Lions of national park Hwange Zimbabwe: a big loving family

Hwange is the largest National Park in Zimbabwe with the highest population of lions in the African country. We stayed in Hwange for four days and spotted a pride of 22 lions and a special ‘in love’ couple three times.

Text: Angelique van Os | Photography: Henk Bothof

Hwange, which is the same size as Belgium, is home to 400 lions. Around 80 lions can be found in the concession of tour operator Wilderness. We followed the Linkwasha pride, consisting of 22 lionesses, their young and males who cannot yet hunt independently.

Read more about these lions, their relationships with elephants and how they are protected at Naturescanner.

<–During our first encounter, the lions appear from all sides. Playing, strolling, greeting each other. As soon as dusk falls, the group leaves the termite mound in search of food. Read more about this in the cover story about the Painted Dogs

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We find the same group resting under a tree the next day. The lions yawn, stretch and move to find a new spot.
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The lion pride killed a calf at an important elephant watering hole in the early morning. Elephants come and go and some make it clear that they only tolerate the lions because of the water…

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<– At the end of the day, this lion takes care of two females in heat at all costs, even though one of them is not interested at all. She prefers to visit his brother, which causes the dominant lion to run his lungs out.   

During our last game drive, on the way to the air strip, we were surprised once again by this beautiful foursome.

Would you like to read more about lions? Then check out our Pure Heroes section soon about lion expert Philip Stanford and the article about Namibia, where the endangered desert lions live.

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