SOUTHERN BUFFALO (Syncerus caffer caffer)

Minimum measurement:
Rowland Ward: 45” (114.30 cm)
SCI: 100 points

Track:
6“ (152 mm) x 6” (152 mm)

Average mass:
1 725 lb (785 kg)

Average shoulder height:
67” (170 cm)

Record:
64” (162.56 cm)
140¼ points

Suggested calibers:
.375 and above
Bow:
80 lb compound with fixed broad head

Distribution

Angola, Burundi, Botswana, Kenya, the Republic of Southern Africa, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Eastern Zaire, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique.

Identification

Large, cattle-like animals. Greyish-black in colour, assumes the colour of the soil at times when it wallows in the mud. Both sexes have horns.

Differences between male and female:

The male is usually darker and much heavier and has larger horns.

Habitat

Enough edible grass, shade and water are important requirements. Preferential grass occurs in Mopani and thorn veld as well as in other types of woodland and open vleis. Avoids floodplains or grass veld that is far from the shade of trees.

Habits

Form herds which can number a few thousand. Split 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 a definite hierarchy between males that is maintained by threate4ning behaviour.

The buffalo is an extremely dangerous animal to hunt. A wounded buffalo may circle back, wait for the hunter along its track and attack. Grazes when it is cool and rests in the shade during the hottest part of the day.

Food

Grass, drinks water regularly – twice a day, early morning and late afternoon – if available.

Vocalization

Bellows like cattle or grunts when in a fight.

Breeding

A single young is born in summer, after a gestation period of approximately 11 months.

Age

The lifespan of the Southern buffalo is approximately 23 years.