JOURNAL

Four Lions battle for territory

The morning started off waking up to the sound of two lions roaring close to our lodge.

By Stephan Du Preez, Operations Manager and qualified Game Ranger, Rockfig Lodge, Madikwe

The guests got ready as quickly as possible and we were off to try and find the lions.

About 10min after leaving the lodge we found the two Addo males walking south and roaring constantly, we followed them for about 15min until they disappeared into the bush. We could still here them calling as they moved through the bush, I decided to drive around the “block” and wait on the other side to see if they would come out. We were waiting for the longest 30-40 min of my life, and then suddenly they appeared from the thick bush.

We again started following them as they were walking on the road further south, by now they were already in Kwandwe and Monomoholo’s territory.

I immediately knew that this was going to be a once in a lifetime sighting as we were following the Addo males on their journey south to challenge Kwandwe and Monomoholo.

We suddenly heard them responding to the roaring from the Addo males. They stopped right in their tracks and for about a minute it was dead quiet, then Addo males started calling again and started moving with more purpose as now they knew they were getting closer to the other two males.

We got closer and closer to where Kwandwe and Monomoholo were when the two Addo males decided to take a break, however it was too late as by now Kwandwe and Monomoholo were moving towards them.

It happened in a blink of an eye and the chase was on with Kwandwe charging right passed my vehicle and Monomoholo taking the long way round to try and ambush the two Addo males.

The Addo males tried to run away however it was too late as Kwandwe and Monomoholo were on top of them. They managed to pin down one of the Addo males, with the other one coming back to try and help his brother, however he quickly realized that he was not strong enough to fight against Kwandwe and Monomoholo.

After following the Addo males for nearly two hours as they moved south, all the action was over in a matter of 5-10 min with one of the Addo males losing their lives in the effort to expand their territory.

This was without a doubt one of my best encounters I have ever experienced, although it ended on a sad note, the sound and fierceness of four male lions fighting will forever be fresh in my memory.

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