Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A force of Nature.........and the natural order

Along the trail at MalaMala a herd of Cape Buffalo caused us to double back.  Although they will not win any beauty contests, what they lack in good looks they make up for in viciousness. One of the 'Big Five' together with the lion, leopard, elephant and rhinoceros, they are best given a wide berth. Despite their placid cow-like appearance, some sources claim they are responsible for more human deaths in Africa than any other large animal.


They congregate in large herds up to several hundred.  I'm glad this herd was much smaller!


They were plagued by swarms of flies in the warm sun - this one was also crusted with mud. Older males often leave the herd and spend a solitary, wandering life. They are then vulnerable without protection of the herd and often fall prey to lions. They can reach a top speed of 35 mph enabling them to outrun lions if given a head start, but are slow to accelerate and therefore vulnerable to ambush tactics used by lions.


This same day, while out later on the evening game drive, a radio call informed us of a lion kill.  On arrival we discovered nine females and young males (no manes on males until they reach 3 years of age) devouring a huge Cape Buffalo they'd brought down.
 

Though not a pretty sight by any means, it was bloody and noisy, I understood it was a fact of Nature that these big cats hunt for food to survive and feed their families, it is the only way.


Again, I decided not to share my more graphic photos so that any children looking will not be upset.


I'll close this post with a handsome, stately animal, the male Waterbuck.  A gregarious antelope who is a good swimmer and dependent on daily water for drinking.


You may be wondering how many more posts I can possibly come up with about the African safari!  Such an awesome trip......so many stories......so many photos. Yes, a few more of each to share so hope you'll keep coming back.

11 comments:

  1. I love your African posts...keep it up.
    What an amazing adventure you are having.

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  2. Great post!!!! Your safari photos are beautiful. Will be back for more stories and photos. Thank you

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  3. I'm so enjoying your African safari. The photos are stunning as are your descriptions of everything.
    A safari is on my to do list, but until I get a chance to go, I am enjoying living vicariously through you.
    You can go on doing these posts indefinitely : )

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  4. Wow! What interesting stories you have to share! Keep them coming. Carla

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  5. What a beautiful antelope. I am glad you didn't show the blood of the evening dinner. But, please keep the pictures coming. I am loving seeing them.

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  6. As always..your photo's are amazing!! Love to travel with you via your great photography!!

    Blessings...
    xoxo Gert

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  7. I am so loving this Safari Mary!!

    Hope your staying cool in Montreal...such a bad heat wave there and Ontario!!
    Pamela xo

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  8. I love seeing all of the Safari photos! So many interesting animals that I've only seen on tv or magazines, and you got to see them in person! Hope you are having a wonderful time in Canada. I hope that Bob had a wonderful birthday the other day. I wanted to get on the computer, but we were so busy with the garden house. Come check out what we have done!
    Take Care,
    Ulrike

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  9. It is just amazing what you were able to see. Some people who go on these trips do not see everything you have!

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  10. Wow, what an amazing experience. The lion and the kill is really exciting. Your photos are wonderful. They make me wish I going on a safari right now. What time of year did you go?

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I would enjoy reading your comment - thanks so much for stopping by.

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