About 3 months ago Gondwana’s alpha Lioness went into hiding and we suspected that she had had cubs and was denning. During the last two weeks we have finally caught fleeting glimpses of these two precious cubs and then finally this week the pride allowed us close enough to spend 20 glorious minutes with them as they posed perfectly on a ridge watching the sun go down. The head of the pride is an exceptional Lion and tolerates all the playful energy that the cubs throw at him.
The fur of the new born cubs is patterned with dark rosettes, these marking will fade but remain with them until they are subadults usually around their belly skin, it could be to better camouflage the cubs in vegetated areas while they are so small.
These little, bouncy, playful cubs will take some time to grow into the efficient hunters that the rest of the pride are. Considering that there are less than 20 000 lions left across Africa where they have vanished from 90% of the territories that they used to once thrive in, we are fortunate to see these cubs and the Gondwana lions are certainly proud of the new members of their pride.
As the pride looks out over the Gondwana plains on a crisp winter evening, the sun sets slowly on another perfect safari day on the Reserve.
Photographs: Raquel de Castro Maia