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.