You’re watching a great big herd of buffalos saunter towards the waterhole. Inevitably, at least one of the dagga boys pauses in front of the vehicle and gives you… the stare.
Then prepare for it. Because it’s going to happen—
“Ha ha ha. He looks at you like you owe him money. Ha ha ha.”
And that’s when you want to smack the guide in the back of the head. Not too hard. Maybe just smack his baseball cap off. Sometimes it’s not even the guide who says it. Sometimes it’s a guest who might have heard it on their last safari, from their last guide who deserved to have their headwear knocked off. But as it is with zebra crossings and waterbuck toilet seats and Impala McDonalds, someone WILL SAY IT.
I don’t say it. Instead, I like to get my lovely safari guests to really look at those buffalos. All of them. In fact, look into a sea of buffalo faces and you’ll recognize people you know. Crazy? A little. But try it. Trust me. Look for the individual quirks in each buffalo, because they’re there. I can’t think of an African animal more typecast than the great Cape Buffalo, Syncerus caffer.
That big old bull isn’t looking at you like you owe him anything. Actually, he’s probably rather pleased with himself if you think about it; he’s with his friends, surrounded by hot mama buffalos, about to indulge in a nice, cool drink of water. He’s having a great day. And you can see it on his face if you look for it.