Trophy hunting in Africa is without a doubt one of the most exhilarating experiences any hunter could have. Not only does it provide a certain number of challenges, but it is the ultimate hunting experience for any hunter who is looking for a thrilling pursuit. When trophy hunting in Africa, you will need to consider a number of factors, especially since hunting here is unlike hunting anywhere else in the world.
A few things to think about
When hunting in South Africa, or in any other African country, there are a variety of animals to select from. Animals are divided into two categories. Some are more dangerous than others, providing a tougher challenge. These are known as dangerous game. Other animals provide less of a challenge but just as much thrill and these are known as plains game. When choosing an African safari, you need to know what kind of animal you are looking to hunt. You will also need to consider the geographical region in which you are hunting. Not all animals inhabit the same kinds of environments.
Then there is the selection of hunting outfitter as well as the infrastructure of the nation in which you are hunting. Your entire hunting experience can be affected by your choice of outfitter. So when you are making your decision, be sure to check out their credentials as well as those of their Professional Hunters (PH). Your PH is going to be a vital participant in your hunt, which makes their experience exceptionally important. When making your PH selection, choose someone who has experience hunting the species you wish to pursue.
SCI – Safari Club International
The SCI, or Safari Club International Record Book of Big Game Animals, is one of the most used record keeping systems in the world. It keeps a unique and detailed history of the club’s hunting recorded and it includes a scoring system. This record includes typical and non-typical animals as well as free range and estate animals. The SCI has various measuring methods and those that are applicable to trophies hunted in Southern Africa include:
Method 1: Animals with simple horns
Method 2: Animals with spiralled horns
Method 4: African buffalo
Method 6: Black wildebeest
Method 8: Rhinoceros
Method 12: Hippopotamus and pigs
Method 14: Elephant
Method 15: Carnivores
Method 16-C: body length of crocodilian.
In 1880, the Rowland Ward Records of Big Game was created. The purpose of the record was to keep track of various details of the game which would be of interest to hunters. It became a company policy to ensure that the book was not to be used to record the biggest or best trophy or to give praise to the hunter. The intention of these records was to celebrate the animals regardless of whether the animal died of natural causes or as the result of being hunted. The other purpose of the book was to ensure that hunters would focus on hunting older animals, especially lone males, which have in all likelihood already bred and passed on their remarkable genes. The book also became a source of information and knowledge gained from experience. In the book, you will find geographical information, historical records, biological records and, of course, game distribution.
The methods of the Rowland Ward Records of Big Game which are applicable for hunters in Southern Africa include 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17 and 18.
Hunting the Big Five in Africa
Hunting in Africa offers nothing less than a memorable challenge. When looking for the perfect hunt, many a seasoned professional has found that nothing comes as close to a thrilling challenge as hunting the Big 5. The prized wildlife that makes up the Big 5 includes the rhino, elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard and lion.
A ferocious beast with quite the temper, buffalo is the most common animal hunted of all of the Big 5. They live in wooded areas as well as savannahs, where the hunter might need to take a long distance shot. Winter is the best season to hunt buffalo, as visibility is generally better. Try to book your hunt for between June and September, before the summer rains make the vegetation dense once more.
Elephant hunting requires a physically fit hunter who is prepared to cover a lot of ground on foot. You are unlikely to have to achieve a long distance shot when elephant hunting in Africa but you will need to get within at least 40 meters to fire your first shot. As this first shot is so important and needs to be done precisely, it is imperative that the hunter is very comfortable with his weapon.
As the most controversial animal to hunt, of all the Big 5, rhino hunting in Africa is often not free range hunting. In some ways, hunting rhino can aid conservation efforts and if you are one of the lucky few to get a permit, this will be the most memorable hunt you will ever do. Rhinos are considered to be calm, placid animals but they have an aggressive streak, which makes them dangerous game. Patience is a necessity.
When hunting leopard in Africa, patience will be the key to your success. The leopard is one of the most elusive animals on the continent and usually, a professional hunter will need to bait the animal just to lure him into shooting range. You might spend more than one night sitting in a blind, and even with all the patience and baiting, you are not guaranteed success. Persistence in your hunt is what will increase your chances when hunting leopard.
Along with the buffalo, the lion is considered to be one of the most dangerous animals to hunt in Africa. Lion hunting requires plenty of skill. As legend says, a hunter will be scared by the lion at least three times; the first being when he spots the spoor, the second when he hears the roar and the third when he catches sight of this majestic animal. Lion hunting in Africa is guaranteed to be a once in a lifetime experience.
There is not one animal in Africa that can turn the hunt from the hunter having the control to the hunter becoming the hunted as quickly as hunting any of these animals. Every member of the Big 5 is guaranteed to give you a run for your money and this is why we usually recommend Big 5 hunting for the experienced hunter. When stalking any one of these 5 animals, you will experience an adrenaline rush you won’t soon forget!
Most Big 5 hunting takes place in the East African nations, in semi-scrub country. You will need the company of an experienced Professional Hunter and keep in mind that most shots will be taken within 100 to 200 yards. You will need a rifle with a calibre of at least .375 along with high quality controlled expanding bullets. Rapid expanding bullets are the bullets of choice for the cats. Be sure to ask your professional hunter plenty of questions regarding the right weapon and ammunition and be sure that you are comfortable with your weapon; this is not going to be an easy hunt.
Plains game hunting
One of the biggest draws for those looking to experience a real African hunting safari is to hunt plains game. Plains game hunting is far more popular, and far less dangerous than Big 5 hunting and as Southern Africa has more mammal species than any other place on earth, there is no arguing that this is the best place for this particular style of hunting. Antelope of all shapes and sizes roam this part of the world and we give you the opportunity to hunt a wide variety of plains game.
The plains game hunting species we offer include:
- Black and blue wildebeest
- Bushbuck (Limpopo)
- Common reedbuck
- Duiker (blue, red and common)
- Grey rhebuck
- Lechwe red
- Mountain reedbuck
- Red hartebeest
Hunters of all skill levels have successfully hunted plains game in Southern Africa. It’s more affordable to hunt these animals than it is to take on any of the Big 5 or dangerous game, which means that even if you are hunting on a budget, you too can enjoy a memorable African hunting safari.
Covering a wide range of geographical areas as well as different climates and landscapes, African plains game hunting is exhilarating. Your hunt could take you to a picturesque grassy savannah, or to a wooded area, covered with dense vegetation. The geography and vegetation can make for a very exciting hunt. We hunt all over Southern Africa, in those habitats that are unique to the plains game you are hunting. Considering the density of the bush, shots can be successfully fired from around 100 paces from the animal. More open expanses will give you more shooting range.
In order to ensure that you are being given the best hunting advice, we will show you the techniques that are suitable for a hunter of your experience. Some of the techniques we’ll teach you includes how to stalk through certain terrains as well as how to successfully use a bow and arrow. We also accommodate hunters with disabilities or medical conditions.
Dangerous Game Hunting in Africa
The African hunting safari is bound to become the highlight of any hunter’s career. Africa offers exhilarating and challenging hunting opportunities. The hunt becomes all the more exciting when dangerous game is involved. Make no mistake, there are certain African species that can turn deadly. Being properly prepared and knowing how to handle your weapon is of utmost importance if you are looking to ensure a successful hunt!
The Cape Buffalo is well known for its bad temper and its desire for revenge once it has been injured. It is a popular trophy to seek out but it is also one of the most dangerous species you could hunt. For a successful and safe hunting experience, hunting alongside a PH is of the utmost importance!
They are agile and quick to snap their deadly jaws at unaware hunters, but although this is a dangerous animal to hunt they are not among the more popular trophies to seek out. They can be a challenging hunt, providing much enjoyment and excitement when they test the skill of the marksman. If you are a trophy collector, this is one trophy you will want.
The imposing elephant is a magnificent beast and it is no surprise that it is considered to be dangerous game. Elephants have long been hunted in Africa, by Ivory traders as well as by those looking to gain a bit of prestige for taking down this animal. As the largest land mammal on earth, elephants are wildly dispersed all throughout Southern Africa, and usually, have populations numbering in the hundreds. Elephants can be hunted in South Africa as well as in Zimbabwe.
Don’t be deceived by their seemingly calm nature while wallowing in water, hippo are incredibly dangerous animals and they can react very quickly despite their size. Should they sense danger, a hippo will retreat to water, and they are not shy about fighting if you are in the way! Hippos are hunted for their tusks.
Exceptionally skilled in the art of hiding away, the elusive leopard is certainly one of the more dangerous animals to hunt. Dangerous hunting safaris in Africa often offer this solitary predator as a trophy although if you are considering this hunt, be aware that patience is an absolute necessity as the animal needs to be baited. Leopard makes for beautiful trophies.
Another big cat and another very dangerous animal to hunt, many sign up for an African hunting safari to take down this king of animals. Lions are usually hunted in the Kalahari in South Africa and you might require the services of a skilled bush tracker to get close enough to this predator. Lions are hunted on foot and are considered to be the second most dangerous animal to hunt in Africa.
Hunting rhino in Africa is strictly controlled and can only be done when you have the right permits. The hunt will need to be done according to the relevant legislation and often a representative from the reserve in which you are hunting will need to accommodate you. Only old males can be hunted as they are passed breeding age and can contribute more to conservation efforts if hunted.
There is always a risk involved when hunting any of the animals on this list, but for seasoned hunters, it is this very thrill that makes a hunt so worthwhile. You need to be able to trust the experience, knowledge and intuition of your PH when hunting any of these animals. You will also need to have complete knowledge of how to handle your rifle.
The area in which you will hunt your dangerous game will depend entirely on the species you are looking to hunt. We offer dangerous game hunting for all of the animals listed above. We have a high success rate in tracking and hunting these animals and all of our professional hunters have many years of experience.
Please book your hunt at least 6 months in advance to give us enough time to take care of all paperwork and permits.
Here are a few bowhunting frequently asked questions: