IDENTIFICATION: Large bulky animals. Grayish-black, assumes the color of the soil at times when it wallows in the mud.
Horns: Both sexes have horns.
DISTRIBUTION: Throughout Africa south of the Sahara where there is sufficient water.
HABITAT: Enough edible grass, shade and water are important requirements. Preferential grass occurring in thornveld, as well as in a variety of woodland and open marsh areas. Avoids open floodplain's or grassland that is far from the shade of trees, but have taken to swamps in areas such as the Zambezi Delta.
HABITS: Grazers. Forms herds which can number a few thousand. Splits into smaller herds in summer, moving apart in search of good grazing, but when it becomes drier return to areas with permanent water. Mixed and bachelor herds as well as solitary males can be distinguished. There is definite hierarchy between males that is maintained by threatening behavior. Grazes when it is cool and rests in the shade during the hottest part of the day.
INTERESTING HUNTING NOTES: Robert Ruak famously wrote, “When coming face to face with a Buffalo, he will look at you as if you owe him money”– enough said. Probably the # 1 desired African trophy to international hunters from around the world. Dangerous animals to hunt: A wounded buffalo may circle back, wait for the hunter along its track and charge without warning. Loud death bellows are the best sign of a dying Buffalo, but not all will give this bellow. With age one will find old solitary bulls move off from the herd, these bulls are called “Dagga boys”, due to their enjoyment of regular mud baths, leaving caked mud on their backs giving the appearance of dried cement(“Dagga”). These bulls are the most challenging and fun to hunt and may from time to time form small “Dagga” groups. The trophy quality in a Buffalo lies with its base, a hard rough and solid boss is the #1 sign of a great trophy. At times these old bulls won't carry a spread beyond 30’’, but that should never deter the hunter, as these bulls make great trophies with solid “helmets” for bosses drooping down over the eyes. At all times make that first shot count, Buffalo have a reputation when wounded, and they will live up to it.
- Ave Age of Mature Bulls: +/- 8 Years
- Ave Weight of Mature Bulls: +/- 1500 Pounds
- Hunting Permit Required: Hunting License