(Guest post by Brad Oliver)
While in the Greater Kruger National Park, my mates and I were out on a gamedrive at around 1am, on our way back to camp feeling quite defeated that we hadn't seen any predators Pete spotted the lions, drinking at the causeway.
We watched them drink then walk up the main road, already a great sighting, when suddenly they veered off, so we looped back and found them crossing the road in hunting mode, we switched off the car and heard the unmistakable sound of a large buffalo herd moving through the bush. After sitting tensely for a minute, hardly breathing, chaos erupted, the herd were stampeding, then suddenly we heard the sound of a bellowing buffalo, surely caught.
We drove back around to the main road and there they were, 9 lions on this buffalo, right next to the road, a raw sight, sure, but one of those amazing, albeit crass, aspects that nature has to offer.
We watched the pride start eating the kill, scuffle a little and left as two hyenas arrived. Hardly enough to worry the lions for now.
Thanks to some expert spotting from Peter, some great driving and positioning from Alex and some exceptional videography by Frank (I shone a spotlight) I had a memory that would last a life time, but it wasn't over...
Next morning I headed out to try and get some pictures in the daytime (because night time photography is hard). They had eaten most of the kill but we figured they'd hang around, so we decided we would go have a look late that night again.
Upon arrival, there was only one lioness feeding, the others seemingly gone, very disappointing sight after last night's escapades. But, the show, to our delight, was not yet over. We sat and watched, some hyenas were circling, keeping their distance but then the first howls started, definitely a call to battle. More "whoops" filled the night air, and not long after this started, that handful of hyenas turned into a mob of 25 odd. Their characteristic, excited giggling ensued as they edged closer and closer. The lioness was growling but she was severely overpowered and was eventually muscled off the kill.
The hyenas were having an absolute frenzy but were soon interrupted, a whole heard of buffalo came to investigate, tightly clustered they started moving to the kill, squeezing the hyenas off. As they reached the kill chaos erupted again and the whole heard started running again, the lions in slumbering pursuit, they may have caught another one had their bellies not been dragging on the ground.
After that failed attempt all 9 lions approached the carcass, the hyenas kept their distance and as if to end off an unbelievable two night action thriller the lions started to roar in the direction the hyenas has scampered. Nature's colosseum at its absolute very best and most dramatic.
Frankly, one of the best experiences I have ever had!