(A.k.a Central African Buffalo. Not to be confused with Central African Savannah- or Northwestern Buffalo)
|Afrikaans: Nyl Buffel||French: Buffle equinoxial|
|German: Nile büffel||Portuguese: Nilo Búfalo|
|Nama: |Goab||Shangaan: Nyarhi|
|Sotho: Nare||Spanish: Búfalo del Nilo|
|Shona: Nyathi||Swahili: Mbogo|
|Tswana: Nare||Xhosa: iNyathi|
|Average Body Dimensions||Trophy Dimensions|
|Average male mass: 1,550 lb (700 kg)||Rowland Ward Minimum: 38” (96,5cm) : Method-12|
|Average shoulder height||4.6’ (1,40m) Rowland Ward Record: 44¼” (112,4cm)|
|Spoor size front: 4.7” (120mm)||SCI Minimum (Rifle): 70 / SCI Record (Rifle) 115⅜ : Method-10|
|Spoor size rear: 4.7” (120mm)||SCI Minimum (Bow): 63 / SCI Record (Bow) 88|
Broadly along the Nile river although not limited to its banks. From northeastern Congo and Uganda along the Albert Nile northwards into the southern savannah regions of the Sudans and the western parts of Ethiopia.
The social complexity of buffalo are often underestimated. Most herds vary from about 50 to a few hundred, but in that structure cow dominated hierarchical family units comprising of relatives are distinguishable. In the mixed sex and age herds adult bulls maintain a dominance hierarchy. Non-breeding males form into relative based bachelor groups which gradually die out until solitary bulls remain. Herds occupy clearly defined home ranges that rarely overlap. They are inquisitive and fearless and will often stare and approach one to apply their acute smell to overcome their relatively poor eyesight. Cape buffalo are not renowned for good hearing either. They are diurnal, but usually graze at night or during cooler times of the day. Watering times take place in the cooler early and late afternoon hours of the day.
* Read more in Game Animals of the World by Chris & Tilde Stuart
Exploit their inquisitiveness unless they are hunting-wise. Dominant herd bulls becoming aware of your presence will drop back to investigate your presence and that offer opportunities. Another common hunting method is based on finding bachelor herd spoor and pursuing that. Make very sure of the first shot as it will offer the best potential for success. A wounded buffalo can become a hand full and can absorb incredible punishment without flinching once pumped up on aggravation and adrenalin. Over the years much debate has been generated about the selection of solid or soft bullets with convincing arguments supporting all the different views. Bullets have come a long way since the advent of the arguments. The one argument rejected by the author is to use a soft point bullet so as to not shoot through the animal and wound others behind it. The solution is to wait rather than shoot when unsure about other animals behind the target. The modern monometal expanding bullet such as the Peregrine Bushmaster is a perfect single solution for all buffalo hunting. It is sturdy, expands but otherwise retains the characteristics of a solid, retains weight and penetrates deeply in linear fashion. Another solution is the Barnes TSX bullet.
Males are heavier than females and develop heavier horns with bigger bosses.
Habitat & Food
Savannah dwelling grazers that remain near water and exhibit a predilection for access to shade. They have a preference for grasses that grow in dense swards. They often wallow in mud.
Rifle and Cartridge Recommendations
Bolt Actions : When backed-up by a PH any rifle design can be used. When hunting alone a controlled feed design as a Dakota M-76, Enfield P-14/Mod-17, Kimber Caprivi, Mauser M-98, Montana 1999, Springfield M-1903, Ruger M-77 RSM or Hawkeye, or Winchester Safari should be considered.
Double Rifles: Boxlock or sidelock. It is immaterial in modern trophy hunting situations whether the rifle has ejectors or not.
Single Shot Rifles : Not recommended once following-up is required.
Bullets : The flat-nosed, large meplat, hydraulic expansion Peregrine Bushmaster is the first choice, followed by the Barnes TSX. If non-expanding solids are opted for consider (in alphabetic not preferred order) the South African made Dzombo, GS Cusom FN, Peregrine FN solids, or the foreign Barnes solid, the North Fork Premium Flat Cup-point solid, or the Woodleigh/Speer hydro-dynamically (not static) stabilised monometal bullet.
Cartridges : Large (≥ .400” bore) and Super Bore (≥ .465”) are required. The various .375’s can be used where legal and if the hunter is more accurate with these than larger calibres. Do not go overbore on power unless very used to such cartridges as it affects hunter accuracy and between shot recovery time.
Typical Cartridges :
|.375 H&H Magnum||300-gr bullets|
|.375 Ruger||300-gr bullets|
|.378 Weatherby Magnum||300-gr bullets|
|.400 H&H Belted Magnum||400-gr bullets|
|.500/416 Krieghoff||400-gr bullets|
|.416 Ruger||400-gr bullets|
|.416 Rigby||400-gr bullets|
|.404 Jeffery||400-gr bullets|
|.425 Westley Richards||410-gr bullets|
|.450 No.2||480-gr bullets|
|.458 Lott||480-gr bullets|
|.458 African||500-gr bullets|
|.450 Rigby Rimless||550-gr bullets|
|.460 Weatherby Magnum||550-gr bullets|
|.500/465 H&H NE||480-gr bullets|
|.470 NE||500-gr bullets|
|.505 Magnum Gibbs||525-gr bullets|
|.500 NE 3”||570-gr bullets|
|.500 Jeffery||535-gr bullets|
* Read more in African Medium Bore Cartridges by Pierre van der Walt