The herds love to congregate close to the permanent waterways to the north of the country, but they particularly enjoy time spent grazing on the more seasonal floodplains. It is essential that buffalo stay close to water, even while moving around. However, they are able to survive on grass that is less nutritious than other animals are, which means that they don’t have to move as far as other species.
Stories about buffalo in this area are rather interesting, with locals who have observed their movements and patterns able to explain their habits and behaviours. For example, we have learned that herds here are typically mixed between males and females, but that the males which are included within the groups are those able to breed. Often, older males are forced out, and the locals have a term for them – “old dagga boys”. In Zulu, “dagga” means mud, and refers to the fact that it looks like these solitary, excluded members of the group tend to wallow in mud.
Here, the lions love buffalo, too, but perhaps not in the way we do! Lions can often be found in close proximity to the buffalo here. There is a fairly permanent herd of around 1000 buffalo living out on the Duba Plains, and plenty of lions are well aware of this. You are almost guaranteed to see a lion kill their prey, but unfortunately for them, the buffalo are all too often the victims. This is the reality of the animal kingdom!