Monday, 19 September 2011

18th September – Machaton Pride Kill Buffalo!

Photo of the Day
Machaton cub fighting at their buffalo kill
Morning Drive
11 x lions (Machaton Pride – 3 lionesses and 8 cubs killed buffalo cow) – Vielmetter, Hide Dam
1 x breeding herd of buffalo – Vielmetter, Hide Dam Northern Access
7 x buffalo bulls – Motswari, Camp
1 x buffalo bull – Peru, Wild West
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Vielmetter, Dizzy Drive

Afternoon Drive
(Grant, Godfrey and Chad)
11 x lions (Machaton Pride – 3 lionesses and 8 cubs with buffalo kill) – Vielmetter, Hide Dam
1 x leopard (Thumbela female) – Jaydee, Hlaramisa Rd
1 x breeding herd of elephants – Mbali, Buffalo Kill Rd

Daily Synopsis
I ended up not driving, as the guests I should have had didn’t go on drive...and as expected, I missed out on a bumper drive.  The worst part was that I had to take some guests down to Java and listen to the sightings while heading there.  Firstly, Rockfig Jnr leopardess was wandering around Vielmetter and went after four different animals with no luck.  But worst of all, was hearing the sighting I have been waiting for for ages – the Machaton Pride, all eleven lions, killing a buffalo at Hide Dam, in the open!  Grant was out west checking for rhinos, but made it to the sighting shortly after the lions had brought it down and had began feeding as the last life faded out of the unfortunate cow.  I guess at least I have guaranteed lions to look forward to in the afternoon!

Some pics from yesterday afternoon - African spoonbills, Dave playing with Chad's lens, and "The Chad in action"...
So heading out with no pressure, I took it easy in the north and ticked off impala, a crocodile in the water, some distant waterbuck and impala, and then towards a herd of elephants and baboons feeding along the Nhlarulumi.

Elephants and baboons enjoying the green Nhlarulumi
After that I headed towards the lions, and saw more impala and some giraffe along the route. 

Male giraffe
I sadly timed it about 10 minutes too late and missed out on the great light – still, some sightings are not about the photos, and the most special thing about this sighting was the sounds of all the lions feeding and growling!

Eleven lions of the Machaton Pride eating their buffalo kill at Hide Dam with Godfrey and his guests
The buffalo had apparently kept the lions off the kill most of the day, so it had hardly been touched, and this resulted in the lions still being eager to feed when they got their chance, and they certainly weren’t keen on sharing with one another! 

Machaton pride feeding with gusto!
As always the sounds of the cubs growling at one another never fails to amaze me at just how fierce they can sound for small cats!

A feast of sight and sound!
We then enjoyed a lovely sundowner before heading back to camp, seeing a civet, two herds of zebra and a pair of black-backed jackals along the way.
Grant passed on the lions despite having new guests, and instead he enjoyed a sighting of Thumbela leopardess stalking a nyala without luck.  I just hope that I get to see that blue-eyed beauty tomorrow!


  1. I also hope you see her Chad!!!
    Even though the great light passed you still had some great shots of the lions!


  2. Amazing story in photograph.... thanks. The animal with the camera in hand is also not to shabby a specimen of the species.