Duba Plains: Baffling Lion Behaviour

Brendon’s Bulletin:

We dashed straight to where the buffalo were this morning and arrived before sunrise. 

Silver – Eye and her entire pride were lying in an open area, not yet quite awake, and in a good vantage point to keep an eye on the buffalo. As the lions woke up our cameras were very busy capturing the early morning rituals – grooming and greeting each other. The rising sun allowed beautiful backlighting and our rim shots were most successful.

Then the lions moved toward the buffalo. Crossing open, clear water channels, and creating splashes against the sun again gave us some stupendous shots.
Finding a convenient spot, the pride ensured that the heavily pregnant lioness, who is unable to hunt at present, was settled before they moved toward the buffalo with renewed vigour and determination.

As on the previous days it is clear that the lions are hungry – and now hungrier than ever. 


And this is when we observed some unexpected behaviour from the lions.

The buffalo moved slowly along and the lions followed closely. Any minute, we thought, they will hunt in earnest. They were definitely interested, but before they singled out any possible prey the buffalo lay down for a rest. And as soon as the buffalo lay down, the lions did the same … not far away, but not approaching any closer while the buffalo rested.



Then the buffalo stood up, and as they wandered off the lions also got up to follow them. When the buffalo lay down again, the lions did the same. Again and again! And again!

We remained with the lions and buffalo, watching, photographing, and hoping that there would be some action. But the walking and lying down pattern continued throughout the day. Every time we thought that maybe now was the time, the buffalo simply flopped down and the lions lost interest.

Because we were reluctant to leave the scene, the Lodge served our lunch out in the bush again in a beautiful area overlooking beautiful plains and water channels.

In between watching the lions and buffalo tag we sighted a Side-striped Jackal  who posed for our cameras. Lechwe, Water Monitors, Reedbuck, and a large number of other animals and beautiful birds kept us busy, and Tsessebe against the setting sun were a delight to see.



We plan to leave really early again tomorrow morning, hoping for some lion – buffalo action …