Cape Buffalo

Announcing a unique buffalo hunt opportunity in South Africa for a conservation-minded hunter.



Sports Afield Oldest and Ugliest Buffalo Contest Official Rules


1) ELIGIBILITY: Any hunter who takes a Cape or Southern buffalo in Africa in a legal and fair-chase manner during the 2014 hunting season is eligible to enter. Employees, officers, and directors (and their immediate family/household members) of the Sponsor and any of its parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, are not eligible.

2) DEADLINE: Any buffalo taken through December 31, 2014, in a legal hunting season in Africa may be entered. To be eligible, entries must comply with these official rules and be received by 1 January 2015.


Each of these bovines presents a unique hunting challenge.

By Craig Boddington

The Cape buffalo of Africa is genus and species Syncerus caffer; and the water buffalo, native to Asia, is Bos bubalus. We call them both “buffalo” (as we do the American bison, which is yet another genus and species), which is confusing. The Cape buffalo is a signature African animal, but for some reason, many people refer to Cape buffalo as “water buffalo.” While this mistake is common and adds to the confusion, for totally unknown reasons I have never heard anyone refer to a water buffalo as a “Cape buffalo.”

As hunters, I think it’s important to understand that water buffalo and Cape buffalo are significantly different animals. In biological terms, they are not as close as white-tailed deer and mule deer (which do share the same genus), and thus might be considered as disparate as sheep and goats or even elk and mule deer. They do have similarities. Both are cloven-hoofed ungulates; both are primarily grazers.



Try out a variety of dangerous game rifles and learn how to stop a charge at this unique shooting clinic.

by Diana Rupp

All I could see of the large Cape buffalo was its face, horns, and chest as it started toward me from the edge of the trees, coming at a steady clip. I readied the double rifle and settled the open sights between its nostrils, just as the professional hunter had instructed.



It seems the .450 Marlin meets the requirement for Cape buffalo, i.e. large enough to launch a 400- to 405-grain bullet at 2,023 fps or a 350-grain (larger than the standard 375 H&H bullets) at a respectable 2,223 fps. Tell us what you think. Does the .450 Marlin pass muster for buffalo?


No, it does not, in my opinion. To be “buffalo suitable” a caliber/cartridge/bullet combination MUST have all the following attributes:

1.  About 4,000 ft-lbs of muzzle energy
2.  About 100 lbs-fps of momentum
3.  A bullet sectional density of at least .300
4.  At least 2,000 fps of muzzle velocity