African Grazers

These are herbivores that feed on grass. Grazers have broad and strong lips. Here are four heavily built grazers that are found across Africa.


The African buffalo is one of the most successful grazers in Africa. It lives in swamps and floodplains, as well as mopane grasslands and forests of the major mountains of Africa. There are several sub species of the African buffalo across Africa. They live in small to large herds of between 50-500 animals. They use their numbers to intimidate predators.

Other than humans, lions are the only predators that are capable of bringing down a full grown African Cape buffaloes. Other predators like leopards, hyenas and cheetahs can prey on the sick and calves.

They can live up to 25 – 30 years in natural environment. A mature buffalo can take up to 40 – 45 litres of water in a day. A fully grown cape buffalo can weigh up to 900 kg. It is estimated that buffaloes kill more than 200 people in a year.



There are two species of rhinoceros in Africa; Black rhino and white rhino. The two African species of rhinoceros lack teeth at the front of their mouths, relying instead on their lips to pluck food.

The Rhinoceros lives in regions where it can become extremely hot during the day. They don’t have very good eyesight so they rely upon their sense of smell to help them find food. The primary source of food will depend on the region and the species of Rhinoceros. They take a lot of water at the same time hence they live close to water source.

The body of a full grown rhino is relatively larger than that of a buffalo and can weigh up to 1000kg.

Rhinos are listed as some of the endangered species who are at the brink of extinction. Humans are the main predators of these animals as they illegally hunt them just for their horns.



They can be identified by their distinctive black and white striped coats and grow no horns. Their stripes are unique to each individual. They are generally social animals that live in small to large herds.

They occur in a variety of habitats, such as grasslandssavannaswoodlands, thorny scrublandsmountains, and coastal hills.

There are several species of zebras namely; gravy, mountain and plains zebra. In the 19th century, quagga, a sub-species of the zebras became extinct.

They are heavy grazers and consume a lot of grass and water in a day. A full grown grevy zebra, having a larger body compared to other species can weigh up to 350kg.

Zebras have excellent eyesight and is believed that they can see in color and also have a night vision but not as perfect as those of predators.


Common Eland

This is a savannah and plains antelope found in East and Southern Africa. An adult male can weigh up to 950kg hence the need for a wide grazing grounds. The common eland prefers habitats with a wide variety of flowering plants such as savannah, woodlands, and open and montane grasslands.

With a peak of 40km/h they are the slowest antelopes. They live in small to large herds depending on their population of a given area.


Post Author: Sam Muya

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