The Kruger National Park is known for large male lion coalitions, in today’s post we focus on lions which made a name for themselves, the Gomondwane male lions.
Similar to other coalitions we have mentioned like the Skybeds, the Gomondwane were a coalition made up of six male lions, what made them so different was that all six of them had big black manes, in other coalitions it is easy to see which is the most dominant male in the group, with these lions all of them exuded such power and dominance.
Lions can be hard to keep up with, especially when they get old, they don’t make themselves seen as much as they do in their prime, for example we always used to spot the Jock males on the H4-1 which is one of the busiest roads in the whole of the park and for the last year no one has really seen them, so we aren’t sure how old the Gomondwane actually are or if any of the remaining males are still alive.
The Gomondwane male lions ruled the south area of the park around Crocodile Bridge, and they had a big territory which they controlled, and they were the pride males of a few prides, which are still around.
Their sons, the Shishangeni male lions, have carried their father’s strong genes, because they are as just as powerful and they have also stayed together forming a formidable coalition.
Lions will keep coalitions because it makes it easier for them to fight and dominate other male lions and it makes it easier for them to hunt when there are no females around, and one day in 2011 while hunting one of the Gomondwane was actually killed by a buffalo.
As they got older you wouldn’t see all six males together, and when you would see them you would see two of the males together or the other three.
We were lucky to see two of the Gomondwane male lions, once while two of the males were patrolling and another time on a night drive, one of the Gondomwane males was easy to identify because he was blind in one eye.
These males were ousted from their territory by their own sons, the Shisangeni males, and after that they became nomad lions.
They were the pride males of the Vurhami pride and the Gomondwane pride. The Vurhami pride is one of the biggest pride in Kruger and it is now dominated by the Shishangeni males.
The blind male was the actually the aggressive one from the coalition, as he would try and attack cars, he disappeared in 2015 because no one ever saw, and the other four were hardly spotted, eventually in 2018 a male lion with a broken leg was seen laying in the thickets hardly moving and rangers confirmed that it was actually one of the old Gomondwane male lions which eventually passed away.
The Gomondwane males leave a legacy behind because there are currently seven male lions in the Gomondwane pride, and seven of them have been spotted all together, we are sure that in a few years they will be as powerful as their fathers and their step brothers.