The African Buffalo (Syncerus caffer) is not related to the Asian water buffalo, and it is not related to domestic cattle. Its ancestry is unclear. The African Buffalo is native to west Africa to east Africa and central Africa.
The African Cape Buffalo (Syncerus caffer caffer) is found in South Africa and east Africa. It is the darkest of all buffalo, with an almost black coat. It is also the largest of all buffalo, the most unpredictable, and one that has not been domesticated. Therefore it remains dangerous to humans because it can gore people with its large horns.
In Africa it is one of the ‘Big 5’ – lion, elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros, and leopard. Its predators are lions and large crocodiles.
The African Cape Buffalo can grow to 1.7 metres (5.6 feet) tall and is heavy and stocky. It hangs its head low, and it supports its weight on its two front feet.
The African Cape Buffalo mates only during the rainy seasons. Females are pregnant for 11.5 months before they give birth to a live young, called a calf. New calves are protected by the buffalo herd.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM