This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Skip to main content

Talk to an expert 1-800-242-2434 Lines now closed

User menu
Asset 22


Where to see Buffalo in Malawi

One of the celebrated so-called Big Five, the buffalo’s fearsome reputation derives largely from hunters’ tales. Visitors will usually find this big, sociable bovid to be a largely placid animal – although courageous in defence against predators.

About image

Quick facts about Buffalo

Scientific name: Syncerus caffer Habitat: Floodplains, mixed bush & moist grasslands
IUCN status: Near-threatened Adult weight: 500–950kg

The African or Cape buffalo is Africa’s only wild cattle species and should not be confused with the domestic water buffalo. The subspecies inhabiting southern and eastern Africa (S.c. caffer) is the larger of two, the other being the smaller, reddish forest buffalo of west and central Africa (S.c. nanus).

Males are imposing beasts: larger than females, their curved horns meet at the base in a bony shield, called a boss. Buffalos are bulk grazers and must drink daily.

Their social structures are matriarchal, and herds may coalesce in huge gatherings of more than 1,000. Older males form smaller, separate groups. Lions are a constant threat, but buffalo herds co-operate to repel the big cats – sometimes even killing them.


Max. shoulder height (male)


Record horn span (tip to tip)


Today’s population

11 months

gestation period

The top camps for seeing buffalo in Malawi

Based on 10 reports by our travellers since Jul 2018, visitors at these camps in Malawi have the best chances of sighting buffalo.

Best chances to see

Good chances to see

Some sightings

No sightings yet

Top 10 camps for buffalo

% of travellers who saw buffalo

Top 10 camps for buffalo

% of travellers who saw buffalo

Where to see buffalo in Africa

Buffalo require a combination of thick bush for cover and open grasslands for grazing. They are reasonably common in most large parks and reserves across east and southern Africa, except for in the drier south-west parts of the continent.

Top tips for viewing buffalo

A large herd of buffalos on the move, filling the air with dust, is one of the more impressive sights of the bush. During the rainy season, herds move constantly in search of fresh grazing and may quickly disappear, leaving only the evidence of their passing – the trampled ground splattered with droppings. During the dry season, herds throng to waterholes, wading in deep and jostling for position.

Parks with impressive buffalo populations include Tsavo East and West (Kenya), Serengeti, Ruaha and Nyerere National Park (formerly Selous) (Tanzania), Luangwa (Zambia), Hwange (Zimbabwe) and Chobe and MoremiMoremi (Botswana).

Lions often tail buffalos, so remaining in a herd’s vicinity may produce some action. Old bulls tend to hang out around wallows and waterholes. Vulnerable to lion attack, and thus edgy and aggressive, these individuals require a wide berth when you’re on foot.


Our best Malawi holidays for buffalo sightings

Based on our travellers' reports, these ideas for Malawi safaris are likely to give the best buffalo sightings

Itinerary image

Hyena Safari

11 days • 4 locations

Mix relaxation and adventure on a safari combining the South Luangwa with Victoria Falls and the beaches of Lake Malawi. These three locations are among the most iconic in southern Africa.

US$8,630 - US$11,910 per person

Itinerary image

Utaka Cichlid Safari

10 days • 3 locations

Explore two of Malawi's safari parks - Majete Wildlife Reserve and Liwonde National Park - before finishing your trip with some beach time: relaxing, snorkelling and sailing in Lake Malawi National Park.

US$4,340 - US$5,700 per person

Itinerary image

Red Zebra Cichlid Safari

7 days • 2 locations

Explore two of Malawi's highlights, with a safari in rugged, remote Majete Wildlife Reserve before some beach time: relaxing, snorkelling and sailing in Lake Malawi National Park.

US$3,400 - US$4,500 per person

View all holidays to Malawi

More information about buffalo in our other destinations

Click here for detailed information about buffalo in other countries, including the places for sighting buffalo.

Login to Expert Africa

Sign in with password

Sign in with email link

New to Expert Africa? Create an account

Forgotten your details?

It's free & quick to set up

  • Save your wish-list
  • Send us an enquiry
  • Pay online for your trip
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Give us feedback on your trip
  • Full site benefits of the site

Need some help? Talk to our team