The bulkiest and most formidable african bovid, with broad head and wide mouth. It is black to dark brown, old bulls often with a grizzled head, older calves yellow-brown to reddish-brown in colour. All adults grow horns, but males have a broad horn base shielding their forehead.
Being most abundant in well-watered savanna, floodplains and montane grassland and forest, it needs reed or thickets for cover.
African Buffalo are nocturnal grazers, but may be active by day when protected from hunting. They form herds with one or more dominant bulls.