Hunting Buffalo in Africa is possibly the most addictive hunting in the world and any person who has hunted these spectacular animals will agree. The African buffalo is by the far the most popular of the dangerous game in Africa. However, Buffalo is also considered to be one of the most dangerous animals to physically hunt. When unbothered these animals seem docile, however when agitated it is a complete mood swing and these bovine animals can be cunning, vindictive and extremely aggressive.
4 Types of African Buffalo and where to hunt them
There are four recognized species of Buffalo available for Hunting in Africa, The Southern or cape Buffalo, The Nile Buffalo, The Western Savannah Buffalo and the dwarf forest buffalo.
The Cape or Southern Buffalo is by far the most popular buffalo which is taken in Africa, these animals make for a heart-racing hunt and also make the some of the most impressive trophies. Cape Buffalo can be hunted in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Uganda. There are populations of Buffalo found in Botswana however these animals cannot be hunted in this country. The typical Cape Buffalo Bull weighs in the region of 1000 pounds while a female 750 pounds. The average horn width for a Cape buffalo is 35 inches.
The Nile Buffalo occurs in the Savannah woodlands of west Ethiopia as well as the western parts of Uganda. These animals are identical in appearance to the Cape buffalo, apart from their in size. The Nile buffalo does not grow as big the Cape buffalo, and its horns do not grow as wide. A mature Bull Nile Buffalo weighs 700-800 pounds and average horn width is 32-33 inches.
The Western Savannah Buffalo may be hunted in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Benin and the Central African Republic. These Buffalo get just as big as the cape buffalo but tend to have shorter legs and a more stocky appearance. Their horns make a “W’ shape when looked at from the front. Their coats vary amongst members of a herd and range from light brown to almost black, their horns grow to an average of 34inches, a bull is easily spotted by his heavy bosses.
The Dwarf Forest Buffalo is found in the forest of Cameroon and the CAR, there are small populations in the Republic of Congo. These are the smallest fo the buffalo species found in Africa and also hunted completely differently to any other Buffalo. The dwarf forest buffalo live in small herds of no more than 20 and are strict forest dwellers. Hunting these animals requires quick shooting at close range, the dwarf Buffalo inhibits areas with dense cover and with the help of a pygmy tracker one can successfully hunt a good specimen.
Hunting Buffalo in Africa is fairly straight forward, The Cape, Nile and western Savannah sub-species can all be hunted successfully by using the same method. All buffalo are reliant on water and drink at least twice a day. These animals walk to water points early morning and after drinking will rest in quiet, cool areas escaping the heat of the day. Buffalo do 90 % of their feeding at night. Looking for fresh tracks at water points and places where the animals have crossed an opening and then tracking them from there is the most successful way of hunting Buffalo in Africa.
The Dwarf Forest Buffalo are tracked in the dense forest where they occur. Due to the vast amount of water in the forests, one cannot rely on water holes, although it is a good starting point. Once finding a good track the pygmy trackers will track down the animal through extremely dense forest. Often the animals will spook and run then stop and look if there’s a good bull, this is your chance. It is said that hunting the Dwarf Forest Buffalo is the most challenging buffalo to successfully take.
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