The Nduna 7 spent their day resting at Makeche.
And then carried on resting into the night only to get on the move about 9pm.
Manyari led the way taking them north. Suddenly she was aware of something ahead and leaving the rest of the pride to continue north she did a huge circle to the west obviously hoping to come up behind the prey she had heard/seen/smelt. We followed her and having done her half circle we heard animals stampeding away and then zebra calling. Unsuccessful, and shortly afterwards somehow the rest of the pride were all together again without even calling.
They continued on north.
Barend went down with a puncture.
I kept up with the lions while he changed it. But soon after leaving him the lions had a buffalo bull in their sights. Murphy’s Law! This bull was huge and stood his ground charging any lion that approached him. Nduna either wiser than the others, or more likely just lazy, lay down and watched. This must have gone on for about 20 minutes, lions hassling buffalo and buffalo chasing lions. Barend arrived after about 10 minutes, luckily still no real action.
Then a stalemate. The lions lay down and the buffalo stood staring at them for ages before sauntering off, leaving the lions to their lazy selves.
After another rest Manyari led the pride to a herd of buffalo. While we followed her one of the other lionesses managed to catch a young buffalo calf. The whole pride of 7 were suddenly onto it all biting and clawing wherever they could get a hold of it. But the calf’s thick skin was keeping it alive. None of them were trying to kill the little guy. They were more interested in feeding.
The calf’s cries brought the herd and it’s mother back. Several times a bull chased the lions off but then couldn’t find the calf and the lions snuck back. Eventually the herd were successful in chasing off the lions and with a reassuring lick and nudge from mom, the calf got up. How it had survived the lion’s teeth and claws for the last 10 minutes is just incredible.
Although wobbly on his feet the calf was walking. But when his mother turned away to get him to follow her, Nduna came bolting in, grabbed the calf and ran off with it. The rest of the pride were onto it too and then the feeding began. But still they didn’t kill the little guy. For at least another 20 minutes we could still here the calf’s cries.
People tend not to have respect for hyaenas and wild dogs because they rip their prey apart while it is still alive. But at least in both their cases they would have killed this calf in a minute or less. So why don’t lions get the wrap for their mean murderous ways?
Why is it that we tend to give lions credit for killing animals?
Is he really the King of Beast?
And yet wild dogs and hyaenas just get a bad rap for doing the same thing but far more efficiently.
Once the calf was eventually dead, Nduna stamped his mark on it and ran off with the whole carcass leaving nothing for those who’d helped kill the calf with him.
The rest of the pride hung around, probably hoping to at least get something. Until they heard other lions calling to the north. They left Nduna and soon joined up with the rest of the pride. Now they were a real killing machine and soon were after buffalo bulls again. Twice they gave chase but the bulls got away.
Only just before dawn did they let up with their hunting and rested. So did we!
It was a long night and a tough one on my vehicle too. Broken half-shaft (meant I didn’t have 4 wheel drive), leaking exhaust (noisy), leaking clutch master cylinder, 3 tyres going flat and a bent tie-rod. These Toyota’s of ours sure take a bashing but do incredibly well when one considers what we put them through.