It looked like a young buffalo was about to meet a grisly fate after two lions attacked him in a South Africa national park. SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO
But the lions hadn't counted on the buffalo's friends appearing from the bushes - and literally flinging the lions into the air.
The heart-thumping scene was caught on camera in the Mjejane Reserve on the border of the Kruger Park by three friends on an early morning game drive.
Oliver Matheson, 16, and his two friends, Yaseen Majal, 17, and Alex Raubenheimer, 17, had joined Oliver's father on the drive.
The two lions had stalked the buffalo for about 45 minutes before pouncing.
Oliver, who visits the park every year with his father, told the Daily Mail: "We had seen the two young lions on the prowl and were already quite excited to witness nature in action, but nothing could have prepared us for what we saw next."
Oliver said the buffalo put up a good fight, but when he fell to the ground it looked like it was "game over".
He added: "It was insane, he flipped the lion about 5 metres into the air. I had never seen anything like it."
All the animals walked away afterwards without injury.
See the video below:
Discover the best places to go on safari below:
World's most amazing safaris
Buffalo saves friend being eaten by lions - by flinging them in the air
Go on the ultimate safari experience of riding trained elephants among wild game in the Okavango Delta area in Botswana at Abu Camp. You'll get to interact with the resident herd of 11 elephants by riding or walking with them. The experience is a journey through the eyes of the elephants and you'll get to know the personalities of each family member of the herd, from playful babies to precocious teenagers and doting mothers. Mud bathing, training and veterinary care are some of the activities you can observe during the three-night safari. You can also sleep out under the stars above Abu Camp's elephants on the Star Bed that is set high upon a wooden platform above the elephant enclosure. Scott Dunn offers three nights at Abu Camp Botswana, including one night on the Star Bed with all international and domestic flights from £6,060 per person. Visit scottdunn.com
A five-day Gorilla Safari in Rwanda with Responsible Travel gives you the chance not only to see these extraordinary creatures, but to also understand their fragile environment, have an exclusive tour of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project Headquarters and contribute to the survival of the mountain gorilla. On the gorilla trek you can expect to see an imposing dominant silverback or a newborn infant clinging to his mother’s fur. It can take up to a day to track the elusive gorillas but once they've been found, it's a thrilling experience to see them in the wild. During the five days you'll also visit a powerful genocide memorial, explore nearby villages and the city of Kigali. From £1,425 per person including flights, accommodation, gorilla permits, a behind-the-scenes visit to Mountain Gorilla Vet Project Headquarters and English-speaking guides. Visit responsibletravel.com
Track India's tigers on Exodus' 16-day Land of the Tiger safari, where you'll visit three different parks to ensure the best quality tiger and wildlife viewings. The less-visited Pench National Park is a tiger reserve on the southern boundary of Madhya Pradesh and is the original setting for Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. Kanha is where you'll find varieties of deer, monkey, langur, wild boar and leopard. Bandhavgarh is one of the smaller national parks and has an impressive setting with a stunning cliff-top fort overlooking grasslands, birch forests and bamboo. With 11 game drives included in the safari, you'll have an even greater chance of seeing the magnificent Bengal tiger. From £1,899 per person including flights, train travel within India, most meals and activities. Visit exodus.co.uk
During 12 nights you'll explore the distinct landscape and unique wildlife of Madagascar on a safari like no other. In the Perinet National Park, you'll find 11 different lemur species and spend time searching for the nose-horned chameleon, the two-foot-long Parson's Chameleon and Madagascar's largest lemur, the Indri. At the Mandrare River Camp you'll wake to the sounds of the local Antandroy tribe singing as they fetch water from the river and see the life and rich culture of the tribe. Night walks in the rainforest to search for lemurs, canoeing in the mangroves and birding trips in the wetland are just some of the activities you can experience on this safari. From £3,998 per person for a Classic Madagascar safari including flights from the UK. Visit abercrombiekent.co.uk
For the truly adventurous, Norman Carr Safaris' Return to the Wild overnight experience in the South Luangwa National Park allows you to add a night-time bush walk to your Zambian safari. You'll be equipped with only a mosquito net and an armed guide to protect you from the elements, and will have a game-ranger's dinner before rolling out your blanket and sleeping under thousands of stars. You'll get an authentic taste of the wilderness with just the light of the campfire and the sounds of animals (elephants, lions, hippos and hyenas are just some that are close by!) - perfect if you're a brave traveller! Aardvark Safaris offers a seven-night trip to the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia staying at three Norman Carr Safaris bush camps plus a Return to the Wild night, flights, road transfers, full-board accommodation, drinks, laundry and all game viewing activities from £3,745 per person. Visit aardvarksafaris.co.uk and normancarrsafaris.com
There's nothing quite like seeing a lion while on foot and Sabi Sabi's Bush Walk and Tracking Safari allows you to do just that. Shangaan trackers who have lived on the land for hundreds of years and know the land like the back of their hands read the ground intently for signs like a lion paw print, elephant dung or circling buzzards to take you heart-stoppingly close to the animals on foot. No two walks are ever the same and Sabi Sand Game Reserve gives you a great chance of having close encounters with the 'Big Five' - elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard - as well as wild dog and cheetah. There are also over 300 bird species, making it a birdwatcher's delight. Africa Travel offers seven nights in South Africa, staying three nights with all meals and game drives at Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge and three nights with breakfast at Kensington Place in Cape Town from £3,775 per person, including return flights and domestic transfers. Visit sabisabi.com and africatravel.co.uk
World Bear Safaris' Classic Polar Bear Tour gives you the chance to experience a cold climate safari in Churchill, Canada. Here you'll spend six days in a group exploring the natural habitat of polar bears and from the warmth of a Tundra vehicle you can expect to see mothers with cubs and young adult males play-fighting. You'll have hours to watch the polar bears interacting and be delighted by their antics and rugged beauty. You may also see Arctic foxes and hares on the tour, and on a nighttime Tundra drive you'll have the chance to view the amazing Northern Lights. A six-day trip is from £3,060 including return flights from Winnipeg to Churchill, accommodations, meals, services of professional Expedition Leaders and assistants, and all activities and entrance fees. Visit worldbearsafaris.com
This classic Kenyan safari puts the focus on taking great photos. From hundreds of different bird species and herds of migrating wildebeest to zebras and cheetahs, you'll have the opportunity to learn from awarding-winning resident photographer Paul Goldstein and take the best snaps during a nine-day safari. Game drives, early morning starts to ensure top photographic opportunities and time off to relax in your tent where you could hear the call of lions or the cackles of hyenas, make this safari one for wilderness fans and photography enthusiasts. From £3,749 including return international flights, airport taxes, transfers, all meals, game-viewing drives and conservancy fees. Visit exodus.co.uk
The Pantanal wetland is home to hundreds of birds and exotic animals like the jaguar. This jaguar safari in the area will give you the chance to visit the Cuiaba River and view jaguars that are often spotted resting on the exposed river banks or swimming across the streams. Otters, capybaras and monkeys are also found here for a varied wildlife excursion. At the Taiama Ecological Reserve you'll go on a boat trip in search of more jaguars and this is one of the best places to see them away from the crowds and where the jaguars are a little shyer. World Big Cat Safaris' Jaguars of the Pantanal Safari costs £2,950 per person including accommodation, some meals, park fees, the services of a private English speaking driver and guide, excursions and transfers. Visit worldbigcatsafaris.com
Hayden Turner Private Safaris and Quintessentially Travel give you the chance to discover amazing deserts and the extraordinary wildlife and untouched lands on the diverse Ultimate Desert & Delta Safari in Namibia and Botswana. As well as staying in six different luxury lodges during the 13-day safari, you'll track leopards and cheetahs, traverse sand dunes in a 4x4 Land Rover and go boating on the Kunene River to watch for Kunene crocodiles. You'll go on various game drives and have the chance to see a wide variety of animals including lions, wild dogs, elephants, southern giraffes, Burchell's zebras, large buffalo herds and black and white rhinos. At Botswana's Okavango Delta you'll feel like the only humans for miles at Chief's Camp and view game without having to leave your accommodation. There will also be stop-offs in secret locations where you can sip champagne as you watch the sunset. From £7,000 including flights, accommodation, game drives and transfers. Visit quintessentiallytravel.com