Thursday 10 February 2011

BREAKING NEWS - 10th February - White Lions Return!!!

White Lions of the Timbavati (October 2010)
I just have to let everyone know that it has eventually happened; after a month’s absence, the Xakubasa Pride – with their two white lion sub-adult lionesses – returned to Motswari!
We had been informed that the pride were on a nearby property for the last two days, and that last night that moved south-east towards the Timbavati.  Grant went on an early morning drive and found some lion tracks on the airstrip near camp, so asked the trackers to go follow up, half expecting it to be the Jacaranda Pride. 
It soon became clear that this was not for the Jacaranda lionesses, but rather for the White Lions, and after a couple of hours, Marka – together with our tracking team – managed to locate the Xakubasa Pride!  They were still on the move late into the morning, and moved through the thicker eastern section before eventually coming to rest on the northern bank of the Sohebele Riverbed in our eastern section. 
We went out after breakfast to have a look, but the visual was rather poor from the opposite bank of the river as the pride lay in the shade of a mopane thicket (glad to see that they haven’t changed their ways!!!.....or maybe it is just because I am back, because they always seem to perform for the other guides and Leanne and Will from the film crew?)!  As we weren’t on a proper game drive, we didn’t attempt to go closer and just watched them resting from a distance. 

White lions return (taken 1 hour ago)
Grant is heading out this afternoon, and will hopefully be able to get a better visual for his guests, but what a treat they are in for to see these amazing lions in their natural habitat!  I sincerely hope that they stick around for the next few days, weeks and months!


  1. What brilliant news for you to see the White Lions back again - stunning photos as ever.

    I hope they stay around so we can have more updates.

  2. What a fabulous sight with their beautiful eyes.
    thanks for the announcement Chad.
    Looking forward to more news of them over the coming weeks.


  3. I was missing them! I'm glad they are back and hoping they provide great sightings on the coming days.

  4. Good news !!
    I hope that they will stay around Motswari for a few next weeks... months... years !
    Enjoy your coming drives !

  5. Great news, hope they are still there in october, haha. But what a fantastic photographs from the buffalo´s. Beautifull light. I really enjoy all the daily news. Thank you

  6. It's fantastic to see them the wild Chad. That October Photo is brilliant to see the white, and tawny Lioness's drinking together. Thats really made my day

  7. thanks everyone! yeas, it is great to have them back....they were still on the property this morning, but i will leave that update for Grant....i am back on drive this afternoon, but might just go and spend the afternoon with the Jacaranda Pride in the north...

  8. What wonderful eyes God and his blessings are rich . Thanks for the photo's Chad please post more !! :)

  9. Lions don’t produce albinos? That strikes me as odd… every species including fish produce albinos. Find it hard to believe that those cats are not the product of inbreeding instead of some random and most likely unnecessary mutation. The climate of the area in Africa which they are ‘said’ to be found is not any different from the rest of what “normal” African Lions inhabit, questioning the need for a mutation at all. And Lions of Asia that occasionally inhabit the snow are “normal” colored like their African counterparts. Yet somehow the snow Leopard is a mutation for its habitat. Very interesting indeed. So to call these animals white Lions rather than albinos seems awkward at best, and a little misleading. Not to mention these beast seem to be, unlike these spotted, in captivity.

  10. Very interesting comment a Wildcat...

    firstly, all white lions in captivity have been bred from the original white lions that occurred in the timbavati and were taken to Pretoria Zoo for their own safe keeping, yet the genes that produce the white lions are still very evident in the timbavati.

    the timbavati is a natural, open system, open to an area larger than belgium, where lions are free to move where they please, so this should naturally limit any indreeding within the populations. As 5 different prides have had white lion cubs within the last 6 years, i think it is highly unlikely that all of these prides would be experiencing inbreeding? while i have questioned this myself, the fact that the lions do have pigment in their eyes and skin (whilst my understanding on ablinos is that they have no pigmentation at all???), making them leucistic, not albinos.

    A National Geographic documentary on these white lions hypothesised that they gene is a remnant from the ice age days, but it is no more than a theory? why they are white is anyones guess, and maybe it is just one of natures random mutations that could or could not have existed during the last ice age...i wasnt there to see, so i am not sure ;)...yet, with them occuring, they dont appear to be overly disadvantaged by their coat, and can hunt well with it...hence the fact the gene has survived and not disappeared into oblivion?

    Calling them white lions is not so misleading, as it is describing them and their appearance. i disagree with some organisations that are vying for the creating of a seperate subspecies for them, as that is not true - they are merely a recessive gene that shows up from time to time in both Timbavati and the Tsokwane area of the kruger...besides, "The Albino Lions of the Timbavati" doesnt have such a great ring to it :P

    You can try find Chris McBride's book on the White Lions of the Timbavati for a more detailed discussion of their discovery and the science behind them :)

    Thanks for the comment :)

  11. So I'm confused, are these young adult Lions or Lionesses? <.< >.>

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  13. been on this forum for the first time, thanks to my friend charlie, who diligently sifts theu tons of fwds and sends me the best. i normally dont check the links, but today dont regret it. interesting dialouge on the albino or while lions. dont you think the albinos might have been the fullest form of the (mutant would be a strong word) gene.
    not being any where near to you peoples knowledge, this is just my layman's point of view.
    thanks "a wildcat " and the private game reserve owners for the point and counterpoint.