Forest buffalo (Syncerus caffer nanus)

forest buffalo

Fast facts

Status Near Threatened

Size Head-body: 180-220 cm; shoulder height: 100-130 cm

Weight 265-320 kg

Gestation Presumed to be 11.5 months

Young Presumed to be 1

Life span 18-20 years in the wild; over 28 years in captivity

What do I eat?

Little is known about what forest buffalo eat in the wild. They are known to be chiefly grazers, searching for food in open areas of the rainforests.

Where do I live?

Forest buffalo are found in West and Central Africa, including Nigeria, Cameroon and the Republic of the Congo. They inhabit areas of lowland rainforest, especially where there are more open areas for grazing. They are also found in drier forest-savannahs and coastal shrub habitats.


Female forest buffalo live with their young in herds of about 20. Not much is known about the breeding of this sub-species, but they are presumed to be similar to other African buffalo, with mothers staying with their herd to calf. Calves are able to stand after a few hours and follow their mothers but take a few weeks to be able to easily keep up with the speed of the rest of the herd.


The main threat faced by this species is from unsustainable hunting for their meat. It is thought that forest clearance may help them because they are often found browsing in open areas of forest.

Did you know?

Forest buffalo alternate between time spent feeding and time spent resting and ruminating (chewing food that they have swallowed then brought back into their mouth to chew further).

In the rainforests of Cameroon, these animals have been found resting in dry caves!

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Autumn 2019 visit

We were thrilled with the way the zoo was laid out. Though we are pensioners we were able to get around quite comfortably. My daughter and her children are going to the New Forest next year, so we will visit and treat them here, as it is very educational as well as… Read full reviewPhilip, 25th October 2019