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Introduction

Being under the power of the British Empire, Zimbabwe was considered as one of the most prosperous countries in Africa. After getting independence and especially when Robert Mugabe was in office, the country had a lot of economic and social problems. Hunger has led to the sharp increase of poaching. Despite of all that legal trophy hunting continues in Zimbabwe as there are still very good hunting grounds with trophy animals. In recent years outfitters began to develop new territories. Of course, is takes time, but there is hope that Zimbabwe will acquire back the status of a global hunting paradise in Africa.

There are no restrictions on import of hunting weapon, however keep in mind that if you are flying through South Africa, you can bring in only 2 guns. Only one hundred cartridges can be imported per hunting weapon. It is necessary to take malaria preventative drugs. It is recommended (but not obligatory) to get the following vaccinations: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, jungle fever and rabies. Camo clothing is prohibited in Zambia. Visa can be obtained upon arrival directly in the airport.

Hunting terms

Hunting is allowed all year round, but due to the rainy season trophy hunting is mainly from April to October with the best time from June to August. The weather is pleasant and dry with a day time temperature around 20 C. At night the temperature is considerably cooler.

Trophy

Big Five Trophies

Buffalo

Buffalo

Buffalo shoulder height is 150-165 cm and weight is 650-800 kg. A black buffalo is the biggest and the darkest of the African buffalos. Its heavy, curved horns form massive bases. While many consider buffalo as 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. Lions live almost everywhere in Zimbabwe.

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.

{tabElephant}

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. Elephant population in Zimbabwe counts around 100 000 animals. They live mainly in Zambezi River valley.

Trophies

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.

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 a 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 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.

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.

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 Zimbabwe.

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.

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.

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.

 

Hunting territories

Vegetation of Zimbabwe is mainly mopane woods and grassy savannas with areas of dense forest. Hunting is allowed in three different types of concessions: state territories, tribe territories and private hunting grounds.. Hunting grounds aren't fenced.

 

Zambezi River Valley

Zambezi River Valley

It is a wild, untouched territory in the north of Zimbabwe. It is not fenced and the concessions are surrounded national parks. Zambezi River Valley is considered to be one of the best places in all Africa for elephant, lion, buffalo and leopard hunts. It is probably one of the last untouched corners of the real wild Africa that is very attractive even for experienced hunters.

Save Valley Reserve

Save Valley Reserve

With slightly less than one million acres this territory is considered the biggest private ground in the world. Hunters can count on getting excellent trophies of a leopard, buffalo, elephant and antelopes. There are various types of habitats in this reserve, including thickets of acacia, mopane woods, dense coastal vegetation and granitic rocks.

Kazuma and Ngamo Sikumi

Kazuma and Ngamo Sikumi

These are state grounds in the northwest of Zimbabwe near Hwange national park where you can get excellent trophies of an elephant, buffalo and sable antelope.

Matetsi Reserve

Matetsi Reserve

These are the oldest and the best known hunting grounds in Zimbabwe located in the northwest of the country near Victoria Falls.

Hunting process

Hunting in Zimbabwe is from stalk; however, cars are often used since the territories of hunting concessions are huge. Hunting is not physically demanding as the terrain is not difficult.

Route

Such airlines as British Airways, KLM, South African Airways, East African Airlines, Air Zimbabwe, Kenya Airways have flights to Zimbabwe. Upon arrival to Harare you will be transferred to the hunting camp is by car (3-6 hours on a good road), or by charter plane if there is runway near the camp area.

Accommodations

On the private grounds hunters are most often accommodated in comfortable lodges while in the state areas in spacious and comfortable tent with shower and toilet; electricity is available in most cases.

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