Exciting Green Season Sightings in Hwange

Cindy and her cubs

Cindy and her cubs

In their latest update, Imvelo Safaris features the resident cheetahs and lions on the Bomani concession in Hwange National Park.

On the Ngamo Plains over the past month our predator sightings have been spectacular - as is usual in our green season. Our ability to get up close, particularly on the Bomani concession, and really observe the lives of our resident lions and cheetahs, has been an inspiration to us, and here’s why:-

Take Cindy, otherwise known as HNP0046, born on the Bomani concession in 2016, we rescued her from a poacher’s wire snare in 2018. But by the end of the next year 2019 she had successfully raised one male cub who dispersed successfully. This year in March, she had her second litter, again near Bomani and again four cubs. But this time, despite the hostile environment packed with other predators that compete aggressively with a slightly built single female cheetah, this rock star has prevailed and successfully raised three cubs to nine months. The cubs are now long-legged enough to escape danger, and are through the most dangerous phase in their lives. The next nine months of course will be critical for them to learn what it takes to survive and flourish in Hwange, before they cross their next hurdle and disperse from Cindy. But so far so good.

In these photos taken recently, guests witnessed a kill near Little Kariba. Cindy initiated the hunt and brought down an impala ewe, which she then allowed to 'escape' to enable the cubs to make the final kill. At all times ever vigilant for scavenging lions or hyaenas, she quickly dragged their meal under a camelthorn, to avoid unwanted attention from vultures which also attract unwanted visitors. Our guests were rewarded not only with fantastic photo opportunities but also a wonderful insight into the lives of our cheetah family. When you pause and consider that Hwange may have fewer than 30 cheetahs, Cindy’s achievement is even more significant. Its a must to watch this epic video footage below of the cheetah hunts caught on film by a talented 14 year old Zimbabwean guest that was staying with us at the time. Thrilling spine tingling footage!!

Then we've got Lesang the lion, born in late 2015, last born son of the famous Cecil, who arrived in 2020 on the Ngamo Plains as part of a coalition of five young males collectively called the Baggage Handlers, so named for once having raided a meat-filled suitcase from the luggage pod of an overnighting charter aircraft. This year, 2021, was the year Lesang broke from his coalition to go it alone and staked his claim to that portion of the Ngamo Plains that included the lioness 'sisterhood' of Tegwane, her daughter Thandeka and Nandi. Lesang fathered three cubs with each of the lionesses this year and, as is the burden of a pride male, has had to defend his cubs and his territory.

But Lesang's burden has been particularly onerous, with not just hyaenas after his cubs but almost continuous assaults from the west from his ex-coalition 'brothers' Half Tail, Qantas and Virgin (sadly, apologies to our American friends, Delta was killed by a train). Take a minute to look at the photos of Lesang and zoom in on his face, it looks like that of a losing cage fighter; his flanks and even his testicles are deeply scarred and bear testament to what it has taken for Lesang to hold off a three-male coalition for a year. And at the start of 2022, eight of his cubs survive, again a remarkable achievement in the lion world. The short action packed video below captured sightings of these big male lions marking their territory and showing off their incredible looks.

Video footage of the safari

Photo credit: Imvelo Safari Lodges

What's also great about the green season is the special rates, which include a Pay 2 Stay 3, and Kids Stay Free! Contact us to book your safari.

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Bomani Tented Lodge
Hwange National Park
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