The Ultimate African Rivalry

Iconic Africa director Terri Abadi and family are currently on vacation at South Africa’s Londolozi Game Reserve, a place Terri has been visiting for over twenty years.

On their very first morning on safari, they headed into the north of the reserve to see what they could find, and soon came across tracks of a large pride of lions.
After tracking for well over an hour, the bellow of a buffalo up ahead was heard, and the vehicles involved in the search moved into the dense thickets the noise had emanated from.

This is the scene that met their eyes:

Standard practice among lion prides attempting to bring down buffalo bulls is for one or two to try and anchor the bull from behind while others distract him from up front, and slowly wear him down.

A local group of lions known as the Nkuhuma Pride had cornered an old bull buffalo and had already inflicted some injuries upon him, although only superficial thus far. Three other bulls from the bachelor herd would run in repeatedly to help out their comrade, but would get chased off by the pride.

After an hour-and-a-half things seemed to have reached a stalemate, with both the lions and the buffalo exhausted and not making any further moves. It wasn’t too long though before the adult lionesses in the pride had recovered enough to renew the attack, and this time the old bull could stand it no longer, and went down under their weight.

The old bull put up a valiant fight, but being so severely outnumbered the odds were never in his favour.

The rest of the pride swarmed in to finish him off, and with one lioness smothering his muzzle and a second clamping her jaws over his throat to asphyxiate him, the buffalo was dead within minutes.

The final moments as the lions move in to finish the buffalo off.

Although difficult to watch, the reality of this age-old scene is that in nature the weak go under in order for the strong to survive. The buffalo was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and despite probably having survived numerous lion encounters before, this day was when he finally met his match.

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