Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer caffer)
Species Information

Cape Buffalo - Copyright West Midland Safari Park

DESCRIPTION: There are four sub-species recognised: the forest buffalo (Syncerus caffer nanus), West African Savannah buffalo (S.c.brachyceros), Central African Savannah buffalo (S.c.aequinoctialis)and the Southern Savannah buffalo (S.c.caffer). They can stand as high as 170 cm (5½ feet) at the shoulder2 and can weigh up to 700kg in weight. Depending on the sub-species they range in colour from dark brown to black (in savannah-living races), to the bright red of the forest buffalo (although this colouration tends to darken with age), with males tending to be larger and darker than the females. Horns are present in both sexes and can grow as long as 160cm (5¼ feet) in males6 and broaden across the forehead into a heavy shield, known as a ‘boss’6.

HABITAT: African Buffalo are found throughout Africa, south of the Sahara. Cape buffalo are found mainly in savannah habitats, such as open plains and wooded grasslands. They live in large herds, with almost 70% of the savannah sub-species being found in and around National Parks and other protected areas3.

FEEDING: African buffalo are grazers, feeding for around 8–10 hours a day. They do occasionally browse on leaves2.