The curse of the ‘were-buff’

Upon arriving back at Karongwe on New Year's Day, there were some very fresh buffalo tracks around our tent. We figured perhaps our friendly neighbourhood buffalo had come to check where we had gone while we were visiting the Selati camp. What a nice chap!

Karongwe_buffalo-outside-tent_Cara-Pring-2

As it turns out, he must have been relatively worried about our absence, as that night he returned near our braai area in the riverbed. We bid him good night and headed back to our tents for a good night’s sleep. OR SO WE THOUGHT. At about midnight, Mr Buffalo arrives at our tent, huffing and puffing and basically making as much noise as absolutely possible. I do not know what he was doing, but at one point I thought it was a herd of elephants surrounding us! He was right beside our tent emitting the saddest sighs. He truly sounded very sad… or perhaps angry. I was hoping it wasn’t the latter! He started patrolling back and forth between our tent and the bathroom, then he came down right next to our tent, about a meter from where I was sleeping. Now I’m not the most skittish person around wild animals (you wouldn’t choose to camp in an unfenced camp if you were), but even I have my limits of comfort. Having a one ton buffalo huffing a meter away from me, with only some mesh and tent between us definitely exceeded those limits of comfort. I already started envisaging the newspaper headlines “Buffalo rampages into tent, killing Aussie woman”.  The Australian papers would go crazy!

At some point the buffalo left us in peace to grab some sleep, but it was very short-lived as he showed up again not too much later. This buffalo seriously circled our tent all night. And I mean ALL NIGHT, because when we woke up early the next morning, Mr Buff was standing by the tent next to ours, staring at us. LITERALLY.

Karongwe_Buffalo-outside-tent_Cara-Pring

This guy was either desperately lonely and looking for friends, or OUT FOR BLOOD.  After having a staring match with us for a few minutes, he decided he was happy that he had sufficiently freaked us out, and (in a very ungainly fashion) lay his huge massive buffalo body down. We decided it was our cue to leave, so we snuck out the other side of our tent and left him in peace (after, of course, taking a few photos).

So that was our fun night with the were-buff (Van’s nickname) who terrorized us for a whole night. TIA!

P.S. the buffalo returned to terrorize us again last night, albeit only for about 15 minutes… right outside our tent. If you don’t hear from us again, you KNOW WHO DUNNIT!!