News - 2015


31 Jul 2015. Swakopmund. Several days were spent in Swakopmund reconciling the activities and developments that occurred during the Premiere of “Vanishing Kings” and the “Road Show” that followed. Another batch of DVDs had to be ordered to satisfy the many requests for copies.

30 Jul 2015. Movement Updates.

29 Jul 2015. Premiere Summary. The Namibian launch of the new wildlife documentary “Vanishing Kings” by Into Nature Productions was a success. The Honorary Minister H P Shifeta of Environment and Tourism and Permanent Secretary Dr. M Lindeque were present during the main Premiere at the Warehouse Theatre in Windhoek. All three screenings in Windhoek were sold out with ± 800 people in attendance. At the Dome in Swakopmund an estimated 650 people viewed the film. The four screenings during the “Road Show” (Wereldsend, Bergsig, Sesfontein & Purros) attracted ± 1000 people of which more than half were school children. These events were made possible by the help and support from many individuals and organisations. The Desert Lion Project would like to thank everybody involved: Windhoek – Trix Malan, Kristy Watermeyer, C Hugo & D Rowels (99FM), Wilderness Safaris, B2Gold, Jameson Whiskey, StayToday & The Warehouse Theatre. Swakopmund - P van Biljon, H Fritze & Alta Bredenkamp (The DOME), P & M Sander. The Road Show - Commissioner James Ndirura (Namibian Police Force), Ms Roman, Chief Jerry Gaubaib, Counsellor Hendrik Gaubaib, Pieter de Wet, Ms Tjijapu, IRDNC, Children in the Wilderness Trust, Boas Hambo, Lianne & Will Steenkamp, Joe & Gisela Noci, Eben Human & Emsie Verwey. (Photos below by E Human)

27 Jul 2015. Road Show. The screenings of “Vanishing Kings” at four locations in rural Kunene Region was a big success. Approximately 1000 people attended the viewings held at Wereldsend, Bergsig, Sesfontein and Purros. The Desert Lion Project would like to thank the “Road Show Team” (Boas Hambo, Lianne & Will Steenkamp, Joe & Gisela Noci, Eben Human & Emsie Verwey) for a slick-running operation. Commissioner James Ndirura, Regional Commander of the Namibian Police Force for the Kunene Region, and IRDNC are thanked for their support.

23 Jul 2015. Purros Premiere. The “Road Show” came to an end with the last screening of “Vanishing Kings” at Purros. The Headman Mr Daniel Kasauna (photo: bottom middle) opened the event on a blistery cold night as approximately 80 people gathered at the school. The Headmistress Ms Tjijapu is thanked for her help. Okahirongo Elephant Lodge (Pieter de Wet) provided logistical support.

22 Jul 2015. Sesfontein Premiere. An enthusiastic and vocal audience watched the “Vanishing Kings” at the school hostel in Sesfontein. Chief Jerry Gaubaib opened the proceedings that were attended by an estimated 150 children and 150 adults. The Counsellor Mr Hendrik Gaubaib, Warrant Officer Tjinduwa (Namibian Police Force) and Mr Kabuku (Head Master) are thanked for their support.

The final action scene in the film, where the “Five Musketeers” capture an adult giraffe, generated a lot of excitement as the people supported the lions. Listen to the attached sound file below.

21 Jul 2015. Bergsig Premiere. The reception at Bergsig for the screening of “Vanishing Kings” was extraordinary. A large screen was erected at the school and the Damara version of the film was shown at sunset. Approximately 320 children and 150 adults from the village attended the event. The audience was captivated by the images and towards the end of the film when the “Five Musketeers” were hunting an adult giraffe there were loud cries as they cheered the lions on. We wish to thank Edna /Awaras for the Damara narration, and Warrant Officer Tjawira (Namibian Police Force), Ms Roman (School Headmistress) and Boas Hambo for their support during the event.

20 Jul 2015. Wereldsend Premiere. The “Vanishing Kings” film was shown to the traditional leaders, headmen and senior officials from seven Communal Conservancies at Wereldsend. Several key personnel from IRDNC, including Garth Owen-Smith, and Micheal Katjau from the Ministry of Environment & Tourism were in attendance.

18 Jul 2015. Swakopmund Premiere. The DOME was the venue for the Swakopmund Premiere of “Vanishing Kings”. The turnout exceeded all expectations as 550+ people attended the event. Paul van Biljon, Horst Fritze and Alta Bredenkamp of the DOME are thanked for providing a fantastic venue with cutting-edge technology to host the second screening of the film.

17 Jul 2015. Windhoek Premiere. The first public screening of the new film “Vanishing Kings – Lions of the Namib” at a Premiere in Windhoek was a major success. The Honorary Minister H P Shifeta of Environment and Tourism opened the event that was hosted by 99FM. Will & Lianne Steenkamp of Into Nature Productions produced a remarkable film on the Desert lions that was well received by the audience. We would like to thank all the sponsors and Trix Malan for hosting a memorable occasion.

16 Jul 2015. Movement Updates. The current movements of satellite-collared lions can be viewed for the following prides: Huab Pride, Hoanib Pride, Hunkap Pride & the Obab Lionesses.

15 Jul 2015. Film Premiere. Fieldwork has been stopped to attend the Premiere of “Vanishing Kings” in Windhoek and Swakopmund. Preparations are also underway for the “Roadshow” where the film will be screened in the Kunene Region. For information on the public screenings please contact: StayToday - Windhoek, or call 064-400301 – The Dome, Swakopmund.

14 Jul 2015. Spotted hyaenas. A camera-trap was retrieved from a zebra carcass in the upper Obab River (photos below). It was suspected that spotted hyaenas killed the Hartmann’s zebra. The two “Musketeers” (Xpl-90 & 91) returned to the Amp’s Poort section of the Hoanib River.

13 Jul 2015. Uniab Delta. The four Obab lionesses returned to the Uniab Delta after a brief visit to the interior part of their home range. They were observed briefly near the coast. The visibility was poor due to a thick blanket of fog that covered the area. Notwithstanding, they used the conditions to their benefit and were observed hunting and capturing an adult Oryx (photos below).

12 Jul 2015. "Musketeers" Split. Three of the “Musketeers” (Xpl-89 “Harry”, Xpl-92 “Adolf” & Xpl-93 “Tullamore”) moved down the Hoanib River towards the Floodplain and their mothers. Small numbers of elephants are still utilising the remaining water pools on the Floodplain after the floods earlier this year. Xpl-90 “Polla” and Xpl-91 “Ben” remained with the lioness Xpl-59.

11 Jul 2015. "Musketeers" versus Xpl-59. Fascinating behaviour was recorded as the 11-year-old lioness (Xpl-59 “E=MC^2”) repeatedly tried to mate with the five “Musketeers” that are 3.5 years of age and not yet fully sexually mature. During a period of continuous observation (11 hours) the lioness approached and attempted to mate with the males every 16 minutes on average (n = 39). The young males appeared frightened and bewildered at times, but they all made attempts to mount and mate with the lioness (photos below right by Ultimate Safaris – Jason Nott).

10 Jul 2015. "Musketeers" find lioness. The “Five Musketeers” encountered the Hoanib lioness Xpl-59 (E=MC^2) between the Obias and Ganamub Rivers. The lioness is in oestrous and was observed attempting to mate with all five of the males (photos below). The “Musketeers”, however, are not yet sexually mature and even though the lioness approached them and presented herself every 15 minutes (n = 23), they could not mate with her.

9 Jul 2015. No Respect. Tourism is important to the region and during the recent vacation period large numbers of 4x4 vehicles traveled through the area. It is disturbing that some individuals have so little respect for the spectacular scenery that they feel the need to “play” with their 4x4 vehicles on sensitive terrain. The photos below were taken yesterday 5 km south of Hunkap spring. The “Five Musketeers” have moved close to the Ganamub Gorge and efforts are underway to monitor their activities.

8 Jul 2015. Xpl-94. During the night the two lions were identified as members of the Barab Pride. A VHF radio collar fitted to the male (Xpl-94) in Feb 2014 was not working. The collar belonged to a bad batch that was ordered in 2010. Xpl-94 “The Prince” was immobilized and fitted with the last remaining new satellite collar. We wish to thank Dr Pete Morkel, Tommy Hall and Save the Rhino Trust for their help (photo: top right). Xpl-94 is the son of Xpl-49 “Nina” (see photos: bottom row) and he was last observed northeast of Hunkap spring.

Xpl-94 at 3 months Xpl-94 at 14 months Xpl-94 at 2 years & 5 months

7 Jul 2015. Barab Lions. An adult male and an adult lioness were located near the Upper Barab spring. The lions were skittish and moved away from the vehicle during the day. They will be approached at night in an effort to identify the two individuals.

6 Jul 2015. Upper Barab. The tracks of several lions were followed from the Aub River in a northerly direction. The tracks were approximately two days old. The lions visited the springs around the lower Barab River before heading north to the Upper Babab spring.

5 Jul 2015. Obab Pride. More than 3,500 images were downloaded from three camera-traps in the Obab and Barab Rivers. The collection contained several valuable photographs of lions, including the lioness Xpl-22, the main Obab Pride and the lower Barab Pride. Two of the cameras recorded images of leopards.

4 Jul 2015. Barab. A cheetah was observed on the basalt plains south of Swartmodder spring. The tracks of four sub-adult lions were found south of the Uniab River. Efforts to locate Agab Pride and the old lioness Xpl-22 were expanded to Beacon, Urunendis and Barab Rivers.

3 Jul 2015. Vanishing Kings Premiere. Into Nature Productions will be hosting a Premiere of their latest documentary “Vanishing Kings – Lions of the Namib”. See details below.  Xpl-81 “Kebbel” left the Elephant Song area and moved towards Orowau.

Vanishing Kings - Lions of the Namib
Windhoek: 17 & 18 Jul 2015
Contact: StayToday

Swakopmund: 18 Jul 2015
Contact: The Dome (064-400301)


2 Jul 2015. Huab Lions. Xpl-75 “Angela” moved into the Huab River between De Riet and Slangpos (see map below). Their movements will be monitored since the area is also utilised by livestock. In the Hoanib River Xpl-47 “Bianca” moved away, but Xpl-81 “Kebbel” returned to Elephant Song at 01h00 this morning.

1 Jul 2015. Elephant Song 2. The lions killed at least four head of cattle near Elelphant Song during the past 2 days. With the help from several supporters, including Izak Smit, excessive noise & disturbance was caused at night around Elephant Song and near the cattle boma. This caused the lions to move away. Xpl-81 “Kebbel” left the area early yesterday morning and the Hoanib Pride (Xpl-47 “Bianca”) moved to Ganamub Poort at 05h00 this morning. Plans for the Premiere of the film “Vanishing Kings – Lions of the Namib” has been completed. More information will shortly be available on social media.