African Lions, the largest cats in Africa, range in color from tawny brown, light gray or reddish brown. The males have long manes and are between 8 and 10 feet long, with a shoulder height between 40 and 48 inches and weigh between 350 and 500 pounds. Females tend to be smaller with a length of 7 to 9 feet, a shoulder height of 38 to 42 inches and weigh between 265 and 375 pounds. They can be found in grasslands and savannahs. They are not found in the forest. Lions are pride animals that hunt at dusk and can be found south of the Sahara, in northern Namibia, Botswana and in certain areas of South Africa. African Lion hunting is usually done by baiting lions with freshly killed antelope and other prey species. African lions may also be hunted by tracking. Some African lions are hunted after being spotted by a hunting party on safari, once spotted they can be tracked and taken by the hunter.
Oryx are large antelopes with a black and white body pattern and a sloping back. They have long slim horns that are used for digging. The shoulder height of the Oryx is 46 to 54 inches and they weigh between 395 and 530 pounds. The female Oryx is a bit smaller than the male Oryx and features thinner horns. These animals live in fairly large, male dominated herds. They are active near dawn and just after sunset. They eat grass, fruit and shrubs. Gemsbok are found in Southern Africa in savannahs, open bush, and semi-desert areas sometimes far away from water. One of the most popular species to hunt in Africa. The largest Oryx in the world occur in the Kalahari desert in Namibia and Botswana. These are tough animals that may be hunted using a spot and stalk method. One of the most exciting ways to hunt them however, is with the assistance of the famed San trackers of the Kalahari. These native Bushmen are incredibly adept at tracking animals for miles through the sand and there are even stories of them tracking an individual bull within a herd of over one hundred other gemsbuck. They make an outstanding trophy for any hunter.
African Leopards are between 5 and 7 feet long, with a shoulder height of 20 to 30 inches and weigh between 80 and 160 pounds. Females have very similar dimensions but tend to weigh 20 or 30 pounds less than the males. Their yellowish coats have black spots shaped like rosettes. Leopards are very territorial, solitary animals. They are nocturnal and hunt small to medium-sized game. These animals can be found throughout Africa except in very dry deserts. African leopard hunting is usually done by baiting with freshly killed antelope and other prey species. African leopards may also be hunted by tracking. Some African leopards are hunted after being spotted by a hunting party on safari. Once a leopard is spotted it can be tracked and taken by the hunter. Some countries in Africa currently allow leopards to be hunted with dogs and this has become a popular and effective way of hunting them.
African Elephants have a shoulder height between 10 and 13 feet and weigh between 9,000 and 13,000 pounds. The females are smaller with a height of 8 to 11 feet and a weight of 5,000 to 8,000 pounds. These animals are much larger than Asian Elephants. This is apparent in their larger ears and more convex foreheads. The mothers, daughters and sisters are part of a family herd while males (bulls) are found in a bachelor herd. These animals use their tusks to dig for water, for fighting and to help them feed. Elephants feed during in the morning, evening and night. They can be found south of the Sahara, in northern Namibia, northern Botswana and northeastern Transvall in South Africa. African elephants are typically hunted by tracking them on foot. Elephant hunting for a large trophy is one of the greatest challenges facing the hunter today. Although elephant populations are up in most of Africa, finding elephants with huge trophy tusks has become increasingly difficult.
Black Rhinos have a shoulder height between 55 and 65 inches and can weigh between 1,800 and 3,000 pounds. Their coloring is actually dark gray and not black. They are very large with a concave back, short head, narrow muzzle, small ears and a short tail. Although females are very similar to the males in height and weight their horns tend to be longer and thinner. These animals are solitary except for mothers and their young. They eat twigs, leaves and sometimes grass. Rhinos are very aggressive animals that tend to charge for no obvious reason. Small populations can be found in Cameroon, Kenya, Tanzania, Angola, Zambia, northern Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, South Africa and Swaziland. In October of 2004 the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) approved proposals to allow South Africa and Namibia to hunt five black rhinos each per year. At least one black rhino was taken by an American hunter in 2005 in South Africa however there are still some questions as to whether or not the US Fish and Wildlife Service will allow the importation of the trophy. This may determine the marketability of future black rhino hunting in South Africa. The black rhinos in Namibia are located mostly on government concessions. These concessions have not been awarded yet for 2006 so hunting in those concessions in 2006 is still in question. Hopefully the Namibian government will the decision to award those concessions so hunting may proceed there.
The White Rhinoceros is bigger than the Black Rhinoceros, with a hump on its neck and a slightly arched back and lighter gray skin. They have a height of 65 to 75 inches and weight between 4,500 and 6,000 pounds. The females are about three-fourths the size of the males and have longer and thinner horns. These animals are more social and live in family groups. White Rhinos are more placid than the Black Rhinos but they are known to be aggressive when they are bothered or during mating season. They eat only grass and can be found on reserves and private properties in South Africa and Namibia. The Southern White Rhino is allowed to be hunted as a trophy in Namibia. Importation of these trophies into the USA and Europe is permitted. Trophies hunted in South Africa only require a CITES export permit. Trophies hunted in Namibia require both import and export permits.
Cape Buffalo range in shoulder height from 60 to 65 inches and weigh between 1,400 and 1,800 pounds. These animals are the biggest and darkest of the buffalos. The horns curve out and down then upward to form a semi- circle. Females are smaller with shorter horns. These animals live in herds and are quite calm. They graze and eat some leaves and shrubs. Cape buffalo can be found in many parts of Africa south of the Sahara where there is plenty of water. Cape Buffalo are usually hunted by tracking and stalking. They are sometimes hunted in dugout canoes in the traditional style. They are not easy animals to kill frequently requiring more than one shot to finish them off. They can be extremely dangerous when wounded. Cape buffalo hunting is extremely popular with hunters because it is so challenging and exciting. A Cape buffalo makes a wonderful trophy for any safari hunter.
The Common Eland has a shoulder height of 55 to 67 inches and weighs between 1,200 and 1,500 pounds. This ox like animal has spiral shaped twisted horns, a hump on its shoulders and varies in color from fawn to bluish gray. They are often found in herds while adult males are sometimes found in bachelor herds. The Common Eland eat leaves, fruit, brush and occasionally grass. These animals, which are active during the morning and afternoon, are found in the dry forests and plains of southern and eastern Africa. The Cape Eland has the same characteristics as the Common Eland and can be found in Namibia, southern Botswana, South Africa and Mozambique. The Lord Derby or Giant Eland are a subspecies of Eland, much larger than the cape and common eland found in Central Africa, and are the largest antelope in all of Africa. All Eland subspecies are challenging to hunt. Typically they are hunted by tracking and stalking. Sometimes by spotting and stalking.
Greater Kudu have corkscrew shaped horns, a hump on their shoulders, long legs, big ears and a bushy tail. They vary in color from rufus brown to gray. The common shoulder height is 54 to 60 inches and weight is between 385 and 600 pounds. Females and their young live in family groups while the males are mostly solitary or in small bachelor groups. Greater Kudu are not aggressive and will not defend themselves even when they are cornered. These nocturnal animals feed on leaves, twigs, pods and sometimes grass. They can be found in thick bush and light forest from Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Namibia, and South Africa. One of the most prized, and sought after species in Africa the kudu is a tough and wary adversary. They are usually hunted by spot and stalk methods and tracking and stalking. A big bull kudu makes a striking trophy.
The shoulder height of the Mountain Nyala is between 47 and 53 inches and they weigh between 450 and 550 pounds. They have a shaggy coat, large ears and a bushy tail. Their coloration is sandy gray. The females are three-fourths the size of the males and they have lighter coloring, fur and no horns. Females and young form small herds while the males tend to be solitary. Mountain Nyala eat mostly grasses and herbs and can be found in Chercher, Din Din, Arussi and Bale Mountains, which are east of the Rift Valley. West of the Rift Valley they can be found in Ambo and the Gibat Mountains. Mountain Nyala are typically hunted using a tracking and stalking method and sometimes pursued using a spot and stalk technique. Nyala and all of its subspecies makes a wonderful trophy for any hunter.
Bushbuck are medium sized antelope with a hunched back, bushy tail and large ears. They vary in color from light to dark browns with a variation of reds and white stripes. The shoulder height for these animals is 26 to 36 inches and they weigh between 70 and 140 pounds. Bushbuck are usually solitary animals except for females and young. They eat leaves, shoots, grass and fruits. These shy animals can be found almost everywhere south of the Sahara in dense bush and thickets usually near water. One of the smallest of the spiral horned antelope they are a greatly sought after trophy for African safari hunters. They are usually tracked and stalked through the thick brush in which they live and can be difficult to see in their native terrain.
Impalas are medium-sized antelopes with a short coat and long horns. They have a reddish two-toned coat with the darker color above and the lighter shade below. The chin, upper throat, underbelly and rump are white. They have a shoulder height of 34 to 38 inches and weigh between 100 and 145 pounds. Female Impalas are smaller than the males and they do not have horns. Impalas live in large male dominated herds. They are active both during the day and at night. They feed on grass and leaves and must be near water. They can be found in southern and eastern Africa in light woodland and savanna bush near water. Impalas are one of the most beautiful species encountered on an African safari. Hunters typically pursue them utilizing a spot and stalk method.
Springbok are medium sized gazelles. They have a reddish fawn coloring with white underbelly and rump. Their heads are white with a brown strip from the eye to muzzle area. The shoulder height is 26 to 35 inches and they weigh between 45 and 100 pounds. They live in large herds. Males tend to be solitary or they may be part of bachelor herds. Springbok are most active in the early morning and late afternoon. They dig for bulbs and roots. These animals can be found in the open and dry grasslands of Angola, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. Some of the largest specimens of springbuck are found in the Kalahari desert in Namibia and Botswana. They make a wonderful trophy and are hunted using spot and stalk methods. They may also be tracked in the Kalahari by the famed San Bushmen trackers of that region.
Steenbok are small antelope with short heads and long legs. The smooth, short coat is usually bright reddish fawn but there can also be brown and gray variations. The shoulder height is between 20 and 21 inches and they weigh around 24 pounds. Steenbok are solitary animals that only pair up during breeding season. They are browsers and grazers who feed any time of day. These animals live in the dry open areas of southern Angola, southwestern Zambia, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa and southern Mozambique. Although this is a small antelope they can be very difficult to hunt as they are hard to spot and move very quickly. They make a wonderful trophy and are usually hunted utilizing spot and stalk methods.