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Archive 2012 · Suicide month: A lion pride's battle with 2 buffalo in Za...
  
 
marc2307
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Suicide month: A lion pride's battle with 2 buffalo in Zambia's Sth Luangwa NP


Have just returned from 4 weeks in the Sth Luangwa NP- Zambia, my 8th trip to the dark continent and my most incredible safari experience ever, as they say over there this time of year is known
as suicide month!......................never a more apt word. 40+ deg's C (105+ F) most days with some tsetse flies to keep you honest.
The lion on buffalo predation was amazing, plus other sights as well.........stay tuned.
The weather gods proved to be well behaved, having experienced many threatening days but only one real downpour the whole time.



5.41pm.
The no-tip tailed female from the Nsefu pride was the first to spot 2 male Buffalo drinking on the other side of the river and promptly crossed, followed by the others.
(would have preferred the whole reflection, but the shoreline was coming into play)
What followed that evening was the stalking, attacking and eventual death of BOTH buffalo!
An amazing scene to witness!


ALL images taken @ Fish Eagle crossing, Luangwa River, Sth Luangwa NP- Zambia late Oct 2011



D3s 500VR 1/400s f/5.6 ISO3200 F/F






5.44pm
By now all but the 3 pride coalition males had buffalo on their mind.

D3s 500VR 1/320s f/5.6 ISO3200 F/F







Again, deliberately keeping focus on the central lion as she had my attention.
D3s 500VR 1/400s f/5.6 ISO3200 F/F






5.46pm
The pride were now closing the gap rapidly. (the other boy is just out of frame, upper left)
At this stage we were sure both knew they were being stalked, but they seemed to defiantly stand their ground.
Image quality deteriorating a little now, but considering the distance and ISO, still holding up ok I feel?

D3s 500VR 1/640s f/4 ISO6400 -cropped (top & bottom only) to pano. I now needed to up the ISO to 6400 & f/4 in order to keep a reasonable S/S.







5.48pm. +temp still hovering close to 40C!
The activity was really ramping up now, as the no tail tip female the best & most experienced hunter of the pride led the way by
climbing on the back of the first buffalo.
At this stage there were 3 adult females and 4 sub adults in the thick of it.

D3s 500VR 1/400s f/4 ISO6400 -cropped (top & bottom only) to pano.







We sat back and observed from a distance............. but now with heart/excitement level racing I needed to be closer.
D3s 500VR 1/400s f/4 ISO6400 -cropped (top & bottom only) to pano.







5.56pm.
Having finally positioned our vehicle closer as the action now started to spread to the river section making for some exciting water chase/dance routine sequences.

D3s 500VR 1/200s f/4 ISO6400







D3s 500VR 1/200s f/4 ISO6400








D3s 500VR 1/200s f/4 ISO6400








I've left the other buffalo still in the frame and could have cropped it out, either way,
but it showed the calmness at times the other buffalo seemed to portray as his mate was copping a full round house clawing on his back.
At times the rest of the pride even took time out to grab a drink as the battle developed into a series of rounds.
I, unfortunately didn't have all day to capture a lot more of the action as light as diminishing fast.

D3s 500VR 1/250s f/4 ISO6400







7.04pm
An hour has passed and after much mayhem one of the buffalo's has become stuck in the thick gooey mud of the riverbank and the pride
seized the moment and began tucking in by taking out the tail and biting the spine, subsequently paralysing it.
During the time it became stuck, and with the pride concentrating it's attention on this hapless guy the other buff headed for the safety of the scrub,
however it amazingly returned to help it's bro and fatally paid the price with the pride turning on it, this made sense as it was less of a risk with the other
now drawing the attention of large crocs with it trying feebly to free itself from it's muddy grave.

I used my SB900 flash zoom function in this image to try and capture the reflecting croc eyes in the BG.
D3s 500VR +SB900 1/60s f/4 ISO400, slight crop top & bottom to pano.







7.16am (next morning)
It's now the following morning and most of the pride are digesting their meal and relaxing in the early morning rays,
the no-tip tail female however couldn't resist one last antagonistic confrontation with the mud stuck buffalo which had somehow managed to turn and face the shoreline.
...............truly mortal enemies!
This poor fellow perished later that evening, being eaten whilst still alive, from behind by crocodiles. The lions didn't bother.
The whole battle experience I shall cherish and never forget, thanks for putting up with the long winded story and image line.

D3s 500VR 1/2500s f/5.6 ISO800




C & C most welcome

Cheers
Marc

Edited on Jan 18, 2012 at 01:59 AM · View previous versions



Jan 18, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Jred
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Suicide month: A lion pride's battle with 2 buffalo in Zambia's Sth Luangwa NP


Holy crap! What an experience. thanks for sharing.

John



Jan 18, 2012 at 01:52 AM
eosuser2020
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Suicide month: A lion pride's battle with 2 buffalo in Zambia's Sth Luangwa NP


Felt like I am watching the scenes unfold on National Geographic!


Jan 18, 2012 at 01:56 AM
birdied
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Suicide month: A lion pride's battle with 2 buffalo in Zambia's Sth Luangwa NP


Amazing nature sequence ! Hard to view at times .

Birdie



Jan 18, 2012 at 01:59 AM
charlespan
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Suicide month: A lion pride's battle with 2 buffalo in Zambia's Sth Luangwa NP


Really amazing images and documentary! I am surprised that it took that long for that many lions to kill the buffalo. What would happen if the buffalo did not get stuck in the mud?! Thanks for sharing.


Jan 18, 2012 at 02:05 AM
thehotel
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Suicide month: A lion pride's battle with 2 buffalo in Zambia's Sth Luangwa NP


Amazing captures of a real life adventure.

Wacky roger



Jan 18, 2012 at 02:09 AM
surfnron
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Suicide month: A lion pride's battle with 2 buffalo in Zambia's Sth Luangwa NP


An amazing set with great commentary ~ Ron


Jan 18, 2012 at 02:18 AM
GeorgeM
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Suicide month: A lion pride's battle with 2 buffalo in Zambia's Sth Luangwa NP


Beautiful set of images. They still look good at iso 3200 & 6400. Go Nikon.

What an amazing experience that must have been. Thanks for sharing it.

George



Jan 18, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Andrwe Bazeley
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Suicide month: A lion pride's battle with 2 buffalo in Zambia's Sth Luangwa NP


You are my hero


Jan 18, 2012 at 02:39 AM
hnilsson
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Suicide month: A lion pride's battle with 2 buffalo in Zambia's Sth Luangwa NP


Unbelievable. Great story with even better images. Absolutely incredible!

Henrik



Jan 18, 2012 at 02:45 AM
 

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KCollett
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Suicide month: A lion pride's battle with 2 buffalo in Zambia's Sth Luangwa NP


What a fantastic story. Even more amazing is to be there in person and photograph it. A super interesting post!


Jan 18, 2012 at 03:05 AM
morris
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Suicide month: A lion pride's battle with 2 buffalo in Zambia's Sth Luangwa NP


Fabulous set and stroy Marc. Too hot for my taste

Morris



Jan 18, 2012 at 03:31 AM
Benzzene
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Suicide month: A lion pride's battle with 2 buffalo in Zambia's Sth Luangwa NP


This is one hell of a series...can't image being there live to capture the event, though it's on my bucket list!! Benzzene


Jan 18, 2012 at 03:33 AM
tfoltz
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Suicide month: A lion pride's battle with 2 buffalo in Zambia's Sth Luangwa NP


Great story and captures, thanks for sharing.

-Tim



Jan 18, 2012 at 04:56 AM
Bliz
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Suicide month: A lion pride's battle with 2 buffalo in Zambia's Sth Luangwa NP


Fantastic! Thanks for sharing your experience.


Jan 18, 2012 at 05:09 AM
DonGut
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Suicide month: A lion pride's battle with 2 buffalo in Zambia's Sth Luangwa NP


Now that is a sequence and something incredible to witness. Great images. The action shot in the water is my fave, as it suggests things to come without the gore. I also love Africa and can't wait to return. Don


Jan 18, 2012 at 05:11 AM
Conrad Tan
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Suicide month: A lion pride's battle with 2 buffalo in Zambia's Sth Luangwa NP


I'm floored at both the story, the images and the persistence you showed by staying around through the evening and returning in the morning.


Jan 18, 2012 at 05:28 AM
B Benson
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Suicide month: A lion pride's battle with 2 buffalo in Zambia's Sth Luangwa NP


Holy Crap, these are incredible. Must have been pretty awesome to witness this. Bruce


Jan 18, 2012 at 06:30 AM
kmunroe
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Suicide month: A lion pride's battle with 2 buffalo in Zambia's Sth Luangwa NP


amazing images and story Marc


Jan 18, 2012 at 07:46 AM
Gyroscope
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Suicide month: A lion pride's battle with 2 buffalo in Zambia's Sth Luangwa NP


OMFG. These are so cool. You were incredibly lucky. Yes the image quality is a bit noisy but who cares - its the subject matter that is most important for these sorts of images. My trip to Botswana last month was awesome but we didn't get a chance to see a kill like this. Well done on a great story.


Jan 18, 2012 at 11:06 AM
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