Madikwe conduct has adapted a culture of calling wild animals in a language that is more common in the area, which is Setswana. Taka boys (mud boys), it is a herd of old or young buffalo bulls which have been chased out by the dominant males.
Although with more than 800 buffalos reported to be in the game reserve, summer time is tough to see large herds of buffalo. African buffalos are grazers and prefer a habitat with dense cover, such as reeds and thickets, they are rarely seen in the open woodland here in Madikwe.
Our guests had seen the other four of the big 5 (Lion, leopard, Rhinocerous & elephant), however we were struggling to find Cape Buffalo. The weather was also making our lives tough, with some mist and rain coming through.
Field guide Thomas spotted some buffalo tracks, and followed for a short while. His keen eyes picked up the shape of a buffalo in some very long grass.
Not knowing how he was going to react and also with a reputation of being aggressive, our guests asked if we could keep a fair distance from him so they can be able to take photographs, as he might run back into the bushes. Heavily built with backward curving horns forming continuous bone shield across the top of the head, referred to as a boss, weighing about 900 kg, this bull was looking very healthy.
Some older buffalo bulls do not re-join the herd as they can no longer be in a competition with much younger and aggressive males, this big boy began head into a nearby pan and started rolling in the mud, giving our guests a well-deserved show.
Wallowing in the mud also helps him with getting rid of the biting insects, there was a long laughter among our guests are he continued wallowing while facing in our direction, after several minutes he was up on his feet trying to use branches of trees to wipe off the mud on his horns.