In a merciless corner of Africa, battles rage for survival and supremacy. A lion pride struggles with territory and parenthood in the heart of the Luangwa Valley. Their future depends on the success of the lionesses. Will they raise cubs this year?
Mfumu, which means ‘chief’, is the dominant male of the Lagoon pride. An inexperienced guardian, it’s unusual for a male this young to lead a pride of six females. This has not gone unnoticed by the rival male on the opposite bank. Only the full river keeps them apart, for now.
The Lagoon pride lives on a riverbank with the highest concentration of crocodiles in the world. This is the reason Mfumu and his females have been unsuccessful at rearing cubs for the last three years. Crocodile attacks have consistently claimed their young. If they don’t get it right this year, the pride may die out.
At the height of the flood Mfumu’s mate, Chipazuwa - ‘the beautiful one’ - gives birth to two cubs, Chimondo, a boy and Katswiri, a girl. She hides them away, protecting them at all costs. Chipazuwa has her work cut out for her. At this stage they are easy targets for her reptilian enemies. Will these cubs survive the rainy season?
Mfumu patrols his territory every day, guarding it well. The rains have come and the Luangwa River rages with full force. For now, the Lagoon pride is safe.
Across the river to the east, the rival pride rules. The biggest threat to Mfumu’s legacy, this pride is ruled by a male in his prime. He watches and waits - envious of Mfumu’s territory.
Eventually, the dry season will descend on this valley. When the river is low, larger animals can traverse the divide with ease . . . even the big cats. Will the rival male cross the river and take over Mfumu’s pride?
‘Lions of Crocodile River’ takes you into the heart of the Luangwa Valley - a place where territories are redefined with the rise and fall of the Luangwa River. Each year drought ravages this Eden. Over time, the river recedes and changes course, leaving ox-bow lakes and lagoons behind. Teaming with crocodiles, these remaining pools attract thirsty and fatigued prey desperate to escape the scorching heat. A death trap waits. Mfumu and his pride must join the ranks of those who drink from these pools. For both predator and prey, the Luangwa Valley is a treacherous place.
Can Mfumu stand his ground against a hostile takeover from the rival male across the river? Will his mate, Chipazuwa win the battle of motherhood against her mortal enemy, the crocodile? Will she finally raise cubs to continue their diminishing line? These are the ‘Lions of Crocodile River’.