(Latin = Panthera leo, Afrikaans = Leeu, German = Lauwe)
Numbers: Fairly high
Weight: 238kg (524 lb.)
Shoulder height: 125 cm (50 in.)
Pregnancy time: 110 days
Cub quantity: Up to 6
Found in warmer areas, such as the north and north eastern parts of the Northern Province and Mpumalanga, especially in the Limpopo valley and in the whole of the Lowveld, as well as in the most northern areas of the Kalahari-areas of the North Cape, and in a patch of the far north-eastern midland in KwaZulu-Natal.
The unchallenged king of them all, the great African Lion, is, to many tourists coming to South Africa, the highlight of their African safari. This brute's roar will fill an evening around the open campfire with shivering and fear, having people check the fence and help to change any subject back to the safari essentials. The most beautiful full-grown male is spectacular in any man's language. However, this fellow will keep his mighty energies to himself when the hunt is on, which takes place during the night: the lionesses take initiative for this terrible, and at the same time awesome event that takes place every few days in a pride's feeding routine. When they're off for the hunt, no animal in the jungle can sleep peacefully (lions are on record for killing small elephants!) If the kill produces a giraffe, there's no hunt for a fortnight; if the catch is small, the lionesses may see their hard-earned meal being taken by the male. But when danger looms; for example a very large group of hyenas confronting one or two females at a catch the mere entrance of the male will make the hyenas scatter in all directions. And woe to the hyena who pressures his or her luck to far! A pride of lions may consist of up to thirty animals, and this corporate nature of a pack of lions are best illustrated in their hunting tactics, moving in a well synchronized manner when preparing for their bloody midnight meals. In all the world, only the tiger of Asia can be compared to the massive strength and awe of this royal creature.