In the year 1997, a coalition of 5 male lions called West Street Males captured the Sparta Pride of 8 lionesses in Sabi Sands Game Reserve.
At the beginning of 1998, one female gave birth to 2 cubs. When they were 18 months old, the male cub died in a Buffalo hunt.
In 2000, 5 females gave birth to 13 cubs. When they were only six months old, a sub-adult male lion of 2.5 years old resembling that lion who died in the buffalo hunt came into the territory of Sparta Pride.
This sub-adult male lion could harm the cubs, so Sparta females didn’t want him to enter the pride, but this male lion was the son of one of the West Street Males from another pride they had captured, so the male lions accepted him into the pride. After a year, he became a good hunter and was seen helping Sparta females in the hunt. This male lion was named Makhulu.
Out of 13 cubs, only 5 survived till their 2nd birthday. At that time, three females also gave birth to 7 cubs, but just three became one year old. Now, this pride had just eight cubs surviving out of 20. Makhulu was now an adult lion, and he was seen most of the time with his stepbrothers.
In 2003, just 3 West Street Males were left as another lion killed one, and one died due to an injury given by a giraffe in a hunt. In 2004, young males attacked Sparta pride. They killed one of the West Street Males and chased away the other 2. Now, Makhulu took his five stepbrothers with him and left that territory.
At this time, Makhulu was six years old, Dreadlocks (Scar), Rasta, and Pretty Boy were four years old, and the younger brothers named Mr.T (Satan) and Kinky Tail were just two years old.
They started hunting on their own, and within a year, they became professional hunters. Every week they used to kill a Giraffe or a Buffalo. Now they were certified hunters.
In the year 2006, all the brothers became adults, and now they were able to conquer the pride and make their territory.
Now, all the six males were in their prime condition, and they invaded the territory of another four males in Eastern Sabhi Sands; they killed one of them and chased away the other three.
In a year, they had capturedeight8 pride of lions and killed so many cubs of other males. They killed some females also who defended their cubs.
They had control over an area of 70000 hectares. They were now the new rulers of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve.
At the beginning of 2007, rangers saw that Mr.T started fighting with Makhulu to take over the supremacy from his brother, but Makhulu defeated Mr.T and chased him away from his territory.
Kinky Tail went along with Mr.T and left their brothers forever. They ruled over the western parts of Sabi Sands for the next two years. They mated with the females there and became fathers also. They were seen defending their cubs and territory from outsiders. They were now in healthy condition.
In 2010, both males were now eight years old and had been ruled this area for the last 2.5 years, but then a coalition of 5 young male lions called The Mighty Majingilanes invaded their territory.
When the Mapogos saw one of the Majingilane males, they killed him. That night, the other 4 Majiavengedevenge on Kinky Tail as they were mauling him to death. When Mr.T saw this, he went to defend his brother, but they chased him away and killed Kinky Tail. That night feared all the rangers and camera operators as it was the death of a king. His roar was heard miles away, and finally, Kinky Tail died.
Now, the 4 Majingilanes were the new rulers of the Western Sabi Sands.
At the Eastern parts of the reserve, Makhulu, at the age of 12, may be old but still ruled here with his three brothers. Some of their children were now sub-adults, but some were still cubs.
One day, the rangers saw that Mr.T came back to the territory of his brothers, and they accepted him too, but Makhulu always kept a distance from Mr.T as he was well aware of his brother’s cruel nature. But Mr.T was Mr.T as he was sometimes seen killand eating his brothers’ cubsthem. Due to this behavior of Mr.T, he was also named Satan.
He then controlled the pride of his brothers and became the new king.
In 2011, Rasta was killed by the poachers, and the village people killed Dreadlocks (Scar) as he left the reserve. Now only three Mapogos were left Makhulu, Pretty Boy, and Mr.T.
In March 2012, Makhulu was 14 years old, Pretty Boy was 12 years old, and Mr.T was ten years old but still in his prime.
At that time, a new coalition of 4 male lions called Selati Males arrived in their territory. On 16th March 2012, the four males were seen fighting with Mr.T, and they mauled him.
Rangers saw that the four males bit Mr.T’s back rudely, but he battled with the 4 Selatis very bravely. Finally, after tormenting a few hours, Mr.T closed his eyes. Rangers and camera operators cried as if it were a real ruler’s death.
Now, just two Mapogos were left alive. After this battle, they left this area and went to the Kruger National Park. In 2013, both of them died due to the old age of 13 and 15 years.
They ruled the Sabi Sands Game Reserve for six years, and the children of Makhulu are still alive and carrying the lineage of the Legendary Mapogos with them.
It was estimated that the Mighty Mapogos killed more than 100 lions in their reign. In a word, we can say that the Mighty Mapogos were the real kings of the Sabi Sands.