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Epics such as this six hour battle between buffalo and lion at Londolozi Private Game Reserve are not uncommon in Africa. Such sightings quickly remind you that a safari in a private game reserve like the Sabi Sand is real and raw. Get the word zoo far from your mind. This is life untamed. It must have been a tense mix of fear and thrill – not wanting to turn away but tiring as the hours ticked on – for the fortunate travellers who watched the rumble unfold from the seats of their open game vehicle.
Africa’s animals, however, are no sissies…
The Daily Mail article reporting on the battle explains how the two big cats targeted a buffalo bull “on a cold winter’s morning in the bush, kick-starting a six-hour battle of endurance.” We’d just like to interrupt this to say that some of our team missed this incredible moment by two days. Two days. “The bull was able to use its horns to flip one of the big cats into the air, but the lioness soon returned to the fray.”
“‘The spectators sat transfixed – the whole event will remain embedded in the memories of those fortunate few who got to witness the battle,’ a Londolozi field guide said.”
“After a six-hour struggle, the buffalo was able to stand up, shake of the lionesses and make a run for it.” …Best the young cats pick on someone their own size. In the ranger’s words, “‘The evolutionary arms race was playing itself out – this was truly the survival of the fittest.”
Londolozi is not new to being in front of the videocamera – its name has been celebrated in the numerous documentaries filmed in the reserve by Londolozi co-founder and acclaimed wildlife filmmaker and conservationist, John Varty, whose camera has captured the antics of the leopards for which the reserve is renowned.
Other great epics caught on film in the South African bush include the Battle of Kruger in 2004 – an eight-minute amateur video showing a confrontation between a herd of Cape buffalo, a pride of lions and a lone crocodile at a watering hole in the Kruger Park. Posted on YouTube in 2007, it currently has 74,517,335 views. It even won awards – the Best Eyewitness Video in the 2nd Annual YouTube Video Awards. National Geographic covered it in a 2008 documentary.
Such is the cinematic potential of the African wilderness. Best we get back to the airport, nose pointed north… The bush is calling.
Read our recent blogs on Londolozi: Winter’s Secret Weapon and No place like the African bush.
Watch our video on Londolozi and contact us to find out about heading to the reserve for your own safari.
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Tamlin has been exploring, writing about and photographing Africa ever since her first job as a photojournalist for Getaway Magazine. She's lived on an island, eaten with lions, sailed catamarans in the Indian Ocean, tracked wild dogs with Kinglsey Holgate, and white water rafted down the Zambezi and has kept just about every airplane ticket that has crossed her hands.
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