2 thoughts on “Link: How Does One Stop a Charging Buffalo?

  1. Hi Rory, and thanks for the often interesting posts. I live in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania where I have heard rangers and Masaai tribesmen repeatedly say that the only way to escape a charging buffalo (unless you are armed or can climb a tree, of course) is to drop to the ground and lie flat on your belly. That’s because Cape buffaloes, and especially old bulls –the most likely to charge you out of the blue- have very wide horns that won’t allow them to “pick you up” from the ground, then kill you. Interestingly, they all agree that upon seeing that it can’t get at you, the buffalo usually tries to lick you with its raspy tongue. This it does in order to hurt you (the lick has the effect of very rough sand paper) and make you move.
    Many rangers say that the first thing to do when being charged is to get rid of one’s backpack or rucksack, or the buffalo will be able to get a grab at you and gore you.
    What do you think of this? Ever heard it before?

    I personally knew a Belgian man in West Africa who was charged from behind by a lone buffalo. The guy was standing by a pond in the Penjari NP (Benin) and did not see anything come. He was hit in …the buttocks, and that’s what saved him because he had a huge ass! The man fell to the ground several meters away, where he had the presence of mind to remain completely motionless. The buffalo came and stood on him, snorting, but left after a while, probably thinking the guy was dead.
    The above would probably not work in West Africa where buffaloes have much narrower horns, and would therefore be able to get you.


    • Hi Gilles,

      Thanks for the positive feedback on the posts.

      What you say is really interesting. The story here, and we have trees, is that they will push you till they get you against something like a tree or rock and then they can push you up with their nose and then take you apart.

      The story about the rucksak I have heard before and I have used it to to get away from buffalo and rhino. I have dropped my pack so as to run to and climb a tree on quite a few occasions! I’m looking forward to doing some walking with black rhinos again soon in Matusadona so will probably get to repeat the experience..

      I know a few chaps who have been gored by buffalo and survived so will ask them what they thing about the Masai story when I next see one.



      P.S. I am now considering growing my arse..

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