A standoff between three of Africa’s Big Five transpired at the Mlondozi picnic site in the Kruger National Park.
24-year-old trails guide Mohammed Kathrada and his guests were interrupted at breakfast by three of Africa’s big five. He shared this nail-biting sighting with LatestSightings.com.
“After conducting a guided walk along the many drainage lines that feed into the Sand River. We headed towards the Mlondozi picnic site on the eastern boundary of the park. Excited for the breakfast that lies ahead, overlooking the magnificent Mlondozi dam.”
Mlondozi picnic site, like many around the Kruger National Park, offers a quintessential environment. Visitors enjoy bathroom breaks and cook up breakfasts or prepare afternoon lunches. The sites are unfenced and provide visi tors with a true bush experience.
“As we alighted from the vehicle, I jokingly asked the friendly caretaker of the Mlondozi picnic site. Where are the lions? To my surprise, he replied just down there! I quickly grabbed my camera and led the guests to a vantage point overlooking the dam below. Lions! Elephants! Buffaloes!”
“Two male lions lay in the open with a buffalo bull that they had just killed. Another male lion on his way to his two brothers, and a herd of 1,000+ buffaloes thrashing through the swampy banks in search of the fallen soldier. All this is happening while an elephant matriarch is leading her herd to the water to quench their thirst. I could not believe my eyes!”
Seeing the Big Five in Africa is definitely special. However, getting to witness three of the five in one scene is something truly incredible and rare.
“A herd of buffaloes intercepted the last of the three lions as he was about to get closer to his brothers and their prey. Turning around he began running in the opposite direction. Only to come face to face with the enraged elephants that were heading for the water.”
“The large male lion was made to appear small by buffaloes on one side and elephants on the other. He managed to get into the thickets that surrounded the dam. But not for long, as the matriarch persisted and probed further, eventually driving the lion away.
“The buffaloes at this point began losing interest in the lone male lion and turned their attention to the two lions that were still standing their ground. guarding their prize. The standoff lasted a few minutes, with the buffaloes having a go at the lions and the lions standing their ground and not moving.”
“The stampeding buffalo hooves and lions’ low growls we could hear echoing off the Lebombo mountains. Standing on the hillock above this bizarre scene is an experience I will never forget in my guiding career.”