The Western or Sudanese Buffalo (Syncerus caffer brachyceros) is a large bovine occurring in the Sahel countries of West and Central Africa. Like the larger Cape Buffalo (S. c. caffer) and the smaller Forest Buffalo (S. c. nanus), it forms a subspecies of the African Buffalo. The Western Buffalo favors savannah grasslands with dense cover as its habitat, but can also be found in swamps, floodplains, mountainous terrain, or forests. The animals are successful grazers, but depend on perennial water sources for daily drinking. Due to their fierce nature, buffaloes have never been domesticated, but instead are sought-after by trophy hunters and belong to the so-called “Big Five”. Due to their power and size, adult buffaloes have few serious enemies in the animal kingdom except for lions. Kills by crocodiles and groups of spotted hyenas can also occur. African Buffaloes live in herds of variable size. The social animals take care of each other and fight together against predators. A distress call of a young calf will not only attract its mother, but also other members of the herd. This way even lions can be chased off and are occasionally killed by the herd.
I have photographed these impressive animals in the Pendjari National Park in northern Benin during a journey in February 2012.