Hunting lions in
Hunting lions in South Africa with the best African lion hunting Outfitters.
We look at the best caliber for lion hunting, gun scope for lion hunting, ammunition for lion hunting and shot placement when hunting lions in South Africa.
We also give tips on lion hunting in Africa. The best time of year to hunt lions in South Africa and we have a lion shot placement diagram.
Hunting lions in South Africa
African lion scientific name: Panthera leo
Hunting lions in South Africa is subject to the issuing of CITES regulated tags which may determine the availability of lion hunting opportunities in certain areas.
According to the hunting laws of most African countries where lions occur it is legal to hunt lions. Legal lion hunting safaris can be conducted in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania and a few other African countries. Several by-laws can restrict lion hunting safaris and dictate which animals may be hunted and how many of each. These restrictions are adhered to by all ethical lion hunting outfitters.
Mkulu African Hunting Safaris hunt lions ethically and legally allowing the lion hunter to hunt on fair ground and according to the fair chase principle. An adequate lion hunting caliber according to South African hunting laws is a hunting rifle with a minimum caliber of 375.
The African lion hunting safari prices we quote will be the price you pay to avoid any nasty surprises at the end of the lion hunting safari.
Hunting lions in South Africa with Mkulu African Hunting Safaris is a dangerous game hunting experience to look forward to. Our African lioness hunting safari packages are becoming extremely popular because of the same thrill of hunting a dangerous game animal at a reduced rate.
Our lion hunting prices in South Africa are set for the duration of the 2020 hunting season; apart from those prices that have come DOWN! Mkulu African Hunting Safaris, where our hunting season in South Africa does not end.
African lion hunting prices
Lion hunting in South Africa prices appreciate according to the size and darkness of the mane. The larger and darker the mane the higher the trophy fee becomes. Hunting black mane lions in South Africa is the ultimate in hunting lions in South Africa. Mkulu African Hunting Safaris offer market-related lion hunting prices in South Africa.
Go to the African lion hunting safari packages on this website for a detailed price list to suit your budget.
Ammunition for hunting lions
Mkulu African Hunting Safaris recommends you only use premium grade ammunition when hunting African lion. Our preferred ammunition manufacturer for hunting lions in South Africa is Woodleigh in 300 grain for the 375 H&H. Other premium grade ammunition manufactures you can use would be Federal Premium and Hornady.
Generally we want to have a softer type projectile that will transfer more energy quicker to the target on this soft skinned predator.
Average expected shot distance on lions will be 40 – 60 yards depending on the terrain you are hunting in.
A 1.5 – 5 X 20 gun scope should be sufficient for your South African lion hunt due to the shorter expected average shooting distance when hunting lions in South Africa.
Legal caliber for hunting lions
A 375 H&H or any other larger caliber is the minimum legal caliber to hunt dangerous game with in most African countries. In the event of hunting lions in South Africa we consider the 375 H&H to be sufficient enough to hunt lions with. Other calibers to hunt lions will be:
- 416 Rigby
- 458 Win Mag
- 458 Lott
- 500 Jeffrey
- 505 Gibbs
Interesting African lion facts
Below are a few interesting facts on African lions. This may assist when you finally decide to hunt your own lion.
The information supplied 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: 374 – 381
Lion scientific name
African lion scientific name: Panthera leo
Average shoulder height of the African lion:
49” – 50”
Average weight of an adult African male lion: 525 lbs
Lions are found almost everywhere apart from forests. They are found in desert areas in dry river beds. They occur generally in the semi-desert areas of the Sahel region in West Africa and in the Kalahari of Botswana.
If there are water sources they drink regularly, especially after a meal. However, they are not completely dependent on water as most of their hydration comes from their prey.
The single most important factor of their habitat must be the presence of sufficient food sources. They also require shade to rest in and decent cover to facilitate stalking.
Lions are the biggest of the African carnivores. Body color on top of their backs and on their flanks is usually a sandy color, or yellow/brown with a white belly.
Some lions will, to a greater or lesser extent, retain the rosettes and spots that are characteristic of younger animals.
The back of the rounded ears are black and in stark contrast to the rest of the body color. The tail is slightly longer than half of the body length with a well-defined, hairy clasp of yellow/brown, dark and often black hair.
Adult males have mane on the sides of the face, on top of the head, down the shoulders, round the neck and a short distance down the back.
With sub-adult makes the color of the mane is always light to sandy.
Lions have 5 toes on the front feet and four at the back.
Lions tend to be nocturnal with most activity taking pace at sunset until slightly after dawn. This does not mean they are completely inactive during the day.
Lions avoid physical activity during the heat of the day by sleeping in shaded areas.
Some scientists labelled lions as lazy animals. Their life consists of short periods of extreme activity like hunting or a show of aggression. This is followed by longer periods of slow movement and relaxation.
Lions are the cats that are sociable, live in groups and hunt together.
Lions mostly spend their lifetime in their group within their territory. Exceptions to the rules have been noted.
Some males become nomads when driven out of their original group. These wandering lions many times form a band of brothers while wandering over vast areas. When they are old enough they can and will attempt a take-over of the dominant male of an existing pride.
Fighting between senior males can lead to the death of one of them. A hostile take-over by a new dominant male has a negative impact on cub mortality.
Courting can be initiated by both males and females. The male follows the female for the duration of the courtship taking brief rests before starting again. Females entice copulation by stretching in front of the males. Males can take the lead with a ritual growling ceremony.
Males exhibit flehmen (see description below) behaviour while still accepting the presence of other males in the vicinity. Unknown males will be attacked.
It was witnessed by researchers in East Africa that a mating couple copulated every 17 minutes for a whole night.
Between copulation sessions the couple will lie down next to each other. Upon waking up they will walk a short distance until the next period of activity.
Females leave the pride to give birth and stays away until the cubs are 4 – 8 weeks old. On average 1 – 4 cubs are born.
Females can produce cubs until the age of approximately 15 years of age.
The easiest description of flehmen comes from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flehmen_response#Description which describes it as follows: This response is characterized by the animal curling back its top lip exposing the front teeth and gums, then inhaling and holding the posture for several seconds. The behavior may be performed over particular locations, in which case the animal may also lick the site of interest, or may perform the flehmen with the neck stretched and head held high in the air for a more general gustatory or taste-related investigation. The flehmen response often gives the appearance that the animal is looking spiteful, grimacing, smirking or laughing.
Shot placement diagram
General rule of thumb is to place the shot directly behind the shoulder slightly lower than one third of the way up from the start of the chest to the top of the back. According to previous generations the following was the rule: if you can eat it, shoot it behind the shoulder; if it can eat you, shoot it on the shoulder.
We suggest the hunter should place the shot right on the shoulder to break the shoulder limiting mobility.
Aim for the inside of the closer shoulder to allow the shot to penetrate the vital organs.
Bisect the angle formed between the front legs and aim in the bottom third of the distance between the bottom of the chest and the top of the back.
Aim for the center of the chest just above the brisket. Head shots should be avoided as far as possible due to the possibility of hitting the jaw. If lying down wait until the lion looks to either side and be ready to place the shot where the neck joins the chest.
Hunting lions in South Africa general information
It is a pity to have some people decide on what animals can be imported to their country. It is sad that people seemingly do not take all the facts into consideration when passing repressive laws.
Hunters are responsible for legal hunting according to set laws by government. Illegal hunting and poaching of lions is responsible for the uncontrolled eradication of the species. If traditional healers, witch doctors and bone traders cannot legally come by their ware for medicinal purposes, it will be poachers and illegal hunters who will step up to the supplying of the bones.
Enjoy your hunt. Be sure. Be safe.
Tips for hunting lions in South Africa
Hunting African lions is traditionally done in one of two ways:
One: by baiting. Bait is set up in much the similar fashion to that of leopard, excepting that the bait is not all the way up in a tree to make it accessible to lions. Drags are created and a blind / hide is built soon as the lion starts feeding.
Two: to walk-and-stalk. We drive along the sandy roads of the huge properties until we cut lion tracks. Our trackers determine if the tracks are fresh or old and if they are big enough to follow or not. Once we have established if it is worth our while to pursue the tracks we dismount and start tracking.
Tracking dangerous game on foot is something different to tracking a herd of impala. A hunter once described it as “Now that I know what I am tracking can actually eat me is a whole new ball game”.
Extreme caution should be applied when on the final approach. In most cases a lion will give a warning growl informing you that you have entered his / her comfort zone. To continuously move forward when warned will likely give rise to a charge, something we want to try and avoid for safety reasons.
The best recourse would be to stay on the perimeter of the lion’s comfort zone and move to a position where a shot can be taken.
Best time of year to hunt lions
The best time of year for hunting lions in South Africa is when you are here!
We have hunted lions from January to December and found that according to our climate comfort levels end April to end October are the ideal months to hunt lions.
Average shot distance
The average expected shooting distance when hunting African lion in South Africa is 40 to 60 yards depending on the terrain you are hunting in.
Below are two of our African lion hunting videos. Feel free to experience the adrenaline with us!