Lions & Buffaloes Come Into Town

(Victoria Falls)

21 January, 2015

On 17th of December, we received emails and texts on behalf of the Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit who were alerting residents of Victoria Falls that a large herd of buffalo had entered the resort town. The messages started coming in at about noon. The news was that the buffalo had been chased from the wild into town by a group of lions. The buffalo roamed the centre town and then split up into two groups:

“There has been a huge herd of Buffalo that has been chased into town by lions. This herd has now split up and half the herd is around the Zimra \ Victoria Falls Court and the other heard is next to Cresta Sprayview. There have also been sightings of the lions in town.”

“Please pass onto all staff, children and adults walking. To stay away from the bush areas do not walk along paths surrounded by bush. It is very dangerous and the Buffalo have been terrorized by people and the lions. So they are and could be very aggressive.”

Some time later in the afternoon, game rangers managed to drive the animals back into the bush.

Fortunately, no injuries or incidents were reported. However, there was plenty of excitement and buzz. The local people of Victoria Falls have learnt to coexist with the animals by showing respect and understanding animal behaviour.

Rarely does this type of incident happen but the town does get visits from different animals - the regulars include monkeys, baboons and warthogs, in areas closer to the bush even kudu and elephants at night. Occasionally, a small herd of elephants or even a single bull may be spotted in town during the day; especially when it has been raining and the trees are full of fruit (mangoes are a favourite). This is because Victoria Falls is built on the boundary of a national park, and there are no barriers to prevent animals going in and out of the town from the parks. The bush is so close to the centre of town, but normally, the wild animals are too shy to enter Victoria Falls town.

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