Fascinating Buffalo Facts
They’re rather large and intimidating! No wonder they are the subject of so many wild bush tales, and the source of many a game ranger’s scars and nightmares.
However, if you get involved in the highly popular Buffalo Encounters at Bellevue Forest Reserve we’ll make sure that the experience and fireside stories are only GOOD ones!
Here are a few interesting facts about these iconic African animals:
- In South Africa, we have the Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer caffer), the largest and heaviest of thebuffalo species, with the biggest guys weighing in excess of 900kg.
- Don’t be fooled by their bovine appearance that may suggest a calm and gracious cow-likedemeanour. Buffalo are formidable opponents, should you be unfortunate enough to end up on the wrong side of one (that would be the horned side).
- Speaking of horns – male buffalo have a bony mass called a boss on their heads, with two curved hornsspreading out to the sides. The world record for Cape buffalo horns is some 87 inches! Females have more elegant horns, separated at the forehead.
- Buffalo have incredible memories and instincts. They seldom forget or forgive a transgression and have a nasty habit of circling back to attack their would-be aggressors. (Or maybe, just because they are in a bad mood).
- Buffalo have an incredible sense of smell that compensates for poorer hearing and eyesight. They can track their enemies for miles!
- If a buffalo decides to charge you, you’d better have your Usain Bolt legs on – they can reach over 50 kilometres an hour at full charge.
- There are arguably more game rangers, hunters and hapless bush wanderers supporting buffaloscars than from any other animal (those lucky enough to have escaped lightly). Never underestimate a buffalo…
- Buffalo are among the world’s best bulk grazers, keeping grasses short and processing an astonishing amount of vegetation in order to maintain their hefty weight.
- Cape buffalo are remarkably intelligent animals, and adhere to a cohesive social herd structure. They look out for one another and will unite to defend their young against predators.
BUT – at Bellevue Forest Reserve, our magnificent Garden Route game lodge based in the Greater Addo region, you will have the amazing opportunity to safely witness these incredible animals in a controlled environment as they are monitored, fed and undergo regular veterinary inspections and treatments. While no interaction is permittedbetween guests and wild animals, you will nonetheless have an unique opportunity to really get a sense of these majestic beasts – a highlight of any African safari!
Based on a section of our 2500-hectare private nature reserve within a mountain paradise, less than an hour from Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) airport, guests will get a true sense of the natural habitat and behaviour of these amazing animals. A maximum of 10 guests are privileged to participate in a vehicle tour through our buffalo camp, guided by one of our rangers who provides information on this renowned ‘Big 5’ species.
Day visitors and groups are also welcome to book this tour.
We look forward to showing you our beautiful Bellevue buffalo!