Fighting lions at camp

By Patrick O’Brien on December 15, 2008

No one would have ever thought of finding 2 lion prides right at our doorstep this morning.

This was the case when the trackers informed us whilst we were having tea and coffee on the game viewing deck. A pride of lions were in the camp.

We got the guests quickly to the vehicles and within 30 seconds of leaving the camp we found the Machattan pride at the camps entrance. An unknown pride was also in the area and immediately I new that a fight was immanent.

Myself and Cynet got our Land Rovers into position as the second youngest lioness of the Machattan pride stalked with an aggressive intent a large female from the unknown pride.

The Machattan lionesses have always been spirited and in seconds the two lioness climbed into each other. A short but intense fight followed.

The action was then further doubled as one of the Timbavati male lions that have been moving with the Machattan pride also attacked the single lioness whilst the rest of her pride ran for cover.

She had no choice but to defend herself and her dignity.

As the male approached rapidly, the lioness in a defensive manner threw the first punch (paw). He ducked to avoid her razor sharp claws and it was then that she got a gap to escape from the attack. She moved with lighting speed between the two game drive vehicles and ran off not once looking back. She was found 10 minutes later crossing the western boundary as the Machattan pride advertised vocally by roaring that they are Kings Camp’s legendary pride.

By Patrick O‘Brien Head Guide
Fighting Lions at Kings Camp - By Patrick O‘Brien. Head Guide.
Fighting Lions at Kings Camp - By Patrick O‘Brien. Head Guide.
Fighting Lions at Kings Camp - By Patrick O‘Brien. Head Guide.
Fighting Lions at Kings Camp - By Patrick O‘Brien. Head Guide.
Fighting Lions at Kings Camp - By Patrick O‘Brien. Head Guide.
Fighting Lions at Kings Camp - By Patrick O‘Brien. Head Guide.
Fighting Lions at Kings Camp - By Patrick O‘Brien. Head Guide.
Fighting Lions at Kings Camp - By Patrick O‘Brien. Head Guide.

17 thoughts on “Fighting lions at camp

  1. That has got to be one of the most epic updates/sightings I have seen to date. Patrick, not only did your photos totally capture the fight, your comments perfectly described the event. Reading your play-by-play and seeing the photos almost put me right there with you.

    Of course nothing compares to the real thing! What a treat . . .

    Happy Holidays,


  2. What a truly amazing site for all that witnessed it! And I thought my game drives at the camp could not be topped! Your pictures are so fantastic. I’m sure it didn’t last that long, but your series of pics puts it in wonderful slow motion. Fantastic!

    Thanks for sharing, and hello to all!



    I think these are some of your best photos!!!!!! I also loved the dialog. Anyone who has had you as their ranger,knows you continually give a wealth of information. I love reliving my experence at Kings Camp through my video and your narration. Hope you are well.

    I wish for you a Merry Christmas and a fabulous 2009.


  4. Patrick,

    These pictures were awesome! You continue to amaze me. Lynn and I are still smiling about our amazing safari. Thanks for sharing your passion and enthusiasm. Happy Holidays.

  5. Hi Pat

    What amazing photos!!! I cannot wait to use them in my powerpoint marketing presentations. Absolutely unbelievable!!! So wonderful what one can experience on safari at Kings Camp.

  6. This was an awesome sight to see 1st hand! Will see if I can post our video footage next week. Miss you all at Kings!

  7. Hi Patrick

    Brilliant action shots, I agree with Warren about being like the paparazzi! Hope to see everyone next year. Cheers

    Martin & Eileen – Ireland

  8. Unbelievable! What an extraodinary and exciting experience to witness. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime sighting. Thank you for the action photos. I can almost feel the tension and the violence.

  9. Holy smokes – that is way cool! Great pictures Patrick.

    When I first saw the subject header of ?Fighting Lions at Camp? I thought it might have been the new dominant male we saw on Dec 2nd (that was the rainy, cold, morning drive ? and he had a fresh waterbuck kill). You had predicted that he might tangle with one of the three bothers if they crossed paths ? so I was really surprised that this was a new pride.

    Exciting times!

  10. SPECTACULAR. What I would give to have been there with you guys. I must return to King’s Camp soon. I have been to other camps but there is nothing like going on a Game drive with you Patrick. Incredible. So grateful for this blog.

  11. Hi Pat,

    My 16 yr old son and I were lucky enough to be in Pat and Albert’s vehicle watching this spectacular event unfold. It was fast, powerful and terrifying. You can get lulled into believing these beautiful cats are almost domesticated, given most sightings are of them lying in the sun or playing with each other. A great reminder of why these beautiful creatures really are at the top of the animal kingdom

    Thanks Pat and Albert for another amazing visit to Kings.

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