Ghoha Hills

Two new male lions for the Ghoha Pride

A year has passed since the Ghoha Pride’s females gave birth for the second time on top of the hill behind the lodge. Pictures taken last December show these youngsters hanging around the lodge, while their faithful mothers endeavored to teach them vital survival skills. Throughout the year they roamed in the Ghoha Hills area, where we often saw them feeding at various kill sites. Two weeks ago it was an old elephant bull.

The twins are the cubs of the older female, and little Milady is the only cub mothered by Schingwedsi, our vicious female. Father to all 3 cubs was a very relaxed, proud, and gracious male with the most impressive black mane. It has been one year since they were born, and we are relieved that they survived all possible enemies. Snakes, buffalo, wild dogs and hyena are prolific in the area, and all pose incredible danger to young lion cubs.

Suddenly, the tables are turned, and the possible dangers become a source of food for the growing young lions under the watchful guidance of their parents.

Recently, the Ghoha Pride could be heard roaring continuously through the night and were seen the following day at the waterhole not far from the lodge where the hide is located. We soon found that they had got hold of an old buffalo bull and were enjoying a well-earned feast.

Immediately we noticed a change: the original Ghoha Pride male is no longer with the pride, but two younger males are now in charge of the two females and their three cubs.

It is sad to think about what could have happened to the old Ghoha Pride male when these two young, strong boys bumped into him, but we are thankful they didn’t kill his cubs. In a turn of fate, it seems the new males have adopted the young cubs and are prepared to rear them as their own.

These are two unique males: one has the most beautiful black mane and the other is rather blonde with only one eye. These males have provided incredible sightings for the guests in camp, and the new pride dynamics make for interesting story telling too!

An elephant encountered the pride as it was coming from the waterhole and began intimidating them with some vocal trumpeting and flapping of ears, but he soon realised they weren’t a threat and moved on to feed. In typical lion fashion, the pride, consisting of all three cubs, two females, and now two new males competed for the best parts of the buffalo meat and took no notice of the elephant.

The youngest lion cub, known as Milady, enjoyed the buffalo, which was for a long time, her greatest enemy. Lying next to her mother, Schingwedsi, the little lady looks satisfied and relaxed in her new family.

This was the picture of the cycle of life: Buffalo all around, providing food for the lions; the lionesses have submitted to the two new kings and in return, they have spared their cubs; vultures flew overhead and perched in wait of their turn to finish off what is left by the lions.

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