The most sympathetic looks

Of the big five, the buffalo has the most sympathetic looks. When you spot a buffalo, he’ll usually watch you with an indolent look in the eyes and will not stop ruminating. However, this is where the comparison with our cows stops. The African buffalo is a member of the big five with a reason! Especially the lonely bulls are rather “grumpy old men”. They get irritated easily and see danger everywhere. That’s what makes them attack quickly. A ranger from Sabi Sands once told us that he witnessed lions attempting to capture a buffalo. Too bad for a lion, this went hopelessly wrong, because one of the lions got surrounded by old bulls, and while trying to get out of that nasty position, he got trapped in the bushes. One bull took his chance and for minutes he banged the lion with his horns until the lion didn’t give a sign of life anymore. That’s when the buffalo got fed up and left the lion alone. Once silence had returned on the battlefield, the lion started moving and slowly crawled out of the bushes, dragging himself away, out of the ranger’s sight. More than 3 months later, the lion was spotted again, hunting with the others. Since that time, his name has been Bruce, Yes, named after Bruce Willis from the Die Hard-Movies.

Buffalos live in big herds (we’ve seen herds with hundreds of animals), that consist of many cows, calves and young bulls. In spite of the safety, offered by a big herd, elder bulls leave the herd to live on their own, or in small groups of just old bulls. Old bulls cannot endure the continuous rambling of the herd and prefer grazing, close to water.

Buffalos drink twice a day : early in the morning and at dusk. Daytime is mainly used for resting, whilst nighttime is mainly used for grazing. Frankly speaking, we’ve not experienced spectacular things with buffalos , but it’s more than clear, that their membership of the big five is fully justified. In case you have doubts about this, please see this great movie on Youtube, with the striking title “Battle at Kruger”.

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