Lions hold up traffic in South Africa


Just what anyone driving through South Africa's Kruger National Park is hoping to see - four large male lions strolling along the road.

Recent footage posted on the Lions of Kruger Park And Sabi Sand Facebook page shows four of five members of the Mantimahle coalition on patrol.

According to Cape Town-based safari guide and photographer Grant Atkinson, male lions in southern Africa typically live in coalitions, varying in size from two to seven members.

The coalitions are normally made up of brothers, and often half-brothers, and cousins. Successful coalitions find female lions, and gain access to them by chasing away resident males. The fights involved can be fatal, with adult and younger males often killed.

Lion teaches tourists a lesson in Kruger National Park
South Africa captures four of five escaped lions from Kruger Park
Lion that killed US tourist won't be put down

The males leave the females for short periods to patrol their territories, and also to seek other females in neighbouring territories. Some coalitions can end up holding two or even three different prides of females.

Four male lions patrol the road in South Africa's Kruger National Park.
Lions Of Kruger Park And Sabi Sand
Four male lions patrol the road in South Africa's Kruger National Park.

As cute as they may look, the Mantimahle males have built up a ferocious reputation.

A report on the Big On Wild website said the Mantimahle lions are brothers and half-brothers born in 2010 and are "huge". When they first came to attention they dominated an area around the Mantimahle Dam, in the south of Kruger Park, which is how they got their name.

The Mantimahle coalition started expanding its territory from the start of 2017. By the time it "invaded" the Sabi Sands area in May 2017, coalition members had killed 35 lions.

A game report from the Malamala Game Reserve in mid-2017 described the Mantimahle males as "a fierce coalition of five large male lions who control the majority of southern Kruger".