African buffalo, also referred to as Cape Buffalo, are found in Africa south of the Sahara except the southernmost region. They live in forests, savannas and grasslands that are near water. They have a heavy build with a short neck, broad muzzle and large, droopy ears. Their horns, found in both sexes, are heavy with a broad base. They stand at between 3 ½ to 5 ½ feet and can weigh between 700 to 1,800 lbs. Those that live in the savannah are a dark brown or black in color, while those that live in the forest areas tend to be a bright red.
They gather in groups that can have as many as 2,000 individuals. The herd is dominated by an older bull, but is led by a cow. Often, the older bulls will wander off on their own, or will gather into small groups. When chased by a predator the animals remain close together within their herd with the calves in the middle, and will charge as a group if threatened. They use a variety of sounds to communicate, especially if they sense danger. Their main predators are lions and crocodiles.
They feed mainly on grass, but also eat leaves, twigs and shoots. Because they have to drink daily and enjoy wallowing in water they remain close to water sources. Females give birth to a single calf which nurses for 6 to 8 months and reaches maturity between 1 ½ to 2 ½ years. The African Buffalo can live up to 20 years in the wild and even longer in captivity. They have never been domesticated due to their unpredictable nature, and are considered to be extremely aggressive and dangerous, in fact, more injuries to humans occur from buffalo than any other animal of Africa. For this reason, they are prized by big game hunters.