April 2024

Gold Dust

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Gold Dust

At first light a vast herd of African buffalo emerged from the surrounding bush, heading towards the central waterhole. With each step, they stirred up clouds of dust that cloaked their dark forms, like chocolate in a gold wrapper. As they neared the water they stopped, their ebony eyes fixing upon us with a mixture of curiosity and caution, as if loftily questioning our presence in their ancient domain. Their collective gaze was somewhat intimidating and a testament to their resilience and spirit.

The inclusion of buffalo in the Big Five reflects the historical significance of their role in big-game hunting.

They’re included due to their formidable size, strength, and unpredictable behaviour, making them one of the most challenging and dangerous animals to hunt on foot. Their sheer mass, big bulls reach about 800 kilograms (1 763 pounds), combined with sharp horns and a notoriously aggressive temperament, presents a significant threat to hunters. Moreover, buffalo often roam in large herds, adding an element of strategic coordination and heightened danger during hunts.

But what I admire most about them is each one’s individuality and personality. At sightings like these you can take the time to look carefully at them, one by one, and notice each one’s unique characteristics – different horn shapes, scars, body shapes and weights, torn ears, carriage, deportment and so on.

Jenny Hishin
By Jenny Hishin
Author / Guest Guide