Minimum required caliber for hunting Africa

Minimum required calibers for hunting in Africa

One of the frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) is if there is a minimum caliber requirement for hunting in Africa. Yes, most African countries require some form of a minimum standard with regards to either caliber, or energy produced when rifle hunting. You can also have a look at the best recommended calibers for hunting African game in general.

Click here for caliber recommendations per trophy animal

Common sense should play a part when a hunter decides to hunt no matter where you are hunting. It would be as silly for an African hunter to want to hunt a kodiak bear with a 223 as it would be for a foreign hunter to want to hunt a Cape buffalo with a 243. Although both calibers have the ability to kill either of the mentioned animals it is common sense to not attempt such a hunt with those calibers.

Below is a list of current minimum requirements with regards to rifle calibers for a few African countries. Please be aware that we cannot keep up with all the changes in legislation in all the countries all the time: 

 

Benin

One of a few countries who do not have a minimum requirement for rifle hunting. They also do not have a requirement for minimum energy.

 

Botswana as a matter of interest since Botswana stopped hunting on public land in 2013

Minimum caliber for rifle hunting is 222 for any game other than dangerous game.
Minimum caliber for rifle hunting dangerous game is 375.
Maximum caliber for rifle hunting is 577 NE.
No requirement with regards to minimum energy.

 

Burkina Faso

One of a few countries who do not have a minimum caliber requirement for rifle hunting.
Burkina Faso also does not have a requirement for minimum energy.

 

Cameroon

Small game      : 240 caliber. A shotgun is allowed.
Medium game   : 240 – 354 or larger
Big game          : 354 or larger
No minimum energy required.

 

Central African Republic (CAR)

Minimum caliber requirement for hunting big game and dangerous game in the Central African Republic (CAR) is 375
No minimum energy required.

 

Ethiopia

There is no minimum caliber requirement for rifle hunting in Ethiopia.
No minimum energy required.

 

Mozambique

There is no minimum caliber requirement for rifle hunting in Mozambique.
No minimum energy required.

 

Namibia

Smallest caliber allowed for rifle hunting in Namibia is 7 mm (.284)
Minimum energy required for hunting dangerous game in Namibia is:
  • Dangerous game – elephant, Cape buffalo, rhino and lion: 5400 Joule or 3 980 ft-lbs

Minimum energy required for hunting large game in Namibia is:

  • Large game – greater kudu, Cape eland, gemsbok / oryx, red hartebeest, blue wildebeest, Hartmann’s zebra, Burchell’s zebra, giraffe, sable, roan, waterbuck, tsessebe, leopard (and others) is 2 700 Joule or 1 990 ft-lbs

Minimum energy required for hunting medium to small game in Namibia is:

  • springbok, impala, blesbok, gray duiker, steenbok, ostrich, caracal, black-faced impala, red lechwe, Damara Dik-Dik, klipspringer, black-backed jackal, warthog, cheetah, nyala, Chacma baboon, game birds (and others) is 1 350 Joule or 995 ft-lbs

 

South Africa

Most provinces do not have a minimum caliber requirement for rifle hunting and rely on common sense. Some landowners prescribe the minimum caliber starting from 243 while many landowners presrcibe the 270 as being the minimum caliber allowed on their property.
Most provinces require a minimum caliber of 375 when hunting dangerous game.
None of the provinces require minimum energy.

 

Tanzania
The minimum caliber requirement for rifle hunting in Tanzania is 240 caliber for any game other than dangerous game.
The minimum caliber requirement for rifle hunting in Tanzania is 375 caliber for dangerous game or big game hunting.
No minimum energy required.

 

Zambia

Zambia does not have a minimum caliber requirement for rifle hunting plains game and rely on common sense. Any caliber in the 270 range and bigger will be well suited for most of the plains game available for hunting in Zambia.
The minimum caliber requirement for rifle hunting in Zambia is 300 caliber for dangerous game such as leopard and lion.
The minimum caliber requirement for rifle hunting in Zambia is 375 caliber for dangerous game or big game hunting such as elephant, buffalo and hippo.
No minimum energy required.

 

Zimbabwe
The minimum caliber requirement for rifle hunting in Zimbabwe is 9.3 mm for Class A Game. Minimum energy is 5 300 Joule or 3 906 ft-lbs.Class A Game: elephant, Cape buffalo and hippo
The minimum caliber requirement for rifle hunting in Zimbabwe is 7 mm for Class B Game. Minimum energy is 4 300 Joule or 3 170 ft-lbsClass B Game: lion, giraffe, eland
The minimum caliber requirement for rifle hunting in Zimbabwe is 7 mm for Class C Game. Minimum energy is 3 000 Joule or 2 220 ft-lbsClass C Game: leopard, crocodile, kudu, red hartebeest, blue wildebeest, zebra, nyala, sable, waterbuck, tsessebe, and others
The minimum caliber requirement for rifle hunting in Zimbabwe is 5.56 mm for Class D Game. Minimum energy is 850 Joule or 630 ft-lbsClass D Game: warthog, impala, reedbuck, sitatunga, duiker, steenbok, jackal, game birds, and others
The minimum caliber requirement for black powder rifle hunting in Zimbabwe is .40

Caliber for hunting elephants in Africa with Hunting in Africa Safaris

Minimum caliber for hunting Africa