Kafunta News

Updates from the Luangwa Valley

Safari is a game of luck


That morning, I had 4 people on board settling out for game viewing. I had a blank mind of what to expect. Drawing out my route for the day, I took the one from the night before, where we saw a leopard hunting and a big herd of buffaloes, hoping to chance some lions or maybe already a kill from the night.

Upon reaching the area I looked down the valley and saw some buffaloes grouped together. As we went there, we indeed found 2 lions crouched by a bush watching the buffaloes in ambush. Going around the herd of buffaloes we picked up another lioness which was pushing the buffaloes towards the 2 lions waiting in ambush. So I parked the vehicle by the bush trying to wait for some action.

Shortly afterwards more lions started to appear in the tall grass. Our spirits were full of expectations just when we heard some commotion behind the next bush, which we thought the lions got a buffalo. I cranked the engine to go around and see what was happening, but before we even made a move, 2 lionesses came out of the bush in serious fighting!

Immediately I cut off the engine to watch them. Suddenly there were more lions, about 10 of them, behind our vehicle..and that was too much for one lioness, so she took off for life. It was a collision of two prides, one pride counted 17, the other one 7, and the bigger pride took the floor of hunting the buffaloes.

Having been surrounded by the big pride, now we thought a kill might happen. Stupidly, one bull buffalo moved out of the herd, being very vulnerable in that lonesome position. One young lioness went as close as 2 meters, but it was too young to start the battle, instead it just crouched down. But the buffalo soon rose up and ran back to the rest of the herd. Soon the lions somehow lost interest, so we decided to head back to camp. On our way to the lodge we picked up 3 crocodiles in the Luangwa river trying to hunt young white faced whistling ducks. Out of 5 ducklings, only 2 managed to reach the shore…

Martin Mbewe

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