Larger than the states of Montana and Texas combined, South Africa claims the most incredible variety of wildlife in all of Africa. Its topography is as diverse as its wildlife. Mountains, plains, deserts, and swamps produce a thriving ecosystem for all the wildlife that calls South Africa home. The country holds one of the largest populations of buffalo on the continent and currently claims half of all Safari Club International records for the animal. South Africa is a top destination for luxury hunting tours as it is home to all of the “Big Five” and “Dangerous Seven” game animals and over a dozen species of antelope, with five of those being found only in South Africa. Species considered to be “endangered,” such as elephants, rhinoceroses, and leopards, may also be legally hunted and imported into the U.S. with the proper permits. While there are many more animals to be hunted there, the most popular game animals in South Africa are divided into the two main categories of “plains game” and “dangerous game.”
South African Plains Game Safaris
There are so many species of plains game across Southern Africa it would take you multiple trips over many years to hunt them all. To help you keep it all sorted, here is a list of the most popular species:
- Blesbok are endemic to South Africa and are one of the most popular plains antelope.
- Bontebok: Nearly wiped out at one point, this colorful antelope now thrives in South Africa.
- Bushbuck: The small spiral-horned antelope makes for an elusive quarry in dense forests and thickets.
- Bushpig: This ill-tempered wild swine with razor-sharp tusks is similar to the European wild boar.
- Cape Eland: The largest of all the South-African antelope can tip the scales at over 2,000 pounds!
- Cape Grysbok: A shy and diminutive antelope is found in the mountain valleys and brushy flats.
- Duiker: Like the Cape Grysbok, the duiker is a small, shy antelope in gray, red, and blue phases.
- Kudu: The spectacular spiraling horns and white markings make this large antelope one of the most coveted of all African species.
- Hartebeest: Sometimes called the “Harley Davidson” by hunters because their horns resemble handlebars, the Hartebeest is one of the swiftest antelope on the plains.
- Impala: A great introduction to African hunting, this antelope is abundant throughout South Africa and is excellent table fare.
- Klipspringer: This enchanting little antelope lives in mountainous areas and is named for its jumping ability.
- Mountain Reedbuck: Rarely seen in the open, this little mountain antelope makes for a challenging and rewarding hunt.
- Nyala: Cousin to the kudu, this antelope requires a tenacious hunter to get close enough for a shot.
- Oribi: Having a “stotting” gate like the mule deer of the American west, this tiny antelope is a unique trophy animal.
- Roan: Slightly smaller than the eland in size, this antelope lives on the open plains.
- Sable: This is unarguably the most beautiful and regal of all the African antelope.
- Springbok: With black, white, and common (brown) phases,[…]