There are 3 very important factors to take into account when deciding what rifle to use on your first African Cape Buffalo Hunt.
Killing Power: African Buffalo is a tough, thick skinned animal. A good caliber needs to be able to break bones and transfer enough force over to shock and break bones, cause enough damamage to vitals and nerves. Killing power is essential on a 2000 pound animal.
Penetration: Allthough a broadsided shot it most desired on a Cape Buffalo it seldom happens. The most likely shot you will get is a frontal shot with the Buffalo quatering away slightly.See picture at the bottom of page. Therefore the bullet needs to penetrate through at least a foot of bone and muscle before even touching the vital organs such as the heart and the lungs.
Accuracy: Shot placement is a very important factor in any kind of hunting. With Cape Buffalo it can be a situatuion between life....and death!. Therefore a caliber that you can handle is of high importance. It is wise to do as many practice shots as possible before a buffalo hunt and make sure you know where to put the bullet. The problem with a too large caliber is that very few hunters can shoot it straight. Most hunters develope a bad flinch when firing too large calibers.
Caliber of Choice: I reccomend a .375 H&H as a good caliber to use on your first African Buffalo hunt. It is accurate and most hunters can shoot it with realitive ease as the recoil is not servere, have good penetration if the right ammo is used and it has enough killing power to do the job