Buffalo and the dagga boys of the Kruger

The lonely, old buffalo bulls are often referred to as “Dagga boys”. Dagga means mud in Zulu and these old bulls spend a lot of their time wallowing in mud to keep the parasites at bay. They have been kicked out of the herd by younger, more virile males. We came across many lonely old bulls during our trip in the Kruger National Park recently. They all seemed to have a sad, longing look about them.

We also came across a huge buffalo herd. There must have been over 100 of them, varying in size. Some stopped to look at us and give us the buffalo stare. Buffalo are considered one of the “Big Five”. This classification has nothing to do with size and everything to do with difficulty to hunt the animal. Buffalo are notoriously quick-tempered and “hard to read”, making them unpredictable and extremely dangerous.

The red and yellow hues of the mopani trees brought a spark of colour to the otherwise drab, brown African bush, and the buffalo stand out brilliantly against this backdrop. I felt incredibly privileged to have spent time watching these proud, amazing animals.

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