Overview of this species and the hunt
Of all of the animals that make up the Big 5, it is the buffalo that is the most aggressive and as a result, he is the most dangerous. When in his herd, this animal can come across as calm, but the moment he feels stressed and under threat, his temperament goes from calm to threatening. This is not an animal you want to wound. A wounded buffalo will have you nervous as they tend to have a very vengeful nature.
The Cape buffalo can be found all over southern African. They are massive beasts and they live in herds. As grazing animals, they will often need to be near to a water source. They prefer to live in thick bushveld and at night they cluster together to protect their young ones from predators. Both the male and the female have horns however it is the male who carries the trophy horns. The males’ horns can have a deeper curl while they have a sturdy boss which covers the forehead.
While the females do not have this feature, their horn span can be just as impressive with one female having a recorded horn span of 62 inches.
When hunting Cape buffalo, you need a rifle that will do the job properly. A .375 should be good enough as will a 40 calibre rifle. Hunters prefer using a softer bullet as it minimises the chances of other herd members being injured. With the first round being a soft bullet, it is recommended that your follow up shots are harder. As the first shot is likely to just wound him, keep in mind that you will now have a very aggressive animal on your hands. All that adrenaline makes it more difficult to take him down. If you are unable to take him down with your next shot, you will just be annoying him and bringing out his infamous temper!
Hunting Cape buffalo in Africa is not for the amateur hunter, and even if you have some experience, be sure to talk to your professional hunter about bullet placement. Each hunting experience might be different, but your PH will give you the best advice.