Cape buffalo hunting is by far the most popular of all dangerous game hunting in Africa today. Hunters may take one elephant or lion in their African hunting career, but will keep coming back to hunt cape buffalo. A Cape buffalo hunt is sure to be a thrilling dangerous game hunting experience on the African continent.
While the cape buffalo seems passive when viewed undisturbed in a herd or while grazing; when disturbed or wounded, he can be extremely aggressive and cunning. They are known to charge and even circle back on his tracks.
Found all over Southern Africa in herds of various sizes. In our Matetsi concession they get upto 1000 plus in size.
The buffalo can weigh 500 to 1,000 kg (1,100 to 2,200 lb), with males normally larger than females. They are primarily grazers, however, an occasional browser and must drink every water on a daily basis. They favor the thick bushveld during the day and normally graze while moving.
Both sexes carry horns, however, the horns of a bull can be quite spectacular in spread, with a deep curl and a solid boss covering the forehead. Cows lack the boss andcan have a very wide spread.
The minimum caliber to hunt cape buffalo is a .375, and with a well-placed shot, a rifle of .375 is more than adequate for the Cape buffalo. However, a shot from larger calibers provides a much more immediate and noticeable effect.
With the advent of quality soft-point bullets, many hunters prefer to make their first shot on the buffalo with a soft point to prevent over-penetration and the chance of wounding other members of the herd. Remember, when it comes to shot placement and your selection of rifles and bullets, always trust the judgment of your Professional Hunter.
Cape Buffalo Hunting in Zimbabwe
The Gonarezhou Safari Areas and Matetsi Units are the best remaining wild, free range, fair chase hunting areas in Africa today. The safari areas range from 200,000 to 300,000 hectares in size and the quality of buffalo hunted in these concessions is the best in Zimbabwe, with the area average being over 40 inches and a 2012 best buffalo measuring over 50 inches.
Cape Buffalo Hunting in South Africa
In South Africa, buffalo hunting can be done on fenced game ranches ranging from 1,000 – 15,0000 hectares in size or in the bigger reserves near the Kruger National Park (APNR).
Like Namibia, there are veterinary ‘red line’ regulations on the movement of buffalo to protect domestic cattle from various bovine diseases, such as foot and mouth, tuberculosis, brucellosis and corridor disease.
However, unlike Namibia, South Africa has quite a few game ranches where herds of ‘clean’ or disease-free buffalo are raised for breeding and hunting. These buffalo have gone through the hoops of being quarantined, tested for disease, tagged, chipped and registered at great expense to the owners.
Generally, a horn spread of 38″ is the magic number that divides ‘non-trophy’ and ‘trophy buffalo’ bulls.