Hunting impala in South Africa
Hunting impala in South Africa
Hunting impala in South Africa is almost a given as their numbers are plentiful. They occur in most regions with sufficient bushveld cover and vegetation. They are grazers and browsers making them highly adaptable to different areas with less or more vegetation. Droughts have less effect on their numbers than on any other plains game specie in South Africa. Impala have a very high rate of reproduction and are very successful in raising their young. With many eyes and ears ready to warn them against the presence of hunters and predators they always breed successful.
This is a small frame animal and most rifle calibers used will penetrate completely and exit on the other side making it possible to wound an animal not intended as the target.
Hunting impala in South Africa is a plains game hunting experience to look forward to. Our impala hunting opportunities are not limited to a single Province as we have a variety of areas where impala hunts can be booked.
Impala are one of the top 10 most favorite animals to hunt by both foreign and local hunters. This is due to the abundance of impala and the relative low cost of hunting them.
Impala in South Africa can be compared to white tail deer in the USA. This is by far the most common animal that adapts to most regions without too much trouble.
Interesting impala facts
Impala scientific name: Aepyceros melampus
Impala males (rams) pull the scale down to an average body weight of 130 lb., while females weigh in at an average of 85 lb.
Scent glands at the bottom of the rear legs mark territories. Impala feed on grass and shrubs, tree leaves and pods and fruits when available.
After a gestation period of approximately 200 days a single lamb is born. Impala females reach sexual maturity at two years. Young males can start breeding at 12 months but are prevented from doing so by the dominant breeding rams. During the rut males become vocal by snorting and grunting all hours of the day.
Young males form bachelor herds with one or more older males during the year. When old enough, newcomers challenge breeding males for breeding rights. Vicious fights can lead to injury and even death of the opponent.
Females and juveniles live in family groups and will attract attention from territorial males waiting for any opportunity to reproduce.
Anything that eats meat will have savored impala:
- young impalas are used for training young cheetah and leopard to catch their own meals before upgrading to larger antelope;
- spotted hyena, caracal and jackal will not pass up on an opportunity to collect an impala for dinner.
- Even pythons like to take the odd impala.
Impala hunting prices
Impala hunting prices South Africa 2020 is $ 450.
Should you decide to cull hunt an additional impala or two, our non-trophy and female impala cull hunting prices are $ 200 per animal. These prices are subject to availability of cull animals and can only be done as an add-on to your booked package deal. Cull hunt animals cannot replace package deal animals. Female animals can only be cull hunted from April through June.
Ammunition to hunt impala
We recommend you only use premium grade ammunition when hunting impala in South Africa.
Our preferred ammunition manufacturer is Barnes TTSX in just about any weight. Other premium grade ammunition manufactures you can use would be Federal Premium, Nosler Partition, Sierra and others.
The reason we keep hammering on using premium grade ammunition is:
In South Africa if you shoot at an animal and blood is drawn the animal is considered bought and paid for. If you use cheap ammunition that is inferior and causes blood to be drawn you pay even if we do not find it.
What you are looking for in premium grade ammunition is consistent performance. Petals must mushroom creating a wide wound channel leading to the animal expiring quickly.
Petals that break off, or worse, if the bullet / projectile disintegrates upon contact the animal might survive and you still pay.
Gun scope for hunting impala in South Africa
There are numerous gun scopes and gun scope brands available on the market today.
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 impala in South Africa.
Caliber for hunting impala
The best caliber to hunt impala with is the one you know best. We can argue calibers from now till chickens grow teeth and still disagree. Why try and fix something that is not broke?
Use a medium bore rifle that you can shoot accurately and feel comfortable using.
We consider the following as the best calibers for trophy hunting impala in South Africa:
- 243 using a minimum bullet weight of 100 gr traveling at a muzzle velocity of about 3 000 feet per second (fps). Only use Barnes TTSX, Nosler Partition, Sierra GameKing, Federal Premium and other premium grade ammunition.
- 270 using a minimum bullet weight of 140 gr traveling at a muzzle velocity of just shy of 3 000 feet per second (fps). Only use Barnes TTSX, Nosler Partition, Sierra GameKing, Federal Premium and other premium grade ammunition.
- 308 using a minimum bullet weight of 165 gr traveling at a muzzle velocity of about 3 000 feet per second (fps). Only use Barnes TTSX, Nosler Partition, Sierra GameKing, Federal Premium and other premium grade ammunition.
- hunting impala with the greatest caliber on earth, the 30-06. Our best results have consistently come from using Barnes TTSX 150 gr ammunition at slightly shy of 2 800 fps.
- 300 WSM and 300 WM or any other comparable calibers for hunting duiker. Only use premium grade ammunition like Barnes, Nosler Partition, Federal Premium and others. For these two calibers use 150 gr or 165 gr anywhere between 3 150 fps and 3 300 fps.
The 300 calibers are usually not considered to be the best calibers for bushveld hunting. The possibility of having a deflection en-route to the target outweighs the full potential of these calibers. Rather reserve these guys for the open plains when hunting in the Free State. These high velocity calibers have a tendency on creating a lot of damage on your duiker trophy.
Shot placement when hunting impala in South Africa
Shot placement on impala has two possibilities. General rule of thumb on a broadside shot is to place the shot directly behind the shoulder of the impala, about halfway up from the bottom of the chest to the top of the back. This will lead to a definite lung shot.
Place the shot right on the shoulder for a heart shot if you are presented with a perfect broadside shot.
Aim for the inside of the closer shoulder to allow the shot to penetrate the vital organs. Impala shot placement with medium bore calibers usually ends well for the hunter. Do not take the shot if you are unsure about yourself.
Bisect the angle formed between the front legs, aim in the bottom third of the distance between the bottom of the chest and the top of the back of the impala.
Impala are not the biggest kids on the block. If you use premium grade ammunition, a quartering away shot will work well.
Put the shot in the center of the chest of the impala where the throat joins the body.
A frontal shot on impala can become risky. They are slim animals offering a very small target for a facing on shot.
Hunting impala in South Africa general information
Hunting impala in South Africa is like hunting feral pigs in Texas. There are many of them. Only difference is we hunt them for trophy value and meat for local hunters.
Hunting impala in South Africa is a great hunt. Sometimes it is a difficult hunt when stalking a herd of 50 or more animals. During the impala rut (end of April through May) it is at times incredibly easy to hunt impala.
Enjoy your hunt. Be sure. Be safe.
Tips for hunting impala in South Africa
Larger impala herds are more difficult to stalk due to every member of the impala herd being alert most of the time.
Caution must be applied when on the final approach. Any sudden movements will attract the attention of a weary impala and result in a no-hunt situation.
Best time of year to hunt impala in South Africa
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 for hunting impala in South Africa is:
- impala rut roughly during the second week of April till about the second week in May (give or take a few days)
- secondly, from late June to end October when the bush has receded most making visibility easier
We can and do hunt impala from January to December.
Impala average shot distance
The average expected shooting distance when hunting impala in South Africa is 40 to 150 yards depending on the terrain you are hunting in.
Below is one of our impala hunting videos.
Experience the excitement with us!