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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:
Nyala are among the most graceful of the spiral-horned antelope that can be hunted in South Africa. Their preferred habitat is the higher rainfall eastern parts of South Africa where they favour densely wooded savanna. The .270 should be the smallest caliber with which to pursue the Nyala. A .30 caliber rifle would, however, be a better choice.
The awkward-looking red hartebeest is one of the fastest of the plains game animals found in South Africa. They favour open-country areas where they rely on their speed to elude predators. Hartebeest have good hearing and an acute sense of smell and should always be approached slowly from downwind. Their eyesight is not particularly good.
The number of roan antelope in South Africa has increased substantially over the last decade. They are the second largest of the plains game animals that can be hunted on a South African hunting safari.
The world’s largest living bird species also counts among the other species that can be hunted whilst on safari in South Africa. The ostrich is popular for the high quality of its hide, its magnificent feathers, and its lean, high-protein meat. Ostriches are also often hunted while in pursuit of other game.
Sable antelope are most active during the early mornings and late afternoons. Their distinctive colouring makes them easy to spot, even in the densest vegetation. The scimitar-shaped horns of the sable are probably the most prized of all the plains game trophies found in South Africa.
SPRINGBOK – BLACK
The black springbok is not a sub-species, but rather a colour variation on the common springbok. They occur in all areas where the common springbok is found. Black springbok trophies make a great display when mounted alongside the common, white and copper springbok.
SPRINGBOK – COMMON
The common springbok is the national animal of South Africa. These graceful animals are hunted on open terrain where their exceptional eyesight make it very difficult to get within shooting range. They are best hunted with a caliber with a high velocity and a very flat trajectory.
SPRINGBOK – WHITE
The white springbok is another colour variation on the common springbok which can be hunted in South Africa.
Steenbok are a fairly common small antelope that have a wide distribution in South Africa. Steenbok are territorial antelope and only the male of the species carries horns. They would normally be taken on a chance encounter while hunting for another animal.
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