Lions of the Sabi Sands

The lives of the legendary lions of Sabi the Sands read like the script for a soapie. A thirst for power, brutal techniques to gain it, betrayal among siblings, and unexpected take-overs from the rivals. Below a video series, following the journey of the famous lions of the Sabi Sands.

You will be surprised to discover how much these magnificent wild beasts have in common with humans. See the behind the scenes of life in the African jungle.

It all started in 2004. Six teenage male lions were evicted from the pride by their fathers. They had to learn how to fend for themselves. Sticking together, their survival chances increased. The Mapogo clan was born from their coalition.

The Mapogos overcome their initial inexperience and develop their hunting skills. The young hunters learn how to work as a group — taking down buffaloes, rhinos, giraffes, and hippos.

By 2006 the Mapogo lions start taking over more and more of the Northern Sabi Sands area. They get the nickname of the six gangsters and they clear their path, taking out any dominant males that dare to challenge them. Their brutality decimates the local lion population.

The Lions Of The Sabi Sands Kruger Park - Wikipedia

The natural path of a pride take-over starts unfolding. Their focus shifts to the cubs. They kicked out the males of the Ottawa pride but break down the defences of the females and manage to kill 11 cubs in 3 months.

Lions of the Sabi Sands christopher-keane-unsplash

The Mapogos now control 8 prides, after eliminating all the competition. They are crowned the kings of Sabi Sands. But there is mutiny in the ranks. A fight causes Kinky Tail and Mr. T to split off from the Mapogo coalition. They start occupying the Northern part of their initial territory.

The two breakaway Mapogos get challenged by a new coalition, threatening to overthrow their reign of terror. On the 8th of June the Majinglianes enter the scene, 5 male lions tackling the North Eastern section of the Sabi Sands. Kinky Tail and Mr T must defend their territory. A brutal fight ensues and they still manage to successfully defend their territory, killing one of their challengers.

But the Majinglianes intruders did not back down easily. One night they arrive for revenge and kill Kinky Tail. Mr. T manages to barely escape with his life, unable to save his brother.

Lions of the Sabi Sands - vincent van zalinge unsplash - Secret Africa

Mr. T travels West to return to his coalition of brothers. By this point they have their own families but in an unexpected moment of compassion, they accept him back into the pride. Little did they know that Mr. T had other ideas for his return — he wants to take over the pride. Within a few days he has killed off all his nephews and nieces, becoming the king of the West.

On 16 March 2012 another new coalition arrives on the scene, the Selaties, a pack of 5 young male lions. They enter the territory of the Mapogo from the South. A brutal fight ensues with Mr. T. He is paralyzed and killed. The Selaties take over the land.