Formed in 1873, The Buffalo Border Guards took their name from their primary deployment Mission – which was patrol The Buffalo River (separating The Cape Colony from Zulu Land). An Irregular Militia, The Guard was composed of British, German and Swiss Volunteers (many of which were Colonists with a ''stake'' in Natal). A Mounted Rifle Unit, The Buffalo Guard was small – numbering (30) Officers and Men. They purchased their own Uniforms and used the same Rank structure as The British Army (of which they were seconded).
Wearing all Black Uniforms and favoring the popular ''Pillbox Hat'', they used the standard British Infantry weapons of The Era - The Martini-Henry Rifle (a Breechloader). The Guard were assigned at the start of The Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 (Col. Richard Glyn's No. 3 Column) as part of Lord Frederick Chelmsford's Army, and placed as Screening Flankers for The 24th Regiment of Foot at Isandhlwana. Participating in that ill-fated battle, only (3) would survive. Barely reformed, The Buffalo Border Guards would continued to fight in The War (mostly dismounted by this time). The Unit was disbanded in 1880.