The African Buffalo
The African Buffalo also commonly referred to as cape buffalo are of a species of Syncerus caffer. Though they are the largest know African Bovine, they are slightly smaller than their cousins, the water buffalo in Asia. They are mainly found in East and southern Africa. They are subdivided into two subspecies S. c. caffer (The Cape Buffalo) and also S. c. nanus (African Forest Buffalo). The two subspecies have distinctive feature that help in identifying them.
The African Forest Buffalo have a brown coat, slightly smaller than cape buffalo and are mostly sighted in forests as their name suggests while the cape buffalo are savanna dwellers and mostly in large herds except the out casts. They have a black coat though due to wallowing in the mud, sometimes they are mistaken to be grey in color. The two species have been seen inter breeding giving birth to a brown and dark offspring. These offsprings can be seen along kazinga channel on a boat cruise.
There is less or no information about their ancestors but they shouldn’t be mistaken to have a link or to be the ancestors of the domestic cattle. They are only closely related to other bovines. Apart from humans and Lions, cape buffalo have no any other predator that threatens them. In fact they are capable of defending themselves if they feel threatened.
Armed with a characteristic shield-like horns that forms a continuous born shield also know as a “boss”, together with their unpredictable nature, they are said to kill more than 250 people every year thus regarded as one of the most dangerous animals in Africa. Because of the straggle that is gone through when killing one in south Africa during spot hunting, they have earned themselves a seat on the big five.
In Uganda cape buffalo can be seen in kidepo valley national park, Murchison falls national park, Queen Elizabeth National Park among others, they can mostly be observed well while on a game drive or a horse back riding in lake Mburo Np.