Buffalo are one of the “Big Five” species, a vestige of the hunting era. Aptly named for being among the most deadly and difficult animals to hunt, they remain a formidable foe to their natural predators, lions. Their protective instincts and bravery make buffalo an interesting species to observe. Fortunately, buffalo are present in most major quality parks and reserves, so opportunities to see them are usually a part of an itinerary without much special planning. Large congregations typically occur during dry season conditions, and in Botswana they may disappear into the mopane woodlands for long periods of time during the rainy season.
Cape Buffalo Videos
Best Places to See Cape Buffalo
While buffalo may be found in most areas, there are still places that stand out for offering a unique, high quality opportunity. For sheer numbers, Katavi National Park in Tanzania has numerous herds topping 1,000 individuals with some reported to be the largest in all of Africa at 3,000.
We also recommend Duba Plains in Botswana’s dry season months as virtually the entire experience focuses on lion-buffalo interaction. At Duba the lions tend to hunt buffalo during daylight hours and thus the focus on game drives is to find the buffalo herd (can number around 1,000 individuals) and wait for the lions to show.
This gives the rare opportunity for lengthy viewing of buffalo, as well as potential for exciting interaction between an aggressive prey species and the apex predator.
Other Areas of Note
Major national parks offer high-quality viewing of Cape buffalo. In the parks, the buffalo tend to be very habituated, which allows for close-up viewing. The Ngorongoro Crater, Kruger National Park, Masai Mara National Reserve, Serengeti National Park and South Luangwa National Park are just a few of the very good areas to observe buffalo.