As a part of our training we are always trying to get a better understanding of all that surrounds us. As part of the guest experience, the guests are offered a nature walk after breakfast, which is aimed at looking at the smaller intricacies that nature has to offer. Now although we don’t look for any of the big and scaries while on walk, there is always a chance that we may bump into them and therefore need to be prepared.
As I headed out from Little Bush Camp we moved straight in the direction of a herd of 500 buffalo that were found on drive that morning. Three other guides, our Safari General Manager, Andre, who has over 4000 hours on foot in the bush, and myself went out to hone our walking skills to ensure we would be able to handle any situation that nature throws at us. As we walked along and came over the crest, a black sea of buffalo flowed across an open area. I had to make a call as to what we were going to do and decided that it would be best to get some cover at a termite mound that was shaded by a big Marula Tree.
As we got to the termite mound the herd moved away from the waterhole and moved North, with us at about 100 metres east of them.
As we watched the herd we kept a close watch to make sure that we weren’t surprised by something else that might also be on the move. It was then that we noticed 9 members of the Southern Pride following the massive herd. They lay up no more that 200 metres from us in the shade of another tree and watched the herd intently. They had also spotted us but the buffalo were looking a lot more enticing than us (thank goodness).
Eventually the herd had passed us and it was now the lions turn to pass us by. We stood dead still as the lions moved passed us at no more than 50 metres away. We all knew that if any of us ran we would have 9 hungry lions lose interest on the buffalo and come after us. The lions stopped and looked at us to make sure we were not a threat and then continued to stalk the buffalo until they had all disappeared from sight.
What an insane experience being on foot with 500 buffalo being hunted by 9 lions… What a treat to be let into a sighting like that at our most vulnerable while we on foot. It is an experience I will never forget and feel blessed to have experienced.
BY: RICHARD DE GOUVEIA (LITTLE BUSH CAMP RANGER)