Hunting Cape buffalo in South Africa with Mkulu Safaris



Cape buffalo scientific name – Syncerus caffer



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Hunting Cape buffalo in South Africa


Hunting Cape buffalo in South Africa with Mkulu African Hunting Safaris. This is the real deal. This is the ultimate in African dangerous game hunting. If you have health issues we will hunt according to your abilities.

The wry smile from a hunter when the words Cape buffalo are mentioned indicates the high regard these animals demand from hunters all over the world.

Robert Ruark aptly described the African Cape buffalo in his book: Horn of the Hunter“But that buff is so big and mean and ugly and hard to stop, and vindictive and cruel and surly and ornery. He looks like he hates you personally. He looks like you owe him money.”

After many years hunting Cape buffalo in South Africa and Zimbabwe we concur with Ruark. During our dangerous game hunts there have been several incidents of which Cape buffalo have been most noteworthy.

Cape buffalo are mean, vengeful and downright nasty animals in general. They particularly become more annoyed when wounded. Consequently, always use enough gun when hunting Cape buffalo.


Please be advised from the onset your Professional Hunter may have to back you up in the event of a dangerous situation. In the event of a Cape buffalo charge the PH will certainly protect you and those on the hunting safari.

Furthermore, please familiarize yourself on shot placement on Cape buffalo. The effective area where to shoot a buffalo is rather large with room for limited error. To minimize the risk of a wounded Cape buffalo, use the correct caliber when hunting Cape buffalo in South Africa.

Further along this page is good advice with regards to hunting Cape buffalo in South Africa. Cape buffalo hunting is one of the most dangerous of African dangerous game animals. Treat them accordingly.

Be safe, be sure and enjoy being incredibly aware of your surroundings on your Cape buffalo hunt.

Watch the Cape buffalo hunting video where the Cape buffalo charges the hunter. In the blink of an eye the buffalo charges from 23 paces and is finally stopped at four paces from the hunter. Be aware. Stay alive.

Information on hunting Cape buffalo

Cape buffalo hunting prices

Cape buffalo hunting prices South Africa increases in some cases according to the spread of the horns. As a result, the larger the horn spread the higher the trophy fee. The magical spread of 40” and above is the decider between the usual listed price and an increased price.

Cape buffalo hunting prices South Africa is US$ 12 000-00 which includes:

  • daily rates for 5 hunting days
  • trophy fee
  • accommodation
  • meals
  • land transport. We have special offers on Cape buffalo hunts from time-to-time. Please inquire.

We aim to offer affordable Cape buffalo hunts at reasonable Cape buffalo hunting prices.

Ammunition for Cape buffalo

Above all, only use premium grade ammunition when hunting Cape buffalo. You are spending a lot of money on a hunt like this. Premium grade ammunition penetrates sufficient and does not fragment. Rather buy a cheaper Cape buffalo gun but never buy cheap ammunition.

The best cartridge for Cape buffalo hunting is Barnes TSX for all caliber rifles Barnes cater for. Other premium grade ammunition manufactures you can use with confidence would be Federal Premium, Sierra and others.

Gun scope for Cape buffalo

Many dangerous game hunters prefer to hunt dangerous game with open sights. However, some hunters may lose a little of their usual 20/20 vision over time and consequently may prefer to hunt with a rifle scope.

There are numerous gun scopes and gun scope brands available on the market today. Leupold and Swarovski optics certainly provide more light under darker conditions. However, you should purchase the optics you can afford. The single most important issue is the scope must be able to withstand the magnum size recoil once you squeeze the trigger.

A 1.5 – 5 X 20 gun scope should be sufficient for a Cape buffalo gun. Almost all Cape buffalo are hunted at sub 60-yard ranges. Gun scopes with larger ranges are not required.

Best caliber for Cape buffalo hunting

A 375 H&H or any other larger caliber is the minimum legal caliber to hunt dangerous game with in most African countries. It is our recommendation to use any caliber from 400 and up if you feel comfortable using it. Make sure you use enough gun when hunting Cape buffalo.

There are many debates on 375 vs 9,3 X 62 and even 9,3 X 74. It is our opinion that that the 9,3 calibers are sufficient for Cape buffalo hunting. However, in South Africa the law clearly states that 375 is the minimum caliber permitted to hunt Cape buffalo.

Hence, the best calibers for hunting Cape buffalo in South Africa are:

  • 375
  • 416 Rigby
  • 416 Rem
  • 45-70
  • 458 Lott
  • 460 Weatherby
  • 470 NE
  • 50 X 100
  • 500 A-Square
  • 500 Jeffrey
  • 505 Gibbs
  • 577 or any other large bore caliber that you can shoot with confidence.
Average shot distance

The average expected shooting distance when hunting Cape buffalo in South Africa is 20 to 60 yards depending on the terrain.

Shot placement when hunting Cape buffalo

Broadside shot

Place the shot directly on the shoulder in line with the front leg, one third of the way up from the start of the chest to the top of the back. Such a shot should lead to a high heart shot.

Quartering to shot

Aim for the inside of the closer shoulder so the shot can penetrate the vital organs.

Quartering away

If the Cape buffalo is not quartering away too much: bisect the angle formed by the front legs and place the shot one third of the distance between the bottom of the chest and the top of the back. A shot from the left of the buffalo will have a better effect because of the location of the liver.

Facing to shot

Aim for the center of the chest just above the brisket. Head shots should be avoided as far as possible partly due to the relatively small brain area. If the shot is too high the boss will absorb the energy of the projectile giving a miserable animal a bad head-ache.

Cape buffalo shot placement diagram

Gallery of Cape buffalo trophy hunting pictures

Cape buffalo charges hunter

Below are a few pictures of the buffalo charges hunter video below. The hunter was 23 paces from the buffalo when the first shot was taken. By the time the buffalo charge was avoided, six shots were fired in a question of almost three seconds. By then the buffalo finally lay at four paces from the hunter.

Read about the bow hunter who was charged by a Cape buffalo

Cape buffalo hunting videos

Below are two Cape buffalo hunting videos depicting two completely different scenarios. One is a Cape buffalo attack video of buffalo hunting gone wrong, and the other is a Cape buffalo video of a buffalo hunt with a happy ending. It would be pure speculation if the reason for the charge was due to a good or a bad first shot.

Tips for hunting Cape buffalo South Africa

Larger Cape buffalo herds can be more difficult to stalk for obvious reasons. Solitary bulls (often referred to as dagga boys) can be extremely aggressive and may charge unprovoked. Bachelor herds of between three and 10 animals are common and are equally as difficult to stalk. Archery hunting Cape buffalo is on the increase and in such a case you can hunt Cape buffalo from a hide or blind or walk-and-stalk for a more traditional bow hunting experience.

Any sudden movements will attract the attention of a weary buffalo so try and keep the Mopane flies away from your eyes, ears and nostrils. If you are hunting 2 X 1 it will be common courtesy for the second hunter to refrain from accompanying the tracker, PH and first hunter on the final approach.

Often a dead give-away to the presence of Cape buffalo will be the sound of the red-billed ox-peckers. Somehow these birds do not have the ability to keep quiet and with their excited chattering they can lead the hunters directly to where Cape buffalo are.

Best time of year to hunt Cape buffalo

Traditionally the bush in the best Cape buffalo hunting areas is rather dense during our summer months from November to May. From June to August the bush starts to recede rather quickly. During September and October the daily temperatures start rising while the bush recedes to a minimum. The best time of year to hunt Cape buffalo in South Africa is late June to end October.

We can and do hunt Cape buffalo from January to December.

Dangerous game hunting packages South Africa 2020