, they have not been seen for some time now, which begs the question – has the mighty Southern Pride split?

Southern Pride lioness at Sabi Sabi Luxury Safari Lodges

The four females were moving with some intent in a northerly direction, all-looking as fit and strong as ever. After passing through a Round-leaf Teak thicket they emerged onto one of the open plains. With their body posture changing with immediate effect we knew there must have been something of interest to these majestic cats on the horizon. We edged closer, mesmerized by the power and strength of these huge females, with their shoulder muscles bulging as they moved undetected across the plains. The silhouettes of wildebeest, zebra and waterbuck appeared on the horizon.

Southern Pride lioness at Sabi Sabi Luxury Safari Lodges

With the obvious experience that these four ladies have, they closed down the distance between themselves and their potential targets, and lay down to rest most likely waiting for the distinct advantage that the cover of darkness will give them.

Southern Pride lioness at Sabi Sabi Luxury Safari Lodges

We are all waiting in anticipation to see what tonight may hold. The evening started off with the rangers heading back to the last location of the females, only to find that they were not there.

Southern Pride lioness at Sabi Sabi Luxury Safari Lodges

After a lot of hard work by the rangers and trackers, a general area was located that the females were in by using the signs that the bush had given us, in this case vultures dropping out of the sky. The rangers managed to discover the females and found that they were successful in bringing down a young zebra.

Southern Pride lioness at Sabi Sabi Luxury Safari Lodges

Interestingly enough, after Mandleve had eaten her full she moved to water to quench her thirst and then became mobile in a southerly direction, leaving behind the other three females. She was moving a great distance almost reaching the Sabie River, by the time the guides had left her. Which begs the question what was her motivation – are the cubs still alive?

BY: JOSH LEE (BUSH LODGE RANGER)
IMAGES BY: JOSH LEE AND KEVIN POWER

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

notch tee May 2, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Just amazing, well writing had me feeling like i was in the vehicle with you guys, hope soon these females find dominant males and could settle down in peace.

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shirley May 2, 2013 at 5:15 pm

If those cubs are still alive, she has been keeping them in a very good hiding place. I do hope they are alive. The rest of the pride is in Singita, 11 of them last reported. Recentely the two cubs were left behind, but am not sure if they have reunited with the other Nine yet.

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shirley May 2, 2013 at 6:20 pm

The younger Lioness is with the other split in Singita. It was 10, now it is 11. The two cubs are not left behind anymore, they are with the pride again. Love the blog. Very good writing.

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fred smart May 2, 2013 at 6:51 pm

I hope the entire family can get back together again. Thanks for the update!

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syl May 2, 2013 at 11:31 pm

Great blog Josh….super photos by both of you.
The saga continues.

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heather chalmers May 3, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Great blog, Josh and Kevin. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for this great pride. Thanks!

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