sar_01
sar_02
sar_03
sar_04
sar_05

Introduction

The Republic of South Africa holds a specific place in the hearts of both hunters and ordinary tourists. It is one of the most remarkable countries of the African continent and attracts travelers with its famous natural sights. The legendary Cape of Good Hope which is the meeting point of two oceans – Indian and Atlantic; unique Drakensberg Mountains and Veld are all in South Africa. Contrasts are everywhere in this country – violent African thickets are replaced by dry deserts, penguins live in close proximity to antelopes and crocodiles, traditional African tribes live near big cities, and European culture is a part of local life.

Besides the world famous Kruger preserve there are about 150 national parks and the protected natural, sea, forest and botanical territories. Annually each of those parks is visited by millions of tourists. The Republic of South Africa is often shot in the movies and TV shows about African continent. A lot of people picture South Africa as a paradise on earth where you have a chance to drive around on a jeep, looking for predators hiding in a tall grass or observing the migrating antelopes …

For quite sometimes South Africa is holding a first place on the popularity among hunters. If you are going for your first safari this country is exactly where you have to do it. More than 6000 foreign hunters come here every year. The number of specialized hunting lodges reaches 9000 in this country and their sizes vary from a couple of thousand to one hundred thousand hectares. The fauna of South Africa is surprisingly rich. This country gives you a good chance to get all Big Five trophies and also harvest a rich collection of antelopes.

South Africa is the furthest country from the equator on the African continent and therefore, temperature drops here are the strongest than in any other African countries. Spring and summer is from September to February, and autumn and winter is the other part of the year. Summer is usually very hot; temperature inland can exceed 36 degrees. Winters are sunny with an average daytime temperature of 16 degrees and cooler at night. Most of the territory with the exception of Cape Town vicinities gets the most of moisture in summer.

There is a restriction on hunting weapon import – you cannot bring more than two units per person and more than 200 cartridges per weapon.

Hunting season

Hunting is open all year round. However there could be seasonal restrictions depending on the chosen trophy and hunting region. It is best to plan your trip from May to October to avoid heat and rainfall. The most popular months for safari are June, July and August.

Accommodations

Comfortable lodges comparable to four star hotels.

Trophy

Big Five Trophies

White rhinoceros

White rhinoceros

White rhinoceros is the second largest animal on the planet after elephant. It is a huge mammal – an average male weighs 4,480 – 5,600 lb.( with some old individuals up to 8,960 — 10080 lb.) and the head and body length is 14,2 ft. Shoulder height is 5,25 to 6,15 ft. Actually, there is nothing white in this animal. Apparently it got its name from the wrong translation from Dutch to English of the word wijd (wide) which British misinterpreted for "white". In fact color of this rhino is dark ranging from yellowish brown to slate-gray, and only a little lighter than black rhino. As well as the black rhino, the white has two horns, the front one is always longer, usually reaching from 24 to 59 inches, and it is always ideally polished. They guess that rhino is using a front horn for pushing its way through the bushes. The back horn is most often not developed. The main difference of a white rhinoceros from a black one is a wide flat upper lip since the main food for a white rhino is grass, not bushes.

Buffalo

Buffalo

Buffalo shoulder height is 150-165 cm and weight is 650-800 kg. Black buffalo are the biggest and the darkest of the African buffalos. Its heavy, curved horns form massive bases. While many consider buffalo the most dangerous of African game, the lion is probably the best known, most respected, and feared member of the Big Five.

Lion

Lion

Lion is the largest African cat and the second largest in the world after tiger. It weighs between 400 and 500 pounds and stands nearly 4 feet at the shoulder and measures about 10 feet from muzzle to tail. The fur color is most often golden beige; however it can vary from gray to dark reddish brown. The male usually has a long mane on the head, shoulders and breast but there are individuals without it. Color of a mane differs from light to black. Lions live in prides which consist of females related to each other and youngsters, and also one or several adult males. Quite often males form bachelor’s groups. The animal is capable of running with a speed up to 40 km/h for a short distance. The quality of a trophy is defined by the existence of a long beautiful mane; however the size of a body and skull also matters.

Leopard

Leopard

Leopard’s body length is 5.5-7.5 feet. It stands 1.7 – 2.5 feet at the shoulders and weights 80-160 lb., sometimes much more. Leopard is a big representative of the cat family and has a long body and rather short paws. Dense yellowish fur is covered with numerous black spots grouped in sockets. Closer to the tip of a long tail the sockets merge into black stripes. Leopards are solitary animals, except for the rut season. The male territory usually includes a territory of one or two females. Leopards are nocturnal animals and spend afternoons resting on a branch of a tree or in the shelter.

Elephant

Elephant

Elephant’s height at the shoulders is 9.9 – 13.1 feet and weight is 8820-13230 lb. Ears of the African elephant are triangle, thick tusks are bent forward. Grayish skin is thick, wrinkled and covered with occasional rough hair. Females are smaller than males and their tusks are thinner and lighter. Males often form bachelor’s groups; old males sometimes prefer to remain alone. Elephants constantly move searching for food and water. They have excellent sense of smell and hearing, but the eye sight is very weak. Elephants can run fast on short distances and also move quietly through dense thickets. Trophy quality of the tusks is defined by its weight and beauty. Tusks of about 70 lb. are considered a good trophy.

Black Rhinoceros

Black Rhinoceros

An adult black rhinoceros stands 55–71 in high at the shoulder. It typically weighs from 1,760 to 3,090 lb. Black rhino is a huge animal with a strong body structure. The upper lip "hooked" for easier food browsing. Skin is dark gray (not black) and usually covered with a layer of dust or dirt in which rhinoceroses like to roll. There are two horns on the skull with the larger front horn. Females look like males but have thinner and quite often longer horns. Rhinoceroses are surprisingly mobile and maneuverable for their size. When hunting for a black rhinoceros it is necessary to be careful as these animals are unpredictable and can attack suddenly.

Other species:

Blesbok

Blesbok

Blesbok averages 121 – 160 lb. and height at the shoulders is 3 – 3.20 ft. Body color is sandybrown. A characteristic of the blesbok is the prominent white blaze on the face and a horizontal brown strip which divides this blaze above the eyes. Both sexes carry horns very similar to the bontebok ones. Blesbok is a social animal and live in herds from 5 to 30 individuals.

Bontebok

Bontebok

The bontebok is a medium-sized antelope. Bonteboks typically stand 36 to 39 in high at the shoulder and weights from 150 to 180 lb. It is a beautiful animal with bright distinctive color. The bontebok is a chocolate brown color, with a white underside and a white stripe from the forehead to the tip of the nose. The bontebok also has a distinctive white patch around its tail. The horns of bontebok are lyre-shaped and clearly ringed. They are found in both sexes and can reach a length of half a meter. Surprisingly bonteboks are not a timid animals. They live in herds. Nowadays bonteboks live only on the fenced areas and hunt is allowed only for males. When paying for the hunting license you make a contribution to the preservation of this rare species.

Lichtenstein’s hartebeest

Lichtenstein’s hartebeest

Lichtenstein's hartebeest typically stand about 4 ft. at the shoulder and weigh around 330 lb. The horns found on both sexes are shaped like the letter 'S'. The horns are slightly ridged. Lichtenstein's hartebeest are a red brown color, which is lighter on the underbelly. It is a gregarious animal. They gather in herds of five to 10 females and calves with a single male, which leads them. Other males form bachelor’s groups. Males hold large territories, which they mark. Old males prefer a solitary life.

Greater Kudu Southern

Greater Kudu Southern

This subspecies is the biggest and darkest, with the longest horns. There are 9-12 vertical strips from each side.

Waterbuck

Waterbuck

The primary color varies from gray to brown and is lighter on the sides and sometimes blackish on the back. Waterbuck has a white muzzle and white eyebrows; there is a cream colored patch on the throat. The white ring surrounding the tail is a characteristic that no other antelope has.

Водяной козел

Водяной козел

Основной цвет серо-коричневый, светлее на боках и иногда черноватый на спине. Около глаз проходит длинная белая полоса, кончик морды белый, есть белая полоса под горлом. В глаза бросается и белая полоса вокруг хвоста – такой отметины нет ни у одной другой антилопы.

Cheetah

Cheetah

It is a big, slender cat with long extremities and a small round head. Body length including a tail is 5, 4 – 7 ft. It stands 27-30 in. at the shoulders, the weight is 80 -140 lb. The pale yellow skin is covered with small black spots; there are characteristic black tear-like streaks on the face going from eyes to a mouth. Males have thick fur on a neck and shoulder blades which forms a small mane. The exceptionally long tail is covered in spots and ends in a bushy white tuft. The claws are dulled and semi-retractable. Cheetahs can be solitary or gregarious. They form groups consist of a female with cubs or several adult male brothers. These groups mark their territories and avoid contact with each other. Cheetah hunts for middle size antelopes and birds. Unlike the majority of cats it doesn’t stalk the chosen victim but runs and upon catching up with the antelope knocks it down and chokes. It doesn't eat dead meat. Cheetahs have exceptional eye sight, good hearing and sense of smell. The cheetah is a champion in sprint and is capable to develop speed up to 50-70 mph.

Hippopotamus

Hippopotamus

Hippopotamus is a large, semiaquatic animal with barrel-shaped body, short legs and very little hair. It weights from 2870 to 5860lb. and stands at the shoulder 140-152 cm. The head is huge and the animal can open its mouth at almost 180°. Well-developed canines form a terrible weapon. The eyes, ears, and nostrils of hippos are placed high on the roof of their skulls that allows the animal to almost completely disappear under water. The skin is thick and dark. This gregarious animal lives in groups with up to 30 individuals. Males can be solitary. Males establish control over herd and the territory, furiously battling with each other. Their main weapon is canines; quite often battle ends with serious injuries or even death. Hippopotamuses are perfectly adapted for aquatic life style; they are great swimmers and divers. During the day, they remain cool by staying in the water while at dusk they go to graze. It is a herbivorous animal with a good hearing and sense of smell, and normal eye sight. Can run very fast and can be dangerous to people, especially if wounded. A trophy is the lower canines but unfortunately their sizes are difficult to estimate in advance.

Blue wildebeest

Blue wildebeest

Blue wildebeest hues range from deep slate to light gray or even grayish brown (though sometimes the skin looks really bluish gray). The beard is black so the other name of this wildebeest is black-bearded.

Blue duiker

Blue duiker

The blue duiker is a small antelope; in fact, it is the smallest duiker. It reaches 11 -13 in. at the shoulder and weighs nearly 7.7–12 lb. This little grayish antelope has shiny skin and tiny spiky horns with grooves at the base.

Cape grysbok

Cape grysbok

Cape grysbok is bigger than Sharpe’s grysbok. It stands only 21in. at the shoulder and weighs slightly more than 20 pounds. It is a little, slender antelope. It has a rough, reddish sandy coat flecked in white that gives the animal a greyish look. Lower part of the body is dull yellow with the sides, legs, neck and muzzle yellowy-brown. Big pointed ears are white inside. The tail is very short. Only males have horns that are shorter than ears and grow vertically up. Females are bigger than males and have no horns.

Livingston’s Eland

Livingston’s Eland

Livingston’s eland has six or ten white stripes on the sides and a dark brown stripe above the knees on the back surface of front extremities. There is a bush of chocolate color hair is on the forehead. Some populations have white stripеs under the eyes.

Crocodile

Crocodile

Crocodile reaches 9 ft in length, sometimes 15 ft or more. It spends most of the day at the edge of the water and is most active in the early evening.

Nyala

Nyala

Nyala is a middle-sized antelope with a remarkable appearance. The body length is 40–43 in, and it weighs 216–276 lb. Males are significantly larger than females. They are slate gray and have spiral horns with yellowish tip. Females and young males have no horns and they are rusty brown. All nyalas have up to 18 white stripes on their sides. Adult males can have 3-4 or no stripes at all. Males also have a long standing mane which covers a backbone and patches of hair hanging along the lower part of the body. Both sexes have bushy tail with white tip. Old males live alone, but single sex or mixed family groups of up to 10 individuals can be found. Usually nyala lives in small groups, but old males live alone. These antelopes are capable to jump high easily clear the obstacles. It is quite difficult to hunt nyala as it is a very cautious creature, besides it prefers to live in dense thickets. Most often the nyala can be seen in the morning or in the evening when the antelopes come out to the open spaces to eat.

Gemsbok

Gemsbok

Gemsbok is a very beautiful animal and probably is the brightest of all oryx. The general coloration is light brownish-grey. A blackish stripe extends from the chin down the lower edge of the neck, through the juncture of the shoulder and leg along the lower flank of each side to the blackish section of the rear leg. Also there are black stripes on the muzzle. Horns are very long and significantly move apart closer to the tips.

Red-flanked duiker

Red-flanked duiker

The red-flanked duiker is a very graceful duiker. At the height of about 15 to 18 in it weighs 26 to 31 lb. It is bright yellow-brown with bluish-grey stripe going along the spine from the nose to the tail and the lower part of the legs is the same color. A tuft of black hairs grows between the horns. Chin, throat, and a stomach is of a light or white color, the tip of a tail is black. Males have short backward-pointing horns grooved at the base.

Sable antelope

Sable antelope

Adult sable antelope males are brilliant black, with a muzzle that is mainly white except for a wide strip from the forehead to a nose and from an eye to a nose. Big population of Sable antelope lives in the Republic of South Africa.

Sharpe’s grysbok

Sharpe’s grysbok

Sharpe’s grysbok is a very little antelope with rigid hair. Sharpe’s grysbok stands about 20 inches at the shoulders and weighs only 7–8 kg. Its coat is reddish-brown with streaks of grey. Lower part of the body and eye-rings are off white and a short dark stripe is on the nose. Ears are big and the tail is short. Only males have short cone-shaped horns with grooves at the base. Lead a solitary life except for the mating period. Grysbok are active at dusk and at night and during the day they hide in thickets or in the neglected holes of anteaters. They prefer to hide if they feel the danger and if detected run away to the thickets snuggling to the ground.

Black wildebeest

Black wildebeest

The black wildebeest is big awkward looking dark brown antelope. It is typically 46 – 48 in. height at the shoulders with an average weight of 300–400 lb. It has a big head and long muzzle with bristly hair. It also has long, dark-colored hair between its forelegs and under its belly; and a bushy and dark-tipped mane that is stick up from the back of the neck. The black wildebeest is characterized by its long white tail. Both sexes have horns with a base. The black wildebeest is a gregarious animal. The herd of 20 -30 females and youngsters is led by a territorial bull. Males occupy its own territory year round and gets very aggressive during mating season and fight with other males. Wildebeest can run fast. If attacked the animal is actively defending.

Steenbok

Steenbok

Steenbok is a small graceful antelope with a small head, long extremities and short smooth fur. It is standing 16"-24" at the shoulder with a weight of 11 kg. The general coloring bright it is bright rufous. The underside, including chin and throat, is white or off white. Ears are large and the tail is short. Only males have smooth wide-spread horns. The animal leads a solitary life except for mating period. In case of danger steenbok hides in a grass. When found steenbok jumps and runs away in zigzags, sometimes it jumps up and stops to look back. Often hides in the neglected anteater holes. Not to damage a thin skin, it is necessary to use small caliber or all-metal bullets.

Cape bushbuck

Cape bushbuck

Cape bushbuck or Imbabala stand about 35 in at the shoulder and weigh from 99 to 130 lb (depending on sex). Bushbuck is a medium size animal with brownish to almost black coat and several white spots and stripes on the side and hind part of the body. Muzzle is light brown with black forehead and black stripe on the nose.

Tsessebe

Tsessebe

Tsessebe is a medium size antelope weighing 137 kg on average and standing 119-122 cm at shoulders. Their bodies are chestnut brown with a purple tint. Horns are not big with both sexes and they are grooved with the exception of their tips. Antelopes live in family groups or small herds of 8-10 individuals. Generally they are active in the morning and in the evening. Tsessebe is a very curious animal. Despite clumsy appearance, t it is capable of running long distances. This antelope has a beautiful skin, however the horns are unattractive as quite often it is harvested by accident while hunting for other animals. Being very curiosity the animal let the hunter quite close to itself.

 

Also the list of trophies includes aardwolf, a baboon, African wildcat, bat-eared fox, African painted dog, white blesbok, bush pig, cape fox, caracal, civet, common duiker, genet, giraffe, a brown hyena, spotty hyena, impala, jackal, klipspringer, oribi, a porcupine, ostrich, honey badger, bohor reedbuck, grey rhebok, roan antelope, serval, springbok, warthog and zebra.

Hunting territories

Hunting takes place on private farms and on specially controlled hunting territories in preserves. Generally most of the hunts are on the fenced territory as it has two times more game. Vegetation is from shrubby savanna with dry grassy plains to prickly thickets. If you are hunting in semi-desert areas in the Provinces of Kalakhari be ready for a difficult walking conditions due to its sandy soils. Most antelopes are hunted in two provinces – Limpopo and Eastern Cape Province. Lions, leopards and elephants are most often shot in Limpopo and in the Northwest province.

Process of hunting

Hunting in South Africa primarily involves stalking sometimes directly from camp. For transportation within the hunting territory all-wheel vehicles are used. Night hunting is permitted in all provinces and the use of artificial light is allowed after obtaining the permit. Most often such permits are issued for leopard hunting with bait. There are no government restrictions on the number of days for safari; the minimum is set by an outfitter. In some provinces you can even shoot from the car.

Route

The only two airlines making direct flights to Johannesburg from US are Delta out of Atlanta and South African Airways from New York. You can fly to Johannesburg and Cape Town with lay overs in Europe. There are everyday flights from Frankfurt on Lufthansa and from London on British Airways and 4 times a week from Zurich on Swiss International Airlines. Since hunting territories are scattered around the country, you will most likely get a local flight to one of the South African cities and then transfer to the hunting grounds by car or single-engine airplane.

Related items

Hunting in Zimbabwe  Hunting in Namibia  Hunting in Tanzania