Having discovered that the Blue Headed Lizards are still alive and well and living in Burnside, albeit at the mercy of our large and very fast growing crow population, I am now on another crusade to find out whatever happened to the buffalo at Matusadona.
We spent the weekend up at Kariba proper and were looking forward with anticipation to seeing the game as we knew it on the shores of Lake Kariba around the Matusadona National Park.
Some 137 thousand hectares south of the Zambesi Escarpment, of which the entire northern boundary is created by the lake shore itself the National Park used to boast herds of buffalo of some 1000 head strong, we spent every year of our young adult lives fishing in that area and used to marvel at the vast herds of buffalo feeding on the panicum grass along the shoreline.
BUT ON THIS TRIP OF FIVE DAYS CRUISING AROUND PALM ISLAND, GATCHE GATHCE, BED ISLAND, TASHINGA, SPURWING AND FOTHERGILL, WE SAW NOT A SINGLE BUFFALO.......
Elephant were there a- plenty and impala and of course loads of nasty horrid crocodiles, but no buffalo at all.
Rumours and theories on the disappearance of the buffalo abound. Some say they left when the lake rose and their grazing fields were covered by water. Our boatman said the lions ate them all, but we didn't see any lion there either, and yet another interesting theory is that they have all been shot to feed the army in the DRC while yet another story was that they had been shot to prevent the spread of foot and mouth.
Does anyone know where the Matusadona buffalo have gone to?