Everything you need to know about bow hunting in Africa

bow hunting africa

The thrill of hunting in Africa is only enhanced when your weapon of choice is a bow. Africa is the ideal hunting ground if you want to use your bow to take down some of Africa’s toughest game. Bow hunting in Africa or South Africa is one of the most challenging and rewarding types of hunting, but it is worth indulging in if you have a passion for the sport and want to be closer to your target.

Bowhunting in South Africa can be extremely challenging and rewarding. Huntershill Safaris offers bowhunting safaris just for bow hunters, as well as bow hunting for all game species listed in our price list. Dangerous game species that can be bow hunted in South Africa include Cape buffalo and lion.

In South Africa, bow hunting is permitted with one of three types of bows:

  1. the recurve bow,
  2. the crossbow,
  3. the longbow, and
  4. the compound bow.

Of these four bows, the compound bow is the firm favorite among avid bowhunters. This is because the compound bow is easier to handle when hunting game, especially in South Africa where game can be much more cunning than in other regions of the world.

What to bring on your next bow hunting safari in Africa

bow hunting africa

It is our suggestion that you bring two well-tuned hunting bows with a draw weight of at least 50 lbs or 70 lbs when bow hunting Africa’s larger game.

The arrows can be wood, fiberglass, carbon or aluminum and the shaft must have a minimum length of 19.68 inches (500 mm). The arrows must be equipped with broadheads of modern design with at least two fixed cutting edges and a minimum length and width of 1 inch (26 mm).

Arrowheads must not have barbs but they can have serrated edges; mechanical arrowheads are permitted. Special arrowheads such as judo points, bird points or blunt points may only be used for bowhunting birds.

When hunting in an unfamiliar environment, a range finder can be an invaluable tool. While South Africa is relatively well supplied with bow hunting gear, it is important to bring along a large supply of arrows, strings, and other parts. Colors that work best for camouflage are muted gray, brown, and yellow.

Minimum equipment requirements for bow hunting in South Africa

Here is a guide on what equipment to bring to hunt with your bow and get the perfect shot. Before beginning the safari, it is important that the hunter be comfortable with the equipment being used and that he spend time practicing his skills on the practice range. A well-placed shot will often make the difference between a day of tracking a wounded animal, and a trophy.

To bow hunt large game

If you want to hunt Kudu, Cape Eland, Oryx / Gemsbok, Red Hartebeest, Blue Wildebeest, Black Wildebeest, Hartmann’s Zebra, Burchell’s Zebra, Giraffe, Sable Antelope, Roan Antelope, Waterbuck, Tsessebe, etc. in Africa.

  • Bow Kinetic Energy 65 ft/lbs
  • Arrow Weight 450 grain

To bow hunt medium game

If you want to hunt warthog, cheetah, nyala, baboon, etc.

  • Bow Kinetic Energy 40 ft/lbs
  • Arrow Weight 400 grain

Bow hunting small game

To hunt Springbok, Impala, Blesbok, Gray Duiker, Steenbok, Ostrich, Caracal, Black-Faced Impala, Red Lechwe, Damara Dik-Dik, Klipspringer, Black-Backed Jackal, Game Birds, etc

  • Bow Kinetic Energy 25 ft/lbs
  • Arrow Weight 350 grain
bow hunting africa

Best places to bow hunt in Africa

The Eastern Cape of South Africa where Huntershill Safaris has hunting lodges is typically characterized by varying degrees of wooded savanna. Due to its terrain, this area offers the best chances of success for bow hunting safaris, whereas the open grassland of central South Africa and the mountainous terrain of the southeastern escarpment create a much more challenging experience.

Best time of year for bow hunting in Africa

A bowhunting safari should usually be slightly longer than a rifle safari hunting the same species. If you book one of our bow hunting packages, you will see that the duration is slightly longer than the same packages for rifle hunters. We recommend hunting at least seven days for four trophy animals, and ten days for eight or more trophies.

It is ideal to bow hunt during Africa’s winter months from late May to early September. The lack of water sources and the concentration of game around water holes will make your safari much more successful during this period. Furthermore, it is during this period that most of the indigenous trees shed their leaves, making spotting animals approaching water-holes much easier.

Getting the perfect shot

Huntershill Safaris offers a variety of hides used to hunt trophy animals. These range from high elevation blinds in strategic areas to ground blinds. Ground blinds are usually located near water holes, ensuring a high success rate in the early morning and late afternoon.

In general, bowhunting takes place on elevated stands, ground hides, and bow hunting blinds strategically placed near water holes and salt licks during the dry winter months, from June to August, and in the early spring, from September to mid-October.

The spot and stalk method is preferred if you are bow hunting during the greener months – February to May – when there is ample cover and the green bush is softer on the feet and reduces the noise of stalking. In addition, the animals do not visit the waterholes as often as in the drier months, as the water supply is much greater. Stalking is also used for more demanding game species or those that do not frequent water holes as often.

bow hunting africa

Book your bow hunting safari with Huntershill Safaris

Huntershill Safaris has some of the highest populations for veld and plains game hunting, and a variety of African trophy hunting species, making it a paradise for any hunter.

Additional to the climate and terrain making it well suited for bowhunting, our expert PHs, trackers, and skinners are with you to ensure you enjoy every moment of this thrilling hunt. Every year our clients return, not just for the high quality trophies they can hunt with us, but for the wonderful service and family-friendly setting they enjoy. Book your next bowhunting safari today!