Hluhluwe Game Reserve : Lions Hunting Buffalo

Tim shares The Real Deal 

Lions hunting buffalo – get the real story here. After 13 years of guiding clients within the South African Nature, History and Culture Tourism industry; I have had plenty of time to see the real story of Lions hunting Buffalo.

Lions hunting buffalo







Watch original footage showing Lions hunting Buffalo. View scenes that the documentaries on TV won’t often show you. This footage has been take over the past 5 years on our Hluhluwe Imfolozi Safari Tours from Durban.

Documentaries sensationalize the African Safari experience by showing only the last parts of hunts which are amazing however they don’t often show the truth, risks, length and time it takes for Lions to make a successful kill.

Footage of Lions Hunting Buffalo

Lions have to feed on average once a week. Once this time is extended beyond a week these majestic Cats begin to look malnourished. Basically their body will begin to digest fat supplies which is almost non existent on such a lean hunting machine. This in turn means that the cats muscle will then be digested and condition deteriorates incredibly fast! So fast that if they are unable to feed for as long as two weeks there usually is no way back and they die.


Daily Challenges that Lions Face

The pride will leave a weak Lion behind if it cannot contribute, in order to succeed. It is a harsh reality but it is the truth!.

What the documentaries don’t show : the daily challenges Lions face  in hunting their own food. This idea that Lions are so successful at taking down prey is totally false.

  • Fact – Lions are only successful 10% of the time.
  • Only 1 out of every 10 attempts to hunt any animal lead to a meal.
  • Every failed attempt = a loss of strength making it harder for them to succeed on the following hunt.


What is important to remember is that any injury will normally prove fatal unless it is a scratch. A gash inflicted onto the body of a Lion can potentially become septic leading to death. A Lion with a broken bone feeds last on only the scraps and becomes a liability to the pride.  Most of the time if the break does not heal fast the Lion will die!

The Challenge of Life in the African Bush

This all makes life in the African bush very challenging! Lions have to weigh up the risk vs benefit when hunting. They at  least are intelligent enough, unless absolutely desperate, to back down or just get out of the way of the weapons that most prey possess. Horns can cause an injury which will can potentially end the life of a Lion which illustrates the high risk of hunting prey like Buffalo.

Both male and female Buffalo have horns!

They use these as

  • a defense from other buffalo when fighting over mating rights
  • and against predators like Lions

I hope these videos help you understand that life for a Lion is not easy at all. It takes each member of a Pride to pull its weight to ensure success in their future.

Contact us to join a Safari from Durban to the world famous Hluhluwe Imfolozi.

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