Battle in the Kruger

By this time everybody who is anybody that has access to the web and “Youtube” would no doubt have heard about or the term “Battle in Kruger”, well below is the word for word account of the action by the guide “Frank” who had the guests aboard his open safari vehicle on the afternoon that the video was taken of this encounter. We as a company consider ourselves very lucky to know Frank and have him as a good friend and colleague.

'It was during an afternoon drive when one of my colleagues called over the radio reporting the presence of lions at a place called Transport Dam between Pretoriuskop and Skukuza. Safari vehicles had been visiting the scene for a short stop and had left. On my arrival I found 7 lions lying on the dam wall watching a herd of buffalo drinking at the dam.

The lions were all quite young except for an adult female and I did not believe they would take on the buffalo who in any event were too far from them to approach effectively. I decided to stay on the sighting a while, for my clients to view the buffalo at leisure, whilst they drank at the river and they then began to move away.

The adult lion female at this stage had moved off the dam wall and was lying out of sight behind a rock near where we were parked. The buffalo started moving slowly away from the water and the young lions were lying watching them. For some inexplicable reason the herd of buffalo led by an adult followed by another adult, followed by a calf and then the rest of the herd, started to walk onto the narrow dam wall, directly to where the young lions were lying. The lions had no cover and I was then intrigued by the developing situation.

One of the guests asked me what I thought would happen and based on past experience I told them the lions would run away. I had no sooner expressed this opinion than one of the lions did in fact turn and slink off out of sight. The buffalo kept walking in single file towards the lions apparently unaware of them and the lions moved closer to one another and crouched down in a threatening posture.

When the lead buffalo was about 15-20 metres from the lions, it suddenly stopped and started tossing his head about. At that stage everything happened so fast that I cannot recall whether the buffalo turned and started to run away or if the lioness charged and they then ran. In any event the lions all charged the fleeing buffalo.

They ran past the two adults and jumped on the calf who fell into the dam with the lions still attached to it. The rest of the lions were all busy attacking the buffalo calf in the water while the rest of the herd ran away. Suddenly a huge crocodile grabbed hold of the buffalo calf and a tug-of-war ensued between the lions and the crocodile. The lions were victorious dragging the buffalo calf out of the water and up the bank with the crocodile hanging on its' leg before it finally relinquished its' grip.

By now the herd had regrouped, turned and amidst a cloud of dust they charged the lions who were busy mauling the poor calf lying on the ground. The lioness tried to stand her ground but was tossed into the air by one of the buffalo. The other lions lost their nerve and fled with the aggressive buffalo behind them. As if this wasn't enough the calf stood up and was enveloped by the herd who moved off. UNBELIEVABLE!!'

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