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

Hunting Coues Deer South of the Border

Hunting Coues Deer South of the Border

Former Delta Force Operator Kyle Lamb hikes the rugged desert mountains of northern Sonora in pursuit of the diminutive Coues species of whitetail.

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Have a freezer full of ground elk venison from your fall hunting trips? Never fear, the folks at Camp Chef have a great SHOT Show recipe that is lean and mean, easy to prepare, and a crowd-pleasing favorite!

Top Ten Hunts

Top Ten Hunts

Here at Petersen's Hunting we have compiled the 10 best hunts caught on camera from the last 2 years of Petersen's Hunting TV. Enjoy!

Sighting In the CZ .557 Carbine

Sighting In the CZ .557 Carbine

Kevin Steele sights in his CZ .557 carbine rifle that he plans to use on a Colorado elk hunt.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Are predators really to blame for declining deer numbers? The answer might surprise you. Conservation

Do Coyotes Really Affect the Whitetail Herd?

Jeff Johnston

Are predators really to blame for declining deer numbers? The answer might surprise you.

Is lever action dead? Not by a long shot. Guns

The Return of Lever Action Rifles

Craig Boddington - May 26, 2020

Is lever action dead? Not by a long shot.

Salty capers add a burst of flavor to the sauce, which pairs beautifully with the grilled venison loin in this recipe. Recipes

Grilled Venison Loin with Caper-Mustard Sauce Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Salty capers add a burst of flavor to the sauce, which pairs beautifully with the grilled...

These are our favorite new products of the year for the archery crowd. Bowhunting

Best New Bowhunting Gear for 2020

Petersen's Hunting Editors - May 21, 2020

These are our favorite new products of the year for the archery crowd.

See More Trending Articles

More Worldwide

Modern humans love statistics, and we hunters are as bad as anyone. We attach importance to certain Worldwide

Boddington: Hunting the World's Big Bears

Craig Boddington - November 13, 2013

Modern humans love statistics, and we hunters are as bad as anyone. We attach importance to...

For most of us, Africa is about the hunting, but it is a shame to travel all the way around the Worldwide

5 Great Options for Travel in Africa

Mike Schoby - December 11, 2012

For most of us, Africa is about the hunting, but it is a shame to travel all the way around the

Kevin Steele and Jason Morton arrive in New Zealand and get their gear and weapons ready for a red Worldwide

Gearing Up for Red Stag

PHTV Adventures - June 26, 2015

Kevin Steele and Jason Morton arrive in New Zealand and get their gear and weapons ready for a...

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 --

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