Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Future of the Prides Appears Bright

The wind had picked up during the middle of the night, and it has been cloudy all day, so our weather today has been less than ideal to say the least. Far from the preferred weather to enjoy my wonderful open-air room's view. The one good thing about the weather here that I've learned is that it changes daily at this time of year. We have had a couple of gorgeous, not-a-cloud-in-the-sky days back to back and a couple of cloudy days back to back, but the wind usually only lasts for 8-12 hours and then dies down again. I look forward to tomorrow's weather.

The windy, cloudy weather, however, did not stop us from our drive this morning. After some elephants, giraffes, buffalo, ever-present impala and a rare stork, we were informed of
a sighting of 2 of the near-adult male brothers who were kicked out of the the white lion pride up to the north of us.

These young males come down into this area infrequently, so it was a real treat to see them. Our guide and tracker were keen to see them to observe their growth and maturity since their last sighting down here several months ago. The same affection I've observed among all of the lions, regardless of age or gender, was also clearly present between these brothers as well. This male-male affection and care for one another has to be the most surprising and beautiful thing I've seen on my safari.

Since the resident pride's 2 leading males were not in the area, they apparently felt relatively safe, not unlike the other 2 adolescent males hanging with the pride and the cubs, as they were laying out in the open, easily spotted. They were gorgeous. I would guess they were just a little younger, but not by much, than the large near-adult male that I saw as part of the 3 boys in the Timbavati Reserve, on the other side of the Kruger park.

I'm told that all of these boys are in the range of 4-6 years of age, and that around the age of 7 or 8 is when they will be mature enough to start challenging other dominant males - and each other - for the coveted role of king of the prides. In another couple of years it will be an interesting time and place around here with the lion prides….until then, these boys will be loving brothers and allies.

To see more about nThambo Tree Camp see here: nThambo Tree Camp.  To see more of my pictures from the Klasserie Reserve and my time at nThambo, see here: South African Safari - Klaserie Reserve Best Shots

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