Hunting kudu in South Africa

Hunting kudu in South Africa

Hunting kudu in South Africa with the kudu hunting specialists. Not only do we offer some of the best kudu hunting in the world, we also now offer hunting really big kudu that will exceed the 60″ mark. For a small additional cost we can now set you up on kudu from 60″ and bigger.

Hunting kudu in South Africa is hunting for the most sought after plains game animal in Africa. Our kudu hunting packages ensure you hunt a fully mature trophy animal. Please read below if you are wanting to hunt a gold medal class kudu and kudu above 60″.

First of all, the age-old squabble of Cape kudu vs greater kudu will never really be laid to rest. Cape kudu are not a separate genus or separate specie; Cape kudu merely do not grow the same horn length as kudu in the northern parts of South Africa. Some say it lies in the type of vegetation and diet in the North (Limpopo, North West Province and Mpumalanga). As a result, greater kudu in the northern parts of South Africa grow bigger horns.


The Gray Ghost

Kudu is certainly the most popular plains game animal to hunt in South Africa. Every hunter must have a kudu. The name Gray Ghost is associated with kudu. Gray Ghost refers to the uncanny ability of a kudu bull to disappear without sound and very little movement. Likewise, gray refers to the color of the kudu.

Kudu is included in our South African hunting safari packages as the priority animal to hunt. Professional Hunters and visiting hunters always sigh a sigh of relief when a fantastic kudu is successfully hunted. Looking at our kudu trophy hunting pictures, we furthermore feel we offer some of the best kudu hunting safaris Africa has to offer.

We have hunted kudu in almost every hunting scenario; from open fields, to thick brush and mountains. We honestly feel we offer some of the best kudu hunting in the world.

Gun scope for hunting kudu

There are numerous gun scopes and gun scope brands available on the market today. Leupold and Swarovski optics certainly rate as being some of the best. Purchase the optics you can afford. We are hunting. We are NOT on a fashion parade.

The single most important issue is the scope you do decide to make your own, must be able to withstand the recoil once you squeeze the trigger.

A good 2 – 12 X 50 gun scope is sufficient for hunting kudu in South Africa.

Kudu hunting prices South Africa

Our kudu hunting prices in South Africa for 2020 is $ 2 850. However, with the Covid-19 pandemic we are sure we will be able to make a small adjustment on this price as a stand-alone animal. If you are willing to look at a hunting package that includes a kudu, please follow this link to make the kudu hunting price more bearable.

Hunting kudu in South Africa prices
Best caliber for hunting kudu in South Africa

The best caliber to for hunting kudu in South Africa 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 hunting kudu in South Africa:

270 using a minimum bullet weight of 150 gr
  • Federal Hi-Shok soft point ammunition traveling at a muzzle velocity of about 2 850 feet per second (fps)
  • Winchester Power-Point 150 gr ammunition traveling at a muzzle velocity of 2 850 fps
  • Nosler Partition 150 gr ammunition traveling at a muzzle velocity of 2 850 fps


308 using a minimum bullet weight of 150 gr
  • Federal 150 gr Nosler Partition ammunition at a muzzle velocity of 2 840 feet per second (fps)
  • Remington 165 gr AccuTip Boat Tail ammunition at a muzzle velocity of 2 700 fps
  • Norma 180 gr Nosler Partition at a muzzle velocity of 2 612 fps


30-06 using a minimum bullet weight of 150 gr
  • This is hunting the most wanted plains game animal, with the world’s best caliber using the world’s best ammunition.
  • Barnes TTSX 150 gr at a muzzle velocity of 2 750 feet per second (fps)
  • Federal 165 gr Nosler Partition at a muzzle velocity of 2 830 fps
  • Norma 180 gr Oryx at a muzzle velocity of 2 700 fps


300 WSM and 300 WM
  • 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.
  • Due to the relative high velocity of these two calibers, they are not considered to be bushveld hunting calibers. They do work and they will continue to work. However, if you do have another caliber, please use it. High velocity calibers many times have a deflection from small branches, whereas slower calibers with heavier bullets tend to chug along and still hit the intended target.


375 H&H using soft nose ammunition
  • Speer 300 gr at 2 550 fps muzzle velocity
  • Federal 300 gr Sledgehammer at 2 530 fps muzzle velocity and
  • Barnes TSX 300 gr at 2 490 fps muzzle velocity


Follow this link for a comprehensive list of caliber recommendations

Best kudu hunting in the world
Best ammunition for hunting kudu in South Africa
Hunting gold medal kudu

If hunting gold medal kudu is above all what you are after, you have come to the correct company.  Please remember that hunting record book kudu comes at an additional fee.

Our kudu hunting prices are an average reflection of the hunting industry prices. The demand for kudu over 60” exceeds supply. Therefore we regrettably have to charge more for this holy grail of kudu.

Your South African hunting safari probably starts right after you decided to hunt Africa. Getting prepared for your South African hunting trip is almost as exciting as being here and going on your first hunt. Enjoy every moment of the journey.

Just to whet your appetite, scroll further down this page for our kudu hunting videos. The videos certainly do not reflect the complete hunt so please do not think hunting kudu is easy at all.

We absolutely do not offer cheap African hunting safaris. It is policy we rather hunt up to a standard in contrast to hunting down to a price.

Mkulu Safaris offer hard to beat value for money South African hunting safari packages. We hunt kudu hard and above all, we hunt fair. Our hunting in South Africa prices allow you the opportunity to hunt South Africa at affordable prices allowing us to still make a living. Thank you for understanding and we appreciate your patronage.

Seems like kudu hunting more exciting than this has not been discovered yet.

Hunting gold medal kudu
Kudu hunting season South Africa 2020

Prior to the existence of the Professional Hunter industry, hunts were legally undertaken by locals during the South African winter months of May, June, July and August. These were by far the preferential hunting months and were considered as the best biltong making months. Biltong is the local equivalent of jerky and is best made during winter when there are no flies. Consequently, for a hunt to have been legal, South African hunters had to purchase a hunting license from the local magistrate’s court. This license was valid for the specific hunting season only and had to be produced on demand of any officials.

With the development of the Professional Hunting industry new laws and regulations came to be. This meant that landowners had to apply to the local state authority for what is known as exemption. Hunters can now hunt year-round on such properties. Landowners pay a license fee in lieu of the individual license fees hunters had to pay.

Included in the newer system is an inspection of the hunting property that needs to fulfill to minimum criteria as set out by the authorities.

Kudu hunting season South Africa dates 2020 are from 1 January 2020 through 31 December 2020.

Kudu hunting ammunition

We recommend you only use premium grade ammunition when hunting kudu 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.

Kudu shot placement diagram

Broadside shot

Try and aim right on the shoulder in line with the middle of the front leg, one third of the way up from the bottom of the brisket to the top of the hump on the back. This should lead to a high heart shot while breaking the shoulder.

Alternatively, aim behind the shoulder about midway between the brisket and the hump for a high lung shot.

Quartering to

Make sure to aim for the inside of the closer shoulder at the same height as for a broadside shot. Do not attempt this shot if you are not comfortable taking the shot.

Quartering away

Place the shot at the spot bisecting the angle formed by the front legs. Similarly, aim at the same height as for a broadside shot.

Only attempt this shot if you are shooting larger calibers like a 300 Win Mag, 300 Ultra Mag or 375. There is a lot of stomach content that needs to be penetrated.

Facing on

Take your time and make sure you aim at the bottom of the throat where it meets the chest. On a frontal shot care should be taken not to misjudge where the throat joins the chest due to the beard down the length of the throat.

Interesting kudu facts

Introducing the Gray Ghost.

When you are finally going to hunt kudu in South Africa it will be important to know more on your adversary. Below are a number of interesting kudu facts that might come in handy.

The information is from personal observations over 24 years but more scientifically from:

Smithers, R.H.N. 1983. Die soogdiere van die Suider-Afrikaanse substreek. Universiteit van Pretoria: 667 – 668

Kudu scientific name

Kudu scientific name

Scientific name for kudu is: Tragelaphus strepsiceros.

Kudu bull average weight: They can weigh up to 550 lbs.

Kudu cow average weight: Up to 440 lbs.

Kudu shoulder height

Average shoulder height

Average shoulder height of a kudu bull is around 55”

Kudu cows are significantly shorter than their male counterparts coming in at around 49”

Kudu habitat

Kudu habitat

Best kudu habitat is a combination of savanna and woodlands areas. They do not occur in deserts, dense forests or open grass plains.

They do occur in semi desert areas of Namibia with sufficient feed, water and vegetation for cover against severe weather conditions.

Kudu prefer mixed terrain with rocky outcrops to supply decent cover with a stable water supply. In drier regions they stick to wooded areas along dry creek beds.

Distribution in Africa


Distribution South of the Sahara:

Kudu occur in some areas in the South eastern parts of Chad, eastern parts of the Central African Republic (CAR), eastern Sudan, western and southern parts of Ethiopia, some parts of Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zaire, Malawi, Mozambique and Angola.

In the southern sub-region – many parts of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and many parts of South Africa.

It is feared that domestic wars in central North Africa will lead to the demise of all animal numbers in affected areas.

Kudu behavior


These spiral horned antelope are gregarious animals. This means they like living in smaller herds seldom more than 12 individuals. Bulls usually become solitary, or form bull herds outside the kudu rut period. Kudu usually rut from the last week in May until June / July. It is during the rut that bulls join herds and will fight for breeding rights. It is noticeable that the necks of bulls become enlarged during the rut.

Kudu are most active during early mornings and late afternoons. On the heat of the day they tend to rest up in wooded and secluded areas.

Kudu are great jumpers clearing fences up to six feet and higher.

General information on hunting kudu in South Africa

Much is said by those who have hunted kudu successfully. This is great. But what about the thoughts, suggestions and advice from those who consistently hunt plains game in general, and kudu specifically?

If you are embarking on your first African hunting safari with kudu being your main target, talk to your friends who have hunted kudu before. Talk to your professional hunter and anyone that is willing and able to assist. Kudu have large ears for a reason. They use their ears to great effect avoiding hunters when one shoe is rasped on the ground, or a nasty dry leaf is stepped on.

Make sure you are prepared for numerous situations with regards to taking a shot quickly, or lying down, or from a tree and even from the tracker’s shoulder.

Enjoy your hunt. Be sure. Be safe and know where your rifle shoots.


Tips for hunting kudu in South Africa

Larger kudu herds are more difficult to stalk due to many eyes and large ears. Solitary bulls are extremely wily and are very hard to hunt indeed. Bachelor herds of between 2 and 10 animals are common.

Archery hunting kudu is on the increase and in such a case you can hunt blue wildebeest from a hide or blind.

Any sudden movements and not releasing the safety catch under control will attract the attention of all weary kudu. This will result in a no-hunt situation with a long walk of shame back to the hunting vehicle.


Best time of year to hunt kudu

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 kudu in South Africa is:

  • kudu rut roughly during the second week of May till about the second week in July (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 kudu from January to December.


Average shot distance

The average expected shot distance when hunting kudu in South Africa is 80 to 180 yards depending on the terrain you are hunting in.

Below are two of our kudu hunting videos. Feel free to experience the excitement with us!

Gallery of kudu trophy hunting pictures

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