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Here follows the last couple of Plains Game Species that can be hunted in South Africa:
Tsessebe have the distinction of being the fastest antelope in Africa. They are part of the same family as the wildebeest and hartebeest. All of which have a strange appearance due to the fact that their shoulders are higher than their hindquarters. It is recommended that tsessebe is hunted with a .30 caliber rifle.
Waterbuck can be identified by the distinct white circle around their tails. As the name implies, these large antelope are never found far from a permanent water source.
Warthog are widespread throughout South Africa. This common wild pig’s trophy size is typically assessed by its upper tusks, but often also hunted for its rather delicious meat. Warthog are often found around waterholes and pans and like to inhabit the desert dens of anteaters.
ZEBRA – BURCHELL’S
The Burchell’s or plains zebra is the most common zebra in Southern Africa. Revered for their spectacular skins, zebra are typically found on open plains and grassland areas. Zebra are highly dependent upon water and will never stray too far from a water source.
ZEBRA – MOUNTAIN
The Cape mountain zebra is slightly smaller than the Burchell’s and lacks the distinctive shadow stripe than the Burchell’s has. Its underbelly is also completely white.
To some, plains game hunting in Southern Africa has remained only a dream, as most perceive it as far too expensive and best left to only the wealthiest of hunters. This can not be further from the truth. In fact, you can book a very enjoyable plains game hunting safari in South Africa for considerably less than the average elk hunt in the western states of America.
African plains game hunting is conducted in a variety of geographical areas which can vary widely in climate, vegetation, and topography. The hunting areas can range from densely wooded savanna to wide open grasslands.
Here follows the next couple of plains game species that can be hunted in South Africa:
Eland are the largest plains game animal that can be hunted in South Africa. Large males can easily be identified by their blue necks and large dewlaps. The large males normally have a thick and prominent tuft of hair on their foreheads.
Giraffes are the world’s largest ruminants and the tallest land mammals. Giraffe have exceptional eyesight and acute hearing, which makes them difficult to approach. Hunting giraffe will most often be done by spot and stalk or tracking his very distinctive spoor. The giraffe has thick, tough skin and will require the same bullet selection as an elephant.
The Grey Rhebuck is a medium-sized antelope that occurs in mountainous terrain in the southeastern part of South Africa. The altitude and terrain where these plains game species are hunted can often create a very challenging hunt. Only the males of the species carry horns, which are straight and upright.
Gemsbok are one of the most impressive plains game trophies that can be hunted in South Africa. Gemsbok are native to the dry Kalahari region of South Africa. They can go without surface water for months on end, as they derive moisture from the plant material they digest.
Impala are the most common antelope found in South Africa. Impala are a very attractive mid-size antelope. They are included in almost all of our hunting packages and would normally form part of the bag on any safari in South Africa.
Klipspringers are one of the smallest antelope species found in South Africa. They are hunted in areas with rocky terrain or mountain ranges. Their yellow-brown coats provide excellent camouflage in these areas, and they can be very difficult to spot when standing motionless. They should be spotted from below, as opposed to above, as klipspringers are more alert to predation from above.
A good set of kudu horns is arguably the most impressive plains game trophy that can be harvested in Africa. Kudu occur widely throughout South Africa, where they favor broken or hilly terrain with thick vegetation. They are very well camouflaged and can be hard to spot when standing motionless in thick brush.
LECHWE – RED
Though the red lechwe is not endemic to South Africa, they have been introduced to the Free State and Eastern Cape from populations found north of South Africa. They are a medium-sized antelope and only the males of the species carry horns. They are ideally hunted with a 30 caliber or larger.
These medium-sized antelope favour mountainous terrain where they occur in small family groups. Only the male of the species carries horns. Mountain reedbuck can present a very challenging hunt with a lot of climbing involved. Long shots with varying elevation are often required, and a fast flat shooting caliber would be recommended when embarking on a mountain reedbuck hunt.
Spiral-horned antelope are large and elusive antelope characterized by outrageously impressive spiralled horns in the males and lovely camouflaged patterns in the females. Only the males have horns, except in the case of Eland where both sexes are horned. The most common species of the spiral-horned antelope found in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa are Kudu, Eland, Nyala and Bushbuck. The spiral in the horns is a result of a growth pulse. At certain times, the horn material will grow faster and thinner and at other times thicker and slower, resulting in spiral horns. Here follows a couple of tips on hunting these magnificent species:
The kudu tends to browse in the early morning and late afternoon. It usually rests during the heat of the day. Hunting kudu can be extremely challenging. It is very sly and extremely elusive with exceptional senses. It will be easiest to look for spoor around water holes as they drink regularly and will never be too far from water. There are several methods that can be used when hunting kudu. One must check likely feeding areas in the early morning hours, and stalk.
It also recommended that one ambush the kudu’s likely feeding areas at daybreak as the bulls return to higher ground and cover. At midday, you can lie in wait by the water, as they are regular drinkers. In addition to these techniques, consider tracking if the ground permits, or try still-hunting in thick cover. Hunting kudu with less than 7mm or .270 caliber rifles would not be recommended.
The Cape Eland is southern Africa’s largest antelope, and also the largest spiral-horned antelope. Eland tends to be nervous, taking flight at the first sign of danger. This could make hunting extremely difficult, as they are difficult to approach and to therefore get within shooting range. Hunting Eland with the right rifle is also of paramount importance. Many Eland are taken with lesser rifles, but the .375 would not be considered overkill! A well-placed shot are very important. A few inches to the left or right with a lesser caliber may make for a long day of tracking or even the loss of a wounded animal. The easiest way to hunt eland is by chance encounter while hunting other game. Ensure that you have a quick follow-up shot, as he will not go down easily.
To be continued… see part 2
A Bucket List is a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime. Your Hunting Bucket List is exactly the same. There is an extremely diverse assortment of game animals available in Africa. A hunter needs to narrow down the species he intends to take on a given safari as all species are not common to a single geographical area. Here are two animals that not a lot of people have hunted before, and if you haven’t hunted one of them yet, it should definitely be on your Hunting Bucket List for your next trip to South Africa.
The Roan is the second largest antelope in Africa. This fairly large antelope is indigenous to the northern reaches of Southern Africa. However, game ranching has made him available in many places where it was not previously found. The “roan” in its name refers to its coloring, which shows a strawberry tint when the light is right. The .270 Win should be the absolute minimum when hunting Roan. The 30 calibers is a much better choice. Your best bet for hunting roan antelope is a good .338 magnum, the 9.3mm or the trusty .375 H&H. The high heart/lung shot will do nicely for the side-on presentation, straight up the front leg one-third into the body. Be cautious when hunting the roan antelope, as this big fellow can be extremely dangerous. Definitely one for your Hunting Bucket List.
The Tsessebe is reputed to be the fastest of all African antelope. It has a dark face with purple blotches on the shoulders, whereas the withers and upper body are reddish-brown. The .270 Win and a good expanding 130-grain bullet should be considered the minimum. Rather look to the 7mm’s or the 30 calibers with up to 180-grain bullets for a better result when hunting Tsessebe. Do not be fooled by the hump on its shoulder, it may cause you to shoot too high. With a side-on presentation, the high heart-lung shot is the recommended medicine, up the front leg about one-third into the body. Do not place your shot any higher than the midline. If you take a shoulder shot, place it a bit further up and farther forward than you would the standard high heart shot. The neck is a bit too slender to recommend the neck/spinal shot. If while hunting Tsessebe, he offers the frontal shot, take care and place your shot in the center of the chest between the shoulder joints; wait until he lifts or turns his head. When spooked, he will run a short distance, stop and look back, even if serious danger has threatened. There is its mistake, and there is your shot.
Goals that are not written down are just wishes. We would accomplish much more things if we did not think of them as impossible. South Africa should be on the top of your Bucket List as a Holiday destination. Its unsurpassed wildlife combined with wonderful clear skies, amazing sunsets, breath-taking natural scenery, history, culture and some of the best vineyards in the world will ensure an adventure you will never forget!