The African Buffalo commonly found in the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve, they require large areas and are nomadic they 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 quick tempered and Will not hesitate to ram should they percieve a threat.
Weight: Male 590 kg Female 513 kg
Social: Non-territorial, large mixed herds,bachelor herds and hierachy structure
Gestation: 343 days ( 11 months )
Life expectancy: approx 25 years
Predators: Lions and Man ( Hunting )
The Buffalo is one of the Big 5
Herewith a short video clip of some Buffalo spotted in the Umfolozi Game Reserve
The African or Cape Buffalo is a member of the African Big 5, these dangerous animals as often referred to by hunters and people coming into close proximity have caused death when wounded or cornered.
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 accesible. Calves may suckle for up to 1 year.
Interestingly when Buffalo are hunted by predators ( Lion ) adults in the herd may form a cicrle 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 recoreded in the park from Buffalo and visitors.