Monday, August 13, 2012

Keeping up with the herd...........

Cape Buffalo -  Syncerus Caffer
Breeding herds of the large heavily built 
savanna buffalo are often seen at Mala Mala 
where there are plentiful supplies of grass, 
shade and water.

On this morning game drive we came across a large group on the trail - great opportunity to get good close up shots.

Crossing in front of our vehicle.

Again we saw many Red-billed Oxpeckers searching for parasites on these huge animals, apparently these foraging birds enjoy inspecting ears for a hidden lunch.........

.............and have no qualms when hopping up a nose and onto the buffalo's tremendous horns while he's taking a nap in the sunshine. 

The buffalo move in herds, sometimes numbering several hundred, grazing on grasses at night and resting under trees or in reed beds during the hottest part of the African day. Determined attackers, they will charge hunters with head down, the wide sweep of horns covering their shoulders. The heavy protuberance where the horns meet can deflect or even stop a bullet. Curious individuals will break away from the herd to examine vehicles, testing the air with outstretched noses.  If disturbed they will race to rejoin the herd, which is quick to stampede.

Another morning we were taken by surprise when we came across a herd numbering perhaps a couple of hundred buffalo, all ages and sizes, cooling off in the river and along the banks.

Bob watching the herd at the Sand River.

 The calves are very cute and apparently learn to check us out at a young age.

Perhaps they won't win any beauty contests, but  
the buffalo are interesting animals to watch.

Next Africa post...........just dogs!  Actually very different dogs.


  1. What magnificent creatures! Thank you so much for this post, Mary. And I am always amazed at little birds that hop up on huge animals to have a snack!


  2. Beautiful photos Mary. Your trip was amazing.

  3. Those are some different looking beasts! The baby is very cute. I love seeing these pictures of your adventure Mary. It almost makes me feel like I was with you!

  4. They are the animal that killed the first tourist when i first visited in 1976. They are mean buggers!!!! They can fight off lions and are vicious in their protection of their young, but they have zero redeeming qualities as far as i'm concerned.

  5. Wonderful images Mary, I wouldn't fancy my chances meeting one on a dark night though!
    Rose H

  6. It is rather comical to see those birds hunting for their lunch on the buffalo!

  7. How amazing to see so many all together at the river and to be checked out by them.

  8. Amazing creatures! Wonderful shots of them up close, and the birds are so interesting too, tagging along like cattle egrets in the States.

  9. They look like they are not even real! Then you see the photos of them with their color all brown, and then all of the colorful birds on them! Great pics!
    Take Care,


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