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Plains game species that can be hunted in South Africa – Part 3

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.









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.










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.









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.

Plains game species that can be hunted in South Africa – Part 2

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.









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.


Plains game species that can be hunted in South Africa – Part 1

Southern Africa has more species of mammals than any other hunting destination. The abundance of antelope species in Southern Africa, and especially South Africa, make it an absolute paradise for hunters. Plains game hunting brings more hunters to Africa each year than all of the Big Five combined. Here are some of the most popular plains game species that can be hunted in South Africa.



Black wildebeest are normally hunted on the central plains of South Africa. By the early nineteen hundreds, these animals were almost hunted to extinction. It was only through committed conservation that their numbers were re-established in the latter part of the previous century. Trophy hunting and the income derived from it is one of the most important contributors to the conservation of the black wildebeest in South Africa.

Black Wildebeest











Blesbok are amongst the most common animals that can be hunted in South Africa. These antelope favour open plains where water is available. Long shots are often required when hunting on the open plains in South Africa. Calibers which are ideally suited to hunting these animals are the faster shooting calibers with a relatively flat trajectory. We recommend the .270, 7X57 and the .300 Win Mag.



Blue wildebeest are often referred to as “the poor man’s buffalo”, for there are many similarities when hunting this animal and the Cape buffalo – Africa’s largest and toughest bovine.

Blue Wildebeest










Bontebok are one of the rarest species of plains game that can be hunted in South Africa. They bear a close resemblance to blesbok, with a few unique distinctions. The bontebok has a white blaze that stretches from its forehead to the tip of the nose. They also have a distinct white blaze around the tail. Bontebok are normally only hunted by avid African trophy collectors.



Bushbuck are the smallest of the spiral-horned antelope that can be hunted in South Africa. These antelope can be quite elusive. The males are normally solitary and favour thick vegetation. They are often encountered during the late afternoon in the thick bush surrounding river courses. It is important to be very wary of bushbuck once they are wounded, for they have been known to lie in wait and attack hunters.



Common reedbuck are fairly widely distributed throughout South Africa. They are mostly nocturnal animals that are hunted during the late afternoon and early morning. The name “reedbuck” was given to these animals, for they commonly hide in reeds and the tall grass surrounding marshes during the day. Common reedbuck can be distinguished by a white patch under the tail when they are running away.



The grey or common duiker, as he is also known, is among the most common small antelope that can be taken on a plains game hunting safari in South Africa. They are normally taken opportunistically when pursuing another antelope.

Common Duiker

Planning your first hunting trip – Hunting for Beginners

To some, hunting is second nature.  But if you haven’t hunted before, it might feel a little overwhelming.  And even if you have hunted before, there will always be something new you can learn.   All of us have to start somewhere. Here is a couple of pointers and tips to help you keep ahead of the game!

Firstly, you need to prepare well in advance for your first hunting trip.  When you do go out into the bush for the first time, you will need to be educated and familiar with your chosen equipment.

Find a Mentor / Be an Apprentice

Find someone to go on a hunt with.  Go without your gun and simply watch them hunt, and learn from them.  This will let you get a feel for it and see what it’s like.  If you respect the hunter and nature well enough, he might even let you in on some of his secrets.

Check the Law and Regulations

Ensure that you are up to date with the latest hunting and rifle laws in your area/country and that you understand them.  Also, ensure that you have the right licenses.

Gun Safety Rules

Before you handle a gun, make sure you read and understand the rules of basic firearms safety. It’s always a good idea to review these rules from time to time, even if you are experienced with guns. Depending on where you live, there might even be some hunter’s safety courses available.


You need to practice shooting to become proficient.  It is important to get comfortable with your choice of rifle or bow.  Head to the range and get started.


Don’t hurry out to buy a gun. You can practice with borrowed guns. If you have friends and family who will go to the range with you and let you shoot their guns, that’s great. If not, try calling some local ranges. Tell them you don’t have a gun but you would like to try shooting. Many ranges and farms offer guns for rent.

Gear for beginners

You will need some basic gear in order to begin hunting, including comfortable clothing, a strong sharp knife, good footwear, etc. But you absolutely do not need to go out and spend lots of money on the latest camouflage or equipment.  Expensive gear simply is not necessary. Make sure you can stay warm and dry and comfortable, and that you can perform all the tasks you need to do.

Start small

Small game hunting is often a great way for a beginner hunter to learn because it usually offers more opportunities and a greater chance for success. It also provides a successful hunter with a taste of what’s to come, should he or she keep on hunting and move on to larger animals in the future.

Enjoy every moment

The most important is to get out there and enjoy yourself. Hunting is one of the very best ways to spend time. It will provide you with a better understanding of (and a greater appreciation for) wildlife and how animals live in the wild and a deeper appreciation for all types of life.