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The roar of the Lion is an impressive sound and is perhaps the sound most associated with the African wild. Apart from roaring, Lions also communicate by scent-marking their surroundings, and even by their facial expressions and body postures. Lions display their aggression by showing their impressive canine teeth, retracting their ears and displaying the dark patch behind the ears, their tails twitching in irritation.

Lions are the largest of the social carnivores and live in groups known as prides. A pride consists of between 2 to 12 related females and their young residing in a territory.  The males have territories of their own, and on average dominant males may form coalitions of two to six, and collectively hold tenure over about three prides of females within their territory. Dominant males patrol the borders of their territory, scent marking and roaring to advertise their presence. Contrary to popular belief, they hunt for themselves though are certainly not averse to monopolizing kills made by the prides in their area, should they encounter them.

The mane of the lion probably serves to increase its apparent size. Dominant males are by definition found in coalitions; a single male cannot defend a territory against two or more other males. These coalitions are invariably litter-mates who have grown up together.

The commonly accepted perception of a pride consisting of a number of females and a single male is not accurate, yet this situation can pertain in the case of a male who has lost the other member or members of his coalition. It would appear that in this circumstance he will join a pride for the protection in numbers that it affords.

Male lions are in their prime from 5 to 8 years of age. Successful males can live for as long as 14 years, although rarely do. Unsuccessful ones might not even make 7.

Breeding: Females whose cubs have been killed by newly territorial males, come into oestrus again quickly. Females in a pride often synchronise their oestrus, so the litters of between 1 and 5 cubs are born at much the same time. Cubs start taking meat after ten weeks. Females suckle their own and one another's cubs for up to six months. After birth, cubs are hidden for six weeks after which mothers bring them to the pride's crèche. The young remain dependant on the organizational success of the pride for up to three years.

Lions prey mainly on large animals such as Zebra, Wildebeest, Buffalo, Gemsbok and even Giraffe. Smaller prey like Impala, Steenbok and even Porcupine are taken when the opportunity arises. The task of hunting is often left to the lionesses of the pride, which hunt as a team.

Hunting is conducted almost entirely at night when their mostly monochromatic vision, which distinguishes between light and dark, gives them an advantage over their prey’s colour vision. Nights when it is full moon are not conducive to successful hunting. Hunting is a group effort, whether there is any communication and tactics involved or mere instinct is debatable. Extensive observations show that when prey is detected, one lion will immediately lie down, while the other or others circle around. In this manner, when a lion eventually makes its move, there is a likelihood of the prey running into one of the others. Lions are however possessed of a degree of intelligence and capable of learning from circumstances, so the possibility of deliberate co-operative hunting techniques arising in particular individuals cannot be discounted.

An extensive study by Butch Smuts in a protcted area has given us accurate weights; he found that female lions average 125kg, and males 180kg. The largest male lion that he recorded weighed in at 240kg. Their underparts are whitish with a general tawny to sandy tinge. Rosettes and spots are characteristic of young animals and females often retain these on their underparts. Only males have a long tawny mane on the sides of the face and on top of the head. In some individuals this mane can become almost black.


Trophy: One of our hunting areas for lions are in the Kalahari on 10 000 acres with no internal fences the soft sand of the Kalahari allows our experienced trackers to track lion up on foot. 

It is said that you hunt elephant with your feet, buffalo with your gut and lion with your heart. Legend further has it that a hunter is scared by a lion three times; the first time when its spoor is encountered, the second time when its mighty roar is heard and the third time when it is seen for the first time. Lion hunting is challenging, exciting and definitely one of the best African Big Five hunts on offer.