Plains Game Hunting in South Africa

Plains Game Hunting in South Africa

South Africa has the largest hunting industry on the African continent and hosts possibly 40 percent of the entire continent's hunting safaris. Although South Africa offers the entire Big Five, the majority of South African safaris are for plains game. In fact, with the possible exceptions of leopard and rhino, I don't recommend South Africa for dangerous game. It's a supply-and-demand business, permits are too limited, and prices for buffalo are high. But South Africa is a great plains game hunting destination.

The actual game list varies somewhat by province, but greater kudu are available almost everywhere. Gemsbok and nyala are key species, and, depending on the area, local specialties include bushbuck, Vaal rhebok, bontebok, oribi, and more. Outfitters are generally reliable, provided you use due diligence in making your choice.

The norm is a fairly modest daily rate plus trophy fees for game taken, so safari costs are pretty much managed by your trigger finger. Alternatively, many outfitters offer inclusive "packages" for a set number of days and certain animals and, if these fit your preferences, can be a great way to go.

Drawbacks: These two things should not be sugar-coated, and the South Africans need to do something about both of them. First is crime. It's been bad in the cities for some years but is expanding to rural areas. It is random and not generally directed against tourists, but on an increasing basis South Africa is a country where one should be careful. You're OK with a reputable outfitter, but I would no longer wander around with a rental car like I did 30 years ago.


Second, and this is the unfortunate truth, "canned hunting" is a creeping pandemic. Game fencing has been common since game ranching really got started 40 years ago, but today "put and take" hunting is getting out of hand. There are many great operators who don't touch this stuff, but today you need to be wary. Guaranteed trophy measurements should always be suspect, and ask hard questions about just how big the hunting area is. There are some reactionary outfitters who are specializing in free-range hunting, and in some areas, like the Eastern Cape and Northern Cape, a lot of areas are still open range.


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 8: Midnight Sun Grizzlies

Kevin Steele and CZ-USA's Jason Morton return to Alaska's arctic tundra for Kevin's second and Jason's third attempt on the legendary species. Things are looking up on day one but time will tell if the boys will get a shot a the king of the tundra.

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 12: High Plains Elk

David Draper teams up with Fred Eichler to hunt elk on the high plains of southern Colorado.

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 13: Forest Buffalo

Craig Boddington returns to Mozambique's fame Coutada 10 for a shot a forest buffalo that's eluded him for 10 years.

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 14: Swamp Bulls

With his Mozambique forest bull in the salt, Craig Boddington sets his sights on the Marromeu grasslands in pursuit of a swamp buffalo.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

From trajectory to penetration to recoil, we evaluate this cartridge for the big-game use case. Ammo

Is the .308 the Perfect North American Big Game Cartridge?

Richard Mann

From trajectory to penetration to recoil, we evaluate this cartridge for the big-game use case.

My deer-hunting seeds were planted and nurtured as a youngster on my family's small farm in North America

Best Units for Hunting Western Mule Deer

Josh Dahlke

My deer-hunting seeds were planted and nurtured as a youngster on my family's small farm in

Didn't draw? Here are five great places you can make a last-minute mule deer hunt. North America

5 Great Last-Minute Public-land Hunts

Joseph von Benedikt

Didn't draw? Here are five great places you can make a last-minute mule deer hunt.

We evaluate the four factors in determining whether a cartridge is viable for long-range hunting: trajectory, wind drift, impact velocity, and accuracy. Ammo

Is the .308 a Viable Long Range Cartridge?

Keith Wood

We evaluate the four factors in determining whether a cartridge is viable for long-range...

See More Trending Articles

More Worldwide

I don't know where your journey began. Not exactly, anyway. It could have been while you were still Worldwide

Africa: Why Would Anyone Hunt There?

Dwight Van Brunt - May 17, 2016

I don't know where your journey began. Not exactly, anyway. It could have been while you were...

On the first afternoon, we came to a broad floodplain stretching away into heat waves and mirage. Worldwide

Boddington: Hunting Water Buffalo in Australia

Craig Boddington - March 07, 2014

On the first afternoon, we came to a broad floodplain stretching away into heat waves and...

Kyle Lamb is hunting kudu and zebra in Namibia and he's doing it the hard way -- Worldwide

Hunting Kudu and Zebra in Namibia

PHTV Adventures - March 26, 2016

Kyle Lamb is hunting kudu and zebra in Namibia and he's doing it the hard way --

Summer sucks, or at least that's what it feels like for serious hunters. Memories of last fall Worldwide

The Best Places to Hunt This Summer

David Draper - June 04, 2014

Summer sucks, or at least that's what it feels like for serious hunters. Memories of last fall

See More Worldwide

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now