Have you ever heard of Dangerous Game Hunting in Africa? It is a highly controversial topic that has been debated for decades. While some argue that it is a thrilling adventure, others claim that it is an unethical practice that should be banned. Usually plains game is the target on a hunters first safari, but it usually isn’t long before the dangerous game hunting enters the conversation. It’s almost inevitable. The notorious Big Five of Africa are the undisputed Kings of dangerous game.

In this article, we will delve into the world of Dangerous Game Hunting in Africa and explore both sides of the argument. We will examine the reasons why people engage in this activity, the impact it has on the environment and local communities, and the ethical considerations that need to be taken into account.

Theodore Roosevelt with a cape buffalo

“In a civilized and cultivated country wild animals only continue to exist at all when preserved by sportsmen.  The excellent people who protest against all hunting, and consider sportsmen as enemies of wild life, are ignorant of the fact that in reality the genuine sportsman is by all odds the most important factor in keeping the larger and more valuable wild creatures from total extermination.”

Theodore Roosevelt

The Thrill of the Hunt

For many people, Dangerous Game Hunting in Africa is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the thrill of the hunt. These individuals are often seasoned hunters who have a passion for adventure and the outdoors. They are drawn to Africa because it is home to some of the world’s most magnificent and dangerous animals, such as lions, elephants, and rhinoceroses.

The Impact on Local Communities

Dangerous Game Hunting in Africa also has a significant impact on local communities. Hunting often takes place on private game reserves, which are owned and managed by wealthy landowners. These reserves can bring in significant revenue and meat is often donated to the protein starved local communities. As well as the much needed resources, the locals are most often more than happy to when dangerous game hunting takes place in their area. Many people are killed each year by these animals, especially crocodiles, hippos and lions.

The Notorious Big Five African Dangerous Game Hunting Species

The members of the Big Five were chosen for the difficulty in hunting them, and the degree of danger involved, rather than their size. They include lion; elephant; cape buffalo; leopard; and rhinoceros.

Dark maned lion

African Lion Hunting

Some consider lion hunting the ultimate dangerous game hunting experience. It is probably the most challenging and rewarding hunting safari available in Africa today. Trophy lions are scarce. Choose a hunting concession and PH that has a proven track record.

Most African countries do still allow lion hunting. In fact, South Africa boasts the fastest growing wild lion population in Africa, estimated at approximately 2,800 and counting. Wild lion hunting quotas are extremely conservative and sound management principles dictate these quotas.

Elephant hunting

Elephant Hunting

Elephant hunting is one of the most misunderstood activities in the world. Contrary to popular belief, elephant hunting is NOT easy. You might walk great distances behind expert trackers, for days on end, to secure a good tusker. Locals show up from miles around to battle over every scrap of meat once an elephant is killed. Protein is scarce in Africa.

Mozambique cape buffalo hunting

Cape Buffalo Hunting

Referred as the “Black Death”, cape buffalo have the ability… and the personality to stomp you into the ground and tear you apart with their horns. Truly, a cape buffalo hunt is dangerous.  Buff don’t die easy, and can charge you at 35 mph. Sound fun?!

Cape Buffalo are responsible for more deaths than any of the other Big 5 dangerous game animals in Africa; the hippo however still holds the title for killing most humans in Africa. Trying to stop an 1,800 pound animal at point blank range requires a well placed shot into the brain, with a big caliber.

It is at this point, you are glad you have a trusted PH at your side, plugging the freight train with his .500 Nitro, and helping you stop this nightmare from turning into a real disaster. These animals have no sympathy, they play for keeps, and will stop at nothing to take you out if they are threatened. This is why it is so important to make you first shot count.

leopard hunting in mozambique

Leopard Hunting

Leopard hunting is a specialized hunt. Be ready for some long nights in the blind, but you will be rewarded with the rush of adrenaline like you’ve never felt before…because leopards can and do attack humans. PLUS, they make a magnificent trophy that will remind you of those dark African nights. Hunting lore says that you hunt lion with your heart, and leopard with your brain! If a professional hunter does five leopard hunts in a year and shoots four, that is only 80%. That by the way is an outstanding year. So your chance when hunting is only 80% at the very best.

A legally hunted white rhino in South Africa.

Rhino Hunting

Most PH’s consider rhinos to be the most placid of the Big Five species to hunt. Rhinos are often more aggressive, and belligerent than ferocious. Expect to dish out some big dollars for a rhino hunt, as they are very expensive to keep alive for 15 years, which is how long it takes for a bull to develop trophy horns. Armed guards are employed to keep would be poachers at bay.

  • White Rhino – Thanks to conservation efforts and hunter dollars, had increased in numbers sufficiently to once again be hunted in South Africa. However, poaching has ramped up recently and they are on the decline again. We feel that the legalization of the the sale of rhino horn is the only way to save them.
  • Black Rhino – Black rhinos are in trouble, and are still highly protected. However, old non-breeding bull hunts are available to hunt. This is a great rhino conservation tool. Be sure to join our newsletter so we can let you know when these come available.

Other African Dangerous Game Hunts

Many hunters also choose to put the hippo and the crocodile in the dangerous game hunting list as well.

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Outdoors International

Discover why thousands of people have trusted Outdoors International to help plan their hunt.

Outdoors International has a team of hand-selected hunting experts to help you book your next hunt. Our job it is to help you in researching, booking and planning a great hunting trip with one of our amazing outfitter partners around the world.

My hunt was absolutely top notch.

The outfitter is a fantastic man and incredibly hard working and knowledgeable, there is no doubt he will do everything within his power to make peoples hunts successful and enjoyable. I plan to do it again with him next year for sure.

Wade Zuver

Our hunt was excellent.

We saw bucks every day along with all other sorts of wildlife. Mountain goats, bears, and foxes were common sights. Fishing and crabbing was special bonus. The food was excellent, the crew was amazing. Outdoors International did a great job of finding exactly what we were looking for.

Jesse Neveau

What an amazing experience!

The hunting lodge was out of this world!, Rooms, food and the scenery were all A+. Our guide was exceptional and had us on Shiras moose all five days. We saw over 30 total with at least 10 bulls. They had a plan for everything including taxidermy and game processing.

Kayla Redmon