Who Won In This Epic Showdown Between Elephants, Buffaloes, and Lions?


One of the weirder joys of cable television is watching nature documentaries in which various animals battle one another for supremacy. But would you believe that some of the most epic animal showdowns have never been broadcast on television?

In national parks around the world, tour guides and visitors often see sights that would thrill and chill those simply playing with their remote controls at home. One of the best examples of this is a recent showdown that involved three unlikely groups of animals: elephants, buffaloes, and lions. What was this showdown all about, and who emerged victorious? Keep reading to find out!

The site of the showdown

If you’re already wondering where you can find most of the crazy animal encounters we write about, we’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that most of these epic animal battles take place in one location: Kruger National Park. The bad news is that for most people, this South African park is very far away!

For those who have the time and the means to make such a trip, visiting Kruger is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The park’s helpful tour guides will help you get up close and personal with some of the fiercest sights Mother Nature has to offer. Of course, as our story proves, the craziest stories that come out of this park manage to take even the professional tour guides by surprise.

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A simple picnic gone wrong

The day of the fateful animal showdown began like any other day for 24-year-old tour guide Mohammed Kathrada. He was guiding three visitors throughout the park, and everyone involved had a simple itinerary. After they checked out a few of the drainage lines leading into the Sand River, they began heading east to check out the Mlondozi picnic site.

The only thing the guide and the guests were really looking forward to was a hearty breakfast to help them get their day started. However, they ended up encountering a life-changing sight long before anyone had so much as a single bite of food!

The guide who had to eat his words

To hear him tell the story, Mohammed Kathrada is a man who isn’t afraid of tempting fate. That was certainly clear when he and the guests he was escorting throughout the park arrived at their picnic spot. Kathrada is on good terms with the caretaker of the picnic site, and as everyone got out of their vehicle, the guide asks the caretaker a simple question: where are all the lions?

He meant the question as a carefree joke, but the answer he received was deadly serious. The caretaker quickly told him that the lions he was seeking were just below the area they were about to eat at. Kathrada grabbed his camera and soon discovered another surprise: not only were there lions down below but there were also buffalo and elephants!

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The sight of all the animals was almost too much

In describing the incident, Mohammed Kathrada later said that he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. That sounds about right…after all, the guide and his guests suddenly had box seats to possibly the craziest sight that any of them would ever see.

From their safe vantage point, Kathrada and others could see that two lions had successfully killed a buffalo. A single lion was on his way to join in the meal, but there were also over a thousand buffaloes heading toward their dead comrade. If that wasn’t enough, a group of nearby elephants were also on the scene on their way to grab some water.

A lion’s fate kept changing

Remember the lion who just wanted to join his brethren for an easy meal? Before too long, he was having the worst possible day. Before he could join the other two lions, the buffaloes managed to cut him off. That sent the hungry lion in another direction, but he soon encountered the elephants, and those gray behemoths looked very, very angry.

At first, this wayward lion tried to hide inside the thickets. Sadly (for him, at least), this gambit didn’t work: the elephants kept up their relentless pursuit, and it didn’t take very long for this lion to get driven away from the site of this epic animal showdown.

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The lions emerge triumphant

Those elephants seemingly lost interest in the lion after he ran away. The buffalo also lost interest in the lion, but that didn’t mean they lost interest in fighting. Before much time had passed, they were getting ready to square off with the remaining lions who simply wanted to snack on the buffalo they had killed.

On paper, the buffalo could have easily won the fight against these two hungry lions. Ultimately, however, the larger creatures decided such a fight wouldn’t be worth the effort. They eventually left the scene, leaving the remaining two lions to feast on their hard-fought prey. As for the tour guide and his guests, none of them are likely to forget this insane animal encounter at Kruger National Park!