After our weekend in camp visiting the Masai Mara National Reserve and visiting local Masai homesteads and landscapes we settled back into the second week of work in the conservancy. We left camp at 7am and on our way to out first game count we saw 3 trucks - something exciting was on its way.
In the distance I could see two figures, one was clearly a male. As we got closer the other was a lioness, even at a distance this male was impressive, even more so than Ron 2. His large dark mane flowed down his neck to the top of his front legs, covering where his legs met his body. His face was long and narrow and the blonde hair around his neck flowed down to the top of his forelegs, getting darker as it went further down. He gave us a quick look but clearly only because he wanted to, not out of fear or nervousness, for this male had much more important things on his mind.
The female lay crouched snarling, her head to the ground with her back end higher. She was clearly being respectful but not too happy by his advances. She moved closer to a nearby tree but she could still sense his huge body and rough greasy mane over her face as he continued posturing over her. A polite sign of intimidation to show that it was he who was in control.
As they moved to the three the male followed her every step, he obviously thought that now or son she would be in season. Perhaps this was the roaring that we had heard last night. Either way he had been drawn to her for that reason. Despite his advances she was not completely receptive to him yet, once he reached the tree he rubbed his huge head up against the branches swishing his tail as he sprayed. This area belonged to him and I learnt from our guide Francis that he was another one of the Rekero coalition who took over last June. He has probably already killed the cubs born to this lioness from before but apparently due to recent sightings their appetite for infanticide has subdued as they have been seen behaving calmly with cubs.
The female continued to be unhappy with the advances and started to run, but the male was not far behind. Eventually she sat allowing him to sit next to him, still snarling occasionally. She started to run again this time at a very quick speed, the male leapt from his resting and position and followed her hastily into the bush. More times started to appear and out drive Francis decided t was time to leave the lions to their privacy.
Francis identified the male as Dongo, back at camp looking at the profiles I could see that Dongo is the youngest of the Rekero males and was born in January 2011. His mane was darker and much more extensive than Ron 2's with the Mohawk of dark hair along his spine nowhere near as exposed than the others we had seen. His mane filled the area in between the top of his spine and the top of his shoulder, although his shoulder was still clearly exposed. Dark tufts of hair could also been seen on his front arm pits, as dark as those on the bottom of his mane.
The female could only be identified as being suspected as one of Dada's daughters from the Enesikiria pride. Francis also said that it is very rare in Naboisho to saw group of females together all the tie. He said most of the lionesses appear to spend their time in either very small groups or nomadic a bit different to those on the open plains of the Maasai Mara.