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Cape Buffalo are one of Africa’s Big Five. They are massive, ox-like mammals with large horns that in males can spread up to a meter between tips. They live in savannas and can occur at high elevations but they are never far from water. 

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They live in huge herds and are sociable, often lying together close enough to touch. They will protect herd members, especially calves, by charging predators en masse, which would be terrifying and, as Steve says “effective”. I would not want one coming at me. 

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We saw them in Chobe National Park in the north of Botswana – hundreds and hundreds of them. I admit that, while thrilled, I was a bit underwhelmed by them. I mean, they’re awesome, but not super interesting. It’s a bit surreal in a landscape of giraffes and elephants and hippos to see a massive. . .cow. 

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Still, we waited a long time to see them, and they are certainly an iconic Beast of Botswana.

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