Valentine’s Day at Londolozi wasn’t what Peter and Bessie Flewwelling had in mind on what is usually the most love-filled day of the year. Instead they started their day on a game drive looking for a leopard that had been seen in the area and instead came across a few of the smaller animals – birds and terrapins and later a giraffe – great sightings, but nothing that would have prepared them for what was to follow…
Peter writes: “It was about 6.30 am and we rounded a corner with ranger Alfred Mathebula and Tracker Equalizer. This is where we spotted seven lions of the Tsalala pride at the bottom of a gorge. They were clearly interested in something up the river.”
Alfred and Equalizer quickly noticed that there was a lone buffalo and that the lions were stalking the buffalo. There was another vehicle not far off but they had only seen the lions and not the buffalo. Alfred proceeded to inform the other vehicle and quickly positioned the Land Rover into the best position for watching what was soon to unravel…
“When we hit the top of the ridge and pulled to a stop – the buffalo was already there in front of us, wounded and facing off against the single Tailless Female lion.”
Peter, Bessie and the rest of the team then watched as the battle between the two iconic prizefighters of the African bush unfolded. “Hearts thumped and adrenaline rushing, we watched the buffalo fight courageously for his life.”
The buffalo was attacked twice by the lions and yet still stood, putting up a fight. The remarkable nature of the herd then played out as the head buffalo brought his team to the rescue. The buffalo showed us his courage when he took the lead heading straight into the middle of the lions causing them to disperse.
“It was nice to see the buffalo thwart this one. With hearts still beating overtime, we backed off from the scene thinking of our once-in-a-lifetime experience, the clear demonstration of the hardships of life in the wild and the courage that had been displayed on both sides.
The experience also reminded us that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose in life – the lions had lost their kill and the buffalo had been injured but had come away with his life.
I was really happy to have my wife and budding photographer/videographer with me as well as our good friends Peter and Vanessa to share this experience – a memory for all of us.
It was truly a Valentine’s Day like no other. Thanks to Alfred and Equalizer and the Londolozi team for such a great weekend!
Written by Peter Flewwelling
Photograph and Filmed by: Bessie Flewwelling
Film edited by: Richard Laburn