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Buck Doesn’t See the Python Stalking It

Buck Doesn't See The Python Stalking It
Buck Doesn’t See The Python Stalking It

Watch the nerve-wracking moment a python spots a bushbuck, that is feeding nearby, and how it starts to stalk it for a potential meal!

When a 53-year-old Montessori teacher and her family visited the Mapungubwe National Park, they never expected the surprises that nature had to offer. On the 10th of August, Katinka Steyn and her family went for an afternoon self-drive safari and captured a very surprising sighting on video. We asked her to tell more about what they saw and in her own words she explained the strange yet interesting experience:

Buck Doesn't See The Python Stalking It

Did you know? With our Latest Sightings App you can ting from various parks and reserves in Southern Africa!

“We were driving on the Gallery Forest road in Mapungubwe National Park when we spotted a bushbuck grazing in the shade of a big tree. We stopped to take some photos as the buck was very close to the road. It wasn’t long after we stopped when my daughter, Marika Botha, noticed something in the tree above the bushbuck. My sister, Erica Brewis, had a camera with a zoom lens, so she zoomed in on the area my daughter pointed out in the tree and noticed the head of a snake!”

“We decided to stay a while to observe at our leisure what the snake was up to. At first, we only saw the head of the snake but when it started to emerge from the branch it was lying on, it became evident that this was a huge Python!”

Buck Doesn’t See The Python Stalking It

“We sat in anticipation for quite some time as the snake slowly made its way out of the tree and around the trunk in the direction of the grazing bushbuck. We moved our vehicle closer to the sighting spot in order to get a better view and as we got closer, the bushbuck continued grazing, without any sense of danger, apparently. All the while, the python continued to slither closer and closer to the bushbuck and at some point reached a distance of fewer than 1m away from the bushbuck!”

Buck Doesn't See The Python Stalking It

“The python lifted its head and we could literally see its tongue flickering in and out of its mouth – tasting the air. The bushbucks’ horns seemed to get slightly tangled on a little bush it was veering towards, and only then did it notice the snake. Interestingly, the bushbuck wasn’t startled at all, it simply backed away from the python and calmly strolled off in a different direction. When the bushbuck left the scene, the snake proceeded to turn around and head back up into the tree. This just showed it was after the buck.”

“While the snake returned to the tree, my daughter noticed another, much smaller snake in the same tree where the python emerged from. Unfortunately, we were unable to get a photo of the smaller snake as there we branched blocking our vision.”


“I was completely speechless, we grew up in a house with nature lover parents, so we spent most of our childhood holidays camping in places like the Kruger, St Lucia, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. I was mesmerized. This was by far the most special sighting I’ve ever had – such a privilege! If you come across something like this, I hope it’s far from the closing time at the gate! Just be in the moment, appreciate God’s most beautiful creatures in their natural surroundings”

Buck Doesn't See The Python Stalking It

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