A gripping, natural drama – a story of power, betrayal and coming of age – played out in one of Africa’s most remote locations. Ruaha is Tanzania’s largest national park. Here, abundant prey species roam landscapes where humans seldom venture. And they sustain one of the world’s last, big populations of lions. Filmed over eight years, this series presents never before seen behaviour, extraordinary insights, and high drama in Ruaha’s kingdom of lions.

‘The Lions Rule’ is the saga of three lion families linked together by a strange, charmed place called the Glade: a beautiful oasis in Ruaha National Park where there is always water. The Glade is the territory of two old lionesses and their cubs. The Glade pride can bring down an adult giraffe – a remarkable skill.

A magical Baobab forest spreads out beyond the Glade. This is the territory of the Baobab pride. They are the largest pride in all of Ruaha. The third pride are drifters – lean, mean and ruthless. They are the Njaa. The Njaa follow the buffalo. The herd is their territory and they are experts in the dark art of the buffalo kill. All three prides are lead by lionesses; there are no adult males in residence. This will play a major role in their fates.

Other characters vie for the spotlight. Some behave in ways contrary to their natural instincts, while others perform astounding acts. In Ruaha, baboons help lions hunt, and giraffes appear to mourn their dead. But lioness politics are always bubbling just below the surface.

When destiny conspires to bring the prides together in forbidden territory, the Njaa brutally attack the Baobab pride. Not just once, but twice. Why are these lions intent on destruction? As the series unfolds we discover that the prides are not only connected through the water of the Glade but by something much more precious.

‘The Lions Rule’ is a bewitching and intimate journey with never before filmed behavior, spanning generations of lion families.

A Terra Mater Factual Studios production

In coproduction with: Doclights/NDR Naturfilm and National Geographic Channel
In collaboration with: Shibiumi Films and ARTE France

Executive producers: Susanne Lummer, Sabine Holzer (Terra Mater Factual Studios)
Associate producer: Sarita Sharma

Awards: Kurier ROMY Akademiepreis 2018 (Vienna, Austria): Best TV Documentary,
New York Festivals 2018 (New York, USA): 4 Gold World Medals (Categories: Nature & Wildlife, Best Camerawork, Best Editing, Best Writing)

Nominations: FIFA - Festival International du Film Animalier d'Albert 2018 (Albert, France): Nomination Episode 03,
Festival de L´Oiseau - Bird and Nature Festival 2018 (Abbeville, France): Nomination Episode 01 (Category: Birds/Wildlife)