I was quite glad I was in my vehicle when this Cape Buffalo Bull appeared from nowhere as I was taking some bird pictures at a waterhole. He snorted a bit and shook his head at me, so I backed off a bit, and he was happy to settle again in the mud.
We went on game drive this afternoon to find Elephants, but we got much more. As we left the Thanda Safari Lodge we encountered two male Lions and when we stopped to watch a few Warthogs and Impalas we spotted a large male Leopard hunting. After this very special encounter we continued on our Elephant quest and almost immediately ran into a White Rhino. And towards the end of the drive we finally found the long-noses.
Yesterday midday I stopped by one of our largest waterholes and stayed for an hour.
It was an impressive scene with a large bull Elephant bathing, over two hundred Cape Buffalo relaxing around the water, many dazzles of Burchell’s Zebra and many herds of Blue Wildebeest coming and going, sounders of Warthogs playing in the mud, and many different bird species having a drink.
I only had my iPhone with me so I took a few video clips instead of my usual photography. What a Sunday treat!
Red-billed Oxpeckers and Cape Buffalo. usually live in a symbiotic relationship. The Buffalo provide the ticks filled with blood and the Oxpeckers rid the Buffalo of the annoying parasites.
But sometimes the small birds turn themselves into ‘vampires’. If the Buffalo (or any other large herbivore) has any bleeding injury (eg from a large thorn or from an abandoned predator attack) then the Oxpeckers often continue to peck at the open wound for a continuous blood stream.
They love feasting on the fresh blood without ‘tick packaging’ ! When eating ticks their target is actually the blood which the ticks had extracted from their host animal.
… is the term for an old Cape Buffalo bull who is no longer with a herd. As this specimen demonstrated last night at Thanda, such bulls love to wallow in mud as means to cool down and to give them some protection from parasites and the sun.
Such solitary bulls are extremely dangerous as they are notoriously bad tempered and ready to attack at any time.