Cape Buffalo Encounter

June 17, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

I have been to various countries in Africa seven times.  This past trip included a most scary incident that has never come close to happening before.

We were in the 5th day of our week in Tanzania, operating out of the Singita Faru Faru lodge.  The day was like many on safari.  We were ending our afternoon safari and happened upon a lone Cape Buffalo standing in the long grass.  He was a stray male that our guide thought had been ejected from a breeding herd and was in the Serengeti as a lone bachelor.  It seemed like a nice photo op.  The light was good as it was approaching 6 p.m. in the evening.  He was staring at us in the grass, covered with mud, with a nice green bush for a background element.

Mean Cape Buffalo Now, to put some perspective into the story, I was using a 500mm telephoto lens and we were not that close to him.  After a few shots a lilac breasted roller flew by and landed in a tree some distance in the front of us.  So, we parted ways.  He took off to our left and we headed for the tree.  After we had gone, I don't know, maybe 50 yards, my friend Tony looked to his left and yelled out to Anthony, our driver:  "Go, Go!  He is chasing us.!  I looked to the left and not 25 yards away was this HUGE buffalo charging at us full speed.  Anthony threw it into gear and floored it.  We went a short distance and hit a log which caused the truck to bounce.  My wife Jan and I bounced with it and I hit my head on the bar above me.  I was momentarily stunned.  Jan caught her sunglasses on a post, which subsequently resulted in a big shiner!.  The truck jumped out of gear and the engine raced.  Anthony was able to get it back into gear and moving a few feet forward when a couple of thousand pounds of buffalo hit us in the left rear.  So, we all bounced forward again and my 1DX with 70-300mm lens bounced off the seat and onto the floor.  Amazingly, it still worked after that.  Thanks Canon for building a sturdy camera.

After striking us, the buffalo took off and didn't look back.  We waited a few minutes and then got out to survey the damage.

Annotated Truck image When I looked at the charging beast it looked like it was headed right over the rear wheel, right between Tony and me.  But, when Anthony moved the truck it couldn't correct its course and hit the rear fender, the 2 inch steel pipe bracing the passenger compartment and the rack holding our cooler, which was destroyed.  

Luckily, no one was seriously injured, and Jan had a great story to tell about how she got her shiner.

 


Comments

No comments posted.
Loading...

Archive
January February March April (6) May (4) June July (2) August (1) September October (1) November (1) December
January February March (1) April (4) May (2) June July (2) August September (1) October November (1) December (4)
January February March (3) April May (1) June July (1) August (1) September (1) October (1) November (1) December
January February March April May June (3) July August September October (2) November December
January February (1) March April May June July August September October November December