Elephant Plains Safari: Lions Attack Buffalos Attack Lions

Brendon’s News from Elephant Plains: Lions Attack Buffalos Attack Lions

Although we tried to find Sakayexe before doing anything else this morning there was still no sign of her or the cub …

We heard again about the two leopards walking together and travelled towards the tracks to try and find the pair, but before we reached them we heard a Kudu alarm calling and quickly rushed to find out the reason for the distress call … maybe the leopards were there …

But no! It was the Nkuhuma pride of lions and the six of them (five lionesses and a male) were following a large herd of about 400-500 buffalo. We joined them and for ages we went along as the lions followed for a bit, then had a quick rest before following again, then another lie-down and up to follow the buffalo before they wandered too far away.

4 Lion Brendon EP

It was a fabulous sighting with uncountable moments of incredible photography.

Then, after a slightly longer rest, when the buffalo wandered a bit further away, the lions were up and on a mission. This time the made a beeline for the buffalo, walking purposefully and stopping only now and again to climb a termite mound and check the surroundings thoroughly.

When they sighted the herd, the lions went into full hunting mode, stalking closer and closer until suddenly, and without warning, the male charged, but with no real pursuit or kill ….

And from now on there was sheer chaos!

A full-on battle between the pride and the herd erupted. With lions chasing buffalo until they grouped together, lowered their horns, and charged back, only to be chased again by the lions.

There were lions, hooves, horns, dust, and drama at every moment … and the tension heightened with each turnabout and chase. The adrenalin was flowing – and I am not only talking about the animals – our hearts thundered together with the buffalo hooves and we held our breath, almost forgetting to photograph the ongoing conflict in the excitement!

This nonstop drama continued for over an hour and I am not sure who was most exhausted when the lions went to lie down. Then, seeing that the lions were resting, the buffalos went to lie down about 100 meters away.

4 Buffalo Oxpecker Brendon EP

And this is how we left them to return to the Lodge for lunch …

This afternoon of course we headed straight back to the battle zone, stopping briefly to see if we could maybe just catch sight of the two leopards that we couldn’t see this morning – but we couldn’t see them this afternoon either.

When we arrived at the lions they were still resting peacefully and the buffalos were about a kilometer away. Oh well! No action tonight.

We received a call that an unknown female leopard was wandering around and when we found her she was a very relaxed one-eyed leopard (remember Safari? She also had one eye). We don’t know who this leopard is, but she was very happy to have us around, photographing her from all angles, including backlit and side-lit images.

4 Leopard eye Brendon EP-1

We also encountered the three Ximungwe lions again, and collected some more great images of them.

4 Lion Night Brendon EP

4 Lion Silhouette EP 1-1

And finally on the way back to the Lodge we managed to find Salayexe’s tracks, but there was no sighting. We are still hoping – maybe tomorrow …

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