24 February 2015
This morning was an early start but for a different reason. No game drive but a bushwalk instead and although no big mammals were spotted it was still enjoyed immensely by everyone as it's a different experience to being out on the vehicle.
After a shower, breakie and a rest we went out for a drive finding plenty of game such as lions, elephants, impala, kudu, zebra, waterbuck, tortoises and terrapins.
But the highlight of the day happened in two parts. We went down to a watering hole to find there had been a confrontation between hyena and crocodile both who had been trying to kill a female kudu. When we turned up the kudu was badly injured with the crocodile sitting on the bank just a few meters away from her. The hyena had disappeared.
As we watched one hyena reappeared and seemed to head towards the kudu and we thought her time was up. But it seemed reluctant to venture closer as the crocodile was so close. Not wanting to risk a bite from a croc eventually the hyena gave up and moved away.
We watched for another ten minutes to see if the hyena would return but it didn't. And so we left the sighting.
On our return, around two hours later we found the female kudu standing by the waters edge with the crocodile now loitering just inside the water watching and waiting.
We waited expecting the Croc to lunge at its prey but it didn't. The kudu knew that the Croc was in the water close by and turned to leave but she was seriously injured with its front left leg broken and part of its foot hanging off. The rest of her body showed signs of bites from both hyena and croc.
The kudu managed to turn away and limp just a meter away before exhaustion made her stop. At this time the Croc decided to move away to the other side of the dam. Seeing this the kudu turned again and made its way to the waters edge desperately in need of a drink. By now it had been standing in the heat for more than four hours.
As she edged closer to the water the Croc came back and again waited just a couple of meters from the kudu.
The kudu was now on its last legs, seriously hurt and it's head drooping lower and lower and when ever it moved struggling to stay on her feet. Eventually thirst got the better of her and she bent down to drink. By this stage her legs couldn't support her and she fell.
As much as she tried she couldn't get back up and after about ten minutes the Croc made its move. At first attacking the kudus rear end dragging her further into the water and then finally grabbing her by the head and moving her into deeper water where she could drown the kudu.
We had been watching this drama for nearly ninety minutes as the inevitable happened with the kudu finally succumbing to her injuries and the crocs patience being finally rewarded. An incredible sighting played out in slow motion as the kudu fought for life and to the last second.