Hercules Pride Kills a Buffalo at Africa on Foot

This weekend, after guests went off to bed and rangers Mike and Greg were locking up Africa on Foot camp, the unmistakable bellow of a panicked buffalo erupted from the darkness. Grabbing the spotlight and rushing to board a game viewer, the excited anticipation of a possible lion kill set in. Sure enough, not 100m from Africa on Foot, a buffalo cow breathed its last breath as the 2 powerful lionesses from the Hercules Pride claimed their prize.

Cub prowling around the carcass

Of course, as soon as the reality of this exceptionally close lion activity sunk in, guides dashed back to camp and woke the guests up with the exciting news. All aboard the game viewer, the group cruised all of 100m back to the kill site, where the Hercules Pride was beginning to feast. Notoriously timid, the pride, consisting of 2 adult females and 4 subadult cubs, has never been comfortable with game viewers and the lions usually stay deep within their territory. A private farm that forms part of Africa on Foot’s exclusive traverse is where these lions remain hidden, except when they’ve made a kill further out.

Hercules Pride relaxing in the bush

Cubs feeding

Cubs at the carcass

True to their reputation, the lions were nervous and we stayed at a safe distance to give them room to feed in peace. The 4 youngsters are just over a year old and are learning from their mothers to be on the alert at all times, never relaxing completely. With patience and respect, Africa on Foot and nThambo Tree Camp have managed to show this incredible sighting to their guests all weekend – the lions stayed and fed on their buffalo all of yesterday and last night offering some amazing night-time viewing.

Lion's head peeking over the carcass


Hercules cub feasting

Our history with the Hercules Pride has been interesting, given their nervous and at times aggressive behaviour. Ultimately, these lions killed the Ross Breakaway lion cubs after the lioness led their 9 week old babies into a Hercules Pride buffalo feast. Tragically, the pride attacked the lionesses and killed their cubs. These subadult cubs were fathered by the Trilogy, although they remain separate from the males, except when the Trilogy is involved with a kill.

Hercules Pride keeping hidden

All the activity of the staff moving around at Africa on Foot constantly alerted the lions. They looked wide-eyed and curious as they fed on the carcass, while the lionesses stayed hidden in the bush close by. As night fell, the lions became more relaxed and guests watched the adults feeding alongside the cubs.

Cubs watching Africa on Foot camp activity

Cubs on the kill

Vultures on the carcass