This dramatic scene unfolds as 2 buffaloes and 20 elephants challenge 22 lions and end up being no match for the large cats! This sighting played out at MalaMala in Greater Kruger.
Field guide Gareth van Rooyen was incredibly fortunate to witness this sighting and shared the story with LatestSightings.com:
“We had just finished brunch after a successful morning drive when we heard the distress calls of a buffalo being hunted across the Sand River from MalaMala Main Camp. I called my guests and asked them if they were interested in going out again to witness the scene – they were very keen.”
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“It took us no more than 5 minutes to reach the site where the 22 members of the Kambula pride were in the process of hunting an adult buffalo bull. We were filled with adrenaline and were engrossed by what was unfolding before us.”
“It took the lions about 2 hours to bring this buffalo down and although this is a natural occurrence in the ecosystem its helpless moaning and groaning made it difficult to watch. Eventually, when the buffalo ran out of steam, it drew its final breath and the lions started to feed.”
Elephants arrive at the scene
“Soon after the buffalo’s demise, a herd of elephants approached the location and they were not happy with the sight before them. They reacted to the smell of death and lions and attempted to chase the lions off of the carcass. The lions gave way at first but one of the sub-adult males decided to charge at the elephants, catching them off-guard.”
“The elephants milled about in the area for a bit longer, seemingly deciding what to do next. They finally chose to move down to the river below. The lions fed on the buffalo for the next day and a half providing much-needed sustenance for large pride.”
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“Although this interaction occurs daily in the Greater Kruger National Park, accessing a sighting of this nature is relatively rare. Fortunately working at the game-rich MalaMala Game Reserve, I have had the pleasure of witnessing many such interactions.”
“My advice to anyone going on a safari is to take a bean bag along – set up your camera on top of the bean bag once at a sighting. This will keep it nice and steady. Let the camera roll and kick back and enjoy the sighting.”