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NAIROBI PARK DIARY

Cows and cats

Park visit provides up-close views

In Summary

• Their battle for survival has been going on for thousands of years

Buffalo herd
Buffalo herd
Image: GARETH JONES

As we arrived at the dam next to no. 9 junction, a massive herd of buffalo could be seen spread out wide from the dam across the valley.

Seeing them looking so placid gives an almost bovine domestic impression of many cows. However, reality is far from that. African buffalo are a force to reckon with.

We were just about to drive onwards when we suddenly saw the shapes of two lionesses on the ridge above the dam as they sat watching the buffalo herd.

 

After a few minutes of sitting quietly, suddenly, more than 50 buffalo began to charge towards the lionesses. The grass was very long, but we actually saw another two big cats bolt out of their hiding places and run.

Then in a flash, one of the lionesses turned and charged towards the buffalo herd. The buffalo panicked and turned back for a brief moment, then in a few seconds, the herd seemed to realise their strength in numbers far outweighed the threat of the lions.

The buffalo turned back again and advanced more aggressively towards the four lionesses, this time chasing them over the ridge and into the distant acacia shrub land.

Buffalo are very dangerous when provoked. In the Nairobi Park, buffalo are at times hunted by lions. However, due to the fact there are not many large prides in the park, buffalo lion kills are rare.

The battle for survival between the “cows and cats” has been going on for thousands of years. Sometimes, the cats win a kill, but on many occasions, the cows win, especially when their bulls support them and the herd forms a defensive cluster.

So, try something different. Visit the Nairobi National Park and find a buffalo herd, then approach carefully and enjoy God’s creation up close.

 

 

For more information on the park you can link to the following website  www.kws.go.ke