Khanyisa’s name derives from African roots meaning ‘StarLight’
Gentle but formidable, shy yet direct
One of the magnificent “Golden Girls” donated to our project from the wilds of Makalale Private Nature Reserve, Khanyisa and her beautiful sister, Nyaleti, stole the hearts of the Akeru brothers, whose dramatic arrival formed the culmination of the National Geographic documentary, Return of the White Lion.
They roamed the heartland territories together, but tragically Khanyisa witnessed her sister Nyaleti die in a poacher’s snare on our southern territories. She lapsed into an irreconcilable state of grief which lasted years, and was only revived finally by the arrival of a new sister, whom we named Khanyezi, and who suffered a similar tragedy in the loss of her own biological sister who died of poisoning. Newly bonded, light came back into both lionesses lives with the birth of little Ingwavuma II, who was “midwived” by Khanyisa, and who expressed as much demonstrative affection for his auntie as his own mom.