Hennie van Heerden's Wildlife Diary

December 2, 2010

Buffalo Bash

 Soon after we left in the morning we ran into a group of Baboons. Usually, in Mala Mala, these animals are pretty skittish as they are being chased away from the camps to avoid that they become ‘too friendly’. So when they see rangers or ranger’s vehicles, they associate it with a lot of noise and danger.
But today they had other things on their mind. When we found the troup, this female seemed to have seen something hilarious.  When a big male decided to ‘join in the fun’ she was still smiling 🙂

As we went on we had a big surprise coming….
We found a leopard; a female one and on top of that a new one: The Dudley Female. But she was not alone!! I was absolutely thrilled to find also her son in her company. The encounter was brief as they soon went off into the thickets, but still it was a lovely sighting. Played around with Black and White and I must say, although I’m really a color loving  person, that I’m kind of pleased with the result.

We stumbled upon lions, elephants and huge flocks of Wattled Starlings. They are so pretty in their breeding plumage! But the absolute highlight of the day happened in the afternoon. Dean steered the vehicle to the river bank and just stopped there. There wasn’t much to see, but we could hear a rumble in the air. A cloud of dust was quickly approaching just over the hill from where we stood. Soon a few buffalos came in sight. They went straight for the river to drink. Behind them more buffalos followed, and more… and more. Soon an endless stream of black bodies gulfed over the hill towards the water. We found ourselves surrounded by hundreds of animals all heading straight towards us. What a sight!! They were in the company of dozens of Red-Billed Oxpeckers. What an amazing sight!! The mass of moving bodies was endless.

 They drank,  played and bathed in the water and stayed there for the good part of an hour. Until one of them stood up and went back over the hill again. Soon a couple of others followed. And more and more. Within minutes the whole herd was moving up that hill again, all following the leader. 10 minutes later, the field was empty again as if nothing had ever happened there. What an amazing sight!!


1 Comment »

  1. Hello Hennie,
    I came across your amazing images on flickr and am so thrilled to see you have documented your trip to South Africa. I look forward to reading all about your adventures as I prepare for my first visit to the continent in August. Would love any tips/advice you can provide!

    Comment by Jacqueline Deely — May 31, 2011 @ 3:56 am | Reply

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