COME SEE THE LION IN HLUHLUWE IMFOLOZI PARK!
Newly introduced lion have been regularly seen close to the road in Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park.
It is interesting to note that the Park and indeed the whole of Zululand was once devoid of any lion at all. Unbelievably during the 1950’s almost all wild animals were shot as vermin as it was understood that they carried Ngana disease that caused the death of newly introduced cattle into Zululand. Conservationists had warned that cattle brought into the area would not survive the hot humid climate of the region now known as Elephant Coast. The cattle died and the authorities began a campaign to have hundreds of thousands of wild animals exterminated and that included lion.
The few lion that may have survived had no prey to feed on as all the antelope had been shot. In 1958 one lone lion named Nkozi made his way down to Zululand from the North. Rangers hoped that he would eventually arrive at Imfolozi Park and they did all they could the mislead hunters that were alerted and wished to shoot Nkozi!
The rangers efforts were successful and eventually Nkozi settled safely in the park that had no lion. The next challenge was to find him some female mates. This the rangers did secretly and they brought in 2 lionesses and 2 cubs from Kruger National Park. Today there is a healthy population of lion in the Park although certain challenges exist. They include diseases such at TB transferred from Buffalo and sarcoptic mange that has infected the lion from time to time. To keep the population of lion heathy, new lion are introduced to existing prides and thus these lion are now often seen and can be identified as they have tracking collars.