African Buffalo

African Buffalo

The vast expanses of Africa are home to many wild animals. Among them is the African buffalo. One of the few animals in the world that humans have not managed to domesticate. Although some animals get along well with humans and are very valuable for domestic use, most buffalo are a serious threat.


The African buffalo, also known as the black buffalo or Syncerus caffer in Latin, is a member of the horned family and is related to yaks, bison and others.

Although Africa’s diverse fauna is replete with wild carnivores, the African buffalo is considered one of the top human killers, ahead of cheetahs, leopards, lions and other felines. They are second only to hippos and Nile crocodiles, so to speak.


Undoubtedly, they stand out for their impressive weight:

  • 1,200 kg for older males;
  • 800-900 kg for adult bulls;
  • 600 kg for the youngest, including females.

At the same time, they are shorter in height than, for example, the Indian buffalo, which can reach 1.8 m at the withers, and the African buffalo has an average height of about 1-1.4 m, sometimes – 1.6 m with a body length of up to 3 m. They also have short limbs and a short build. They also have short limbs and a stocky build.

Their main strength is concentrated in the front part of the body. Therefore, the hooves of the front legs are several times larger than those of the hind legs, which helps the animal to support its own weight.


It is generally accepted that the African buffalo, despite some differences in individuals, is represented by a single species. However, a distinction is made between subspecies:

  • red (or pygmy);
  • Sudanese;
  • Cape;
  • mountain buffalo;
  • and the Nile buffalo.

There used to be dozens of times more, about 90.

Today, the Cape subspecies, also known as black buffalo, is the largest and fiercest. It is true that females can be brown with a red undertone. Older specimens lose almost all their fur, making them bald. The Nile subspecies is slightly smaller and lighter in colour.

The African buffalo is considered to be the largest not only among all buffaloes, but also among wild bulls. Dangerous and vulnerable at the same time, it has a memorable appearance, a specific temperament and it will be interesting to get to know it better.

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