This area of the Mara is where parts of Out of Africa were shot, so the pride of lions that lives there is called the Out of Africa Pride. (This is also the area where BBC films Big Cat Diary). And there is a shocking amount of drama going on in the Out of Africa pride.

When you are on a game drive there is a lot of radioing back and forth between the camp jeeps with drivers telling each other (in Swahili) which animal is where. When we first arrived, we saw four of the lionesses from the pride under a tree with some cubs, sharing the hunting and babysitting duties. The male was lazing a fair distance away. After the elephants scratched, we headed there to see if they were still around.

The females and cubs were gone, and the male had moved deeper into the bush. Alice told us that a few months ago, a group of juvenile males had attacked the alpha male. He'd fought them off, but was wounded. As she told us, the radio buzzed. Three young male lions had been spotted not far away.

The youths were across a gorge from us, and they looked calm. "The alpha male is hiding," Alice told us. "He doesn't stand a chance against three teenagers." Won't the lionesses help, we asked? "No," she told us. "Their priority is to keep the 15 cubs safe and fed. They'll keep moving the babies until something happens."

Later in the afternoon we found the females and the cubs relaxing on the plain. "Everyone is waiting," Alice told us. "You're going to hear lions roar tonight!"

All night I waited, but it was quiet. The next morning we couldn't find the alpha male or the young males. We found two of the lionesses looking anxious, but no cubs. Alice explained that if the young males were to kill the alpha male, one would take over the pride and the other two would move on. The new alpha male would kill all of the cubs because the lionesses won't go into heat while they still have nursing cubs. If the cubs can survive until they're weaned the new alpha male may let them live.

By the afternoon, we found a different group of four females from the same larger pride, but without cubs. As we drove toward the escarpment (the long hill that serves as the "back" of the Mara plains) late in the afternoon, we found the females and cubs hiding in the bush. But there was still no sign of the males.
On our last full day, we only saw the lions once. The lionesses were on the move again,  herding the cubs across the plain from high point to high point and looking anxious. Still no sign of the alpha male and the youths.

The morning we left, I took one last early game drive while Kyle slept and packed up for us. We saw three of the lionesses hunting and Alice said the fourth was with the cubs. They didn't get their prey (warthogs), and stalked off together toward the escarpment.

(I shot video of this, and it goes like this: lioness, warthog, lioness, lioness running, OMGLIONESSESRUNNING, THREELIONESSESSHUNTING, sky. I'll spare you.)

As we were leaving we heard that the male had been spotted deep in the bush, injured, but alive. The three youths seemed to be gone. All of the cubs had been accounted for.

Two down, three to go.