Masai Mara National Reserve is well known for having a high population of wild cats to include: lions, Leopards, and cheetahs. The Park is estimated to be home to about 850 to 900 lions living in different groups known as prides, each pride consists of about 15 to 20 lions and has a different territory, each territory may span to about 20 to 400 square kilometers with one alpha male who is the leader dominant male.
Male lion coalitions in Masai Mara
Male lion coalitions in Masai Mara are formed in quite a few different ways; generally, the more traditional coalition as observed in The Mara is formed when a group of young males around the same age but not necessarily always the same age leave their mother’s pride together. The other way coalition is formed in Masai Mara is when unrelated males with separate pride run together to have a greater chance of taking over a better territory as they get older.
There’s a very big misperception that among male lions there is a certain lion that’s more dominant than the others in the coalitions. This, however, is not true, the coalitions are constantly in flux whoever is the angriest, the most energized and the least wounded will be dominant so it completely changes from day to day. The first three male coalitions of the Mara located in the Mara triangle are the; sausage tree pride, the in gamma pride, and the musketeer pride.
These coalitions operate both sides of the Mara river and are usually seen crossing the Mara river (wildebeest crossing) at various stages, the Musketeers hold one of the core territories in the Mara around the main crossings and for the moment they only have the Paradise pride and the maguro prides down with them. There are also three male coalitions of the Black Rock boys, the Black Rock boys have a one-eyed completely grizzled male (Scarface), they have multiple prides that they lured over to include the Black Rock pride.
Within the same region, there are six young interlopers who moved into the area named the Billa Shaka nomads. The Billa shaka nomads are very interesting because they haven’t quite established themselves yet but have been seen mating with Yaya and her daughters who are formerly of the Marsh pride.
Sadly, following recent events (11th June 2021) was the death of the iconic and most celebrated lion in Masai Mara National Reserve. Former member of the “four musketeers” pride, “Scarface” was the most sought-after lion in the Mara. Out of the 850 to 900 lions in the reserve, the sight of Scarface concluded many of our visitors’ expeditions. Long-lived Scarface named after his injured face is believed to have died over 14 years old meeting the life expectancy of a lion meant to be 10 to 14 years. Having taken his last breath peacefully without disturbance from hyenas or vehicles, Scarface was laid to rest by the order of the KWS. We hope for new kings in the Mara as we say farewell to our most celebrated king.
Change is always blowing through the land of the Mara Triangle as far as the male lion coalition’s go; aging coalitions pass and go to be replaced by younger stronger males within their territories which is naturally a way of life. If you are interested in Africa, well you can stay hooked to the wild moments with our well-developed safaris to Masai Mara to get a close-up encounter with the lions of Masai Mara on a private safari.
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Facts about Masai Mara lions
- Female lions do most of the work, they do the hunting which means having many lionesses in a single pride is as excellent having plenty plenty of food
- Lions spend most their day sleeping, they are estimated to sleep for up to 20 hours a day
- Male Lions are naturally not equally fertile, that’s why they mate much more often than any other animals, it is also known that in a count of five lions, only one is capable of impregnating a female in one mating session.
- Male lions kill their cubs at rare occurrences and according to researchers, this an effort to get their females back into oestrus sooner so they can mate again
- New discovery shows that lions in the night move far more than we ever thought and come back to the same place every single morning
- It is a fact that Very few cubs make it to adulthood, out of a group of 8 cubs, only one is likely to make it to through survival to adulthood.
Masai Mara Safari Guide: All you need to know