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Nguni -bull- South Africa

(most common name)
(transboundary/brand name)

(local/other name):
• Swazi
• Zulu
local/other name:
• Landim (Mozambique)
• N’guni (Angola)
• Sul do Save (Mozambique)

The Nguni is found in Swaziland (officially the Kingdom of Eswatini ) and South Africa. (Eswatini is bordered by Mozambique to its northeast and by South Africa to its north, west, and south.)

The Nguni people are a group of pastoral ethnicities thought to have entered southern Africa in a series of migrations beginning around 2000 years ago. Nguni cattle consists of several strains of southeast coastal African cattle that probably originated from taurine-zebu crosses made in northeastern Africa.

In 1947, the name ‘Nguni’ became official for all east coast South African cattle strains. Types known include:
• Bavenda (or Sibasa) - of the former Northern Transvaal, Venda and Ciskei
• Kashibi - from Kavango in Namibia
Landim - in Mozambique
Nkone - in Ciskei
• Pedi (or Bapedi) - in Eastern Transvaal
• Pondo
• Shangaan (or Shangan) - in Gazankulu
• Swazi - in Swaziland and no longer recognized
• Zulu - in Swaziland and still recognized

The hypothesis that Nguni are the result of successive north-to-south colonizations (Horsburgh et al., 2013) is supported by mitochondrial DNA studies. Nguni patrilineage, deduced from a Y chromosome microsatellite locus, is exclusively taurine.

The Nguni typically has lyre-shaped horns; polled animals are also common. The well developed hump of the bulls is cervicothoracic (of sanga form); humps are not noticeable in the cows.

Nguni coat colors include:
• white
• black
• brown
• red
• dun
• yellow

Nguni coat patterns include:
• solid colors
• various combinations (including brindle)

This page was last updated on: 2024-01-26

You can also go to:

My Daily Cow® South Africa and Swaziland and read about other South African and Swazi cattle breeds.

The Cow Wall® A-Z Cattle Breed Picture Reference to see other breeds of cattle in the world.