There’s arguably no better destination for hunting big game than the so-called ‘dark continent’.
But deciding on where to go for your next African hunting tour can be difficult, especially considering the continent is home to a marvelous selection of unique environments, cultures and of course, game to hunt.
So which country offers the best African hunting experience?
Well, it really depends on how experienced a hunter you are. What species of game you want to hunt. And what type of hunting you are looking for.
Here’s a list of our top African Hunting Safari Destinations:
Once ravaged by civil war, Mozambique has enjoyed over twenty years of peace and offers some unique and varied hunting adventures. For hunters, it’s “the return of a paradise once lost”.
From savannah woodland to coastal rainforest and swamplands, this relatively unknown hunting destination offers opportunities for many of the prized plains game species and much more. But you better pack your waterproofs, because this tropical paradise can get quite wet and humid.
Many antelope species can be found here including Nyala, Cape Eland, Kudu, Lichtenstein Hartebeest, Waterbuck, Oribi and Chobe Bushbuck, as well as the magnificent Sable.
However, if it’s big game you’re after, then you’re in luck!
Mozambique is a great place to hunt Cape Buffalo. It also offers lion hunting, done by calling or tracking rather than baiting, and leopards roam the North and West of the land.
Killing your first croc can be quite an experience, but since hunting elephant is legal by foot, there is certainly no more majestic encounter than coming face to face with one of these giants.
If you’re looking for unique hunting experiences and something a little off the beaten track, then Mozambique could be for you.
What to be aware of when hunting in Mozambique:
Like many African countries, Mozambique faces a poaching problem. Anti-poaching projects are in place though, and conservationists are working closely with local communities.
Of all the countries on this list, Mozambique is probably the least developed nation, which could add to a sense of adventure, but also leads to complicated travel arrangements.
As it’s a high-risk malaria region, make sure you come prepared to be able to take full advantage of this unspoiled wilderness, perhaps better suited for the more adventurous and seasoned hunter.
From June to November.
Zimbabwe has long been a favorite destination for hunters from all over the world. Due to political friction, this country with its vast natural resources has struggled economically over the past decade.
Yet the safari and hunting industries still remain healthy and robust and are essential for the conservation of wildlife.
It’s why Zimbabwe not only welcomes foreign tourists but also provides terrific opportunities for big game hunters.
From lush Mopani forests to dry, grassy savannah, Zimbabwe has three different types of hunting areas - governmental, tribal and private. All of which have their own guidelines and provide beautiful landscapes for hunting plains and big game.
Zimbabwe is known for its elephant, leopard and lion hunting. Other game available on licence includes buffalo, leopard, hippo, crocodile and a wide variety of plains game.
Hunting big cats in Zimbabwe can be done over bait, and making use of hounds.
If you’re trawling the rivers for some big crocs and hippo, you certainly won’t be disappointed.
Due to political unrest and the recent economic meltdown, Zimbabwe faces a problem with not just poaching, but also unethical foreign hunters taking advantage of corrupt officials.
Beware of fraudsters and make sure you only deal with reputable hunting outfitters.
Open mostly all year, but favorite months are from June to November.
The only non-Southern African country on our list, Tanzania, is the crowning jewel of East Africa.
The country offers a range of unique antelope species and massive numbers of wildlife you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else on the continent, and possibly the world.
The terrain ranges from high mountainous rain forests to dense woodlands, open savannah and grassy plains to wetlands.
Even though there are over 50 species to be hunted, hunting buffalo in Tanzania is an absolute must.
Lion and leopard are also high on the list, and so are the indigenous Gerenuk, Lesser Kudu and Sitatunga. Add to that the Roosevelt Sable, Fringe-Eared Oryx, Roan and Gazelle, and you’re spoilt for choice.
Tanzania is one of the last African countries to offer remote wilderness, vast game populations and old-style safari camps.
Tanzania’s sound approach to conservation is an example for other eastern African hunting destinations. Hunting companies are required by law to support community projects, empowering locals to act as guardians of the wildlife.
It’s possibly the costliest hunting safari destination in Africa, and although the experience will be worth every penny, it’s important to note that certain restrictions apply, like not allowing elephant trophies to be imported to the US.
July to December – although the season can sometimes end sooner because of the torrential downpour.
One of the more ‘hunter friendly’ countries in Africa, Namibia has grown in popularity due to its never-ending desert landscapes, wide-open hunting grounds, sheer vastness and most importantly, it’s selection of wildlife.
The habitat consists mainly of open desert, with some savannah woodland in areas and a strip of wetlands in the Caprivi (now the Zambezi) district.
Private game ownership is supported, which in turn supports growing numbers of wildlife. Hunting in Namibia takes place on private land as well as government-allocated concession areas.
This thirsty land supports many herds of plains game and is home to some of the largest populations of Kalahari Gemsbok (Giant Oryx) and Springbok in the world.
Though leopard, lion, elephant and buffalo may also be hunted, they are only available in limited numbers in the extreme most northern parts of the country. Namibia is also among the few countries where you can hunt cheetah.
Because of the mostly open desert terrain, hunters face an exciting challenge when it comes to walk-and-stalk hunting. Ethical, fair-chase principles apply in Namibia, a country considered a leader in Africa’s community-focused wildlife conservation projects.
With the cold Atlantic waters touching the Namib Desert on the one side, and the untamed Kalahari Desert on the other, temperatures can vary from over 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) during summer to below freezing during long winter nights.
From February to November.
South Africa is currently the number one hunting safari destination in Africa, and along with Namibia, it’s the only country where all the Big Five can still be hunted.
South Africa, offers extremely diverse hunting, cultural and wildlife experience, catering for every type of hunt.
From the lush forest hills of Zululand near the Indian Ocean to the open plains of the Western and Northern Cape along the Atlantic. From the bushveld and savanna expanses in the north and east to the hills, rivers and canyons of the Eastern Cape. With the infamous Karoo and grasslands of the Free State between – South Africa can be seen as a continent within a country.
This vast country boasts a substantial variety of game, including all of the Big Five. Home to many of the popular antelope species like Wildebeest, Kudu, Oryx, Roan, Sable, Impala, Springbok, Blesbok, Waterbuck and the majestic Eland, it makes sense to opt for combo hunting trips.
Zebra, Giraffe and Warthog also add to the thrill of this world-class African hunting destination.
The wildlife conservation policy is praiseworthy in that it allows private ownership of wildlife with the funds generated by hunting, not only helps local communities but also finances anti-poaching efforts.
With all the variety on offer and the fact South Africa is considered Africa’s most-advanced country, it makes it an obvious choice for the first-time hunter, yet offers enough unique experiences for veterans.
Make sure you have your documentation and permits in order when bringing in rifles and ammunition into South Africa. It’s best to work closely with an experienced agent or hunting outfitter.
Oh, and one more thing, please don’t try to keep up with the PHs when they start knocking back a few around the campfire.
Countries like Botswana, Zambia, Kenya and Western African nations like Cameroon and Burkina Faso also offer top hunting safari experiences, and with so many options for hunters to choose from, Africa is undoubtedly the World’s Ultimate Hunting Destination, and it certainly warrants many return visits.
Read up on the Top Hunting Destinations Around The World.