Best caliber for hunting in Africa

The best all-round caliber for hunting in Africa and best caliber for Africa hunting

If I could choose the two best African plains game calibers it would be a 30-06 and a 375. These two calibers are the best all-round rifle calibers for big game hunting any African big game – Pieter Kriel

The best African dangerous game caliber for hunting the African Big 5 and hippos would be one of the 400 caliber hunting rifles. A 416 Rigby, 458 WM, 458 Lott or 470 – Pieter Kriel

African big game hunting rifles when hunting with Hunting in AfricaAfrican big game hunting rifles when hunting with Hunting in AfricaBig game hunting rifles when hunting with Hunting in Africa Safaris

Best African plains game caliber

The best hunting caliber for big game hunting in Africa will be debated for many years. One of our recommended calibers for plains game hunting is the 30-06 because it has a proven track record and ammunition is readily available.

Recommended calibers for plains game hunting in Africa – see the detailed list below where calibers are recommended per plains game animal

Ammunition recommendations for African plains game hunting – on this issue we are extremely clear. It is our recommendation for any hunter to only use premium grade ammunition like Nossler Partions, Barnes-X, Federal Premium and Woodleigh whichever particular brand works best for accuracy in your particular hunting rifle you intend bringing over for your big game hunting safari.

What is the minimum caliber for African plains game hunting – in most places a 243 is the absolute minimum caliber allowed for hunting in Africa. Some land owners have their own regulation to only allow 270 for rifles for African plains game.

 

Best caliber for African dangerous game hunting

The best caliber for African dangerous game hunting (African elephant, Cape buffalo, lion, leopard, rhinos and hippos) would be the largest caliber you feel comfortable shooting accurately between 20 and 35 yards.

The best African safari hunting rifle calibers for hunting the Big 5 start at 375 as the minimum allowed caliber. It is our experience that the best big caliber rifles are the 400 range – 416 Rem, 416 Rigby, 458 WM, 458 Lott and 470 because these safari rifle calibers are what most dangerous game hunters use. This is our experience; if you have bigger or other dangerous game rifles that you are comfortable with please continue to use them.

Minimum legal caliber for hunting African dangerous game – 375 in most African countries. Click here to get a list of what most African countries require as a minimum hunting caliber for plains game and dangerous game.

Ammunition recommendations for African dangerous game hunting – you would be a considerable fool not to use premium grade ammunition on any dangerous game hunt. We have had very good results with Hornady solids and Rhino solids.

 Best caliber for hunting African plains game:

African big game trophy animal to be hunted

 

Best recommended caliber for hunting African big game

 

Average hunting distance (yards) for African plains game

Baboon   First rifle handy! 22-250, 222, 223, 243, 270, 30-06, 308, 300 WM or any comparable caliber.  

100+

Black wildebeest   270, 30-06, 7mm (all), 300 WSM, 300 WM, 308, 338, 375  

150 – 250

Blesbok   270, 30-06, 308, 7mm (all), 300 (all)  

150 – 200

Blue wildebeest   308, 30-06, 7mm (all), 300 (all), 338, 375. Generally: the bigger the better.  

50 – 150

Bontebok   270, 30-06, 308, 7mm (all), 300 WSM  

150 – 180

Bushbuck   270, 30-06, 308, 7mm (all), 300 (all)  

30 – 60

Bushpig   270, 30-06, 308, 7mm (all), 300 (all), 12 ga  

30 – 60

Caracal   375 with a solid round as it does the least damage to the trophy, 410 shotgun, 17 cal  

30 – 50

Duiker   375 with a solid round as it does the least damage to the trophy. 17 cal, 22-250, 222, 223, 243, 308  

30 – 50

Duiker – blue   375 with a solid round as it does the least damage to the trophy, 12 ga, 410, 17 cal  

25 – 40

Duiker – red   375 with a solid round as it does the least damage to the trophy. 12 ga, 410 shotgun  

20 – 35

Eland   30-06, 338, 375  

60 – 180

Fallow deer   270, 30-06, 308, 7mm (all), 300 (all)  

100 – 180

Gemsbok   30-06, 7mm (all), 300 (all), 308, 338, 375  

60 – 180

Giraffe   300 WM with premium grade ammunition, 338, 375  

30 – 50

Hippo   Legal requirement: minimum 375. Recommended 375, 404, 416, 458 WM and Lott  

30 – 50

Impala   243, 270, 30-06, 308, 7mm (all), 300 (all)  

40 – 150

Jackal   The very first rifle handy! 17 cal, 22-250, 222, 223, 243, 270, 30-06, 308, 300 WSM, 300 WM or any comparable caliber.  

30 – 150

Klipspringer   17 cal, 223, 243, 270, 308, 30-06, 375 with a solid round  

100 – 200

Kudu   308, 30-06, 7mm (all), 300 (all), 308, 338, 375  

80 – 180

Lechwe – red   30-06, 7mm (all), 300 (all), 308, 338, 375  

100 – 200

Mountain reedbuck   223, 243, 270, 308, 30-06  

100 – 180

Nyala   30-06, 7mm (all), 300 (all), 308, 338, 375  

50 – 150

Ostrich   223, 243, 270, 308, 30-06, 375 with a solid round  

70 – 90

Reedbuck – common   270, 30-06, 308, 7mm (all), 300 (all)  

120 – 180

Red hartebeest   30-06, 7mm (all), 300 (all), 308, 338, 375  

80 – 180

Rhebok – vaal / gray   223, 243, 270, 308, 30-06  

130 – 200

Roan antelope   30-06, 7mm (all), 300 (all), 308, 338, 375  

100 – 180

Sable   30-06, 7mm (all), 300 (all), 308, 338, 375  

100 – 150

Springbok – any color variation   243, 270, 30-06, 308, 7mm (all), 300 (all)  

150 – 200

Steenbok   17 cal, 223, 243, 270, 308, 30-06, 375 with a solid round  

50 – 80

Tsessebe   270, 30-06, 308, 7mm (all), 300 (all)  

100 – 150

Warthog   270, 30-06, 308, 7mm (all), 300 (all), 338, 375  

20 – 100

Waterbuck   30-06, 7mm (all), 300 (all), 308, 338, 375  

80 – 150

Zebra – Burchell’s and Mountain zebra   308, 30-06, 7mm (all), 300 (all), 338, 375. Generally: the bigger the better.  

80 – 180

 

Best caliber for hunting African dangerous game: 

African big 5 dangerous game animal to be hunted

 

Best recommended caliber for hunting African big 5

 

Average hunting distance (yards)

Buffalo – Cape   Legal requirement: minimum 375. Recommended 404, 416, 458 WM, 458 Lott, 470, 500  

20 – 60 depending on caliber, open sites or scope and terrain

Buffalo – Cape buffalo cow   Legal requirement: minimum 375. Recommended 404, 416, 458 WM, 458 Lott, 470, 500  

20 – 60 depending on caliber, open sites or scope and terrain

African Elephant   Legal requirement: minimum 375. Recommended 404, 416, 458 WM, 458 Lott, 470, 500  

15 – 40 depending on caliber, open sites or scope, and terrain

Hippo   Legal requirement: minimum 375. Recommended 375, 404, 416, 458 WM, 458 Lott, 470, 500  

30 – 50

Leopard   Legal requirement: minimum 375  

40 – 60

Lion   Legal requirement: minimum 375. Recommended: any other caliber you have larger than 375  

40 – 60

Lioness   Legal requirement: minimum 375  

40 – 60

White rhino   Legal requirement: minimum 375. Recommended 404, 416, 458 WM and 458 Lott, 470, 500  

10 – 30

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Best caliber for hunting in Africa with Hunting in Africa SafarisBest caliber for hunting in Africa with Hunting in Africa Safaris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big game hunting rifles for your African big game hunting safari with Hunting in Africa

Best caliber for hunting in Africa with Hunting in Africa Safaris