Hunting Cape Buffalo In Africa

hunting cape buffalo

When it comes to hunting in Africa, the Cape Buffalo is thought to be the most dangerous of all of the Big Five

In the herd, this bovine may appear to be docile enough, but when agitated or wounded, he becomes aggressive, vindictive, and cunning. This has earned the buffalo the title: Black Death.

About the Cape Buffalo

Buffaloes are found all over southern Africa in herds of varying sizes. Some buffaloes can weigh over 1800 pounds. 

First and foremost a grazer, he browses occasionally, and must drink every day. The animals prefer the thick bushveld during the day, moving leisurely and grazing as they do so. It is common for them to herd up at night to protect the young from their archenemy, the lion. 

Although both sexes have horns, a bull’s horns can be quite spectacular in spread, with a deep curl and a solid boss covering the forehead. Despite lacking a boss, cows can have a wide spread; for instance, the Roland Ward record book contains images of a cow with a 62-inch spread.

While their eyesight and hearing may be relatively poor, they have an excellent sense of smell. The process of approaching buffalo herds is more difficult than approaching solitary bulls who have been kicked out by younger, more virile males. The lonely, old buffalo bulls are often called “Dagga boys” – dagga means “mud” in Zulu. This is because these old bulls wallow in mud keep the parasites at bay.

hunting cape buffalo

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Hunting the Cape Buffalo

It is extremely exciting to hunt Cape Buffalo, as they are hunted on foot. 

You start the hunt by scouting for fresh tracks or fresh Buffalo dung. These are typically found at waterholes, or on dirt roads in the area. 

From here you will proceed with caution as you track down the herd, or dagga boys, and stalk your trophy. You will usually get to within 20 to 30 yards of the buffalo. 

When lining up your shot, the best placement is to hit vital organs or “boiler room”. Your PH will advise you on the best shot to take. If you’ve hit the buffalo properly, it will grunt at impact and take off at a gallop, and likely signal death with a characteristic bellow. Unless a shot hits the spine, very few shots will pull a mature bull to the ground, regardless of caliber. 

hunting buffalo

Caution. It is common for a wounded animal to break away from its group and seek shelter in thick cover if it is in a herd. However, it is important to note that each situation is unique.

A wounded Cape Buffalo is one of the most dangerous animals you’ll encounter on a hunt.

Even though they are large, they are extremely quick and adept at camouflaging, remaining absolutely still until they are right beside you.

Where To Hunt Cape Buffalo?

Huntershill Safaris gives you the hunting experience of a lifetime. With extensive hunting grounds, open savannahs, and beautiful landscapes, the malaria-free Wildschutsberg Game Farm offers 55000 acres of free-range hunting.

Set in the picturesque Eastern Cape in South Africa, where buffalo are in abundance, book your buffalo trophy hunt with Huntershill, for an experience that will be thrilling and rewarding. 

Tips on Ammunition and Rifle When Hunting the Cape Buffalo

Cape Buffalo are thick-skinned animals. For this reason, the minimum safe caliber is the .375 Magnum.

However, with Cape Buffalo, you can never have too much gun. Most PH’s vouch for the .375 Magnum as a starting point, but the .416s and .458s are a good compromise on price and power. 

For the first shot, some hunters use soft-nosed rounds, followed by solids as the animal moves away. The soft-point also prevents the risk of over-penetration and the chance of wounding other members of the herd. Your goal should be to do as much damage as possible with your first shot, and good quality soft-nosed bullets are essential.

Shot placement

hunt cape buffalo

It is said that if your first shot on a Cape Buffalo is bad, the next 14 will only irritate him more!

So, unless the animal is very close, a full frontal shot is rarely advised. On a broadside shot, the shoulder or just behind the shoulder is ideal. 

It is important to remember that even with a well-placed first shot, once the Cape buffalo has been wounded and its adrenaline is flowing, it can be very difficult to bring him down. 

Always trust your Professional Hunter’s judgment when it comes to shot placement and rifle selection.

What is considered a good buffalo trophy? 

The sheer menace and presence of these gnarled old bulls makes hunting them an exceptional experience, and makes for a well-deserved trophy.

The best set of horns start with a thick, heavy boss that extends outward and downwards past the ears before curling upward and in again. 

As a rule, the higher the points rise, the better the trophy. In general, the further the outer upward curl of the horns extends past the ears, the more valuable the trophy.

trophy hunt big five

What it Costs To Hunt Cape Buffalo

We have several packages that cater to buffalo trophies. 

Buff Package spans five days of epic hunting, and costs $8,500.

Individual prices: $8,000 per buffalo

Daily PH and hunter rates are $350 

Non-hunter rates are $150

All our Cape Buffalo hunting packages are fully inclusive

– Accommodation

– All meals

– Beer, wine and soft drinks

– Laundry services

– Air transfers

– Professional hunter, skinner and trackers

– Field preparation of trophies

– Hunting license

– 4×4 vehicle

Book Your Cape Buffalo Hunt Today!

Our PHs will do everything they can to help you get the trophies you want most. We even have memorable non-hunter activities for family and friends who don’t want to hunt, but just want to experience the beauty of Africa.