Bow hunting in South Africa with Mkulu Hunting Safaris

Bow hunting in South Africa with the professionals.

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Bow hunting in South Africa

Whether you are bowhunting in Kansas or bow hunting in South Africa, the basic principles of bow hunting remain the same. Some differences will be in the bow hunting hides and bow hunting shot placement on African game. Bow hunting in South Africa with Mkulu African Hunting Safaris means you are bowhunting with hunting outfitters that care about you, the hunt and the quality of the trophies you harvest. Make sure you bring along your bowhunting equipment because bow hunting accessories are hard to come by when out in the African bush. We do not mind if you hunt with a compound bow, longbow or with traditional archery equipment; we want to see you have the best African bow hunting safari available. We offer hints and tips on shot placement, draw weight and the best arrows and broad heads to use on plains game hunting and dangerous game hunting. We will show you the best African bow hunting trophies and you do the rest! All our bow hunting is conducted from pit blinds, ground hides, elevated hides and sometimes even walk-and-stalk.

Your level of skill and preference will determine the hunting method. Our supreme bowhunting concessions make it possible for you to hunt up to 10 plains game species without having to move from one bowhunting concession to another. Hunting the Big 5 with a bow has some minimum requirements with regards to the draw weight of the bow you intend to use, as is the case with the arrow. The two pachyderms, elephant and rhino, may not be bow hunted in South Africa. It is recommended that you bring along a suitable video camera and tripod when bowhunting from a blind. There will be many exciting opportunities for video taping a variety of animals, including you harvesting the trophy you have thought about for so long.

We trust that the African bowhunting information supplied will assist you in making the correct decision to book your African bowhunting safari with Mkulu African Hunting Safaris. Our South African bow hunting safari packages start at $ 3 750-00.

What is the best bow for bow hunting in South Africa

This is a question often posed by bow hunters wanting to go on their first South African bowhunting safari.

The best bow for bowhunting in South Africa is by far the one you know best and trust. If your bow is manufactured by Bowtech, Diamond, Mathews, G5 or Hoyt, it does not matter. Know your bow and make sure you hit at point of aim.

There simply are no bad manufacturers of bows. Please ensure your accompanying equipment (along with shot placement) is suitable for the animal you intend hunting.

Read our recommendations on minimum draw weight and kinetic energy (KE) required per trophy animal. Also take note of the South African bow hunting regulations with regards to bowhunting in South Africa further down the page.

When does the hunting season end in South Africa

The hunting season in South Africa ends when the last hunter has left. On all the bow hunting farms we can hunt year round, however, there is a best time of year for bow hunting South Africa.

The best time of year for bow hunting South Africa is during our dry, cold months. These would be May (during the rut), June, July, August, September, October and even into the first week of November. These are the best months for bow hunting plains game. The best time of year for bow hunting dangerous game South Africa can be extended from March through end of October and even the first week of November. Please know that end of October beginning of November it can become rather hot.

Our bow hunting video clips Africa are in the GALLERY section of this website.

Please pay special attention to the recommended broad heads and kinetic energy (KE) we suggest for your bow hunting equipment South Africa. If you are thinking about hunting dangerous game with a bow and arrow there are a few minimum requirements you need to adhere to.

Bow hunting regulations South Africa

This is a summary of the bow hunting regulations South Africa:


CATEGORIES OF HUNTING as published in the Government Gazette, 11 DECEMBER 2009 No.32798 29

Permissible bows for bow hunting (this should answer the question: what bow can I use for bow hunting South Africa?)

  1. The following are acceptable types of bows for bow hunting South Africa-

( a) longbow;

(b) recurve bow; and

(c) compound bow, excluding a compound crossbow.

Categories of wild animals for bow hunting South Africa

  1. The following norms apply to the hunting of wild animals with bow and arrow-

( a) small game, including gamebirds, small carnivores, hares, hyraxes, rabbits and pygmy antelope

(Category 1 )-

(i) bow with a minimum draw mass of 40 pounds;

(ii) bow generating a minimum kinetic energy 30ft/lbs; and

(iii) minimum arrow weight of 300 grains;

(b) medium game, including reedbuck, impala, blesbuck, warthog, bushpig, springbuck, and nyala

(Category 2)-

(i) bow with a minimum draw mass of 50 pounds;

(ii) bow generating a minimum kinetic energy 50ft/lb; and

(iii) minimum arrow weight 400 grains;

(c) large game, including wildebeest, kudu, gemsbok, zebra, waterbuck, sable, and hartebeests

(Category 3)-

(i) bow with a minimum draw mass of 60 pounds;

(ii) bow generating a minimum kinetic energy of 60ft/lbs; and

(iii) minimum arrow weight of 500 grains;

(d) Cape buffalo (Category 4)-

(i) bow with a minimum draw mass of 80 pounds;

(ii) bow generating a minimum kinetic energy of 80ft/lb; and

(iii) minimum arrow weight of 750 grains; and

(e) giraffe (Category 5)-

Government Gazette, 11 DECEMBER 2009 No.32798 29

(i) bow with a minimum draw mass of 90 pounds;

(ii) bow generating a minimum kinetic energy of 90ft/lbs; and

(iii) minimum arrow weight of 750 grains.

Additional norms for bow hunting equipment

  1. Notwithstanding the requirements contemplated in Paragraph 27 the following conditions apply-

(a) in the case of mechanical broad heads 5% additional kinetic energy is required for Category 1, 2

and 3 wild animals;

(b) broad heads must have at least two cutting edges; and

(c) the minimum permitted arrow length is 50cm.

Short title and commencement

  1. These norms and standards are called the National Norms and Standards for the Regulation of the

Hunting Industry, 2009, and take effect on a date determined by the Minister in the Gazette.

Why we bow hunt South Africa

Bow hunting flows in your veins and can only be expressed as a form of art when you are at full draw and in your private zone. At this point in time you can hear your blood flow, your heart rate escalates and your senses are at their peak. When the arrow is finally subconsciously released and finds the intended target, your elation is for the hunting experience and not for the kill. This is why we bow hunt and if you do not become somewhat excited, pack up your bow hunting equipment and quit hunting altogether.

One aspect that has become abundantly clear over time is there are as many differences in opinion between which bow to use, which broad head, which arrow and (very important) at which speed should your arrow be launched.
It is our experience that any bowhunter will have his / her preference with regards to which bowhunting equipment should be used. This is like debating between buying a $ 2 000 Toyota and a $ 2 000 Nissan. Buy the one that suits your needs best.

Mechanical broad heads vs fixed blade broad heads

Right off the bat: both have their place in the African bow hunting scenario. We have experienced a lion expire quicker when harvested with a mechanical broad head than with a rifle. We have seen failed hunts with fixed blade broad heads and yes, we have experienced one (or two) misses.
It is our experience that the larger the animal we typically prefer you bow hunt with a fixed blade rather than with a mechanical. This is mainly due to the mass and toughness of the animal.
Kudu are South Africa’s third largest antelope and can be bow hunted with mechanical broad heads with confidence. It is our recommendation that roan antelope (South Africa’s second largest antelope) and Cape eland (South Africa’s largest antelope) be hunted with fixed blade broad heads.
All South African antelope species can be hunted with fixed blade broad heads.

Of course there are numerous broad heads out there. The best broad head (our opinion) is the one that works for you. Kindly remember when we recommend using a broad head with a cutting edge of at least 1” not to shrug our advice off without wondering why we said it in the first place.
Bow hunting rhino and bow hunting African elephants in South Africa are prohibited by law. We can, and do, bow hunt Cape buffalo and African lions with a pre-issued permit to do so. For Cape buffalo you must use a fixed blade broad head end of story. Apart from this advice coming form experience it is also the law of the land.
We are aware that opinions are a dime a dozen and that everyone would be entitled their own. Our recommendations come from practical experience and from listening to many opinions from our appreciated hunters and autopsies on the carcasses.

Arrow speed vs Kinetic Energy (KE)

This is where debates can become extremely heated. Before we get into any major debates, it is our recommendation to use a combination between speed, arrow weight, the best broad head and kinetic energy (KE).
For a complete recommendation on draw weights and KE per individual animal please click the button below.

Bow hunting in South Africa details

Bow hunting prices

Our Hunting in Africa prices have been adjusted for the 2018 bow hunting season. The best affordable South African hunting safari prices for what you get!

Draw weights and KE

Here is a detailed list of draw weights per game animal. Kinetic energy (KE) values are added to this list. See the average expected bow hunting distance per game animal.


After 21 years in the safari hunting and safari vacation business environment we know we offer some the best South African safari hunting packages available in the South African hunting safari industry.

Where we bow hunt

South Africa

South African hunting safari packages in South Africa hosted by Hunting in Africa Safaris. Big game hunting trips to Africa are available to everyone who knows how to use a hunting rifle.


Hunting in Africa Safaris has teamed up with Georgia Safaris for those who wish to hunt in Zimbabwe. John Hunt, the owner of Georgia Safaris, is a dangerous game hunting veteran with over 20-years experience.

Hunting areas & camps

The quality of each and every hunting camp in all the hunting areas in South Africa we make use of has been inspected by ourselves and quality approved even before you arrive.

Mkulu African Hunting Safaris bow hunting packages:


  • Once we pick you up at the airport all your costs will be specified so you know what you are in for
  • We include your daily rates, meals, accommodation prices, drinks, transfers and any hunting-related costs
  • The trophy fees of the animals listed in the bowhunting package deal of your choice are included
  • Skinning fees and field preparation of the African animals you hunted successfully are included
  • We even drop your trophies off at the local taxidermist we recommend. From there you can decide to have the taxidermy work done locally or have them shipped to where you are from
  • Once you filled your South Africa bowhunting safari package you can even opt to add additional animals to your package at the relevant price list prices


  • Taxidermy – we are not taxidermists but can give advice on the type of taxidermy mounts you can consider
  • Shipping costs – your trophies have to be shipped home
  • Trophy fees of additional animals harvested outside your bowhunting package deal
  • Gratuities – these are always welcome and are at your discretion
  • As for the rest: we cannot charge you for what we did not tell you about. What you see is what you pay.

South African bow hunting packages 2018