Crew 1 + 10 Infantry
Armament Provision for mounting 2 MGs
Combat Mass 6.14ton
Hull length 5.1m
Width 2.05m
Height 2.955m
Engine Six cylinder water cooled diesel
Power Output 93.25kW
Fuel 200litres
Road Speed 96km/h
Road Range 1000km


The Buffel was the first efficient mine protected armoured personnel carrier fielded by the South African Army. The vehicle is basically a Unimog chassis fitted with a mine protected troop “bathtub” and a separate mine protected driver cabin. The “bathtub” had hinged sides that drop down to allow troops to quickly debus from the vehicle. In combat however the sides were rarely dropped as it consumed time and as the sides had a tendency to swing back injuring the troops. It was therefore more common for the troops to jump over the top, an action which required some skill due to the height of the vehicle. The “bathtub” also allows the troops to fight from the cab to some extend.

By using the basic Unimog chassis the vehicle is endowed with excellent cross country capability, earning it the nickname of “Grens Donkie” or Border Mule, although the additional weight of the cab has to some degree reduced this. Another feature shared with many South African armoured vehicles is the provision of a water tank for operations in the semi arid areas of Namibia and South Africa. The vehicle also has additional fuel tanks giving it very long range.

Although being ungainly looking and certainly not comfortable and prone to produce sea sickness with its pronounced body roll, earning it another less endearing nick name of “Kots Koets” or Vomit Wagon, the vehicle was much loved by the troops who used it. It became a common sight in Namibia during the Border War with thousands being deployed with the infantry battalions on the border. However with the advent of more modern armoured personnel carriers such as the Mamba the vehicle has been phased out from service

Image Gallery

  • Buffel Preview 0

Tell your Story

Did you serve with 61 Mech? Do you have a recollection or anecdote to share?

Subscribe Now and share your experiences.

If you subscribe to the member site, you can read stories and view photos which can not be accessed from the public site.