It’s not often on a safari, or on a series of safaris, to witness lions killing a buffalo from the tense beginning to the gory end. It’s quite common to see lions near buffalo, or even stalking one, or to see them on a buffalo kill after the fact. But we got to see the action from start to finish and it was nothing short of an awesome display of power and determination on both sides.

Unfortunately the best camera we had was a Nikon Coolpix, point and shoot. The purpose of our trip was to test out a camp in the Loliondo area, an hour drive from the Serengeti border.  Fifteen minutes after landing at the Seronera airstrip (central Serengeti), Peter, a senior Nature Discovery guide took us to an area where he thought he might find lions.

And find them he did! Below are a few of the photos of the action. It went on for over an hour – lions attacking a lone subadult buffalo, then the herd coming to the rescue, then the poor buffalo (must have been in shock) walking right back into the lions and then a half an hour struggle while the lions fought to keep it away from the herd and get it down on the ground.

the lions are quick to get out of the way of the charging buffalo herd but don't want to give up their prey

The dazed but not obviously wounded buffalo walks right over to the lions instead of taking refuge in the herd

The lions attack again in earnest and this time the buffalo herd give up and stay back

The lioness is trying to smother the buf by cutting off its ability to breathe

The end of the story was marked by gory crunching sounds while the buffalo still struggled but it was effectively the end of the buffalo.