Today I’m hosting an amazing shot of cape buffalo taken by Adam Lukaszewicz, writer and photographer over at Getting Stamped Blog.
Picture Story: The Cape Buffalo
We ran into this guy early on along the 43-day overland safari that took us from Nairobi down to Cape Town.
Travelling through Africa by land is a trip that changes you. We spent our days in small safari trucks spotting amazing wildlife and our nights in a tent under the great big African sky.
On our early game drives, I was immediately drawn to the Cape Buffalo with their curled horns that spiralled out of their head.
To me, they always looked like they were wearing an old fashion wig. Not quite the powder white, curly wigs of the 1700’s, but somewhat reminiscent, aren’t they?
As cute and cow-like they might look they are more closely tempered to a bull in the middle of a crowded arena in Spain.
The Cape Buffalo is part of the infamous Big 5, and particularly dangerous group of large game animals.
Our guides were always on edge when one of these guys would get too close. They are known to charge safari trucks full of people when they tread too close to their territory.
At nearly 2,000 pounds they can leave a dent, even in a sturdy African and Rover.
As big and scary they are made out to be we didn’t really see it first hand, actually quite the opposite.
We saw the buffaloes in large number peacefully grazing on the grasses of the Maasai Mara game park.
The biggest action we saw the buffaloes get into was a small spat with the weaver birds that live with them.
The birds keep the buffaloes clean, eating any pesky bugs or parasites on the buffalos.
A few birds must have been a little too aggressive with their cleaning and got shaken off the buffalo’s back.
The reason I like this particular cape buffalo is he seemed very interested in us and gave lots of good eye contact.
He also had a very symmetrical set of horns making for a nice even shot. I was watching him for a few minutes before this picture, I watched him toss a few of the small birds off of his head.
Once he made eye contact I took a bunch of frames of him. For much of the safari, I used the super telephoto lens that allowed me to get up close to animals that I couldn’t otherwise.
In order to get great wildlife photos you need to get as close as you can, and my long lens lets me do that and keep a lot of detail in the animal’s face.
This is just one of a few thousand photos from Africa, the continent is just so photogenic. The safari was such a great experience, we are doing it again.
We are going back to Africa this year to lead a photo safari in Kenya and Uganda. Africa is a place like nowhere else we have travelled. It still feels wild, and in this day and age, that is pretty rare.
The African buffalo or Cape buffalo is a large African bovine..
A characteristic feature of the horns of adult male African buffalo (Southern and Eastern populations) is that the bases come very close together, forming shield referred to as a “boss”.
From the base, the horns diverge downwards, then smoothly curve upwards and outwards and in some cases inwards and or backwards.
In large bulls, the distance between the ends of the horns can reach upwards of one metre (the record being 164cm).
The horns form fully when the animal reaches the age of five or six years but the bosses do not become “hard” till 8 to 9 years old.
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