A Thanda Safari waterhole drama in four acts!

Act 1

A herd of Cape Buffalo arrives at a waterhole and the mud-bathing Elephants get so alarmed that they run from the water protecting their young.

Act 2

The Elephants realize that the new arrivals are no real threat but are rather small ‘cow-like’ things. So some of them return to the water and chase the Buffalo around.

Act 3

While the Elephants and Buffalo run around a group of Nyala, a family of Warthogs and many different birds arrive to get their share of the water.

Act 4

Only two Elephant bulls remain to suck the pipe which supplies fresh water to the waterhole. Everything has calmed down and all the different species share the place!

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A bit muddy after the rain!

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Greetings by a true dugga boy!

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.

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Very Big Five!

Cape Buffalo are one of the Big Five, which are the most difficult and dangerous five species to hunt on foot.

And many would argue that Buffalos are most dangerous of them all!

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The Big Five in one drive!

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.

What a day! The Big Five on one drive.

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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!

I wish all of you a good week ahead!

Music by Root

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Little Vampires taking a Ride

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.

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📷 Picture by Christian Sperka


… 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.

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