The buffalo may not rate that highly with safari goers, but these guys have real wildlife appeal. Even, Prince William confessed that he relaxed to the sounds of African Buffalo on his iPhone, so we know you’ll be in a better place once you’ve located this lost leader on the Big Five list. Fast learners, buffaloes quench an awesome amount of water which means you should cross Namibia off your list. Think Botswana, feast your eyes on our list of Big Five buffalo facts and find out where they roam!
– The Cape buffalo stands short at only 130–150 cm (51–59 inches) tall and has relatively short legs, weighs up to 1,510 lbs) and has a gestation period of 340 days with 1 calf born weighing 40kg (88lbs). The calf remains in the thick vegetation for the first few weeks before making its debut with the herd. Calf mortality is high with only 20% reaching maturity and life expectancy 26- 30 years.
– Bulls are about 100kg (220 lbs) heavier than cows, and their horns are thicker and usually wider, up to 100 cm (40 inches) across, with a broad shield (only fully developed at seven years) covering the forehead. Older buffalo bulls have a darker skin than the females and the younger males.
– Cape Buffalo need to drink every day, so are often found close to water and never in the desert. They prefer to eat tall, coarse grass as well as bushes and form large herds up to 1000 individuals all moving together.
– Cape Buffaloes have rather bad sight and hearing, making them unpredictable and dangerous animals to approach. On the other hand, their sense of smell is excellent.
– Male calves leave their mothers when they reach two years, females calves tend to stay in the herd until they produce their own off spring. Males reach sexual maturity at eight years of age and females at five years
Where the buffalo roam…
- The Chobe National Park is where the buffalo is at. With big horns and a propensity to stare you’d be best to lose out on the eye balling contest, but do include them on your Big Five list.
- The Addo Elephant Park is aptly named due to its large herds of elephants, but there are also significant numbers of buffalo to be found here. Visit South Africa’s Eastern Cape in the dry season and you can expect to see a fair few of these mammoth beasts kicking up the dust on our Kruger to Cape Town 19 Day tour
- The Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province is home to plenty of buffalo. The perfect place for a walking safari, the reserve features well hidden hides where you can spot the mammal from close quarters.
- If you want to see gargantuan size numbers of buffalo then head to the Serengeti National Park during migration season. At this time of year you might well see herds numbering in the thousands
Written by: Acacia Sales/Marketing team.