African Buffaloes are large African bovine. African Buffaloes also known as cape Buffaloes, this type of species is not closely related to the larger wild water buffaloes of Asia and this makes its ancestry unclear. Cape Buffaloes is a typical subspecies and its one of the largest species found in south and East African. African forest Buffaloes has smaller subspecies, common in forest areas of central and West Africa.
The adult buffaloes horns are characteristic features, have fused bases, this is referred to as a ‘boss’. Buffaloes are very large animals and they can kill over 200 people every year.
African Buffaloes is not ancestors of domestic cattle and these are larger bovines. Owing to its unpredictable nature, which makes it very dangerous to humans, African buffaloes have been domesticated. African cape Buffaloes have few predators aside from lions and large crocodiles, there also capable of defending themselves. Buffaloes are big five members and it’s a sought-after trophy in hunting.
African Buffaloes have robust species, it has a shoulder height that ranges from 1.0 to 1.7m and its head and body length that ranges from 1.7 to 3.4m.It has a long but stocky body .savannah type Buffaloes weigh 500 to 1000kg, with males that are larger than females, reaching the upper weight range.
The head of an African Buffalo is low and backline, the front hooves are very wide than the rear ones, this association helps the need to support the weight of front part of the body; this is more powerful than the back.
Savannah Buffaloes have dark or black coats with age. The old bulls have whitish circles around their eyes. Female baboons tend to have reddish coats.
The African buffalo is one of the most grazers in Africa. Living in swamps and flood plains as well as in
The African buffalo is one of the most successful grazers in Africa. It lives in swamp and flood plains, as well as Mopani grasslands and forests of the major mountains of Africa.
African Buffalo inhabits the areas with dense cover, these include reeds, thickets and they can be found in open woodland. Buffaloes require water on a daily bases, they depend on perennial sources of water. Such as the plain zebras, the herds of Buffaloes which mow down grasses to make way for selective grazers.
Buffaloes while feeding they make use of its tongue and wide incisor row which are used for eating grass and quicker than African herbivores. Buffaloes stay depleted areas for long.
Buffaloes have very few predators, these are all capable of defending themselves against lions as they prey this taking several lions to bring them down single adult buffaloes, this leads the entire pride to join the hunt, however several lions bring down single adult buffaloes, sometimes the adult male lions are spotted successfully ringing down an adult.
The average sized crocodile always is attacked by old solitary animal and young calves; they tend to kill health adults, and exceptionally old male Nile crocodiles they become semi-habitual predators of buffaloes. The only animal that is known for taking down a buffalo it’s a crocodile this is a pride attack method preferred by lions when taking down large preys. Leopards, cheetahs, spotted hyenas these are major threats to only calves; however spotted hyenas have been spotted killing full grown bulls and female buffaloes on every occasion
Cape Buffaloes are very susceptible to many diseases; these include corridor diseases, bovine tuberculosis, foot disease and mouth and foot diseases. As with many diseases, the problem remain dormant within a population as the animal is health. The areas that are unaffected are protected from diseases hence restriction of legal movement of animals. The herds are protected by game managers and wardens who breed; this becomes very valuable because they are always transported.
A group of African Buffalo is called a herd; it’s made up of off springs, males and females. The herd is always surrounded by sub herds of subordinate males.
The young males recognize dominant bull by the thickness of horns leading them to keep distance. The dry season, males split from the bachelor groups. Female join the bachelor herds at the age of four to seven years and males at 12 years or older. During wet season, the young bulls are joining the herds in order to mate with females. Bulls will continue to stay with females throughout the season in order to protect the calves.
There old bulls that cease in order to rejoin new herds, they happens when they can longer compete with their young ones, since males are always more aggressive. Males have linear hierarchy this is based on age and size; buffaloes are always safer when the herd is very larger.
Adults interact, fight while they approach one another, they lower their horns down thus waiting with other bulls, and they will start twisting their horns from side to side. African buffaloes are very notable females; appear to exhibit the sort of voting behavior.
While they rest females stand up during resting time, they shuffle around and sit back again, females sit in the direction that they should move. Females after the time of shuffling they will travel in the direction they decide .The decision is common although it’s not based on hierarchy and dominance.
Females are chased by predators; this herd sticks together, making it hard for predators to take any member from the herd. Calves gather in the middle, this happens when one member calls for rescue, the herd will always try to rescue the member which has been captured.
The calves get full attention from the herd, they engage in mobbing behavior to fight off the predators.
Buffaloes are recorded killing lions, keeping lions up trees for two hours, this will happen when a lion has killed one of their members in the herd. The cubs of lions are tramped and killed.
*African buffaloes make various vocalizations, with those of domestic cattle. They emit low-pitched, two-to four-second calls intermittently at three to six second intervals to always signal the movement of the herd. When the herd is moving to drinking places, the individuals make long ‘maa’ calls to 20times a minute. They make explosive grunts when their aggressive, this happens as they turn into rumbling growl. Cows get the calves attention by producing croaking calls, and the calves will make similar higher calls of a higher pitch when in distress. When the calves are threatened by predators, they make calls like ‘waa’.
They mate and give birth during rainy season, later they give birth in early season, while the mating peaks take place later, a bull always guides a cow that comes into heat, as it keeps the rest of bulls away, cows attract many males at the scene, by the time a cow is full estrus.
Newborn calves remain hidden in vegetation for the first few weeks while being nursed by the mother before they join the main herd.
The older calves keep staying in calves for safety. Males join the bachelor groups at the age of 2 years. These calves suckle their mother’s breasts from behind thus pushing their heads between their mothers groups.
African Buffaloes depend on the animals’ value for tourists, hunters, this helps to pave way for conservations efforts through village, patrols pay back program for local areas. There are some sub species that decrease, they remain unchanged in long term ,heal, the population continues to persist in substantial number of national park, reserves and hurting zones in eastern and southern African. The recent and available census data and continental scale, total estimated numbers of African buffalo savanna subspecies about 513,000 members.
African buffaloes suffer their collapse during the great rinder pest epidemic of the 1890s causing mortalities of about 95% wild ungulates.
African Buffaloes are in a group of big five game family, the term big five is used to describe the most dangerous mammals to hunt, and cape buffaloes that are sought after trophy, with some hunters paying over $10,000 for the best opportunity to hunt. Large bulls are targeted for their trophy value however in some areas buffaloes are hunted for meat.
The big five family has another member called ‘the Black Death’ or “widow maker” this type of animals best regarded as a dangerous animal, this has killed 200 people in a year. Buffaloes are reported to kill more people in Africa than other animals, although hippos and crocodiles claim to kill a number of people.
In Uganda, large herbivores were found of attacking people on average than leopard with a higher rate of fatalities during the attack of predators, the killing of humans is 50% of attacks on them, however hippos are known for killing more people per annual than cape buffaloes.
Buffaloes are notorious among big game hunters as very dangerous animals, with wounded animals that are reported to ambush and attack pursuers.
Buffaloes are spotted in Murchison falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National park, Kidepo National Park, Semuliki National park, book with Dina Tours and Travel