African Buffalo the Black Death

Cape Buffalo
IUCN red list classification as Least concern

African Buffalo the Black Death

Scientific Name: Syncerus caffer
English name: African buffalo
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Cetartiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Link to Red List page: African Buffalo red list 


African savanna and small bush


African buffalo can be high at shoulder up to 1.8 mt and body length can be up to 3.4 mt, He can weight between 500 to 800 kg normally, but some specimen arrive easily at 1000 kg.

Where to find:

He is present in all sub-Saharan Africa

African Buffalo



he is an animal strong, big and powerful and very very aggressive. He is considerate one of the most aggressive and in some places is called “Black Death”. Buffaloes are vegetarian and he grazes all the day in the herd. This herd can be even of 700 specimens.

Usually, males stay alone and they meet female only for melting. Female stay in a herd with calves and sometimes with the presence of some males.

Buffalo is not considered a lot because his large presence, but from the locals is feared. When a buffalo or herd of buffalo move close the villages, immediately there is the alarm. Nothing happens but everybody knows there is the buffalo.

Buffalo attack

People from rural villages have many possibilities to meet buffalo because they share the same environment. Buffalo love water and mud. People go to the water with their livestock. Ladies go to the river for wash clothes and carry water to the village, so the risk is ever high.

Usually, when a buffalo kill someone the locals’ hunters kill him with their traditional weapons like spears and knife. They hit him with the spears so the buffalo will move slowly because of the injuries. And then from behind, they cut the tendons of the back legs, after that the buffalo fall down and they finish him.

It is not simple to kill a buffalo without large shotgun but the brave locals they do. Masai says if you are attacked by buffalo you can do one thing only. You must to stretch out on the ground and wait. The buffalo horns are curved a lot and he will try to stick with the horns but he cants. All depend even if your dress is not very large and if you are lucky. Anyway, I think you are passing the worst moment of your life!!

Major risk:

He is hunted by lions and he can be killed by local for revenge when he attacks or worse he kills someone. So human interaction is the major risk. Some specimens when are old they go to graze solitary and they are even more aggressive than the others. The solitary is not simple to recognize, especially in the small bush where they graze sometimes for to hide from the lions. Sometimes locals cross the small bush where is difficult to see well and they meet the buffalo very close. So he attacks immediately and probably he kill the human.