herd of buffalo

I could see a piece of light brown, looking out of place at the edge of the forest. Heading back after a check of my camera traps, I was crossing a narrow savanna on Vera Plaines. With nowhere to hide, I sat down in the tall grass and watched as a bull and large female buffalo browsed onto the savanna. Soon after, a scuffle of three juveniles erupted out of the forest in a rocking gait. Two females and a calf followed. Eight buffaloes in total, browsing on the savanna before me, 120 meters away and apparently unaware of my presence as a light breeze put me in a downwind advantage.

A herd of Forest buffalo meander onto a savanna in Vera Plaines.

Soon enough they were having a lie-down after meandering to within 80 meters, barely noticing a troop of chimpanzees in a howling riot down the distant forested valley. The bull rose to his feet as some creature snuffled through vegetation crowding the savanna, but whatever it was moved back into the forest.

The large female began to take an interest in my silhouette crouching in her line of sight and rose to have a better look. She began to approach, more out of curiosity than confrontation, with several of the juveniles following in half-interest. At 60 meters, I began to feel exposed and decided to rise and move off perpendicular to their approach. No sooner, and the whole herd jumped to their feet and made their getaway run back to the forest, the grunting and crash of branches defining their course until they faded from hearing, crickets and grasshoppers filling in the aural void.

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