The Bush Telegraph

News from Tshikwalo Game Lodge and Dinokeng Nature Reserve

Dinokeng Big 5 | Buffalo

Grumpy, fast runners and often unpredictable the Buffalo is also known in some communities as “black death” and are considered very dangerous.

Although they get easily aggravated these animals are actually very good wallowers and are often photographed covered with mud or with a oxpecker grazing on their backs. The mud and the birds help maintain their skin by getting rid of parasites.

They also tend to get bare patches of skin underneath the eyes, this happens as a result of flapping their ears from side to side to deter flies from the face.

Older buffalo tend to lose the fur cover on their bodies with age. As a result, they tend to wallow often (especially the males) in an attempt to battle sunburn and those biting parasites.

These old males are referred to as “daggaboys”, the dagga part of their name translates to mud and suits their wallowing behaviour


Here are some quick facts to keep in mind for your next game drive:

Weight – 650 to 800 kilograms


Gestation period – 11 months (1 calf)

Age – 20 years or more

Height – 1,4 metres

Buffalo’s are herd animals and depending on the season, and time of the year their herds could vary between 50 -500. The size of the herd helps with warding off predators.


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