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Note that not all species of dangerous game that we offer on safari are available in all provinces in which we hunt. We also have some species that are only huntable outside of the borders of South Africa for now. Rather, availability of dangerous game is province-specific or in a bordering country. Therefore, please contact us regarding your dangerous game preferences and associated lead times and we will discuss all possibilities with you in detail.
On the African sub-continent there are 7 species of game that are generally classified as “Dangerous Game.” This includes the traditional “Big 5”, consisting of Cape buffalo, lion, elephant, leopard, and rhinoceros plus the addition of hippo and crocodile. We hunt all 7 species across a wide range of biomes.
Dangerous game, and especially the Big 5, receive worldwide scrutiny from a game management perspective. This is to say that, for the most part, the population numbers of these species, as well as the breadth of their natural range, has been declining over the past few decades. Primarily, this is due to shrinking habitat (humankind has a tendency to take all the best land for its own purposes), disease, poaching (illegal hunting), human/animal conflict in a domestic setting, and (for predators) a decline in the number of prey animals. Controlled lawful sport hunting as a conservation management tool has never been linked to declining population numbers. In fact, as individual animals mature and then decline they die of some natural cause irrespective of the role of the hunter. So, it is this naturally occurring surplus that hunters tend to harvest. In addition, the license fees hunters pay for the privilege of harvesting this surplus are the financial backbone of the game conservation effort.
Considering the fact that these species receive worldwide scrutiny, the ability to hunt these species, and especially the ability to export them out of the country where they were harvested, is controlled by national and in some instances international regulations. These regulations are often based upon political considerations more so than science-based conservation principles. Moreover, these regulations often change over time, so it is worthwhile to keep up to date on regulations affecting the species you may most want to hunt. Please contact us for the latest information and lead times on booking a safari for any of these species.***
We wish to emphasize that while we have categorized these 7 species as “Dangerous Game”, hunters should realize that any hunted species represents some level of danger. The plains game animals of Africa fight hard for survival, for breeding rights, and sometimes for territory. Thus, they are by nature quite tough. Especially, all wounded animals with horns, claws, or teeth, should be approached with extreme caution. Even the bushbuck (smallest of the spiral horned antelope at 175 pounds) can be very aggressive.
The hunting of dangerous game requires a rifle of larger caliber than plains game. In most African countries, and certainly within South Africa, the minimum caliber required is .375 (the .375 Winchester being disallowed). A quality bullet with a sectional density of .300 or better is preferred. This caliber will handle all of the dangerous game if the first shot is properly placed, however the .375 is by no means a “stopping cartridge”. If the hunter can handle the additional recoil a .416 is a much preferable choice, especially when dealing with large, heavily-built animals like elephant, buffalo, rhino, and hippo. And for elephant, a .416 is still capable, but a larger caliber like the .470 or any of the .500′s is superior. However, and this cannot be stressed enough, irrespective of the caliber, the hunter must be able to make the first shot the killing shot.
***NOTE: This section of the website is not meant to be a treatise on the complexity of these issues, as space simply won’t allow it. To learn more about how hunting is affected by international influence visit the websites of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora & Fauna: www.cites.org), IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature: www.iucn.org) and most especially the website of True Green Alliance (https://www.mahohboh.org/)