The forest buffalo, which is also known as the dwarf buffalo, is considerably smaller that the savannah species weighing up to 300 kilograms compared to the savannah species which can weigh 1000 kilograms. The females are brown in color whereas the males are notably darker especially as they become older. Both sexes possess horns, the females being thinner than the males.
Forest buffalo are most frequently observed in forest clearings and rarely encountered in close forest. In clearings they feed on grass and sedges, an important part of their diet. They live in groups which can number up to twenty-five individuals and the groups are composed of an adult male, adult females and their calves. The females give birth to a single calf every two years after a gestation period of eleven months. Observations at Dzanga Bai have determined that the annual birthing period is between May and July.
Buffalo groups prefer two types of habitat, mixed forest and forest clearings. The same groups frequent the same areas and are observed to be resident to the same clearings traveling between them on a regular basis.