The last couple days at Tanda Tula Safari Camp have yielded two unbelievable buffalo hunts, one by the Machaton pride and the other by a clan of Hyenas!
Firstly, on Sunday morning the Machatons managed to tackle a mature buffalo cow amongst a large herd. They successfully killed the cow only to have the herd rally and chase them off the carcass. Large herd bulls and cows charged in and sent the lions scattering in all directions. We also had to take evasive action as the herd surged forward and completely surrounded the carcass. The lions moved off a short distance and patiently waited as the buffalo inspected their fallen comrade. They then waited for the buffalo to move off before they went in to start feeding.
The second hunt was truly remarkable. Early on Monday Morning, four hyaena hunted down an injured buffalo! The old bull looked to be suffering from injuries suffered during a failed lion hunt as he was slow on his feet but there was still a lot of fight in him. The hyaena strategically pushed him apart from the rest of the bachelor herd before unleashing their assault on him.
They continually nipped and tore at his rump and this onslaught carried on for a couple of hours before the old bull finally succumb to his injuries. The hyaenas had successfully hunted down an animal 700-800 kilograms heavier than themselves, a truly exceptional feat.
All this action took place in three game drives and left both us and our guests speechless.
Words by Dale Jackson. The photos of the lions bringing down the buffalo are courtesy of Thea Dahms.