The excitement keeps mounting as Groot Sleutelfontein Private Game Reserve is growing into their own as breeders of exotic game. Adding to the already established portfolio of golden wildebeest, copper springbuck, golden oryx and Matetsi sables, the African buffalo is a long anticipated addition.
The bulls arrived on the reserve at 07h30 on the 17th of July 2015. They were released on the northern side of the reserve, in a 50m x 50m boma, and afterwards into a 608ha camp. This means that they are kept in the same camp as the 17 sables which were acquired earlier in the year. Both the buffalo bulls and the sables have been acquired from Tembani Wildlife – Breeders of Rare Game. After taking the utmost care with their transportation and making sure that all of their needs were constantly met, they adapted well after the 1300km journey from Thabazimbi.
The buffalo bulls are a cross between East African and Addo buffaloes. They are disease free and tested for foot and mouth disease, corridor disease, and Tuberculosis.
The smallest buffalo among the 9 newly acquired animals is 2 years and 3 months old. The spread of its horns is 26″, the boss is 9″/9″ and the SCI is 69.
The biggest of the new bulls is 4 years and 6 months old. The spread of its horns is 39.25″, the boss is 16″/16″ and the SCI is 118.
Quick facts on African buffaloes (Syncerus caffer)
- Bulls are a dark brown to black colour, whereas cows are not that dark.
- When the calves are born, they are a reddish brown.
- The boss of the bulls is very thick and well developed. This is for protection when the buffaloes fight among themselves.
- Average height is 1.4m.
- Bulls can weigh 700kg and cows reach only 500kg.
- Buffaloes are mostly grazers, but will sometimes browse when food is scarce.
- In nature buffaloes can create herds that contain hundreds of animals, but mostly contains only one dominant bull.
- Their gestation period is 340 days, but when in captivity this process can be accelerated via supplementation and the absence of stress.
- When a calf is born, it takes only a few hours before it can keep up with the running of its herd.
- Calves are protected in the midst of the herd where predators cannot reach them.
- In nature buffaloes can live up to 15 years, but when they are bred in favourable conditions and with supplementation, they can reach 30 years.
We are thrilled to welcome these majestic animals onto the reserve! Congratulations to owners Johan and Laetitia Meyer with this wonderful acquisition. May our guests have much joy when experiencing them during their game drives here at Groot Sleutelfontein.