The Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer) is one of Africa’s most impressive and challenging animals to hunt, and can be a serious adversary when not respected....when hunted, agitated or wounded, buffalo have a reputation, for circling back and hunting you - and fair enough!
Buffalo are very successful grazers and can be found in different habitats like swamps, floodplains, forests, open and wooded savannahs and mopane grasslands. They usually graze in the early morning and late evening and they prefer to look for thick cover during the hotter time of the day. Water is very important for buffalo, often having to drink twice a day, up to 40 litres.
African Cape Buffalo “.... they look at you like you owe them money.”
Sybarite Sporting™ offers unparalleled Cape buffalo hunting experiences in:
The Dangerous Game Club 1
The lonely, old buffalo bulls are often referred to as “Dagga Boys”. Dagga means mud in Zulu and these old bulls spend a lot of their time wallowing in mud to keep the parasites at bay. They have usually been kicked out of the herd by younger, more virile males - often making a suitable beast to be harvested.
Typically scouting for fresh tracks or fresh buffalo dung, normally found at waterholes or on game tracks, will establish that buffalo are in an area, and whether it’s a large herd, individual Dugga Boys or smaller bachelor herds.
Stalking into a large herd of watchful eyes, listening ears and skilled nostrils constantly searching for approaching danger is very tricky, as is hunting individual Dugga Boys or smaller bachelor herds.
Bachelor bulls are are used to functioning on their own, adept at avoiding lions, often more clever than the herd bulls. They are considered to be smarter and wiser from surviving alone and some hunters consider an old solitary Dugga Boy to be the greatest challenge - hunting Cape buffalo on foot, makes for an extremely exciting hunt.
At the risk of sounding melodramatic, using the right rifle for dangerous game can mean the difference between life and death, guests should do extensive practice, off shooting sticks, with their preferred big-game hunting rifle, as bullet placement is vital for Cape buffalo, as it is ethically for all quarry species.
Tanzania offers some of the highest quality buffalo hunts, as well as the legendary traditional East African safari experience…
In Tanzania we have a long-established relationship with one of the best family operators in the bush. With over 50 years of traditional safari experience, we can organise unique itineraries, covering various private hunting concessions and with a variety of permanent and fly-camping experiences to suit the hunting location.
The three main hunting concessions are:
• Masailand, northern Tanzania
Masailand is the traditionally home of the Masai people, and their nomadic and pastoral way of life. Cattle are the centre of their economy and culture, and for centuries, they have moved their herds over great distances to find pasture and water, alongside the Masailand grazing game species.
The fauna rich Masailand savannah, mountain rain forest and semi-desert habitats make this perfect country, not only for buffalo but for an incredible variety of wildlife, including; Greater and Lesser Kudu, Eland, Oryx and Gerenuk, as well as Grants and Thomson’s Gazelle, Masai Bushbuck, Mountain Reedbuck. East African Impala, Harvey’s Red Duiker and Suni.
Two important points with hunting the Masailand area, are that there are no Tsetse flies and, because the area is so close to Arusha, there is no need for expensive air charters to get in and out of camp.
“The buffalo in here are bad news, having the reputation of being extremely
aggressive. This is because of the constant disturbance by the Maasai people
and their cattle, resulting in bad tempered, testy buffalo.”
• Rungwa, southern central Tanzania
This enormous area, over a million acres, consists of Miombo Woodland interspersed with riverine valleys, open savannah plains and large rocky mountainous outcrops. The streams from the Mpera River generally ensure that the concession is well watered.
The area is breathtakingly beautiful with some spectacular kopjes, and the views from camp are stunning - this is exceptional hunting country for buffalo, Greater Kudu, Eland, Sable and Roan antelope.
It is truly wild Africa.
• Luganzo, western Tanzania
Luganzo is a unique combination of two primary ecosystems: extensive Miombo woodland and huge open savannah flood plains. Lake Sagara lies on its north western boundary and the Ugalla River on both its west and southern borders.
As well as excellent Cape buffalo country, the terrain makes it very favourable for hunting Sitatunga antelope, which are hunted by canoe or from machans, a platform erected in a tree. This area is also renowned for abundant populations of Sable and Roan antelope, and other riverine species such as Waterbuck and Cape bushbuck.
Ecological diverse Africa, wild, rich and a slightly different assault on the senses.
The two hunting concessions we have access to in Mozambique lay just south of the Zambezi river. The concession management have invested greatly in anti-poaching efforts and community development projects - their efforts have significantly increased the game populations and engendered positive community relations.
An itinerary combining the two areas creates an excellent and diverse hunting safari - due to the size of the concessions hunted, en-suite tents, thatched chalets and fly camps (East African Style Safari tents with all the modern comforts) can be used to facilitate the areas.
• Coutada 9, Nhacainga Conservancy, Manica Province
The concession is situated halfway between Tete and Chimoio (north-south) and Zimbabwe and Malawi (west-east). It was a famous hunting block, mainly for lion and buffalo, in the 1970's before the Mozambican civil war. The Conservancy is now being developed as a wildlife area with very low density of human settlements, there are no fences, and it offers as an “Old Africa” experience.
The terrain consists of large granite out crops, huge areas of Savannah woodlands, tambooti forests and large seasonal rivers with thick riverine bush.
As well as good populations of buffalo, there are high numbers of Lichtenstein's Hartebeest, Red Duiker, Oribi, Reedbuck, Linvingston’s Suni, Nyala and Sable antelope amongst other bush and plains game living alongside Elephants and Lion.
• Buffalo Camp, Zambezi Delta, Province of Sofala
This beautiful area is made up of palm savanna, open grassland and perennial rivers in the Zambezi delta. Located on the edge of the famous Marromeu Buffalo Reserve (also known as Marromeu National Reserve), it was originally proclaimed to protect one of the densest buffalo populations in the world. In 2003, the Mozambique Governement named it the first Wetland of International Significance - it also supports one of the highest density of water birds in Mozambique.
It has excellent numbers of buffalo.
In the north-west central midland of Zimbabwe we are able to hunt two unique safari areas. The Chete Safari area, on the shores of Lake Kariba, and in the Chirisa Safari area, halfway between Victoris Falls and Harare.
Both have excellent buffalo hunting but are different in habitats and ecosystems.
• Chete Safari area, Lake Kariba
Situated on the shores of Lake Kariba, between the Senkwe and Muenda rivers, the Chete hunting concession comprised of Mopane forest and rugged Volcanic ridges, it can be demanding hunting, with some areas only accessible on foot, otherwise the hunting is mainly by boat, and in parts by vehicle.
This is a beautiful place which to hunt buffalo from, often tracking spoors of feeding herds, making their way slowly towards the sweet water and grass covered banks of lake Kariba.
Not only is this a great area for buffalo and plains game (Kudu, Impala, Klipspringer, Warthog, Waterbuck) but the 25-mile shoreline can produce some of the best crocodile hunting in Africa, along with fishing for outstanding Tiger, Tilapia, Catfish. Chessa, Vundu, and Electric Catfish amongst others - easily accessed from the lake view shore camp.
• Chirisa Safari area, Sengwa / Gokwe District
The Sengwa concession, halfway between Victoris Falls and Harare, is said to be one of the best big game concessions in Zimbabwe. The Safari area is an important link in the routes of elephant migration from the Zambezi Valley through to the central plateau and Hwange National Park which is on the Western border of Zimbabwe.
The land here consists of huge floodplains and rolling plateaus, with a wide variety of habitat, from Mopane woodland, sandveld ridges and huge shallow natural pool of water that provide the perfect environment for huge herds of buffalo, elephant and plains game, such as Eland, Kudu, Impala, Grysbok, Klipspringer, Bushbuck and Warthog.
A central dining area, in camp, overlooks the Sengwa River which provides a wonderful view and a small insight to the day to day movement of local animal populations.
Other Buffalo Hunting Areas
We often hunt areas, or are looking to hunt areas, a little less known, off the traditional hunting track, that requires some reconnaissance and an adventurous spirit - this can be basic, pure, raw hunting, something not generally available due to limited permit availability or maybe by invitation only, for a specific management hunt....
Further to the Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer caffer), we have good contacts in central and western Africa, Cameroon, Benin and Uganda, for Nile buffalo (Syncerus caffer aequinoctialis) and Sudanese buffalo (Syncerus caffer brachyceros), which are often considered to be the same species…
The Water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) of Australia, not to be confused with the Wild Water buffalo (Bubalus arnee) of Southeast Asia, is considered an invasive species from Indonesia, and is found in the tropical and subtropical wetlands and floodplains of the Northern Territory.
We are always looking for an excuse to travel…
Prime Buffalo Hunting Seasons
Tanzania (Rungwa Camp) - August to Sept.
Tanzania (Burko Masailand Camp) - Sept. to Oct.
Mozambique (Nhacainga / Buffalo Camp) - Sept. to Oct.
Zimbabwe (Sengwa Camp) - March to July
Zimbabwe (Chete Camp) - July to Nov.
1 'The Dangerous Game Club' was a big game hunting club founded in Kenya in late
1953 / 1954, at The Norfolk Hotel, Nairobi, where The East African Professional Hunter's Association was founded 20 years before, in 1934. It was said to have been the suggestion of some 20 professional hunters, who had worked on John Ford’s film, Mogambo, and based on an informal membership of having hunted dangerous game and alluded to romantic liaisons / love affairs with female clients in camp.