Rhinos hunting is considered the most placid hunt of the Big Five species.
Rhinos are often considered the most placid of the Big Five species to hunt. They 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. Often armed guards are employed to keep poachers at bay.
To walk-and-stalk when hunting white rhino is the traditional way of going about it. Solitary bulls are common and can be stalked with some ease with a wind that consistently blows in your favor. This is a close up hunt (10 to 30 yards), so this is the perfect opportunity to bring your double rifle with open sights. We suggest a 400 caliber or larger rifle with 500 grain bullets.
There are two subspecies of rhino:
Both huntable species of rhino live in Africa, the Black rhinoceros (which are critically endangered) and the White rhinoceros (registered as vulnerable).
- 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 hope that the sale of rhino horn is legalized soon as we feel this is the only way to save them.
- Black Rhino – This species has not fared as well and is still highly protected, although every once in awhile an old problem, non-breeding bull comes up for auction. Be sure to join our newsletter so we can let you know when these come available.
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African Rhino Facts and Conservation
“Green” Hunting for Rhinos
Many hunters contribute to further conservation, research and recovery by doing a rhino green hunt. This is shooting a rhino with a tranquilizer dart. Once a rhino is darted on your green hunt, a vet will examine and medicate him, and take care of any other necessary data for research. Your PH will then take pictures and measurements for you taxidermist so he can recreate your trophy. There is now a place in the SCI Record Book for rhino green hunts. *darting a rhino is just as dangerous as traditional rhino hunting.
Shot Placement when Rhino Hunting
Place your shot just behind the roll of skin formed by the shoulder. This is the preferred angle for rhino hunting. They are thick skinned animals and bullet penetration can be an issue.
- Quartering Towards – Wait for a broadside shot.
- Quartering Away – Wait for a broadside shot.
- Head On – Wait for a broadside shot.
Africa Safari Gear List
Preparing for your first African Safari can be intimidating, but there’s no need to worry. The truth of the matter is that packing for a hunt in Africa isn’t all that difficult. We have worked together with our P.H.’s on a safari gear list for your upcoming hunt.
- Valid Passport (South Africa requires your passport to be valid for an additional 30 days after your return date to the USA. No exceptions.)
- Airline ticket.
- Proper weapon documentation.
- Email the date and time of arrival to your P.H. for pickup at the airport.
- Inoculation (if needed in the area you are hunting).
- Deposit paid and confirmed.
- Traveler’s checks and enough cash for gifts, tip, etc.
- Travel Insurance.
Keep it simple. Bring a few changes of light hunting clothing (most places will have a daily laundry service). Odds are you will be riding in the back of a truck on a high rack to and from hunting areas, and that can get chilly. So bring a good jacket along. During the day, temperatures should be pleasant.
*When hunting in Mozambique it is important to note that you are allowed to bring realtree type camo but it is against Mozambican law for an ordinary citizen to wear military style camouflage.
- 2 pairs of light hunting pants
- 2-3 hunting shirts
- 2-3 pairs of socks and underwear
- 1 pair of insulated underwear (tops and bottoms) *we recommend Merino wool
- Light jacket for stopping wind
- Wide brim hat or cap
- Good ankle boots/shoes that are very comfortable (you don’t need heavy mountain boots)
- Comfortable shoes for lounging at the lodge
- Light stocking hat and gloves
- Light rain gear
If you are hunting from May to August, be sure to bring some heavier clothing as well as temperatures can occasionally drop below freezing. If you are hunting during this time add the following items:
- 1 pair of insulated hunting pants
- 2 pairs mid-weight socks
- Insulated coat
Get the best optics you can afford. Don’t skimp here.
- Binoculars (Quality 8’s or 10’s)
- Spotting Scope
- Bino Harness
- Phone Skope – Mount your phone to your optics
- Lens Cloth and Cleaning Equipment
Firearms and Ammunition
Clients always ask us what type of rifle and caliber they should bring to Africa. Our advice is always, bring the rifle that you are most comfortable shooting with, shot placement and premium quality bullets are more important than caliber choice. For plains game, we recommend any caliber between 270 and 375. However calibers for dangerous game, the minimum requirement by law is no caliber smaller than 375H&H. We recommend using premium quality soft point ammunition like Swift A-frame, Woodleigh, Norma or Barnes. For elephant and hippo it is advisable to use heavy caliber solid ammunition.
When hunting dangerous game, use a good quality low powered variable scope of 1.5 – 6 x 25 power. We recommend a higher powered scope of between 3 – 9 x 40 magnification for plains game. When transporting your rifle it should be transported on the airline and on any major road in a solid, lockable, hard case. Whilst travelling between hunting areas or on the back of the hunting vehicle we recommend that you bring a soft padded rifle bag.
- Ammo (40-60 shells should be adequate for a typical hunt)
- Gun case with locks
- Soft gun case
- Bow (talk to your Agent or PH about poundage requirements)
- Arrows and good broadheads (2-3 dozen arrows should be adequate for a typical hunt)
- Bow case with locks
- Soft bow case
- Valid Passport
- Airline ticket
- Proper weapon documentation
- Certified copy of your Passport for the taxidermist.
- Tip your P.H.
- Pay trophy fees and final payments for the animals you take on your Safari.
- Make arrangements for your trophies.
The standard tip for a guide is 10% to 20% of the cost of your trip. Remember to tip the cooks and other help in the camp as well. The amount you give reflects your appreciation for your guide’s hard work and effort.