During a private guided safari in the Kruger Park, one afternoon our tracker found fresh tracks of a pride of lions. After having a quick look at the spoor and confirming the direction the lions were heading in, we discussed how there was a large herd of buffalo which we had seen in the morning during a walk, passing through the area and these lions were now following them.
The pride consisted of 16 lions and 3 of them being big dominant males, which had joined up with the lionesses and their young after patrolling their huge territory. Great excitement stirred amongst everyone as we tracked the lions on the hunt.
A formidable pride of lions with many mouths to feed, generally target big game like buffalo. Although these lions are specialist buffalo hunters, bringing down such a large animal with a fierce temperament and protective nature, it is a very difficult task.
About 10 minutes later we located the hungry lions which were making their way to a small waterhole to quench their thirst before engaging in this clash of the titans. It was a beautiful setting as the entire pride drank while the sun began to set. It was the quiet before the storm, and with my guests sitting on edge we suddenly heard the buffalo in the distance.
We knew a spectacular sighting was about to unfold. In the darkness, we followed the predators as they went into stalking mode and took formation in the perfect conditions. A dangerous encounter ensued and when the time was right, the lions gave chase and the bushveld erupted. In the chaos of the stampeding buffalo, the pride worked together to separate an old cow from the herd and they took her down quickly with the help of the powerful male lions. Barely containing ourselves, we sat in awe a few metres from the lions on their prized kill, observing their terrible “table manners” while they gorged themselves.
It was an incredible experience and the memories will last a lifetime!