The most awesome of all cape buffalo facts is that they are so dangerous they are referred to as "the Black Death"! Highly prized by big game hunters, these incredible creatures are members of "Africa's Big Five" - the five most difficult African animals to hunt on foot.
The African lion, the leopard, the African elephant and the rhinoceros (either white or black), are the other four members, but the cape buffalo actually kills more big game hunters than the other four animals combined.
The Cape buffalo is not very tall—it stands only 130–150 cm (51–59 inches) tall and has relatively short legs—but it is massive, weighing 425–870 kg (935–1,910 pounds). Bulls are about 100 kg (220 pounds) heavier than cows, and their horns are thicker and usually wider, up to 100 cm (40 inches) across, with a broad shield (only fully developed at seven years) covering the forehead. The coat is thin and black, except in young calves, whose coats may be either black or brown.
There are 4 subspecies of African buffalo, which is Africa's only cow-like animal. The largest of these is the Cape buffalo, which is the only subspecies recognized as a "Big Five" member.
The bird you commonly see around Cape Buffalo are Oxpeckers. There are two species of oxpeckers - the red-billed oxpecker and the yellow-billed oxpecker -- that live in sub-Saharan Africa. The oxpeckers perform a symbiotic relationship with the large, hoofed mammals of the area: giraffes, antelope, zebra, Cape buffalo and rhinoceroses. There is some debate as to whether the relationship between the oxpecker and its host truly is symbiotic, or whether the oxpecker is semi-parasitic.
The oxpecker will spend his entire life on his hosts, except for nesting, which occurs in cavities of trees. In this relationship, the part of the oxpecker is obligate; he is dependent upon the host as a source of food. In addition to the meals he receives every day, the oxpecker also is protected from many predators while on the relative safety of the host.
Come photograph the big 5 with me in 2019... all the details can be seen here, https://www.kevinpepperphotography.com/2019-tanzania-photo-safari-in-april