Mátra Buffalo Reserve in Novohrad- Nógrád UNESCO Global Geopark
The Hungarian buffalo (swamp buffalo) is one of the oldest domesticated animals that arrived in the Carpathian Basin with the Avars, and one of the most intact species in terms of its genetic ancestry.
Most buffaloes are bred in the hot climate, but the Hungarian buffalo has adapted well to the local weather over the centuries, but has retained its tropical habit of needing to feed on the marsh in summer, and also eats grass and reeds.
For this reason, they play a significant role in the rehabilitation of wetland nature reserves.
Buffaloes have a useful life of 20-25 years, a solid, well-muscled appearance, a short and broad trunk, great strength, a height of 150-190 cm and a weight of between 450-1000 kg. The head is fired high, the horns curve backwards at the sides and then upwards in a sickle shape. The turkey has excellent conformation, social sensitivity and exceptional intelligence.
The products of the Mátra Buffalo Reserve are the mineral and biogenic diatoms deposited during the cratering of the post-volcanic hot springs, on the andesitic and riolite tuff bedrock of the so-called “Szurdokpüspök Formation” of Miocene volcanic activity, marble, quartzite and tufite soil layers, which are extremely rich in minerals and trace elements, are derived from native livestock grazing wild herbs and medicinal plants in free-range pastures. At the western gateway to the Mátra, on the border of Szurdokpüspöki, on one of its largest plateaus (Laposok), in an area of about 120 hectares classified as Natura 2000, and on the border of the village of Herencsény, the animals of the buffalo reserve – mainly Hungarian domestic buffaloes and donkeys – live in free-range farming. The animals, which are not intended for further breeding, are processed into meat, sausages, salami, ham and other meat products using traditional curing methods, flavoured with natural salt, natural spices and wild herbs.
The Buffalo Reserve also offers safari programmes, including a buffalo cross-country safari, and a tasting of GEOfood’s signature buffalo and donkey meat handcrafted meat dishes.