Cape Buffalo (Syncerus caffer)
Males average around 1.4 metres to the shoulder and weigh around 810kg, while females average 1.3 metres to the shoulder and weigh around 745kg. The Cape Buffalo is considered by many Professional Hunters and their clients, to be the most dangerous of all of the Big Five.
Although a buffalo will look docile enough when undisturbed in the herd, if he is wounded by a badly placed shot or otherwise upset, he can become very aggressive, cunning and downright nasty.
Cape Buffalo can be found all over Southern Africa in herds of various sizes. Cape Buffalo are mainly grazers but will occasionally browse and must drink every day. They like thick bushveld, moving and grazing through the day. At night they tend to “herd up” for protection of the young from predators. Both sexes have horns. The spread of the horns of a good bull can be spectacular in spread, with a deep curl and the classic solid boss covering his forehead. Buffalo cows do not have the solid boss but they can have a very wide spread.
A rifle having a calibre of .375 is a minimum for Cape Buffalo and many hunters favour the larger .416, .458 or even larger calibres. A good quality expandable bullet for the first shot is the preference of many Professional Hunters and their clients, with any follow up shots required made utilising good quality “solids”.
When the Cape Buffalo is wounded, he can be extremely dangerous and very hard to bring down. If you find yourself in such a situation, heed well the advice of your Professional Hunter, he has the training and experience to minimise the danger and risk, resulting in a safe and successful hunt.
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