If you haven’t been following along on this journey, please start with this post and move forward……
SO……on Wednesday morning, we did it all again!! Today we took the BV even further onto the flood plain and within an hour of driving, the trackers had spotted the buffs. While they figured out which way to go, I enjoyed the scenery….especially the white-barked “Fever Tree”.
The are was also populated with many Palm-type trees…..
I managed to get one shot of the fruit as we rolled past…..
When I was off of the truck and taking photos, Julian commented that he heard a leopard call (called a “saw”) and suspected that there was one in the brush just ahead of us!!!……YIKES
It was interesting to see the tracks that the BV left on the soft ground…..
Julian and Dolish would look for the highest point so that they could see further over the plain. Julian used the BV cab as his ladder……
…..while Dolish preferred a HUGE termite hill…..
The trackers would also listen for the buffalo. When they heard Oxpeckers (a bird that sits on the buffalo), it caused them to turn and go in a different direction!
We walked/slogged on their path for about an hour and then came upon the herd. Now it was a waiting game!! Julian had to find a bull that was appropriate for a “community meat buffalo”. It couldn’t be a huge trophy but also shouldn’t be a young bull. Once he had found the proper one, he now had to make sure that Michael knew which one he was looking at!!
There were two possible bad outcomes….the first is that Michael shot the wrong buffalo and second was that he would wound it rather than making an outright kill.
The trackers took a seat while this process was going on and I joined them on the ground as it was much easier than sitting on my knees!!
We heard the distant sound of a helicopter and all of us prayed that it wasn’t coming our way because it would definitely scare the buffalo away!! Fortunately, it stayed closer to the camp, so we didn’t need to worry.
After an interminable time, Michael was able to take the shot. Buffalo are hardy, thick-skinned animals and are not easy to take down. When the buff didn’t go down immediately, Michael worried that he had made a bad shot, but Julian told him to just wait a bit and see what happened. The buff ran a few yards and then fell.
Now we had to wait until the other buffalo wandered away!! I expected them to all flee once the gun sounded but they just kept on grazing around us, apparently unconcerned with their fallen comrade.
By now we were all standing up and I was surprised to see a bull about 50 yards away…..just looking at us. Needless to say, we did not make ANY visible movement and after a few minutes, he simply wandered away.
When we got to the now-deceased buffalo, they worked hard to push the 1500-pound animal onto his chest so that we could do some photography…
If you want to see the photo, please click HERE.
Francisco was dispatched to bring the BV and we enjoyed looking around the plain……
….although there wasn’t much to see!!
The next part of the day wasn’t pretty but was necessary for us to transport the buffalo back to camp. We watched as the trackers skinned and quartered the big guy.
They stopped often to sharpen their knives and I was intrigued with the sharpener…..
It was so simple in design but was extremely effective!!!
Julian and I enjoyed a laugh while we were waiting….
….and the vultures wondered why it was taking so long!!
They attacked the leftovers as soon as we pulled away….
Francisco had worked hard this morning and took a well-deserved nap as we headed back to the road…..
The ride back to camp was victorious and lunch was eaten with a light heart, knowing that we had conquered the “dangerous game” and, more importantly, that a village was going to be fed!!
Come back tomorrow for the meat delivery….it was a blast!!!