Lions roaming Phalaborwa darted and sent back to the Kruger National Park

by Marnus Roodbol, lion conservation senior field officer, CCP

On Monday, 3 June, 2024, five young lions were spotted roaming Villa Luso in Phalaborwa. The  same lions were later spotted by the Phalaborwa horse patrols along the western boundary of the Kruger National Park, south of the Phalaborwa gate.

Later in the they moved onto the Hans Merensky Golf Course before returning to the greater Kruger area.

Although the community and stakeholders assumed that the lions had left the town and  returned to the safety of the greater Kruger, the pride was again seen in town later that night.

That was when we all sprang into action to ensure that the five lions were removed from the town limits and moved to the Kruger National Park.

Following a consultation between the Limpopo department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET), the Phalaborwa Heritage Foundation (PNHF), the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), and the regional and section rangers of the Kruger National Park,  it was decided to capture the lions and to move them back into the safety, and security, of the greater Kruger area.

The EWT Carnivore Conservation team on site assisted in the capture and darting of the five lions – two adult females and three young males.  One of the lionesses was fitted with a GPS tracker by the EWT so that we can continue to monitor the pride’s movements.  This will also assist stakeholders should further assistance for this pride be needed in future.


The darted lions, of which one was collared, before being transported back into the Greater Kruger area.