The Wildebeest, The Lion, The Crocodile And The Hippo – A Battle For Survival

From what I remember, it was a warm and cloudy afternoon right on the main deck of the lodge. Shortly after lunch, where I ate the famous Chitwa club sandwich, we were sitting amongst friends when all of a sudden a rush of excitement filled the air. We all are drawn to loud sounds of distress coming from opposite the Chitwa Dam.

What altogether seemed to be over so quickly was a wildebeest running from three lionesses straight towards the dam. What was surprising was that the wildebeest, seemingly unscathed at that point, leaped straight into the water where it started to swim towards the safety of the lodge side of the dam. All of the people around me were gazing at this scene in complete awe and excitement.

If things couldn’t get worse for the poor wildebeest, a crocodile suddenly got hold of it halfway across the dam. This was a short struggle with frantic jostling for air, until, fascinatingly, an enormous hippo aggressively fended off the crocodile. We found out the next morning that the hippo had fatally bitten this crocodile in what seemed like defensive behaviour towards the wildebeest. Nonetheless, the crocodile let go of the wildebeest and the injured antelope managed to find its way to safety on the lodge side of the dam. I think Murphy’s law could have played a role in this escapade because the following morning one of the safari guides explained that the injured wildebeest that we had seen swim across the dam ended up being devoured by the exact lions that chased it from the beginning.

This was all a memorable sighting and what a privilege it was to behold such a rare yet somewhat sad turn of events.

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