Hi everyone, a subject very dear to my heart.
I have been following the prides from Lower Sabie going north very closely for about 7 years now, and it is true that during my October visits lions are definitely more visible.
February they are still visible early in the morning having slept on the tar and in May they are a little more difficult to find.
The H10 has a few small prides which seem to be stable to that area and the Muntshe
pride is a lot smaller than it was about 4/5 years ago.
The 2 Muntshe males are old now but have survived any take over bids, there were 3 males but I believe the one died from TB.
I have seen a number of individuals come and go up and down this road and some you just never see again.
The H1-3 extending to the S86 loop has been the extent of my research.
The big pride which I called the Mazithi pride (the dam being the nucleus of their natal area).
This pride 7 years ago numbered 30.
They then split up into 2 groups, the one having 10 young males, 1 young female and an older female who was the mother of the oldest male in that group.
The other group was the two adult males, 4 females and young cubs of various ages.
The Mazithi pride has since grown to number 18 again, but the two males are also not young anymore and the four females are even older.
When the group divided the 10 males with 2 females I called the Breakaway Boys and saw them on the S34 and H1-2.
I have missed seeing the Mazithi pride for about a year now despite my attempts to find them but wonderful people like ADW let me know if they see them and forward pics to me.
Even though I travel these roads every day for 2 weeks at a time, 3 times a year it is difficult to "just find the lions", some trips are more productive than others.
In my humble opinion, there are fewer lions than there were 7 years ago, many fewer, I don't have any
reasons why and although the Mazithi pride continues to prosper, it appears to me that the numbers are generally down.
I have followed these animals out of a love for them that I cant define and I hope the tide turns and the numbers return.
Those of you who have had the privilege to be close when a lion roars I am sure will agree.