Hunting hippos in Africa with Mkulu Hunting Safaris

Hippopotamus scientific name: Hippopotamus amphibius

Hunting hippos in Africa with Mkulu African Hunting Safaris.


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Hunting hippos in Africa

Hippopotamus scientific name:
Hippopotamus amphibius


Hunting hippos in Africa with Mkulu African Hunting Safaris is a dangerous game hunting experience to look forward to. Our hippo hunting opportunities are becoming popular because of the effort involved from both the hunter and the Professional Hunting Guide when hunting hippos in South Africa. A Professional Hunter in South Africa requires a dangerous game hunting license to guide a hunter on a hippo hunt.

Hippos are the animals that are responsible for most human deaths on the African continent for the reason they live in water that is used by humans living close to a resource they (humans and hippos) cannot do without.

Women walking down to the river’s edge inevitably get into close contact with these river horses that immediately feel threatened and attack the smaller humans to defend its territory. Hippos are vegetarian and will not attack humans as a food source, but will rather attack due to feeling threatened.


At night hippos move far away from their home turf in search of food and can cover 10 – 15 miles a night.

During the day hippos spend much of their time submerged in water or a mud wallow depending on the time of year.

Hippos are massive animals that weigh the scale down to an average of 3 300 lb. (1 500 kg) for bulls, and 2 800 lb. (1 300 kg) for hippo cows.

With the help of specially adapted intestinal organs hippos can walk on a river bed or the bottom of a lake without having to resurface for between 3 and minutes at a time.

Hippo cows give birth to a single calf after reaching sexual maturity at the age of seven to eight years. Gestation period is approximately 8 months (240 days) and under ideal conditions, a cow can produce up to 10 offspring.

Hippos are gregarious and are found in family groups of between five and 20 animals. Bulls actively defend their pods against possible intruders for breeding rights.

Information on hunting hippos in Africa

Hippo hunting prices South Africa

The cost for hunting hippos in Africa for the 2019 South Africa hunting season is $ 9 500.

Due to a possible shortage of hippos as a result of the severe drought in many parts of the country, we may have an unforeseen shortage of hippos available for hunting during the 2019 hippo hunting season in South Africa. If you book a hippo hunt with us before 31 December 2018, we will honor the 2018 hippo hunting prices at $ 8 000.

Caliber for hippo hunting

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

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

  • 375 (minimum legal caliber)
  • 416 Rigby
  • 416 Taylor
  • 45-70
  • 458 Win Mag
  • 458 Lott
  • 460 Weatherby
  • 460 A-Square
  • 470 NE
  • 500 Jeffery
  • 505 Gibbs and any other comparable calibers.
Best hippo hunting ammunition

Mkulu African Hunting Safaris recommends you only use premium grade ammunition when hunting hippos in South Africa.

Our preferred ammunition manufacturer is Hornady and Federal Premium in just about any weight. You can use 286 grain 375 solid projectiles and larger with confidence.

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. 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 hippos in Africa due to a rather short expected average shooting distance. It is our recommendation not to purchase a very expensive rifle scope to hunt one of these amphibians if you are not expecting to hunt more than one hippo in your lifetime.

The minimum caliber to hunt hippos with is a 375. Ensure the scope you are using can withstand the recoil of the rifle caliber you are hunting with. Therefore we suggest using the scope you have on your current rifle.

Average shooting distance

The average expected shooting distance when hunting hippos in South Africa is 20 – 50 yards depending on the terrain you are hunting in.

Shot placement when hunting hippos

Broadside shot

On a side shot while the hippo is in the water place the shot between the ear and the eye.

If the hippo is on land place the shot between the ear and the eye.

Quartering to shot

Should ideally not be attempted due to the sheer mass of the animal.

Quartering away shot

Should ideally not be attempted due to the sheer mass of the animal.

Facing to shot

Mostly only the head protrudes above the water. On a frontal shot a triangle is formed between the eye sockets and a ridge on the forehead. Placing the shot in that triangle will have the hippo meet its fate.

If the hippo is on land place the shot as described above.

Tips for hunting hippos in Africa

To walk-and-stalk hippos is mostly how they are hunted and the hunter needs to take care not to underestimate the senses of their quarry. Ensure your rifle shoots at point of aim when rifle hunting hippos in Limpopo.

Birds like guinea fowl and the Hadeda ibis will certainly warn hippos of your approach. Care must be taken to avoid these birds spoiling a hunting opportunity.

Best time of year for hunting hippos in Africa

Hippos prefer to be in very close proximity of a permanent water source in the form of a river, pond or lake. During the heat of the day they will lie up along the banks, or inside the water source itself. At night is when they move away from the water to start grazing.

The best time of year to hunt hippos in South Africa is from January to December.

African hippo hunting safari packages 2019