Kapama’s One-Eyed King
After a few days on safari, we had some good sighting of animals, with all of the Big 5 ticked off. The only animal that my guests still wanted to see was a male lion, to finish-off their successful trip to Kapama.
On their last afternoon drive, we were searching high and low to get a glimpse of the King. Everywhere we went, it seemed we just had no luck. We passed a waterhole with a terrific sighting of a large herd of Buffalos wallowing in the mud having a great time. We spend some time watching the Buffalo as they submerged themselves in the thick mud. This acts as a cooling mechanism. After a wallow, Buffalo and other animals with sparse hair and sweat glands will rub against a tree to try and get rid of ticks.
The sun was slowing making its way down, which signalled the perfect time for a good sundowner break. As we made our way to our stop, we bumped into another herd of buffalos around the corner. It was a good contrast for my guests, as they could study their behaviour in water and mud as well as walking through the bush.
Just then, one of my guest at the back asked “what was that!” Not sure what he has seen, I reversed to get a better look. Suddenly a female lion walked out of the long grass, only to be followed by…. a Big Male Lion!
What a success! I could feel the excitement from my guests radiate all the way to my tracker sitting on his tracker seat in the front. Just as we spotted the Lions, so did the herd of Buffalo. They all grouped up and starting to run straight towards the lions, trying to chase them off, because the buffalos had a few young caves amongst the herd. The Lions suddenly bolted trying to get away from this massive herd of Buffalo right on their tales.
Everything happened so quickly. None of us had time to get our cameras ready and the lions had already disappeared. Luckily for us, the Buffalo became more relaxed and stopped charging the Lions. We once again picked up our pursuit of the Lion King and his companion, to see if we could cross paths once more before making our way back to Camp for a delicious African dinner. After a short drive we came around a corner and there they were, laying down, seeming very relaxed as no Buffalo were charging them.
We manage to get right next to them getting some great shots. The male Lion with one eye, posing for us, giving us a great big yawn, with massive teeth as if wanting to show-off.
What a sighting this was and such a great way to finish off the game drive. My guests were able to watch this big magnificent Lion King, in all his glory. Once they had taken all the photos they wanted, we slowly made our way back to Buffalo Camp, smiling and exhilarated from being able to enjoy nature in the most perfect surroundings imaginable.
Story and photos by Ben Scheepers Buffalo camp