Best calibers

Meet our professional hunters

Meet us

Calibers & draw weights

Best caliber for hunting big game in Africa

The best hunting caliber for big game hunting in Africa will be debated for many years to come. In the end the decision for which hunting rifle and caliber to bring to Africa for a South African hunting safari will lie with you. This decision will many times be a no-brainer but for some who have never been across for an out-of-country hunt it can become a major decision.

After a number of years in the African safari hunting business we have learned that a possible definition of the right or the correct rifle caliber to bring on a South African hunting safari is rather simple: bring the rifle or rifles (you are allowed to bring two rifles) you feel most confident shooting with. The rifles you intend bringing along are subject to government rules and regulations as set out in the SAPS 520 section of this website.

If we were to recommend two calibers it must only be seen as a recommendation as not as a

rule. With a 30-06 and a 375 you will be able to hunt anything that walks in the African bushveld. The most popular calibers brought along on any South African hunting safari trip range from a 270, 7mm-08, 7 mm Rem Mag, 30-06 to a 300 Win Mag.

One aspect Hunting in Africa Safaris will remain adamant on will be the quality of the ammunition you bring along. Please only use the best premium grade ammunition that your rifle shoots accurately. A number of game animals have been wounded and lost due to hunters not adhering to this rule. We recommend the following brands of ammunition and if we have inadvertently omitted one or more brands please accept our apology: Nosler Partition, Barnes X, Federal Premium and Woodleigh. The bullet weight will also be determined by which weight performs with the best accuracy. Good thing is with premium grade ammunition you can hunt African big game with smaller bullet weights.



Best caliber for hunting African plains game

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, ammunition is readily available and it is just a sweet shooting caliber. This does not mean we do not have confidence in any other calibers. On the contrary, other calibers like the 270, 308, 7 mm Rem Mag, 7mm-08, 300 Win Mag and others have all been used with big success on our African hunting safaris.

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 TSX and TTSX, Federal Premium and Woodleigh whichever particular brand works best for accuracy in your particular hunting rifle you intend bringing over for your African 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.

Recommended caliber : First rifle handy! 22-250, 222, 223, 243, 270, 7mm-08, 7 mm Rem Mag, 7 X 57, 7 X 64 Breneke, 30-06, 308, 300 Win Short Mag (WSM), 300 Win Mag, 300 Ultra Mag, 300 Weatherby, 338 Lapua (long range hunting) and any similar or comparable caliber

Hunting distance : 100 + yards

Recommended caliber : 270, 7mm-08, 7 mm Rem Mag, 7 X 57, 7 X 64 Breneke, 30-06, 308, 300 Win Short Mag (WSM), 300 Win Mag and any similar or comparable caliber

Hunting distance : 150 – 250 yards

Recommended caliber : 243, 270, 7mm-08, 7 mm Rem Mag, 7 X 57, 7 X 64 Breneke, 30-06, 308, 300 Win Short Mag (WSM), 300 Win Mag and any similar or comparable caliber

Hunting distance : 150 – 200 yards

Recommended caliber : 30-06, 308, 300 Win Short Mag (WSM), 300 Win Mag, 300 Ultra Mag, 300 Weatherby, 338 Lapua, 375 and any similar or comparable caliber. Generally: the bigger the better.

Hunting distance : 50 – 150 yards

Recommended caliber : 270, 7mm-08, 7 mm Rem Mag, 7 X 57, 7 X 64 Breneke, 30-06, 308, 300 Win Short Mag (WSM), 300 Win Mag and any similar or comparable caliber

Hunting distance : 30 – 60 yards

Recommended caliber : 270, 7mm-08, 7 mm Rem Mag, 7 X 57, 7 X 64 Breneke, 30-06, 308, 300 Win Short Mag (WSM), 300 Win Mag, 300 Ultra Mag, 300 Weatherby, 338 Lapua or any similar or comparable caliber, 12 ga shotgun. A 45-70 lever action would be most suitable for up-and-close encounters when hunting bushpig.

Hunting distance : 30 – 60 yards

Recommended caliber : Any caliber larger than 222 with a solid round as it does the least damage to the trophy, 410 shotgun, 17 cal, 12 ga

Hunting distance : 30 – 50 yards

Recommended caliber : Any caliber larger than 222 with a solid round as it does the least damage to the trophy. 17 cal, 22-250, 222, 223, 243, 308.

Hunting distance : 30 – 50 yards

Recommended caliber : 30-06, 300 (all), 338 Lapua, 375, 404 Jeffrey, 416 Rigby, 416 Rem, 458 Win Mag, 458 Lott, 460 Weatherby (Wby), 470 NE, 500 Jeffrey, 505 Gibbs.

Hunting distance : 60 – 180 yards

Recommended caliber : 243, 270, 7mm-08, 7 mm Rem Mag, 7 X 57, 7 X 64 Breneke, 30-06, 308, 300 Win Short Mag (WSM), 300 Win Mag and any similar or comparable caliber

Hunting distance : 100 – 180 yards

Recommended caliber : 270, 7mm-08, 7 mm Rem Mag, 7 X 57, 7 X 64 Breneke, 30-06, 308, 300 Win Short Mag (WSM), 300 Win Mag, 300 Ultra Mag, 300 Weatherby, 338 Lapua (long range hunting) and any similar or comparable caliber

Hunting distance : 60 – 180 yards

Recommended caliber : 30-06, 308, 300 Win Short Mag (WSM), 300 Win Mag, 300 Ultra Mag, 300 Weatherby, 338 Lapua, 375, 416 Rigby, 416 Rem, 458, 458 Lott, 460 Weatherby (Wby), 470 NE, 500 Jeffrey, 505 Gibbs and any similar or comparable caliber. ONLY use premium grade ammunition.

Hunting distance : 30 – 50 yards

Recommended caliber : Legal minimum caliber for dangerous game in most African countries is 375. Recommended 375, 404 Jeffrey, 416 Rigby, 458 WM, 458 Lott, 460 Weatherby (Wby), 470 NE, 500 Jeffrey, 505 Gibbs

Hunting distance : 30 – 50 yards

Recommended caliber : 243, 270, 7mm-08, 7 mm Rem Mag, 7 X 57, 7 X 64 Breneke, 30-06, 308, 300 Win Short Mag (WSM), 300 Win Mag and any similar or comparable caliber

Hunting distance : 40 – 150 yards

Recommended caliber : The very first rifle handy! 17 cal, 22-250, 222, 223, 243, 270, 30-06, 7mm-08, 7 mm Rem Mag, 7 X 57, 7 X 64 Breneke, 30-06, 308, 300 Win Short Mag (WSM), 300 Win Mag, 300 Ultra Mag, 300 Weatherby, 338 Lapua and any similar or comparable caliber

Hunting distance : 30 – 150 yards

Recommended caliber : 17 cal, 223, 243, 270, 308, 30-06, any caliber larger than 222 with a solid round

Hunting distance : 100 – 200 yards

Recommended caliber : 270, 7mm-08, 7 mm Rem Mag, 7 X 57, 7 X 64 Breneke, 30-06, 308, 300 Win Short Mag (WSM), 300 Win Mag, 300 Ultra Mag, 300 Weatherby, 338 Lapua and any similar or comparable caliber

Hunting distance : 80 – 180 yards

Recommended caliber : 270, 7mm-08, 7 mm Rem Mag, 7 X 57, 7 X 64 Breneke, 30-06, 308, 300 Win Short Mag (WSM), 300 Win Mag, 300 Ultra Mag, 300 Weatherby, 338 Lapua and any similar or comparable caliber

Hunting distance : 100 – 200 yards

Recommended caliber : 243, 270, 7mm-08, 7 mm Rem Mag, 7 X 57, 7 X 64 Breneke, 30-06, 308 and any similar or comparable caliber

Hunting distance : 100 – 250 yards

Recommended caliber : 270, 7mm-08, 7 mm Rem Mag, 7 X 57, 7 X 64 Breneke, 30-06, 308, 300 Win Short Mag (WSM), 300 Win Mag and any similar or comparable caliber

Hunting distance : 50 – 150 yards

Recommended caliber : 270, 308, 30-06, 300 WSM, 300 Win Mag, 375

Hunting distance : 70 – 90 yards

Recommended caliber : 270, 7mm-08, 7 mm Rem Mag, 7 X 57, 7 X 64 Breneke, 30-06, 308, 300 Win Short Mag (WSM), 300 Win Mag and any similar or comparable caliber

Hunting distance : 120 – 180 yards

Recommended caliber : 270, 7mm-08, 7 mm Rem Mag, 7 X 57, 7 X 64 Breneke, 30-06, 308, 300 Win Short Mag (WSM), 300 Win Mag and any similar or comparable caliber

Hunting distance : 80 – 180 yards

Recommended caliber : 243, 270, 7mm-08, 7 mm Rem Mag, 7 X 57, 7 X 64 Breneke, 30-06, 308, 300 Win Short Mag (WSM), 300 Win Mag and any similar or comparable caliber

Hunting distance : 130 – 300 yards

Roan

Recommended caliber : 7 X 64 Breneke, 30-06, 308, 300 Win Short Mag (WSM), 300 Win Mag, 300 Weatherby, 338 Lapua, 375 and any similar or comparable caliber

Hunting distance : 100 – 180 yards

Recommended caliber : 7 mm Rem Mag, 7 X 64 Breneke, 30-06, 308, 300 Win Short Mag (WSM), 300 Win Mag, 338 Lapua, 375 and any similar or comparable caliber

Hunting distance : 100 – 150 yards

Recommended caliber : 243, 270, 30-06, 308, 7 mm (all), 300 WSM

Hunting distance : 150 – 200 yards

Recommended caliber : 17 cal, 223, 243, 270, 308, 30-06, any caliber larger than 222 with a solid round

Hunting Distance : 50 – 80

Recommended caliber : 243, 270, 7mm-08, 7 mm Rem Mag, 7 X 57, 7 X 64 Breneke, 30-06, 308, 300 Win Short Mag (WSM), 300 Win Mag and any similar or comparable caliber

Hunting distance : 100 – 150 yards

Recommended caliber : 270, 7mm-08, 7 mm Rem Mag, 7 X 57, 7 X 64 Breneke, 30-06, 308, 300 Win Short Mag (WSM), 300 Win Mag and any similar or comparable caliber

Hunting distance : 20 – 100 yards

Recommended caliber : 7 X 64 Breneke, 30-06, 308, 300 Win Short Mag (WSM), 300 Win Mag, 300 Ultra Mag, 300 Weatherby, 338 Lapua, 375 and any similar or comparable caliber

Hunting Distance : 80 – 150

Recommended caliber : 30-06, 308, 300 Win Short Mag (WSM), 300 Win Mag, 300 Ultra Mag, 300 Weatherby, 338 Lapua, 375 and any similar or comparable caliber. Smaller calibers have been used to successfully harvest zebra. These are our recommendations based on 19 years of professional hunting in Africa.

Hunting distance : 80 – 180 yards

Best caliber for African dangerous game

The best caliber for hunting African dangerous game would be one of the 400 caliber hunting rifles. A 404 Jeffrey, 416 Rigby, 458 WM, 458 Lott, 470 or bigger – Pieter Kriel

The best caliber for hunting African dangerous game (African elephant, Cape buffalo, lion, leopard, rhinos and hippos) would be the largest caliber you feel comfortable shooting accurately with 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 by law in most Africa countries. It is our experience that the best big bore caliber rifles are the 400 range – 416 Rem Mag, 416 Rigby, 458 WM, 458 Lott and 470 because these safari rifle calibers have the best stopping power and best knock-down power in their class. With regards to dangerous game hunting and

dangerous game hunting calibers it 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.

Ammunition recommendations for African dangerous game hunting – only use premium grade ammunition on any dangerous game hunt for obvious reasons. We have had very good results with Hornady solids and Rhino solids when hunting elephants and rhinos. For soft skinned dangerous game hunting like hunting lions and hunting leopard we recommend using Woodleigh soft nose ammunition. For hunting Cape buffalo we have had excellent results with Barnes TTSX ammunition.

Working up a load for your rifle will depend on how well your rifle shoots a specific weight and brand projectile at optimum muzzle velocity.

Recommended caliber : The legal minimum required caliber to hunt African dangerous game in most African countries is 375. After 19 years of professional hunting experience it is our recommendation to use any of the following: 404 Jeffrey, 416 Rigby, 45-70, 458 WM, 458 Lott, 460 Weatherby (Wby), 470 NE, 500 Jeffrey or 505 Gibbs for hunting Cape buffalo. If you only have a 375 then please feel free to use it.

Hunting distance : 20 – 60 yards depending on caliber, open sights or scope and terrain

Recommended caliber : The legal minimum required caliber to hunt African dangerous game in most African countries is 375. After 19 years of professional hunting experience it is our recommendation to use any of the following: 404 Jeffrey, 416 Rigby, 45-70, 458 WM, 458 Lott, 460 Weatherby (Wby), 470 NE, 500 Jeffrey or 505 Gibbs for hunting Cape buffalo cow. If you only have a 375 then please feel free to use it.

Hunting distance : 20 – 60 yards depending on caliber, open sights or scope and terrain

Recommended Caliber : The legal minimum required caliber to hunt African dangerous game is 375. After 19 years of professional hunting experience it is our recommendation to use 404 Jeffrey, 416 Rigby, 458 WM, 458 Lott, 460 Weatherby (Wby), 470 NE, 500 Jeffrey or 505 Gibbs when hunting African elephant. If you only have a 375 then please feel free to use it.

Hunting distance : 20 – 60 yards depending on caliber, open sights or scope and terrain

Recommended caliber : The legal minimum required caliber to hunt African dangerous game in most African countries is 375. After 19 years of professional hunting experience it is our recommendation to use any of the following: 404 Jeffrey, 416 Rigby, 45-70, 458 WM, 458 Lott, 460 Weatherby (Wby), 470 NE, 500 Jeffrey or 505 Gibbs for hunting hippo. If you only have a 375 then please feel free to use it.

Hunting distance : 30 – 50 yards

Recommended caliber : The minimum legal required caliber to hunt leopard in many African countries is 375. You are welcome to use a 375 or any other caliber larger than 375 with premium grade ammunition only.

Hunting distance : 60 – 80 yards

Lion

Recommended caliber : The minimum legal required caliber to hunt lion is 375. You are welcome to use any other caliber larger than 375. In all instances only make use of premium grade ammunition.

Hunting distance : 40 – 60 yards

Recommended caliber : The minimum legal required caliber to hunt lioness is 375. If you have other calibers larger than 375 you are welcome to use those. In all instances only make use of premium grade ammunition.

Hunting distance : 40 – 60 yards

Recommended caliber : The legal minimum required caliber to hunt African dangerous game in most African countries is 375. After 19 years of professional hunting experience it is our recommendation to use any of the following: 404 Jeffrey, 416 Rigby, 458 WM, 458 Lott, 460 Weatherby (Wby), 470 NE, 500 Jeffrey or 505 Gibbs for hunting white rhino. If you only have a 375 then please feel free to use it.

Hunting Distance : 10 – 30 yards