Cape Buffalo – part 1

Before I tell today’s story…..this post talks about big game hunting!!  Before you click off of the post, please check this one out first……

On Tuesday morning, we headed out to the Zambeze Delta flood plain for Cape Buffalo.  Michael is planning to shoot one of these animals and give the meat to the local villagers.  In the hunting world, this is called a “community buffalo”….no trophy is taken home and the joy comes in stalking the animal and providing meat for a village.

The buffalo reside on the flood plain and it takes a while to drive there so we had to make an EARLY start….5:00am for breakfast and a 5:30 start. 

We were both nervous about the morning….Michael was concerned with the thought of hunting a dangerous animal and I was concerned about whether or not I could keep up with the trackers in the swamp-like conditions.

We were wearing high-top tennis shoes for walking in the swamp and we both sported our clean, new shoes before we left. 

They were NOT this clean when we got back.

 It was freezing on the back of the truck, but I put my hat on to keep my head warm and pulled my jacket up over my ears. 

NOTE TO SELF…..when we come back next month, I am bringing a quick dry towel for my hair and a knit cap!!!

It took about 45 minutes to get to the drop-off point and here we picked up the BV, an All-terrain vehicle that will take us safely thru the swamp.

Getting in was interesting……

I am thankful for long legs!!!

….but it was fun to stand in the back and view the scenery from up high.

As we drove, there were herds of Water Buck……

…..Hartebeest……

….and one large herd of Zebra….SO much fun to see.

My favorite was a flock of Saddle-Back Storks……

I am thinking that my Africa quilt may have something to do with the magnificent bird!!!

The guide and trackers were always searching for herds of the large black beasts….

…..OR looking closely at the ground for their tracks……

At one point, they could see that the buffalo had headed in one direction, so we headed that way as well.   After we wandered around for about an hour, they decided that the beasts had returned to the path that we were originally on!!

The BV was an amazing machine, often moving through water that was 6 feet deep!!  After one of our forays into the water, Michael found this cute little frog sitting on his sleeve…..

The trackers spotted another herd of buffalo and this time we got out of the BV and started to stalk on foot. 

Before we left, Julian loaded his BIG caliber rifle as a backup in case things got really scary….

It was comforting to see his relaxed attitude as we headed off…..

The head tracker (Francisco) led the group with Julian close behind.   Next was Michael (the hunter), two more trackers and then me!!

Enough for today….come back tomorrow for the end of this fruitless hunt!!!


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