Species of the Week – Cape or Southern Buffalo

Syncerus caffer caffer

Cape Buffalo map F028Bufalo del Cabo (Sp), Kaffernbüffel, Schwarzbüffel (G), Buffle du Cap, Buffle noir (F). The common name “Cape buffalo” is misleading, because this subspecies is native to many parts of Africa besides the Cape of Good Hope region (where it is extinct); however, that is what most people call it.

DESCRIPTION Shoulder height 60-65 inches (150-165 cm). Weight 1,400-1,800 lbs (650-800 kg).

The Cape buffalo is the largest and darkest (black, or nearly so) of the African buffaloes. Its heavy horns curve outward and downward from massive bosses to well below skull level, then circle upward, inward and slightly backward.

DISTRIBUTION Savanna areas in Kenya, southern Somalia, Uganda except in the northwest, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania; all of Angola except for the far northwest; Katanga Province in southeastern Congo (K); Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, the Caprivi Strip in Namibia, northern Botswana, Zimbabwe, and northeastern Transvaal in South Africa. Has been reintroduced on private ranches in other parts of South Africa.

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