A large carcass such as a Cape buffalo attracts a lot of attention.  We watched four different predators and scavengers take advantage of the feast, until a big male lion came charging in.

Approaching the kill, we could see two lionesses feeding with several hyena scattered around them. As time passed, the hyena’s patience ran out and their courage grew.  Eventually they were feeding at the same time as the lioness. From time to time the lioness would charge into the hyena clan, sending them in all directions.  Typical of hyena, they regrouped and their calls got louder and louder, attracting more hyena.  With a few more hyena added to the group, they moved in on the lioness, who begrudgingly let them feed on the other side of the carcass.

All the while, both black-backed and side-striped jackal were darting in, stealing mouthfuls where they could. Suddenly they all stopped feeding and looked up into the distance, where they had spotted a large male lion heading directly towards them.  It was clear from the way he was moving that he meant business.

As he got closer his speed increased, sending the hyena and the lions almost simultaneously bolting for the horizon. The male lion ran straight past the kill in an attempt to catch a hyena.  Frothing at his mouth, roaring and at full stretch, it was quite impressive to watch him displaying his authority.  All he wanted to do was either kill a hyena or chase and dominate the other lions.  Once everything had settled down, he simply headed off across the plains, marking his territory as he went, without even glancing at the carcass!

As with most wildlife sightings, it’s all about timing and ours was spot on with this one, giving us front row seats to some incredible interaction.