As I rounded a bend, the road was full of buffalo. There were so many, from tiny calves to cows to young bulls to old bulls. What a scene! I estimated there were at least 350 in the herd. They had been drinking at the Karen Primary Dam near No 7 Junction and were moving away and up the hill that leads to Mbuni Loop.
It is really great to drive slowly and quietly into the middle of the herd and then switch off the engine and sit watching buffalo from a very close position.
I do not think there are many places in Africa where such large herds of buffalo are tolerant enough to stand at such a close distance to vehicles. It was great to watch the various interactions between the buffalo and also the many birds like oxpeckers and egrets that follow them.
However, do not be deceived. Buffalo are very dangerous when provoked and many hunters have been hunted and even killed by their prey, especially if the buffalo was wounded. A buffalo bull can weigh up to 910kg and has formidable horns that form a thick boss, that can even stop a high velocity bullet.
In the Nairobi National Park buffalo are at times hunted by lions. However, due to the fact that there are not large prides in the park, buffalo-lion kills are rare. Also there are a number of recorded sightings over the years where a buffalo herd has actually chased lions up trees for some hours.
So try something different. Visit the Nairobi National Park and find a buffalo herd, hopefully next to the road, then approach carefully and enjoy God’s creation close-up. The park is open daily.
By; Gareth Jones