When we were returning to Thanda Safari’s Villa iZulu on a very windy afternoon we had to pass a large herd of Cape Buffalo. This is a short ‘drive by eye level video’ I took on that occasion with my iPhone 😊
It is the first time since my arrival in South Africa – over eight years ago – that we had rain in June. The over 50mm (about 2″) are very welcome.
For a little while there will be water puddles all over the reserve which the smaller creatures use to quench their thirst and the large ones, like this Cape Buffalo Bull, often use for a cooling mud bath on a hot day. I ran into this impressive Dugga boy during last night’s game drive. Dugga boy is a local term for a single old Buffalo bull which is no longer moving with the herd but stay by himself.
One of the most dangerous animals to meet on foot is a solitary male Buffalo. These so called ‘Dugaboys’ are usually in a bad mood. They are old males which are no longer with their herds, as they had been under too much pressure from younger bulls.
They usually spend their remaining days close to waterholes feeding on soft vegetation and using the waterhole’s mud to cool down and fend off parasites. As they were gregarious all their life they seem to dislike to be alone. Being constantly harassed by predators like Lions and Hyena they are ready to attack anyone that comes near them without any warning.
All of this, combined with their instinctive fear of humans, results in some of the most ‘interesting’ meetings in the wild.
Dugga Boy is a nickname given to older Buffalo males who have passed their prime breeding age and spend their days wallowing in mud pools. Dugga boys occur in small bachelor herds or as individuals. They are quite vulnerable and therefore more aggressive than animals in a large herd. This Thanda Dugga Boy had a good stretch before he left the Ubomvu waterhole. Ubomvu means red in the local Zulu language – a very good name considering the red soil in this area!
Picture details: Cape Buffalo | Location: Thanda Safari, South Africa
Canon 1D Mark IV | Canon EF28-300 f3.5-5.6L at 200mm | AV | ISO 2500 | 1/500s | f/5.6 | 1.0eV | WB 6500K | free-hand
The Big Five are by far the most photographed and talked about of all African animals. But it is really the Lions, Leopards, Elephants and Rhinos which get the major share of the fame. Well, this blog shows ten images to portray the fifth Big Five, the most magnificent (and dangerous) bovine in its natural environment, the Cape Buffalo. Enjoy these Thanda Buffalo pictures!
This Red-billed Oxpecker – while sitting on a Cape Buffalo – was indulging himself on ticks with hundreds of Flies buzzing around its head. I like this image, which I shot this morning on my way back from the Thanda Tented Camp to Thanda House.
Some of Thanda’s Cape Buffalo came for their evening drink to a waterhole. And while they were drinking and mud-bathing some of them picked up a scent they did not like. Many heads went up and with ears directed forward they were trying to establish a possible threat.
After a few minutes they all stampeded away from the waterhole. The Thanda guests on my vehicle enjoyed the show, even if we were not able to figure out what had bothered them 🙂