Big 5 African Safari – African buffalo (Syncerus caffer)

Buffalo herds typically have a hierarchical social structure. Within the herd, there is usually a dominant male, known as the "herd bull," who leads and protects the group. The herd also includes females, known as cows, and their offspring.

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The Cape buffalo, also known as the African buffalo or Syncerus caffer, is a large bovine species native to sub-Saharan Africa

In the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, herds of Cape buffaloes can be found roaming the diverse landscapes of the area. These herds typically consist of several dozen to a few hundred individuals, though the exact size can vary. The buffalo herds play a vital role in the ecosystem of Sabi Sands, shaping vegetation and providing a prey base for large predators.

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The term “dagga boy” refers to a mature, solitary Cape buffalo bull. “Dagga” is a word of South African origin that roughly translates to “mud” or “muddy,” and it refers to the behavior of these bulls to wallow in mud to cool down and protect themselves from insects.

Dagga boys are typically older male buffalo that have separated from the main herd or have been pushed out due to their advanced age or weakened state. They are often characterized by their solitary nature and their impressive size and strength. Dagga boys can weigh up to 1,500 kilograms (3,300 pounds) and have larger, more curved horns compared to younger buffalo bulls.

These bulls are known for their tough and grizzled appearance, with worn-down horns and battle scars earned from their encounters with predators or rival males. Dagga boys are usually more experienced and are considered more dangerous than younger buffalo bulls. They have a reputation for being unpredictable and can become aggressive if they feel threatened.

Conservation Status:

Cape buffaloes are listed as “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, local populations may face threats due to habitat loss, hunting, and diseases such as bovine tuberculosis and foot-and-mouth disease.

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