The History Of The Talamati Lion Pride

The lion dynamics are constantly changing out here in the bush. We take you through the history of the Talamati Pride…

Originally part of the Nkuhuma Pride, the Talamati Pride of lions broke away from the Nkuhumas in 2007 when the Mapogo males took over from the Manyeleti males. They established territory further north, where the females started mating with the old Nkuhuma males. The two oldest lionesses in the Talamati pride – one of which is blind in one eye (known as Silver-eye) – were born from the union.

The Talamati Pride was officially named in 2011 after the Talamati Bushveld Camp (Talamati means ‘lots of water’ in Xitsonga). Here’s a brief history since then…

  • 2011: The pride was taken over by the Matimba males. Only one female cub sired by the Matimba males survived, but is no longer with the pride.
  • 2015: The Matimba males were chased out by the Birmingham males, which led to the Selati males moving in and claiming the Talamati Pride. During this reign 2 females died, leaving the pride with 3 lionesses.
  • 2018: The 3 brothers of the Northern Avoca male coalition became the dominant males of the area, forcing the Birmingham males to move south and claiming the Talamati Pride (as well as the Nkuhuma Pride) as their own.
  • Early 2020: The Dark Mane Avoca male separated himself from his brothers and claimed the 5 Talamati lionesses.

In 2021, the Imbali takeover occurred. The Imbali male sensed that Dark Mane was alone and attempted to claim the Talamati Pride as his own. During this takeover, 2 females were killed by the Imbali males and 1 male lion disappeared. This takeover caused the Talamati Pride to split in two, which is how we see them today.

Talamati Main Pride

  • 4 Lionesses: Born late 2018/early 2019, sired by Avoca males
  • Blue-eyed/Silver-eyed Female lioness: Born around 2007/2008
  • 2 young adult males: Born late 2018/early 2019, sired by Avoca males

There are 4 lionesses and 2 young males. The silver-eyed female has been on her own for a while now, but when she joins the pride there are 5 lionesses.

The Talamati Main Pride has moved more to the area west-south-west of Arathusa.

Dark Mane is also occasionally found with these Talamatis.

Talamati Breakaway Pride

  • 2 Lionesses: Born around 2014, sired by Selati males
  • 1 Lioness: Born around 2012, sire Unknown
  • 5 Cubs: Born around January 2022, sired by the S8 male
  • S8 Male: Born around 2014

The Talamati breakaways are comprised of 3 females with 5 cubs. They are located in south Manyeleti, Buffelshoek and the far northern part of Djuma.

The S8 male is the father of all the cubs, and is responsible for the safety of those cubs and the females. He looks after the territory on which they currently reside.

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