The Hoanib Pride

Xpl-3 "Adolf" Xpl-47 "Bianca" Xpl-72 "The 70's"

08 June 2015. Due a shortage of grazing for large herds of cattle in the surrounding area, pastoralists from the Sesfontein Conservancy have moved into the Hoanib River at Elephant Song to provide food and water for their livestock. Cattle are currently utilising the Hoanib River from Elephant Song to the Ganamub River. To assist the Sesfontein Conservancy and the Ministry of Environment & Tourism with the management of potential conflict between lions and the local community, the daily movements of the Hoanib Pride (Xpl-47 “Bianca”) will be presented below as a “early warning”. The map and current locations of the lions will be updated every day. The red dot indicates the position of the lions at 07h00 on the date that appears below and the blue dots show their movements during the previous 5 days. A new satellite collar was fitted to Xpl-59 “E=MC^2” on 23 Nov 2015. She is the last remaining adult lion of the Hoanib Pride.


31 Jan 2017


9 Nov 2015

14 March 2014. Xpl-47 was immobilised to remove the satellite collar that was fitted to on 9 Sep 2010 and failed to send location data after a few months. It was however possible to retrieve valuable data on her movements between 9 Sep 2010 and 16 Jun 2013. The movement data, consisting of 10 locations per day, were safely stored inside the collar. During this period Xpl-47 moved over an area of 2,195 sqr km (see map below). When compared with her movements between 2008 and 2009 (white polygon on map), there was a significant expansion of her movements towards the Hunkap River in the south.

A new satellite collar was fitted to Xpl-47 on 12 Mar 2014.

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An adult lioness ("Bianca" - Xpl47) was darted between the Hoanib and Hunkap Rivers in May 2008 and fitted with a GPS collar. She belongs to a group of five lionesses and had three small cubs at the time of the darting.

Synchronised movements. Below are four synchronised movement animations of "Bianca" (light blue icon) in relation to the movements of the male, Xpl-73 (red icon) and the Floodplain lioness (Xpl-10, dark blue icon) for a two-month period, between 22 Nov 2010 and 21 Jan 2011. Each animation spans over 15 days.

22 Nov 2010 - 6 Dec 2010

7 - 21 Dec 2010

22 Dec 2010 - 5 Jan 2011

6 - 21 Jan 2011

Hoanib lionesses with cubs. The Hoanib lionesses (Xpl-47 "Bianca" & Xpl-59) recently gave birth to her second litter after mating with the Hunkap male ("Rosh", Xpl-73) in Sep 2010. The data received from the satellite GPS collar fitted to "Bianca" (Xpl-47) are providing valuable information on the movement patterns of lionesses with small cubs. An animation of the movements of Xpl-47 for the past 15 days is presented below (left), followed by an analysis of her movement patterns in relation to the cubs for the past 32 days (below, right).

Movement patterns of Xpl-47 in relation to her cubs
During a period of 32 days Xpl-47 visited her cubs every 4.1 days (n = 8), spending on average 2 days with them and 2.1 days away from them. In total, she was with the cubs for 48%, and away from them for 52%, of the time. When leaving the cubs, Xpl-47 was presumably hunting for food and returned to suckle and attend to the cubs. Over the 32-day period she moved 220.8 km, but 91% of that distance was travelled when away from her cubs. During the periods that Xpl-47 were with her cubs she moved an average of 1.9 km/day, but travelled significantly further when away from them and hunting for food (mean = 13.7 km/day).
With Cubs
No. of events
Average durations (days)
Range (days)
0.3 - 2.9
0.5 - 4.5
Total duration (days)
Average distance moved (km)
Range (km)
0.3 - 5.5
8.7 - 42.9
Total distance moved (km)

New movement animations
The movement patterns of the adult lioness (Bianca - Xpl-47) are presented below using a Flash animation. Click on the PLAY button to start the animation. The timeline is constant at 7.5 seconds per day (24 hrs). Black and yellow bars indicate night and daytime, respectively, on the timeline. When the red dot moves quickly across the screen, it accurately represents the speed at which the llion moves.

September 2009 - first 6-day highlight

Earlier animations of Xpl-47