Zambia

Luangwa

Facebook  Pinterest  Twitter

The Proud Tale One Pride

The Proud Tale One Pride

The Proud Tale One Pride

The Chichele Presidential Lodge in South Luangwa National Park is one of the many safari lodges whose guides assist Zambia Lion Project with details and photographs of their lion sightings. The lodge was originally built in 1972 as a private presidential retreat for Kenneth Kaunda. We look at the recent history of the Chichele lion pride, with information built up over years of daily observation.           

In 2000 the Chichele pride consisted of fourteen lions which ruled the land surrounding Chichele Hill and the Presidential Lodge. However in 2004 thirteen of the lions migrated to the western area of the South Luangwa National Park, leaving behind only one female.

As it happened this female was pregnant at the time and she gave birth to two females and one male cub, which she successfully reared to form the new Chichele pride. In 2007 the alpha female became pregnant again and gave birth to two more cubs, one female and one male. Sadly, the female cub did not survive.

Tragedy struck again in 2009 when the pride was hunting a herd of buffalo.  During the hunt the alpha female was attacked by one of the buffalo and suffered a broken back. Hunting large prey has its dangers and a determined attack from an adult buffalo, or backward kick from a zebra, can be fatal, as in this case.

In 2010 the young male, coming into maturity, decided it was time to leave his maternal pride and successfully challenged an older male from a neighbouring pride.  This displaced male in turn found refuge with the Chichele pride. He has now become the alpha male, but reaching almost 12 years old is considered ‘Madala’ (Nyanja for ‘old man’).

Only time will tell how long he can hold sway over the land surrounding Chichele Hill.

Read more about the region in our destination guide:
Luangwa

Read more articles from this issue:
Zambezi Traveller (Issue 08, March 2012)