Flight or Fight?

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Whenever I look into a Buffalo bull’s eyes I see a pendulum swinging in its head:

Flight Fight Flight Flight Flight Fight Flight Fight Flight Fight Flight Fight Flight Fight ….

And if you are on foot it better stop on “Flight”. Buffalo’s are one of the few mammals that will attack without warning.  So it is important to respect these formidable creatures and keep the appropriated distance 🙂

I really like this Buffalo picture I took on Thursday at the Tembe Elephant Park.

Summer!

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Today’s images shows the impact of the very heavy summer rains this season. The grass on the Thanda savanna is so high that even Buffalo are difficult to spot.

At the end of an eventful game drive the herd of Cape Buffalo moved towards a waterhole.

Lost the Herd?

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Today’s Thanda morning and afternoon game drives were amazing.

We sat for almost an hour in between a herd of Elephants while they were feeding, playing and sparring around the vehicle. We watched Lions on a kill and drinking at a waterhole. We found a White Rhino mum and her calf and we encountered a herd of Buffalo while we were looking for the Rhinos.

I got many good shots today but my favorite picture is of this Cape Buffalo bull running down the road looking for his herd. He was quite far away from the herd at the time and obviously was a bit worried about catching up 🙂

Buffalo – up close and personal!

Today we had three encounters on foot with male Cape Buffalo. They can be extremely dangerous and aggressive. We got proof of that today!

The first encounter was with two quite calm animals (the one in this picture).

Then we “bumped” into another bull only 15 meters away from us. He took flight and we extracted to a save location. On the way back to the camp another group of “Dugga Boys” spotted us and chased us across a dry riverbed. We had to take a longer route to get back to the camp. Enough Buffalo for one day – up close and personal!

There are no picture from encounters two and three. We were busy dealing with the situation and with getting back in one piece to the camp – no time for pictures 🙂

PS: If you like to know more about the Trails Guiding Course go to http://www.africanaturetraining.co.za. A great experience, even if you do it for fun and not for professional reasons.

Picture of the Week 50 – Bloodshot!

This weeks picture if of a Cape Buffalo Bull.  The picture was taken at Phinda Private Game Reserve, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.

To review all 2011 pictures of the week go to http://www.sperka.biz/potw2011/slideshow

And this is my EYES series version of the image in black&white:

For more Cape Buffalo pictures go to http://www.sperka.biz/buffalo

About Cape Buffalo:

The Cape Buffalo, Affalo, Nyati, Mbogo or African Buffalo (Syncerus caffer) is a large African bovine. It is not closely related to the slightly larger wild Asian water buffalo. Owing to its unpredictable nature which makes it highly dangerous to humans, it has not been domesticated, unlike its Asian counterpart, the domestic Asian water buffalo.

The Buffalo is a very robust species. Its shoulder height can range from 1 to 1.7 m (3.3 to 5.6 ft) and its head-and-body length can range from 1.7 to 3.4 m (5.6 to 11 ft). Buffalo weigh up to 910 kg (2,000 lb), with males, normally larger than females.

Buffalo have few predators and are capable of defending themselves against (and killing) lions. Lions do kill and eat buffalo regularly, but it typically takes multiple lions to bring down a single adult buffalo.