Hunting giraffe South Africa with Mkulu Safaris

Giraffe scientific name: Giraffa camelopardalis

Hunting giraffe South Africa with Mkulu African Hunting Safaris.


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Hunting giraffe in South Africa

Giraffe scientific name: Giraffa camelopardalis

Hunting giraffe in South Africa with Mkulu African Hunting Safaris is a plains game hunting experience to look forward to because it is a challenging hunt.

Giraffe have no trophy value but make for extreme hunting trying to place a perfect shot. The skin of a giraffe is 1,5 to 2” thick at the base of the neck and takes the better part of most of a day to skin.

The back skin of a giraffe is approximately the size of a full cattle hide.

Contrary to popular belief, giraffes are not docile animals. Giraffe have killed lions and humans alike.

Giraffe are the tallest animals in the world reaching a height of up to 18 ft., or 5,5 m with an average height of 16 ft. (5 m) for bulls. The long neck accounts for much of the height. The heart of a giraffe weighs in at almost 35 lb. (17 kg) and needs a very unique blood pressure control system to convey the blood to the top of the head.

Conversely, when giraffe lower their heads to drink, the blood gushing to the head must be regulated to prevent any veins from being over-pressurized.


Big bulls can draw the scale down to a massive 2 600 lb. (1 200 kg) with females coming in at around 1 750 lb. (800 kg) to 1 980 lb. (900 kg). Giraffe have a tan colored skin with patches surrounded by white markings.

Both giraffe bulls and cows have horns – however, horns are defined as calcium covered with keratin, thus disqualifying (strictly spoken) giraffe as having horns as their horns are covered with skin. In everyday discussions, it is still referred to as horns; therefore, we will refer to the growths as horns.

Hunting giraffe in South Africa is for the hunter who has a little extra space available in his / her / their trophy room. Giraffe mounts are mostly from the shoulder upwards and are made to stand in a corner peering down at passers-by. Such a mount is in the region of 7 ft tall but takes up surprising little space. The only issue would be if your ceiling is high enough to accommodate it other than by the staircase.

To differentiate between bulls and cows note the following:

  • bulls have straight, thick horns that are (as usual) bald on top, and
  • cows have thinner horns that are usually crooked with tufts of hair sticking up above the horn tips.

Below: Picture on the left is of a giraffe cow, and on the right a picture of a giraffe bull: (click on images to enlarge)

Information on hunting giraffe in South Africa

Giraffe hunting prices

The cost to hunt giraffe in South Africa for the 2019 South African hunting season is $ 2 950. Due to the favorable currency exchange rates against the US $ we have been able to retain our giraffe hunting prices at the same levels as the previous three hunting seasons.

Our giraffe hunting prices in South Africa are set for 2019 giraffe hunting season.

Caliber for hunting giraffe

The best caliber for hunting giraffe in South Africa would be a medium bore rifle that you can shoot accurately and feel comfortable using. There are numerous calibers out there that will be able to effectively hunt giraffe with and we wish not to get involved in debating on the merits of each.

Mkulu African Hunting Safaris suggests the following calibers as being the best calibers for hunting giraffe in South Africa:

  • 30-06
  • 300 Win Mag
  • 338 Lapua
  • 375
  • 45-70 or any comparable calibers.
Ammunition for hunting giraffes

Mkulu African Hunting Safaris recommends you only use premium grade ammunition when hunting giraffe in South Africa. To use any other ammunition than premium grade may save you money on the ammunition but it may cost a whole lot more if you wound an animal that we cannot find.

Our preferred ammunition manufacturer is Barnes TSX in just about any weight. You can use 180 grain Barnes TTSX projectiles, depending on which weight projectiles have a constant better performance in your specific rifle. Other premium grade ammunition manufactures you can use would be Federal Premium, Sierra and others.

Gun scope

There are numerous gun scopes and gun scope brands available on the market today. It is our experience that the more costly gun scopes like Leupold and Swarovski optics certainly provide more light under darker conditions. However, if you can afford these optics is your choice. The single most important issue would be for the gun scope to be able to withstand the recoil once you squeeze the trigger.

A good 2 – 12 X 50 gun scope should be sufficient for hunting giraffe in South Africa due to a wide zoom range and a long eye relief which will allow for greater flexibility to view the reticule quicker.

Average shooting distance

The average expected shooting distance when hunting Giraffe in South Africa is 30 to 50 yards depending on the terrain you are hunting in. This is one of the more difficult hunts as they always seem to see you approaching on any stalk no matter how careful you are.

Shot placement when hunting giraffe

Broadside shot

The shot should be placed in line with the front leg, one third of the way up from the bottom of the brisket to the top of the hump on the back. Also place the shot about 11” back from the two protruding knobs on the chest of the giraffe.

Quartering to shot

This shot is not recommended unless hunting with a 375 or larger caliber due to the depth of the chest and the sheer size of the shoulders of the animal.

Quartering away shot

The shot should be placed in line with the front leg, one third of the way up from the bottom of the brisket to the top of the hump on the back of the animal in line with the center of the opposite leg at the same height as a broadside shot.

Facing to shot

The shot should be placed where the bottom of the throat meets the chest.

Gallery of giraffe trophy hunting pictures

Giraffe hunting video

In almost all hunting videos the viewer gets to see the easy part. Hunting any animal does not happen in the limited time frame the video affords. And such is the case with this giraffe hunting video. It took the better part of two hours before the giraffe was located. There were several failed stalk attempts before the shot happened. Please appreciate the effort that goes into hunting.

Tips for hunting giraffe in South Africa

To walk-and-stalk when hunting giraffe is the traditional way of going about it. Larger giraffe herds can even be more difficult to stalk due to every member of the giraffe herd being alert most of the time. Solitary bulls can become extremely wily and are very hard to hunt indeed. Archery hunting giraffe is on the increase and in such a case you can hunt giraffe from a hide or blind.

Extreme caution should be applied when on the final approach. Any sudden movements will attract the attention of a weary giraffe and result in a no-hunt situation.

Best time of year to hunt giraffe

Traditionally the bush in the best giraffe hunting areas is rather dense during our summer months from November to April. From June to August the bush starts to recede rather quickly and during September and October the daily temperatures start rising while the bush recedes to a minimum.

The best time of year to hunt giraffe in South Africa is when you are here. Skinning such a large animal takes up a lot of time and we need to get the hide to the taxidermist as quick as we can.

We can and do hunt giraffe from January to December.

African hunting safari packages 2019