Interested in trophy hunting Cape Buffalo in South Africa? Hunting Cape Buffalo is one of our specialties and our buffalo hunts are excellent, yet still reasonably priced.
How much does hunting Cape Buffalo in South Africa cost? If you’re interested in hunting Cape Buffalo with us, we are offering all-inclusive trophy bull Cape Buffalo packages in South Africa for $13,000. These packages are valid for hunts in in 2018. Continue reading to learn more about hunting Cape Buffalo with us and visit our Cape Buffalo hunting page for more information.
Cape Buffalo Scientific Name: Syncerus caffer, also known as also known as mbogo, nyati, or Black Death
What is a Cape Buffalo? The Cape Buffalo is a large, stocky species of bovine. However, don’t let the fact that they are related to cows fool you: Cape Buffalo are very unpredictable and have never been successfully domesticated. They are found across most of South Africa. We hunt Cape Buffalo in Limpopo Province.
Cape Buffalo bulls are slightly larger and more muscular than cows. A bull can weigh in excess of 1,800 pounds and stand over 5 feet tall at the shoulder. Though smaller than a bull, buffalo cows aren’t exactly small: a full grown cow can weigh nearly 1,200 pounds.
As you can see in the photo below, calves are often born with a red colored coat. As the buffalo matures, their coat darkens, eventually turning a dark brown or black color. Cape Buffalo are grazing animals and live in herds of dozens of other buffalo, though herd size varies. They are not very selective grazers, and will eat most types of grass. If grass is in short supply buffalo will eat shrubs and leaves. They are most often found in areas with thick vegetation.Cape Buffalo have a well deserved reputation for being extremely aggressive and tough. Indeed, Robert Ruark summed it up how many people feel about hunting Cape Buffalo pretty well when in his book Horn of the Hunter:
I don’t know what there is about buffalo that frightens me so. Lions and leopards and rhinos excite me but don’t frighten me. But that buff is so big and mean and ugly and hard to stop, and vindictive and cruel and surly and ornery. He looks like he hates you personally. He looks like you owe him money. He looks like he is hunting you…He makes me sick in the stomach, and he makes my hands sweat, and he dries out my throat and my lips.
Fortunately, buffalo are not invincible and they are not bullet proof. They also do have a serious weakness: Cape Buffalo must drink water at least once a day and they are never more than a reasonable distance from a water source.
How do you distinguish males from females when hunting Cape Buffalo? At times, it can be difficult to tell bulls and cows apart when hunting Cape Buffalo. Luckily, the photos below show are a few key differences to look for when hunting Cape Buffalo.
Though bulls (top) and cows (bottom) both have horns, though the horns on a cow look like they grow out of the sides of the head, while bulls have a thick “boss” on their forehead. Bulls also tend to be bigger bodied and have thicker necks than cows. Finally, bulls have a very visible penis and testicles, which cows lack.
Even though cows lack a boss, their horns can still have a very wide spread. The Rowland Ward record book accepts buffalo cows as entries. Believe it or not, the world record Cape Buffalo in the Rowland Ward record book is a cow with an incredible 64″ spread!
What is the best rifle caliber for hunting Cape Buffalo? We do not recommend using anything less than a rifle chambered in .375 H&H or .375 Ruger when hunting Cape Buffalo. Bigger calibers, such as the .416 Rigby, .458 Lott, and .505 Gibbs are also good choices for hunting Cape Buffalo if you would like to use something a little more powerful.
However, you should only use a cartridge that you are comfortable with and can shoot accurately. An extremely large and powerful gun is no good if you cannot hit your target and a big bullet will not make up for poor shot placement when hunting Cape Buffalo.
What is the best recommended Cape Buffalo shot placement? Shot placement is extremely important when hunting Cape Buffalo. If you are using a powerful enough rifle and place your shot properly, the buffalo will not run far at all and will expire surprisingly quickly. However, there is a saying among professional hunters in Africa that if you mess up your first shot, the next dozen will serve no purpose other than to make the buffalo even angrier. Cape Buffalo are extremely tough and can be quite dangerous when wounded, so place your shots with care.
The traditional shoulder shot on a Cape Buffalo is almost always the best shot placement. When the buffalo is standing broadside, simply aim at the center of the shoulder, approximately one third of the way up the body. A shot placed as indicated will hit the lungs and the top of the heart. Even an animal as tough as a buffalo will not go far after being hit like that.
Quartering shots when hunting Cape Buffalo can be tricky. If the buffalo is quartering towards you, aim slightly forward of the shoulder. However, be extremely careful with quartering away shots. A buffalo’s liver is located on the right side of the body. So, an initial shot on a buffalo that is quartering away shot should only be taken if the buffalo’s right side is facing the hunter. If placed properly, these shots can be devastating on a buffalo. In this case, aim slightly behind the shoulder.
However, quartering shots on the left side should never be taken. There is too great of a chance of the bullet hitting the stomach and failing to penetrate further, which is exactly what you do not want. I do not recommend taking a frontal chest shot when hunting Cape Buffalo.
What is the average shot distance when hunting Cape Buffalo? Since they usually live in such thick brush, and since we make every effort to get as close to the buffalo as possible before shooting, most of our shots when hunting Cape Buffalo are at very short range. Virtually all of shots are at ranges less than 100 yards, with the majority being taken at 50-75 yards.
What methods do you use when hunting Cape Buffalo? We hunt Cape Buffalo on foot by tracking buffalo from water sources or via spot-and-stalk. While we sometimes use vehicles to locate tracks from where buffalo have crossed the road, you’ll leave the vehicle to follow the buffalo on foot once you find suitable tracks. For best odds of success, hunters should be in good physical condition and capable of walking 3-5 miles each day.
When is the best time of year for hunting Cape Buffalo in South Africa? In South Africa, we hunt Cape Buffalo all year long. However, the dry season typically runs from April through October, making those months the ideal times to hunt Cape Buffalo. These months generally have the most pleasant weather and are usually the most popular months for Cape Buffalo hunting.
Be advised: the hunting area is in a malaria zone. Please ensure that you consult your doctor prior to the hunt for appropriate malaria prophylaxis.
What is your average trophy size of Cape Buffalo taken in South Africa when hunting with you? The average trophy taken by clients hunting Cape Buffalo in South Africa with us measures 38-39″. However, our hunting areas have a large population of buffalo and they have experienced very little hunting pressure over there years. With this in mind, it is absolutely possible to take a 40″+ trophy when hunting Cape Buffalo with us.
With solid bosses and a 39″ spread, the bull in the photo below is representative of the buffalo that we pursue with our hunters.If you’re interested in trophy hunting Cape Buffalo in South Africa with us, please visit our Cape Buffalo page or contact us for more information.