Where to hunt BIG Cape buffalo free range?

50by50

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The first I took was an ancient but smallish bull. He has a large boss, but is well under forty-inches.
Buffalo

The second was an honest forty.
40 Cotada 14 Bull and PH Boet van Aardt

There are plenty of forty class bulls available in the swamp. The problem is the effort to get in and out to make a hunt. Multiple attempts are hard on everyone, and a mature bull starts to look awfully good regardless of width. That said, it is my favorite place to hunt them.
Carrying out meat and trophies - Coutada 14

Zambezi Delta


The Caprivi bull in my avatar went 42 and easily makes the SCI min of 100. It is also a fabulous wilderness experience.
Buffalo
Awesome! Thanks for the pictures and sharing your experience Red Leg. Originally Zim was not really on my list as I'd heard the same thing 375Fox assumed. Appreciate your input.
 

50by50

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Can you give us an Idea on what your Budget is, that way can can really rule out Tanzania, unless of course if it falls within your Budget.
Hey Spear Safaris. That's a really good question. I have not set a specific budget. A lot of it comes down to experience. If I'm hunting a high fence 3,000 acre preserve in South Africa, I would be willing to pay very little.

For a true African experience in a country with wide open country where the buffalo are truly free ranging, I would be willing to pay quite a bit.

But is the experience in Tanzania so much better than Zambia, or Mozambique, or Zimbabwe? Maybe it is and is totally worth it but I am skeptical. I have been to Africa 5x and it was always plains game hunts. This will be my first cape buffalo hunt and I price will be a factor when it comes to similar experiences.

That's part of what I'm trying to figure out. The priority is Cape Buffalo but the plains game in the area, and the quality of the plains game in the area, is also a big part of what I would be willing to pay.
Roundabout response but hopefully you get what I'm trying to communicate.

Thanks for the help man. Appreciate it.
 

50by50

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I have taken buffalo in Namibia's Caprivi (1), Mozambique's Zambezi Delta (2), and South Africa (1). The Caprivi and Mozambique are true wilderness areas. That said, South Africa can offer an exciting hunt, but likely not what you would call true wilderness.

Couple of my reports below:




An important consideration. In a wilderness area, your PH will work his butt off to find you the best bull he can in the time allotted. On a game farm, you may be in a situation where larger bulls carry a premium price tag.

Thanks for posting the reports Red Leg! This will be my post Thanksgiving dinner pastime! Can't wait.
 

50by50

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I can only attest to the swamp coutadas of Mozambique: They are the real deal for wide bulls, solid dagga boys, and a wild hunt, lowland plains game included.
Thanks Waterbuck2008. Which Coutadas did you hunt? What outfit were you hunting? And did you do a report by chance?
 

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I've hunted buff in Zim, TZ and Zambia. My biggest buff (in my profile pic) was taken in the Luangwa. No idea how many inches but I was extremely happy with it and you'd be hard pressed to find a more wild area, our charter pilot got lost trying to find the airstrip!
Awesome!! So would you suggest Luangwa? And can I ask what you think of Mozambique? Is there a reason you haven't hunted there?
 

50by50

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The Luangwa valley is amazing and hunt prices, although typically higher than Zim, are not that much higher. What you need to watch is transport costs. Some areas are a reasonable drive in from Lusaka or Mfewe, some require a bush flight, which can significantly increase cost.
Thanks for the advice man. Appreciate it
 
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50by50

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I took a buffalo in a free range area against Kruger, buffalo was 46”. They were fully wild and open with the park but the hunt was missing the wilderness factor I’ve experienced in other countries. They also come with a high price tag. I think I would go with a properly managed high fence area if I hunt buffalo in South Africa again.
For my next buffalo hunt, I booked a trip to the Zambezi valley in Zimbabwe because I wanted that wilderness factor and to really have to work hard for the buffalo, but I don’t have an expectation to get a 40” buffalo there.
46" WOW. Have you loaded a pic on the site? Would love to see that monster.
 

cal

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Awesome!! So would you suggest Luangwa? And can I ask what you think of Mozambique? Is there a reason you haven't hunted there?
I would definitely suggest Luangwa, without a doubt. I got a great Livingston's Eland and Chobe Bushbuck there as well (pics attached). My brother also got some really impressive animals on the same trip. I have been to Mozambique a few times on fishing trips but never hunted there. A Zambezi delta hunt for buffalo is definitely on the list. I think the attraction for me of a Zambezi delta hunt would be how different it would be to almost all other Buffalo hunts. From what I've seen and heard I don't think the genetics of the Buffalo are as big as other areas in Africa so if you are looking for a monster in terms of inches I probably wouldn't suggest going there, but take what I say with a pinch of salt as I've never hunted there... If it were me I'd want a 'classic' African Buffalo hunt for my first one then something different like Zambezi delta and mountain buffalo I hunted in Monduli Joo near Arusha after that. Good luck with the researching and planning! Its all part of the fun! I can give you the contact details of the PH I hunted with in Zambia if you want?

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neckdeep

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Having hunted with Mokore Safaris in the Save and Mozambique (Coutada 9), i can say both of these locations will hold big Buffalo but hunt very different. Both locations have huge and diverse populations of plains game also, a big plus!!. For strictly big Buff many great area's have been mentioned, here are a few more. Caprivi with Karl Stumpfe or Kowas Safari's Jacques Strauss. Waterberg Plateau with Jamy Traut. Makuti in Zim with Lindon Stanton. The first thing you would have to decide is if you want a tracking hunt and then if you want to track herd's or small group's of bulls? The time of year will dictate this somewhat. Or if you want to diesel stalk and kill the biggest bull possible? Lots of great choice's and great PH's out there, head on out to DSC and meet some, tell them your expectation's, see who you like and don't like, looking and planning is half the fun. I would have to warn that some of might be a bit put off by inch counting, but most will do there best to put you on a bull of a lifetime, in the right area, should not a problem. Best part if you don't get the bull of your dreams you will have to go back and try again, God Forbid!! LOL Good luck and if you need to discuss send me a pm to chat

I forgot, Niassa Reserve with Cabassa Safaris (Hardus Van Zyl) or with Dave Langerman late season and you will find a great bull
 

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46" WOW. Have you loaded a pic on the site? Would love to see that monster.
There are a couple photos of the final mounted buffalo I’ve uploaded here. I won’t upload the actual photos because we found two South African outfitters (who had no connection to the hunt) using it to advertise their hunts. It’s quite a shock to come upon a picture of your buffalo where it doesn’t belong.
 

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Hi 50x50
I can certainly offer you a free range buffalo hunt in Zimbabwe. My area is called Makuti safari area.
here are some buff you can expect to get. We hunt Dagga boys only.

69FFC517-3A66-4DAF-AB14-8B194C646C45.jpeg
FCF6D635-C1AC-4F92-AD9B-5A94499D0D36.jpeg
 
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PeteG

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Told a buddy about this thread, he sent me these. Both out of the luangwa and over 40”.
B26FC632-D81F-4E4D-B88F-BA31C8B47213.jpeg



Dagga Boy anyone??
C788548B-4F84-43FB-A59F-E1C9C0EB11FD.jpeg

this was 43” if I recall correctly.
 

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Hello 50x50,
We have approx 2,000,000 hectares of free range hunting in Mozambique. In our Mahimba concession, there are very good buffalo and PG. It's close enough to the Delta to have the huge herds of buffalo, but without the issues of Argos and the swamp. It is a great area and a fantastic adventure! While no guarantee on size is given, we take multiple 40"+ bulls every year and occasionally a mid 40's bull will be found. Please let me know if you would like me to work on a quote for you based on your requirements!

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ddog

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If Tanzania is still an option I would suggest the areas which border Tarangire National Park to the east i. e. Lolkisale G. C. A. and Masai Open Area West. These areas are good from July 1 to Mid August and then also in November and December after the short rains have started. Many buffalo over 45" have been taken from these blocks through the years and one can now shoot 4 buffalo on a 21 day license.

Also, Maswa North Game Reserve operated by Bushman Safaris is excellent. Maswa Kimale Game Reserve and Maswa Mbono Game Reserve held by Legendary Adventures are similar, but check with them as I have been told that the Friedkin Family are now using these areas exclusively and not selling hunts there any longer.

Buffalo over 45" are also taken in Western Tanzania each year, but generally the heads are smaller there compared to the areas mentioned above. Good operators in the West are: Robin Hurt and Mike Angelides.

So, lots of good options in Tanzania. Hopefully this post will be of assistance.

The Selous Game Reserve as newly defined is excellent for buffalo and if one is patient good to excellent buffalo come from there each year. Luke Samaras has excellent areas in the Selous and the ex Pasanisi blocks in the Southern Selous are very good- not sure who is operating there since Pasanisi's departure.

I hope the above helps-
 

50by50

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If Tanzania is still an option I would suggest the areas which border Tarangire National Park to the east i. e. Lolkisale G. C. A. and Masai Open Area West. These areas are good from July 1 to Mid August and then also in November and December after the short rains have started. Many buffalo over 45" have been taken from these blocks through the years and one can now shoot 4 buffalo on a 21 day license.

Also, Maswa North Game Reserve operated by Bushman Safaris is excellent. Maswa Kimale Game Reserve and Maswa Mbono Game Reserve held by Legendary Adventures are similar, but check with them as I have been told that the Friedkin Family are now using these areas exclusively and not selling hunts there any longer.

Buffalo over 45" are also taken in Western Tanzania each year, but generally the heads are smaller there compared to the areas mentioned above. Good operators in the West are: Robin Hurt and Mike Angelides.

So, lots of good options in Tanzania. Hopefully this post will be of assistance.

The Selous Game Reserve as newly defined is excellent for buffalo and if one is patient good to excellent buffalo come from there each year. Luke Samaras has excellent areas in the Selous and the ex Pasanisi blocks in the Southern Selous are very good- not sure who is operating there since Pasanisi's departure.

I hope the above helps-
Wry helpful ddog! Thank you
 

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50's...........good question and timely for me, as I am also interested in a buff hunt soon. A couple of related questions: does the horn length matter more than the massive solid boss' on some buff? Some of the pics in this thread show a long, droopy horn with what appears to be a light boss. I assume you want both, but to me the heavy horn boss would be essential. Appreciate your thoughts on what makes the better trophy. The biggest buff I have ever seen, by quite a margin, are in RSA. On massive areas and are self sustaining. I think that the last 400 meters stalking "in the pocket" would be the same anywhere. At my age that may do fine, but I understand your desire to be in a wild area. Political situations can and are changing, making some of my former hunt areas less secure. And making others more enticing. Be sure to check on civil unrest before spending money. Lastly, you used up all your luck shooting the muley in your avatar. What a toad. Diana, Goddess of the hunt, may not smile again soon...................but best of luck anyway.....................FWB
 

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Personally I would much rather shoot an old dugga boy with big bosses and broken down horns than an 8-10 year old herd bull with a 46” spread. If you want to hunt small groups of dugga boys you have to ask a lot of questions. This type of hunt is simply not available in every area. That’s not a knock on the operator, just the nature of the area. In some areas it’s herd hunting only. This is very exciting and a great hunt, but it is highly unlikely that there will be an old scrumcap at the end of the trail!
 

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