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Written by Thapelo Seleke

Even though there are more than 800 Cape buffalo roaming Madikwe Game Reserve, the summer time can make it tough to see the large herds.

Preferring dense habitat, such as reeds and thickets, buffaloes are rarely seen in the open woodland. Fortunately, luck was on their side when guests at Jaci’s Lodges had a fantastic sighting while out on a game drive:

buffalo, mud
©Thapelo Seleke

Having already seen four of the Big Five – lion, leopard, rhino and elephant – all that was left was the Cape buffalo. But the chances of sighting them seemed low as the weather was making our lives tough with the mist and rain.

buffalo, mud
©Thapelo Seleke

As we drove along, the field guide, Thomas, spotted buffalo tracks which we followed for a short while. The tracks led us straight to a large buffalo bull hidden in very long grass.

buffalo, mud
©Thapelo Seleke

Heavily built with backward curving horns that form a continuous bone shield, this bull probably weighed about 900kg and looked in very good shape.

buffalo, mud
©Thapelo Seleke

In buffalo herds, older bulls are chased out by the younger, dominant males. Most of the time the old bulls don’t try to rejoin the main herd because of these aggressive males. This explained why this particular bull was by himself and not in the main herd.

buffalo, mud
©Thapelo Seleke

Not knowing how he was going to react – and remembering a buffalo’s reputation of being aggressive – we kept a safe distance from him while we took photographs.

buffalo, mud
©Thapelo Seleke

Fortunately for us, this big boy began to wallow in ankle-deep mud, getting rid of the biting insects and providing us with some amazing photo opportunities.

buffalo, mud
©Thapelo Seleke

There was a lot of laughter among our guests are the bull continued wallowing while facing in our direction, putting on a great show! After several minutes, he was up on his feet and finished off his mud-wallowing routine by wiping the mud off his horns on the nearby tree branches.

buffalo, mud
©Thapelo Seleke
Travel with us
Jaci's Lodges

Situated in Madikwe you can expect friendly and personal service assuring an African Safari to be remembered. Jaci's Lodges are vibrant combinations of colour, canvas, shaggy thatch and breathtaking raised walkways. Imagine fire cooked & starlit meals - heaven indeed! Perfect for romantic safaris and that bush escape.