Of lions and buffalos

Of lions and buffalos

survival in the bush

Twilight falls in the wild. The colors fade and the long, hot day draws to a close. It was quiet today, as if the bush didn’t feel inclined to share its secrets with us. And yet there is a tension in the air. A calm before a storm, perhaps. It’s only a vague inkling, but I have learned to trust this kind of feeling.

We are making our way back to camp along the winding, dusty road. Suddenly, I spot them. The lionesses. Their eyes are focused and their bodies are tense. They are in hunting mode. A moment later, we see the two old buffaloes.

What happens next is the age old drama of survival in the bush. The daily cycle of life and death. For those of us who buy our food pre-packaged in an air conditioned supermarket, it might seem harsh and brutal. But out here, it is Nature’s Way.

It is excruciatingly intense to witness this final struggle. That evening in the Luangwa Valley changed me. I will never forget the expressions in the buffalo’s eyes; first of panic, then desperation and finally, when his strength was gone, an almost sacred sense of reconciliation with the inevitable.


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