Interesting Facts about African Buffalo : The African buffaloes (Cape buffaloes) are the only native African mammal members of the bovini family. They are massively built with powerful limbs, short by height and weighs 1750Ibs.
The African buffaloes have hook-shaped horns and they grow up to about 1.6m long. The horns are used mainly for defense purposes against predators like lions. They are also used to identify dominance in the herd. The boss is the term used to refer to the hard shield in the middle of male horns.
Buffaloes are some of the very few amazing wildlife species and members of the big 5 African game that attract most of the travelers visiting Uganda or Africa for safari. On Uganda safaris, the top destinations to visit to see the cape buffaloes include Murchison Falls National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Facts about African Buffaloes
Cape buffaloes often kneel down and rub their necks and heads on the ground especially when aggressive.
African buffaloes are capable of outrunning lions regardless of the fact that they aren’t the fastest bovine. But, the predators can accelerate faster than buffaloes which makes them a few easier to ambush wildlife species.
Generally, Cape buffaloes have poor eyesight but they have exceptional hearing and smell senses.
They have symbiotic relationship with several birds like ox-peckers. Birds such as ox-peckers feed on the insects on the buffalo bodies and often, they warn buffaloes in case danger is approaching.
As elephants are known for not forgetting, buffaloes on the other side are said to be unforgiving. Many times, different stories have been told of wounded buffaloes setting ambush for hunters which follow or have attacked them previously regardless of the years. They circle back on their tracks, stand and wait for hunters that track. This is one of the unique trait and a good reason they are described as Black Death.
Lifespan of buffaloes in the wild
Cape buffaloes can live in the wild for about 11-22 year- average lifespan. In captivity, the average lifespan is about 29 years.
A grown up buffalo weighs between 660 and 1840 pounds.
The cape buffaloes have different vocalizations about 5 of them that they use to communicate to one another. The low pitched sounds take 3-6 seconds apart and this usually directs the herd to move/change directions.
The long ‘maaa’ is normally made when they are getting close to watering holes- this is sign that they are excited, contented. When aggressive, buffaloes can be spotted making explosive grunts and rumbling growls, Interesting Facts about African Buffalo
Buffaloes give birth only during the wet or rainy season. They take 11 months and half when pregnant prior giving birth. The new born calves stay with their moths for at least 1-year prior becoming independent within the herds.
Sub-species of African/cape buffaloes
5 sub-species of African buffaloes can be spotted on African safari. They include the cape buffaloes- the largest sub-species with males/bulls weigh up to 2000pounds. Forest buffaloes- smallest in size weighing on average 600pounds. The rest of the sub-species include the Nile buffaloes, mountain buffaloes and Sudanese buffaloes. Note: African buffaloes live in herds with social structure based on dominance hierarchy.
Cape buffaloes are herbivores that are not so picky with their habitat, as long as there is grass and water around they can make it a home.
Predators to buffalos
Besides humans adult buffaloes don’t have many enemies. Lions are known to take them but the buffaloes will put up a fight as a distress call from one buffalo is answered by the heard coming to assist. The young calves are prey for a few more predators as they can be taken by crocodiles, cheetah, leopard and spotted hyena as well as lion, but the herd does its best to protect its young ones keeping them at the center of the herd when a threat is around.
Fun activities to top on a buffalo safari in Uganda
Besides the buffalo safaris there are other lots more activities that can be included in this adventure of knowing much better about the buffalos in Uganda and these can include.
Queen Elizabeth National Park has a number of tourist attractions-most notably the wildlife and a multitude of truly Spectacular landscapes, which you will see from the comfort of your vehicle on a game drive. Only 12 minutes’ drive from Buffalo Safari lodge to the game drive track, do not miss out on this memorable experience.
The world renowned Kazinga Channel – 32km long – links Lake Edward and George. This Channel is the main water source, the dominant feature in QENP that quenches the thirst of humans and numerous animals and birds. Kazinga channel has one of the world’s largest concentrations of hippos and numerous crocodiles. The Boat cruise trip provides a chance to view different bird species including the king fisher, African Jacana, Yellow backed Weavers, open-billed Stork, Water-Thick knee, Pied kingfishers, Wattled Plovers, among others.
Queen Elizabeth National Park (QE), below the famous Rwenzori Mountains, an African savannah park, consists of plain surroundings. The beautiful steeply forested Kyambura Gorge nearby, is home not only to chimpanzees but also the red-tailed monkey, black and white colobus and many bird species. While enjoying your stay at Buffalo Safari Lodge, this is one of the recommended activities – tracking these amazing primates in their own habitat.
We organize tours to the communities, done on foot or vehicle, where you visit organized communities and their projects. It also includes visits to local markets, fishing villages among others. You will also visit the crater lakes in and around the park and experience the hundred- year-old local salt mining at Katwe Salt Lake.
Family retreats and day outings for families can as well be arranged. There are a lot of activities for family, including indoor games, outdoor games, family walks, and park activities.
If going on a boat-cruise on Kazinga channel in Queen Elizabeth national park or on the Nile in Murchison Falls national park you will see Cape buffaloes wallowing in the shallow waters. so there are high chances of seeing these lovely creatures have you Uganda safari book for you this season and enjoy great moments with mother nature.