Average weight of male 750kg (1650lbs) and the female 650kg (1430lbs), shoulder height averages at about 170cm (67 inches). They have a life expectancy of about 20 years.


Very robust species. Large, stocky, cattle-like appearance. They have dark-brown to greyish-black coats of fairly short hair. The Cape Buffalo’s horns form heavy bosses which they use as shields when they spar. The horns diverge, bend down and then smoothly curve outwards, upwards and back; both sexes have horns.

Difference between male and female: The male is usually larger with bigger, heavier horns.


They are grazers and live in swamps, floodplains, Savannahs as well as Mopani grasslands. For shelter they prefer dense cover like reeds and thickets. Dependant on water, need to drink daily. Form herds that may number up to thousands. They form mixed and bachelor herds and solitary males, that have been driven from the herds. Cape Buffalo is very susceptible to a variety of diseases that includes Bovine Tuberculosis, corridor disease and foot-and-mouth disease. When they expect danger they will stick together, making it more difficult for predators to single out an individual to attack. Dangerous animals to hunt and a member of Africa’s Big five. When wounded they will backtrack and ambush the pursuer. Grazes during the cooler parts of the day and rests during the hottest part of the day.


A single young is born after a gestation period of about 11 months.