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.
This morning I had my favorite Buffalo sighting, ever! My guests enjoyed this energetic Bull Fight – African Style. I was able to shoot many good images and this short video clip with one of my favorite tunes from the overture of George Bizet’s opera Carmen as soundtrack.
After a day in the office I decided to spend an hour before sunset at Mgankla dam. It was very quiet at the waterhole so I decided to listen to an audio book. After about 30 minutes all by myself I heard a slight rumble. It was the start of a large herd of Cape Buffalo arriving for evening drinks.
This is my favorite picture from this evening taken with my iPhone.
Imagine you have a bit of an itch on your head and imagine that to give it a good scratch using strong sickle bush spines! You better have a large boss (the horn plate on top of the buffalo’s head) and a really thick skin.
This is a short video of a Cape Buffalo bull attending to such an itch. Have a good day 😊
PS: If you look carefully you recognize a Cape (Glossy) Starling sitting unperturbed in a tree nearby 😊