The Western Pride at Motswari
It would be remiss of us if we didn’t talk to you about the lion prides frequenting the Timbavati, so one of the resident lion prides is the focus of this particular blog.
There are three prides which have played a massive part in the history of the area, these are; the River Pride, the Western Pride and the Timbavati Pride. Of late, we have not seen much of the Timbavati Pride, the feeling being that they have been pushed out of our area by the growing River Pride and Western Pride. However, the beauty of being in the unfenced Greater Kruger National Park, we never know what events will occur from day to day. Nomadic males for example, could make their way into the area and completely change the current dynamics.
he Western Pride, probably the one we see most frequently, originally 11 strong have now fragmented into three smaller groups. Three young females have decided to thrust their independence on the pride and branch out alone. Three older females have taken two youngsters on their own mission and the four young males have formed a coalition since leaving their family’s side. Of these segmented groups, we probably see the two groups of lionesses the most, whilst the males are more nomadic, on the odd occasion they do regroup with their pride for a quick catch up on the latest gossip before getting fed up with the girls and missioning off again. Although not quite in their prime at four years old, this male coalition will surely become a force to be reckoned with in a few years’ time.
We caught up with three of the older females with their two youngsters who are just over a year old now. They were suitably shaded from the South African sun and prying eyes from the sky, whilst they were gorging themselves to the point of bursting on a zebra foal they’d killed the previous night. Never had the guests on board seen such enormous stomachs, to say they were full was an understatement. One of the lionesses was lying on her back, legs akimbo with her stomach at full stretch, it reminded us of when we ate too much at the “all you can eat buffet”, the food coma had certainly hit in this instance! Another
lioness was still eating, sucking the layer of fat off the underside of the skin, she genuinely looked like she was eating whilst sleeping, clearly another food coma about to hit. The two youngsters were pulling and crunching on scraps of the carcass, following the lead of the older pride members to completely fill their boots and leave nothing for the vultures and hyenas that were beginning to circle. As darkness fell, we sadly had to head back to camp left wondering if the hyenas and vultures, lying patiently waiting, would benefit from the lion’s leftovers, if there were any!
We are watching and waiting for events to unfurl with regards to the lion prides of Motswari. Inevitably nature evolves and dynamics shift, it’s fascinating and a privilege to be able to watch and learn and do our best to keep you all informed. We’ll update you on all the Prides’ news on our Facebook and Instagram pages, so stay tuned on social media for regular updates.