Eland hunting is surprisingly difficult considering that they are the largest species of plains game in Africa. They are smart, shifty and elusive! A mature bull can weigh over a ton, having a thick neck, hump, and a dewlap reminiscent of a Brahma bull. Color is grayish-brown with older males developing a bluish-gray around the neck. Some specimens exhibit faint, vertical stripes down the flanks. Both bulls and cows carry horns, the bull’s horns being noticeably shorter but heavier.

One of Africa’s most sought after spiral horned trophies, a trophy bull eland is a nervous creature, leaving the country at the first sign of danger. Herds of eland gather in the open woodlands and the scrubby flat veld where they graze during the day.

namibia hunting safaris

When Eland Hunting, Take Enough Gun!

When you are eland hunting, just as in with the cape buffalo, be sure to use a large enough caliber rifle… a .375 would not be considered overkill! The best choice would be a quick pointing double rifle, if you have one available. The 9.3 X74R is an excellent choice, as is the .375 H&H with 286 grain or 300 grain bullets. Consider using solids for back-up shots, as a big eland bull will not go down easily. Most bulls will be taken at relatively close range in heavy cover.

How to Field Judge Eland Bulls

While field judging eland, body size and appearance is the easiest way to confirm the maturity of a possible trophy bull.

While field judging eland, body size and appearance is the easiest way to confirm the maturity of a possible trophy bull. For some reason, eland aren’t high on most hunters wish list until they see one in person. Species such as kudu, or sable get all of the attention. But that’s ok, because in Africa, you can add an animal to your safari at any time.

Eland bulls usually carry well matched symmetrical spiral horns with prominent visible raised and steady ridges along the two twists. The spread of the horns can vary greatly, from a narrow almost parallel look to a “V” shape. Most often, mature bulls have considerably thicker bases, more massive and straighter horns compared to female horns that are significantly thinner with less apparent ridges and a tendency to become crooked the older they get.

  • Mature bulls are nearly twice the size of a female and stand out due to their massive, muscular bodies.
  • Mature males have large, prominent dewlaps on their throats.
  • Mature eland have a darker tan coat with a blueish gray tint.
  • Trophy males often have some areas of hair loss. Brush or “rugs” on the forehead is a distinctive characteristic seen only on some older males. If an eland has a heavy brush it is a reliable sign of maturity, however the lack of one does not mean it is not mature.
  • An great indicator of a very old eland bull is a massive body, bulging neck and horns that appear small (does not mean that the horns are actually small).
  • Eland horns must be thick, have prominent ridges, and have good length.
Eland cow
Eland cows can be distinguished from a bull by their smaller body, slender neck, petite dewlap and tan coat.
small eland bull
This Eland bull is mature, but not yet trophy size.
Large eland bull
Here is a big old Eland bull with a thick, bulging neck.
Field Judging Eland
Here is a mature Eland bull. You can tell by the massive body, thick neck, large dewlap, blueish gray coat and dense forehead brush.
Huge eland bull
Here is an example of giant body size giving the impression of small horn size.
A beautiful trophy eland bull.
A beautiful trophy eland bull.

Best Places for Eland Hunting

Elands are found in various parts of the world, but some regions are more popular for eland hunting than others. Here are some of the best places to hunt elands:


Africa is the traditional home of the eland, and it is still the best place to hunt them. Countries like South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Tanzania have excellent eland hunting opportunities, with a variety of hunting outfitters and packages available.

North America

In North America, elands are found in Texas, where they were introduced in the 1930s. Texas has become a popular destination for eland hunting, with many hunting ranches offering guided exotic hunts.

South America

In South America, elands are found in Argentina, where they were also introduced. In recent years Argentina has been put on the map as a good eland hunting destination, with many outfitters offering affordable hunting packages.

Eland Hunting Gallery


What is the average weight of an eland?

The weight of an eland can vary depending on the subspecies and the gender. The average weight of a male eland is around 900 kg (1984 lbs), while the female eland weighs around 450 kg (992 lbs).

What is the best time of year for eland hunting?

The best time of year for eland hunting may vary depending on the location and the hunting season. Generally, the best time is during the dry season when the elands congregate around water sources.

Is eland hunting legal?

Eland hunting is legal in many countries, but it is regulated to ensure the sustainability of the population and the preservation of the species. Hunters must obtain the necessary licenses and permits before embarking on an eland hunting trip.

Can eland meat be shipped internationally?

Yes, eland meat can be shipped internationally, but there may be restrictions and regulations depending on the country of origin and the destination.

How much does an eland hunting trip cost?

The cost of an eland hunting trip can vary depending on the location, the hunting outfitter, and the package. Generally, a guided hunting trip for an eland can range from $4,000 to $10,000, depending on the location and the duration of the trip.

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Outdoors International

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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