Lions being harassed by Hyena

Lions harassed by Hyena

Lion vs Hyena in the Kalahari

These two species have forever been mortal enemies on the plains of Africa. Hyenas never shy away from the chance of a confrontation if they feel that the numbers are in their favour.

This particular afternoon I left Nossob camp in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and made my way north, stopping at the first waterhole. I waited for 30mins, and nothing moved in the searing heat. The decision to drive further north to the Kwang Waterhole seemed logical. A few minutes later I was parked up in the shade and was the only vehicle there. I noticed two young male lions on a carcass off in the distance. They were too far for the 500mm even with a 2x converter, so I just watched and waited.

Suddenly from the right, seven hyenas appeared and made a bee-line to the two lions. With a lot of snarling and cackling from the hyenas, the lions took flight and headed towards the waterhole and right into the reach of my camera.

For more stories from this magnificent place, click here for my trip report

The conflict in images:

"Lion approaching- Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park"

The first male left the hyenas and wandered on towards the waterhole. This is the second male who was keen on seeing off the intruders.  Three of the hyena left the carcass and followed the first lion. The other four carried on eating.

"Lion vs hyena - Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park"

"Lion vs hyena - Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park"

"Lion vs hyena - Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park"

The first male turned around to face the three hyenas that were tailing him. Their nervous cackling continuing throughout the encounter. He was clearly not up for the fight and turned to continued walking towards me.


"Lion vs hyena in the Kalahari"

"Lion vs hyena - Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park"


Meanwhile, the second male started to stalk the hyenas that were now between him and his brother.


"Lion vs hyena - Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park"

"Lion vs hyena - Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park"

"Majestic lion - Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park"

"Lion vs hyena - Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park"


With the male lion in full flight, the hyenas split up and ran. With the pesky hyena off his tail, the lion calmly came to drink as if nothing had happened.  The two lions then left the waterhole, checking the hyena were not tailing them.


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