African Buffalo by Damienne Bingham

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African Buffalo (Syncerus caffer)
Samburu National Reserve,
Kenya. 2009.

Canon EOS 400D
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 USM
f/5.6, 1/1250s, ISO 200, 300mm
RAW. As is.

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The African buffalo, affalo, nyathi, Mbogo or Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer) is a large African bovine. It is not closely related to the slightly larger wild Asian water buffalo, but its ancestry remains unclear. Owing to its unpredictable nature which makes it highly dangerous to humans, it has not been domesticated, unlike its Asian counterpart, the domestic Asian water buffalo.

The African buffalo is a very robust species. It is up to 1.7 metres high, 3.4 metres long. Savannah type buffaloes weigh 500–900 kg, with males, normally larger than females, reaching the upper weight range. Forest type buffaloes are only half that size. Its head is carried low, its top located below the backline. The front hooves of the buffalo are wider than the rear, which is associated with the need to support the weight of the front part of the body, which is more powerful than the back

Savannah type buffalo have black or dark brown coats with age. Old bulls have whitish circles around their eyes. Female tend to have more reddish coats. Forest type buffalo are reddish brown in color with horns that curve out backwards and upwards. Calves of both types have red coats.

The horns of African buffalo are very peculiar. A characteristic feature of them is the fact that the adult bull’s horns have fused bases, forming a continuous bone shield which can not always be penetrated even by a rifle bullet. From the base the horns diverge, then bend down, and then smoothly curved upwards and outwards. The distance between the ends of the horns of large bulls is more than a meter. The young buffalo horn “shield” forms fully only upon reaching the age of 5–6 years. In cows the horns are, on average, 10-20% less, and the “shield” is usually absent. Forest buffalo horns are much smaller and weaker than those of the savannah buffaloes and are almost never fused. They rarely reach a length of even 40 cm. (care of Wikipedia)

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Welcome to the Jungle

I am a freelance photographer originally from Brisbane, Australia, and currently living in Cape Town, South Africa.

I enjoy many forms of photography – with a particular interest in travel and nature photography. This diversity can be seen in the range of genres and styles in my portfolio

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  • DionNelson
    DionNelsonover 3 years ago

    Great shot! He actually has very soulful eyes!!

  • Doesn’t he!? It’s wonderful to see them in their natural environment. I’m so glad you enjoyed this, Dion, thanks for commenting!

    – Damienne Bingham

  • relayer51
    relayer51over 3 years ago

    Superb , the light is excellent. This brings back memories when I was in Amboseli game park in Kenya ,I was only seven but I remember the Buffalo. Great image Damienne.

  • Thank you very much, so glad you like it! I think Kenya would be hard to forget, it is such a beautiful country, I had a wonderful experience there!

    – Damienne Bingham

  • EvaAn68
    EvaAn68over 3 years ago

    Heh heheheee… just love these feisty critters : ) Great shot Damienne!!!

  • Feisty is right, they certainly do have personality! Thanks Eva!

    – Damienne Bingham

  • neverforgotten
    neverforgottenover 3 years ago

    nother great capture instant fav (-;

  • Thank you, that’s very kind! I really appreciate your encouragement and support!

    – Damienne Bingham

  • kathy s gillentine
    kathy s gillen...over 3 years ago

    excellent capture

  • Thanks Kathy

    – Damienne Bingham

  • vigor
    vigorover 3 years ago

    The lighting on this is amazing, great job. I love the way their horns grow, looks like a hairdo!!!

  • Thank you, so glad you like it, Viv! You’re right, with the very fashionable centre part, and flip! haha!

    – Damienne Bingham

  • jason21
    jason21over 3 years ago


  • Thank you Jason, that’s so lovely!

    – Damienne Bingham

  • Harry Oldmeadow
    Harry Oldmeadowover 3 years ago

    what a majestic animal — and so beautifully photographed damienne!

  • Thank you, Harry! I’m so glad you think so!

    – Damienne Bingham

  • Keith Richardson
    Keith Richardsonover 3 years ago

    Great personality shining through!

  • Thanks Keith, I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    – Damienne Bingham

  • Eyal Nahmias
    Eyal Nahmiasover 3 years ago

    Love the quality of light and the pose.

  • Thanks Eyal, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

    – Damienne Bingham

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