The old Golf Course Males

September 2002
Three adult male lions - Golf Course Males: These lions were not seen during September and may never be seen again. All indications are that they have been kicked out of their territory by the three male lions, one with only one eye, which have, over the last few months, systematically moved into the southwestern parts of the reserve, areas which the Golf Course Males used to control.
August 2002

Three adult male lions - Golf Course Males:

The three Golf Course Males were not seen during August and it may well be that they have been pushed out of their territory by the three (perhaps four) male lions (one of which has only one eye). This month saw one of the Selati Pride lionesses with these three 'new' males and the Golf Course Males were not seen to respond.


July 2002

Three adult male lions - Golf Course Males:

The Golf Course Males were not seen very often this month and it may be that they have been kept away by the four male lions which live to their north and which have been getting increasingly threatening. One sighting of three of these four had them mating with a lioness, identified as one of the Selati Pride, the family of lions which resides within the Golf Course Males' territory. If the lionesses of the Selati Pride are seeking other lions, what does this say about their confidence in the Golf Course Males?


June 2002

The Golf Course Males had an interesting month. They seemed to spend most of the time in the southwest of the reserve, an area which is regarded as being their territory, staying with the Selati Pride. But on one occasion, and goodness knows what made them do it, but they and most of the Selati Pride wandered far north, probably with the intentions of finding food. When they were way out of what is really regarded as their territory, they heard a buffalo being killed by other lions - probably the Eyrefield Pride - and headed that way, intent no doubt on an easy meal. Unfortunately access to the area was not possible by vehicle and so the exact happenings were not seen. At the time at least two of the West Street Males, the lions in charge of the Eyrefield Pride and the area in which the buffalo had been killed, were not present and so the three Golf Course Males may well have had an easy time in chasing off the lions on the carcass and perhaps even inflicting damage to those lions, most notably cubs, which happened to be there. Two days later the Golf Course Males were back in the south of the reserve. But this foray with its violence, which may have at least gone partly the way of the Golf Course Males, did not send fear through other lions.

Later on in the month, the four young male lions which seem to reside in the territory which separates the usual wanderings of the West Street Males and Golf Course Males, made their way south and were found deep within territory thought to be pure Golf Course Males territory. Here these male lions set about scent-marking and roaring, a display of brutal power which had to be a direct challenge to the Golf Course Males. Some roaring was heard in response to that of the four young males, but no Golf Course Males came to investigate. Instead, if anything, the response-roaring, assumed to be the Golf Course Males, retreated.


May 2002
Three adult male lions - Golf Course Males: The Golf Course Males were seen only once or twice this month and then within their territory which includes western Toulon. It is thought that they are staying largely with the Selati Pride which has also been noticeable by their absence, perhaps due to one or two of them having given birth to new litters of cubs. But this does not mean that the Golf Course Males can afford to relax down. On the contrary. At one stage this month, the same four male lions, which, earlier in May, were chased from the central regions by the West Street Males, were found deep within Golf Course Male lion territory. No interaction between the various coalitions was witnessed, but at the only other sighting of members of these four later in the month, only three were present and one was limping and looking quite emaciated.
April 2002
Three adult male lions - Golf Course Males: The Golf Course Males did not seem to do anything terribly adventurous during April and were seen with the Selati Pride only at the very beginning of this game report period. Otherwise they were seen together, patrolling their territory which includes the southwestern parts of the reserve.
March 2002
There were sightings of the Golf Course Males throughout this game-report period, all of these encounters of the lions alone, except for one right at the end of the month when they were with the Selati Pride. In some ways male lion dynamics may have stabilised slightly in this area, with the various groups of male lions reaching an 'agreement' as regards territorial boundaries. The Golf Course Males still seem to roar frequently, a sign that they are healthy and confidant of their own powers.
February 2002
There was not a single sighting of the Selati Pride when the Golf Course Males were not present. All of these sightings were on the southwestern parts of the reserve. Of the 8 or so cubs which these lions fathered from the Selati Pride last year, only two were still alive at months end, one of them having died during February. But what has happened to the others? After such a promising start to things, this sort of survival is not so good for a strong coalition of male lions. Are there perhaps other competing male lions snapping at their heals and already harassing the Selati Pride? There are indeed some young male lions moving about the peripheries of the area considered to belong to the Golf Course Males, but they seem to understand that the territory is still strongly held.
January 2002
The Golf Course Males spent the month of January doing what could be expected of them and staying generally within the confines of what has become recognised as being their territory, this the south western parts of the reserve to the west and south of the Sand River. However, towards the end of January, all three of these lions made a deliberate crossing onto the eastern bank of the Sand River and moved far east, towards areas close to the central-south of Mala Mala. Just why they would have done this is anyone's guess. Perhaps it was just something they wanted to do for no apparent reason. Otherwise they spent time patrolling or together with some of the members of the Selati Pride.
December 2001

The three Golf Course Males were seen several times this month, often together with the Selati Pride or in the general vicinity of the cubs of the Golf Course Pride. There was some evidence which suggested that they may have had an interaction with the four or five young male lions which seem to have been trying to establish themselves to the west of the Sand River in-between the areas occupied by the West Street Males to their north and the Golf Course Males to their south. Four of these young male lions were seen this month in an area which had been visited by some of the Eyrefield Pride and West Street Males a few days earlier.





November 2001Three adult male lions - Golf Course Males: Seen three times this month, twice with the Selati Pride. These dominant males of the southwestern parts of the reserve still seem to be in complete control of their territory.





October 2001

Three adult male lions - Golf Course Males:

The three Golf Course Males were seen only once this month and this right towards the very end. With the Selati Pride having moved westwards, the Golf Course Males probably followed, perhaps nervous that the five young male lions which have also been hovering around the area could, in their absence, seek out the lionesses.


September 2001

Three adult male lions - Golf Course Males:

The three Golf Course Males maintained a presence on the south-westerly parts of the reserve, but were not as noticeable in September as compared to previous months. With five younger male lions appearing to their north and the Selati Pride seemingly moving west, the 'need' to be in this area may not have been as high as in the recent past. The movement of the Charleston Pride cubs away from the Golf Course Males has indicated that they were almost certainly not the fathers. And with this relative absence of the Golf Course Males and the Selati Pride, the Charleston Pride and the two other males often seen with them (not encountered during September and slightly nervous at this stage and almost certainly the fathers of the cubs) may move further west and work areas which in the past were considered prime Charleston Pride domain.


August 2001

Three adult male lions - Golf Course Males:

The Golf Course Males appear to be reaching the beginning of their prime; they arrived in the area not yet physically mature and replaced two aging male lions. Now, in the year or so that they have been in charge, they have developed physically and socially and all looks good for them and the Selati Pride. Just how the Golf Course Males fit in with the Charleston Pride, however, remains a mystery. The single lioness from the Charleston Pride which has cubs seems to be keeping her babies close to where the Golf Course Males roam, whilst the three other lionesses of the pride seem to be doing all they can to avoid these males. Towards the beginning of the game-report period, one of the Golf Course Males made a long trek towards the Chellahanga River where he, apparently alone, chased off two of the Charleston Pride lionesses from a zebra kill. Once he had eaten the remains, he headed straight back to where the other males were. Why he should have done this is a mystery. There have been no signs of the two other male lions which the Charleston Pride was seen with last month. One of the Golf Course Males appears to be spending more time with the lionesses of the Selati Pride than the other two do. It is not known where these two go to when not with their companion; perhaps they are with another pride or perhaps they are simply out patrolling territory.


July 2001

The Golf Course Males were seen regularly with the lionesses of the Selati Pride during July, all sightings being on SW Toulon. Towards the end of the month all of these lions, cubs included, were found with a freshly killed adult male giraffe close to the banks of the Msuthu River. Several days of good feeding resulted from this huge meal. Although the Golf Course Males kept letting the females know that they were in charge, they were probably most instrumental in killing the giraffe and all lions feasted.


On the afternoon before the giraffe was killed, the Golf Course Males demonstrated that they were no slouches when it came to hunting, catching an impala from a herd which the females had just run in on and missed. When the lionesses were in the process of circling the prey, the male lions were of course waiting for things to happen, but after it was apparent that nothing had been caught once some of the females had rushed in, the males advanced and caught an impala trying to break back. The males then fought amongst themselves and one or two of the luckier lionesses had to make do with the barest of scraps. All of the attention directed at the Selati Pride has meant that the Golf Course Males have really failed to make much effort to control any territory occupied by the Charleston Pride, one of which may well have cubs sired by these male lions. Already other male lions appear to be moving into these areas - two being seen with the Charleston Pride this month. The question is whether the Golf Course Males will take it or move in to secure the area. Time will tell.


June 2001
Three adult male lions - Golf Course Males: The sightings of the Golf Course Males during June were all on SW Toulon. In some ways this was disappointing, since it has been hoped that they would move more east and north and so secure territory which would effectively include the Charleston Pride and get on with the business of fathering cubs. However, their time seems to be quite taken up with the Selati Pride, a family of lionesses far larger than was initially suggested by the four which spent such a long time on Mala Mala several months ago.
May 2001

Golf Course Males: These male lions control the south-western parts of Mala Mala and, relative to previous months, there were few sightings of them and none of all three together. Towards the end of April, one of the males was seen mating with one of the lionesses of the Selati Pride and then towards the end of May, another mating was observed although in this case the lioness was not identified. It is highly likely that she was part of the Selati Pride.


April 2001



Aside from the lone male lion seen with the Windmill Pride, the Golf Course Males were the only other male lions seen in the southern areas of the reserve this month. They spent all of their time on the southern and western side of the Sand River and were not seen to attempt to cross it. This is perhaps why they lone male referred to earlier has shown some interest in the area - there has not been any sign of other males and with lionesses and prey unattended, it is opportunity waiting.


March 2001

Three adult male lions - Golf Course Males:

The Golf Course Males were encountered several times during March, both with and away from females. All three males were with three of the Selati Pride Females when the latter introduced three new cubs (estimated to be approximately 6 weeks old) to game-drive vehicles.

In a most dramatic development in the social life of lions, the Golf Course Males this month were seen to make acquaintances with the lionesses of the Charleston Pride. In the first encounter, some lionesses of the Selati Pride were also present and the interaction was, as could be expected, aggressive. From the fact that the Charleston Pride then moved away from the area currently controlled by the Selati Pride, the family of females which the Golf Course Males have so far concentrated upon, indicates that they probably came off second-best in this encounter. However, the Charleston Pride lionesses did not move far away and later in the month there was another brief encounter between them and the Golf Course Males, with some hint that one of the females may have been in oestrus. At this sighting the one male lion was seen to steal the scraps of an impala kill from the Chellahanga Female leopard.

Generally speaking, signs look good for the Golf Course Males to cross to the northern bank of the Sand River and also claim the Charleston Pride.


February 2001

There were several encounters with the Golf Course Males this month, some of these of them together with the Selati Pride. So far the Golf Course Males do not appear to be making much effort to cross to the eastern bank of the Sand River. All sightings of these lions were in the south western parts of Mala Mala


January 2001

Three adult male lions - Golf Course Males: These male lions have been in the south-western parts of the reserve for some months now and have taken the area over from the Kingston Males. Their name reflects the area on Mala Mala known as "the Golf Course", a place where they are frequently found. As far as can be ascertained, they have so far dominated one pride of lions, these known as the Selati Pride, and comprise four adult lionesses. At least two of these females may be lactating. Hopefully these three males will bring stability into this area and this will encourage the Charleston Pride to return on a more regular basis.


MalaMala Game Reserve, PO Box 55514, Northlands, 2116, South Africa.
Telephone: + 27 11 442 2267 or 0861 SAFARI.
Facsimile: + 27 11 442 2318
e-Mail: reservations@malamala.com


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