Cape Buffalo Hunting in South Africa

Cape buffalo aren’t known as “Black Death” without reason. The Zulu people of South Africa call a Cape Buffalo an “Inyati” as a sign of respect for its strength and hunters say that if your first shot is a bad one, the next 14 will only annoy him even more. A wounded Buffalo hunt can make for an exciting hunt and in some instances end in a deadly experience. This is the most enthralling dangerous game hunt where shot placement is critically important. This is likely to be your hunt of a lifetime, a bucket list hunt for most hunters and for some Buffalo hunting becomes an addiction. Buffalo make great shoulder mounts as each animal has their own characteristic markings, some with broomed off horns, torn ears and battle scars.


Hunting Cape Buffalo the traditional way requires a certain amount of fitness and time on your feet. First your tracker needs to break the tracks of a big bull. The best place to look is around waterholes and along the hunting tracks. Then the follow-up tracking process will begin. Once your tracker indicates the bull is nearby you need to go into stalk mode. This often leads you into very thick bush. Now things get up close and personal and you are totally reliant on the swirling wind to not give your position away. Hand signals will now become the order of the day, as you can see the Buffalos feet or a dark patch in the bush but cannot make out the shape of the Buffalo. Make sure your first shot counts as these docile animals can become extremely aggressive, vindictive and cunning when wounded. Always take a back-up shot. Bow hunters can also walk and stalk, or wait in a blind over water as Buffalo are a water dependent species.


Cape Buffalo may be hunted all year round In South Africa and Zimbabwe. In Namibia hunting is closed in January and February, and in Mozambique the season is open from April 1 to November 30. In Zambia the hunting season runs from I May until 30 November and in Tanzania from the 1 July to 31 December.. The best months for hunting Buffalo are the dry autumn months, especially when the grass is short and water becomes scarcer. In areas where tracked and hunted on foot, the drier the conditions, the better. Hunting in the swamps of the Zambezi Delta of Mozambique and the Luangwa areas of Zambia may be unpleasantly hot in October and November.


Cape Buffalo prices range significantly from an all-inclusive game ranch hunt in South Africa to a full blown traditional East African safari. A typical Cape Buffalo 5 – 10 day package hunt cost will range from $9,000 – $20,000. Often the lower end prices are for management bulls. Research your hunt thoroughly to find the hunting conditions that most suit your needs and take note of the excluded extra costs involved in the hunt. On the bigger open territories of Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique, the buffalo package prices range from $12,000 – $20,000. Dangerous game daily rates range from $600 – $1200 per day with a trophy fee of approximately $6,000 – $8,500. Note, the latest trend on the South African ranch hunts is to sell trophies by the inch.