The Tuli was introduced to Australia in 1990 by CSIRO and the Boran and Tuli Consortium through the use of embryo transfer. This embryo transfer program began in August 1988 and continued for 5 months – 74 calves resulted from the project and were cleared for transportation to Australia on 2nd March 1990.

Unfortunately the stock of Tuli in Australia is now Critical (less than 150 head) as classified by Rare breeds Trust of Australia.

History of tuli cattle

The Sanga breed from which Tuli originate from, evolved several thousand years ago in Africa. It is thought that the breed was the result of natural mixing of indigenous cattle with the Zebu cattle, which were herded through the continent by nomads during the Arab invasion.

They have most likely exsisted in their present form for more than 5,000 years. The Sanga breed is prone to wide variations in constitution and appearance.

Most are a light shade, ranging from yellow to reddish – brown and have a humped neck. They have either short or long horns, depending on the exact ancestry of any given animal.

Of many Sanga derivations, the Tswana cattle are perhaps the most interesting for Tuli enthusiasts. The Tswana cattle wandered South into Zimbabwe and developed the rugged heartiness that typifies the Tuli breed. Due to the extreme climate, the Tswana became heat and drought tolerant, and learned to find new food sources when conditions worsened. Becaue the Tswana had to become scavengers, they developed thick, strong legs and hard hooves from walking to water and food sources. Erought with parasites, disease, heat, drought and famine, these cattle experienced a harsh evolutionthat should have driven them to extinction.



The most docile and domesticated Tswana cattle were selected by local Matabele chiefs for their herds, and their selective breeding practices and domestication enhanced the breed and refined it’s evolution. Thanks to the Matabele, Tswana continued to prosper, and only 69 years ago became the foundation for the Tuli breed as we know it today.

In the early 1940’s, near Tuli, Rhodesia, a Rhodesian names Len Harvey began his life’s work establishing an indegenous domestic breed of cattle that could withstand the harsh conditions of the region and still provide quality food and dairy attributes to the native farmers.

Harvey’s dream was that communal farmers might benefit from his work. After observing the many variations of cattle native to the region, he chose the specimens that were the healthiest, heartiest, and most fertile. These, from the Sanga breed, became the “mother herd” for todays Tuli. Through his position with the Rhodesian Agricultural Department, he established s government breeding program in Gwanda, Rhodesia, on a 3,000 acre farm he aptly named Tuli Station.

In 1948, Harvey’s cattle were competing at shows throughout Rhodesia. They won consistently, year after year, beating out European contenders that had over 300 years of formal breeding management behind them. The Tuli had all of the ruggedness that thousands of years of evolution in Southern Africa had fostered, yet still maintained a high beef and dairy quality that rivalled established breeds.

 These charactoristics are the driving force behind the Tuli’s growing popularity today. Commercial farmers soon began taking interest in Harvey’s breed, many famrers wanted them to be called Harvey’s cattle. But Len Harvey had another name in mind. Since the breed originated in Tuli, Rhodesia, and they were the colour of the red silt of the Tuli river, Harvey thought Tuli was a fitting name. In 1955, the Tuli was registered in Rhodesia as an indigenousbreed. In 1962 Len Harvey’s imported contribution to agriculture ws acknowleged when he was awarded the prstigious MBE by the Queen.

In 2021 Australian Tuli was registered as a recognised Australian breed.


Tulis’s are moderate framed cattle and have three basic coat colours – red, yellow and white. These colours enable them to adapt to intense sunlight.

Their coat is smooth, they have moderate sized ears and dewlap and they can be horned or polled.

Tuli’s are known for their early maturity, docile nature, good mothering ability and high fertility, and they can withstand intense heat without showing signs of stress. Due to their unique genotype, Tuli’s offer the maximum hybrid vigour in a crossbreeding program. They are highly disease – resistant, especially to tick – bourne diseases.

Tuli cattle produce high quality beef, their meat receives consistantly excellent ratings for it’s flavour, tenderness and marbling, and usually Tuli cattle are large enough to be slaughtered at about 18 months of age.



significant Tuli research