Every so often, a story makes it into the news about poachers hunting elephants or other big game in Africa. Most of these animals are protected, and to hunt them purely for their tusks is clearly not permitted — nor a humane move. However, if you are interested in visiting Africa on a hunting trip, there are definitely game you can hunt legally, humanely, and for meat. Here are five unique animals that you can hunt in Africa.
The impala is not just a car made by Chevrolet! The cars are actually named after this antelope species that lives in Africa. Impalas weigh around 100 pounds, which is smaller than most other antelopes and makes them a good starting point for anyone who is interested in hunting antelope. Many American hunters who are used to hunting deer take well to hunting impalas because they are of similar size and build.
You will find impalas grazing in meadowlands. They travel in herds, so when you hunt with a group, you can usually take home several.
If you want to hunt some larger game, you can start by hunting kudu in Africa. They are a much larger species of antelope, and they're known for their enormous horns, which can measure up to 55 inches across. You can expect to get about 300 pounds of meat from the average kudu, which has a weight of 600 or so pounds.
Kudu live in the woods, and you will mainly find them in Zimbabwe and South Africa. So, they are good game to choose if you would really like to see some of Africa's denser, more wooded areas.
You may have seen gemsbok in a zoo; they're a pretty common addition to Africa exhibits. Gemsbok have long, slender horns that point straight to the sky. They look a bit like the classic antelope, but they have very thick necks with a lot of musculature on the underside of the neck. A mature gemsbok can weigh up to 700 pounds, although females tend to be smaller.
Gemsbok are difficult to hunt, primarily because they live in arid environments in the Kalahari Desert and can go a long time without water. Waiting for them to come up to a waterhole won't be a success. If you hope to hunt gemsbok, you must be patient.
They're definitely not your typical game, but if you like pork, you will enjoy the payoff from hunting warthogs. They weigh around 200 pounds. With snouts like pigs and large tusks, they may remind you of wild boars, but they are not as aggressive. Warthogs are easy to hunt because they spend a lot of time near water sources. If you wait by the only watering hole in an area, you're almost guaranteed to come across a few.
Hunting leopards is not legal everywhere in Africa since their populations are declining in certain areas. However, in areas that it is legal — like Botswana and Namibia — there are official hunting groups that will take you out to hunt leopards. This is truly the only safe way to hunt leopards. They are aggressive, large game that you need to hunt with bait and a pack of dogs. Waiting for them in the bushes, as you would a deer, is not a safe or effective strategy. You must also be a good shot because if you do not take a leopard down on the first shot, they can be very aggressive.
If you are interested in hunting any of these game animals in Africa, look for an official company that books African hunting trips. This is the best way to ease your way into the adventure and learn the best ways to hunt these unique animals.