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.
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.
We recommend the following calibers as being the best calibers for hunting giraffe in South Africa:
- 300 Win Mag
- 338 Lapua
- 45-70 or any comparable calibers.
Ammunition for hunting giraffes
Our preferred ammunition manufacturer is Barnes. You can use any weight projectiles depending on which weight consistently performs best in your specific rifle. Other premium grade ammunition manufactures you can use would be Federal Premium, Sierra and others.
There are numerous gun scopes and gun scope brands available on the market today. Leupold and Swarovski optics certainly provide more light under darker conditions. However, you should purchase the optics you can afford. The single most important issue is the scope must be able to withstand the recoil once you squeeze the trigger.
A good 2 – 12 X 50 gun scope is sufficient for hunting giraffe in South Africa.
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
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.
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.
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
Larger giraffe herds are more difficult to stalk due to every member of the giraffe herd being alert most of the time. Solitary bulls can become docile at times only when they realize something is different. Then you are in for a hunt.
Archery hunting giraffe is can be set up. In such a case you can bow hunt giraffe from a hide or blind.
Best time of year to hunt giraffe
Traditionally the bush is rather dense during our summer months from November to April. From June to August the bush starts to recede rather quickly. 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
We hunt giraffe from January to December.
African hunting safari packages 2019