The African Cape Buffalo Is commonly found in the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve, they require large areas and are nomadic. The Cape Buffalo are also bulk grazers.
Buffalo are bovids, which means they have a keratin sheath covering the bone of the horn, making them hollow-horned. They are very quick tempered and Will not hesitate to ram you, should they perceive a threat.
The African Cape Buffalo is considered by many experienced bushmen to be one of the most dangerous if not the most dangerous of the Big5.
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Often still have hairs on their horns. Female buffalo are more of a red brown in coloration and have more narrow horns. Female buffalo have a gestation period of 11 months and mating takes place during the late summer.
Buffalo will try to have their calves in the rainy season when there is plenty of green grass, rich in nutrients, to support lactating cows.
Cows normally give birth every two years. A calve can stand within in ten minutes of being born – a typical trait because buffalo are always on the move for food and water.
These are very dangerous animals,
Hunters have witnessed many deaths by cape buffalo.
However if left alone they are placid and will not cause any injury.Two types of Buffalo are found in Africa, Savanna Buffalo and Dwarf forest Buffalo.
The horns in males are used for dominance in the herd as well as weapons against predators. Buffalo live close to water. Buffalo may live in herds of up to thousands, the bulk of the herd will be made up of Females and offspring.
Males may also spend much of their time in bachelor herds. Sight and hearing in Buffalo's are not good however scent is very well developed in Buffalo. Should Buffalo offspring get into trouble they will make a noise as to indicate to the herd and Buffalo will help to defend their offspring.
Death in Buffalo is mostly contributed to malnutrition as grass is an important factor in their diet. Buffalo will make use more of night time feeding than day time feeding.
Females will calf once every two years, and from ages of 4 to 5. The birth of the young mostly occurs during the rainy season when feed is more accessible. Calves may suckle for up to 1 year.
Interestingly when Buffalo are hunted by predators ( Lion ) adults in the herd may form a circle around the injured, young and sick this demonstration of horns all facing outward not only helps to conceal the young but also helps in mortality rates from predators ( Lion ).
Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve has a large amount of Buffalo and this number is contributed to good annual rains. Sightings occur will occur mostly close to waterholes and rivers, the Black Umfolozi River has always been a very good area to witness these tremendous animals.
Should one come across a herd remain calm and make as little noise as possible, no fatalities have ever been recorded in the park from Buffalo.