The Battle of Timbavati

By Patrick O’Brien on October 13, 2009

One of the most spectacular sightings of this year happened this morning during drive.
The 3 Timbavati males vs. 300 buffalo.

This epic battle took place on drive this morning. Finding the words to describe the scene on its own is easier said than done.

The 3 majestic Timbavati males were found at one of the big dams early this morning. We decided to follow the males, which looked determined to hunt even though it was already 28 degree Celsius at 07h30.

After following the lions for 20 minute they unexpectedly strike at the hart of the buffalo herd. Not even the buffalo saw them coming. In less that 10-seconds they took down a yearling calf. They hit it so hard that they knocked it out. Still alive and unconscious the calf laid on its back. Then the expected happened the herd returned to rescued the calf. A battle that lasted 15 minutes it could have turned either way. But the determination of the lions was over powering. A huge effort was made and they were reluctant to let go of their price.

For more details of this epic battle follow the game report of October 2009 which I will describe the once in a lifetime sighting in detail. Until then enjoy the images.

Patrick O‘Brien Head guide
Buffalo's defence line. By Patrick O'Brien
The take down of the buffalo. By Patrick O'Brien.
The calf here is still alive By Patrick O'Brien
The herd tried to rescue the calf- by Patrick O'Brien.
A second charge from the buffalo herd- by Patrick O‘Brien.
Lions re-take charge of the carcass- by Patrick O‘Brien.
A tremendous display of teamwork by the lions. by Patrick O‘Brien.
Finales stand down. by Patrick O‘Brien.
Finally victory for the Timbavati males-by Patrick O‘Brien.

16 thoughts on “The Battle of Timbavati

  1. Hi Patrick…wow….what an adrenalin rush that must have been for you guys watching the scene play out ! Good to see the Timbavati boys doing well.

    Great pics and documentary!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Stay well, stay safe.


  2. Patrick,

    All I can say is WOW! What a way to start the day, no? Your photos offer a nice glimpse of the 3 males holding their ground against the herd. Very nice positioning on your part! What an absolute treat for your guests, I hope they appreciate how fortunate they are to witness this incredible event.

    Well done,


  3. Epic truly is the best word to describe this exciting and extraordinary sighting. My heart is beating quickly as I am going through these action filled photos. What a special moment.

  4. Photos like this just keep me focused on returning to Kings Camp sooner rather than later. They are spectacular, viewing the battle must have got the adrenalin going.

  5. The brothers look a lot bigger than just a few months ago! They’re eating well! Great photos Patrick…I’m saving up for my next trip!

  6. Good pics. Would have been exciting to see. Do you still have the nyala horns that you said you would send me eventually after they were cured? Steve from Oklahoma.

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