South Africa undoubtedly boasts some of the most varied wildlife populaces on the entire African continent making it a sought-after destination for local and international hunters alike. After 5 years of steady decline, the South African hunting industry is once again recovering, enjoying a slow yet sturdy increase in overseas hunters of about 3% per year. The diverse biomes of the country, which range from swamps and mountains to forests and deserts are home to a large variety of animals such as the following that can be legally hunted, within limits, within the borders of the country.
The graceful medium-sized impala is one of the most popular animals to hunt on the African continent and in South Africa in particular. Impala live in large herds, making them easy to spot and easy to kill. There are no seasonal restrictions on impala hunting in South Africa which makes it a sought-after year-round trophy hunt. While Impalas can readily be hunted across numerous regions of the country, the Limpopo province is one of the most popular destinations on the continent as far as hunting the antelope is concerned. Due to its relatively small frame, most rifle calibers will penetrate the animal completely, exiting on the opposite side and possibly even wounding animals that were not the intended target. Despite being a common target for trophy hunters, Impalas are also frequently hunted for camp meat as well as to bait predators such as lion and leopard.
Due to their sheer size alone, giraffes make sought-after hunting trophies that become the most prized possessions of many hunters. The world’s tallest animals can be hunted in various regions of South Africa with some of the largest herds living in the North-West and Limpopo provinces. Although giraffes are very gentle by nature, they are known to attack when they feel threatened. Hunting giraffe is not easy as the terrain they live in, coupled with their height, enables them to see and hear everything around them. The best way to hunt these magnificent beasts is through spot and stalk tactics or to alternatively track them. Giraffes have exceptionally thick, tough skin which necessitates hunters to make use of same calibers that are used in elephant hunting.
Zebras are the most recognizable animals in the world due to their distinctive black and white stripes. The beautiful animals which weigh around 800 pounds are generally hunted for their exquisite hides. Zebras are also a common food source for many of the predators that are found in South Africa, resulting in them also being hunted when baiting leopards and lions. Two types of zebra are hunted in the country. Plain zebras are generally found in large herds in open grasslands in close proximity to wildebeest. These zebras are very common and can be found all over South Africa. Mountain zebras are a lot less ordinary and live in smaller groups in the high-lying areas of the Western and Eastern Cape. A good 2 – 12 X 50 gun scope will suffice when hunting zebra and proficient calibers range from a 308 to a 338 Lapua.
Despite a lot of pressure being put on the South African government to ban recreational hunting in the country, the country’s rich hunting culture continues to flourish. If you consider the majestic landscapes and countless species of magnificent animals that roam freely, it is no wonder that so many hunters flock to the African continent to fulfill their lifelong dreams of bagging some prolific wildlife.