Hunting sable in Africa with Mkulu Safaris

Sable scientific name: Hippotragus niger

Hunting sable in Africa with Mkulu African Hunting Safaris.


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Hunting sable in Africa

Sable antelope scientific name: Hippotragus niger

Hunting sable in Africa is for the hunter who needs something else other than the standard impala and warthog. These animals are usually added to your collection towards the end of your average African hunts. Sable is expensive to hunt but adds the extra spice to an already fantastic hunting collection.

To hunt sable in Africa is not unlike hunting roan antelope. This is such a majestic animal that you will wonder how you could have been without one for so long. The horns curve back in a long sweeping arch with secondary growth indicated by the smooth last few inches of the horn tips. This is something you really want to have when hunting a superb trophy sable. Mature sable bulls have complete black coats and walk around like the own not only the property, but also your brand-new truck.

Juvenile sables are distinguished from adults by body color. Juveniles have a reddish-brown color that dissipates from the age of three years and older. Sable cows become sexually mature at the age of three. At this point the mature herd bull will defend his role as the Alpha male by forcefully evicting any potential competitors for breeding rights.

Sable antelope behavior

Once a calf is born, the mother will hide it in vegetation for the first two weeks of its life before introducing it to the herd. Sable antelope are gregarious animals meaning they prefer to congregate in herds, rather than as individual animals.

Sable antelope are mainly active during the cooler morning- and late afternoon hours, but will venture to a water source during the midday period. Wooded savanna type habitat with sufficient vegetation for concealment is preferred.

The Afrikaans language name for Sable is: Swartwitpens which translates to: black (with) white belly which is a very accurate and apt description of these fiercely proud antelopes. All sables have a very erect mane on the back of the neck and have white facial markings. The ears are rusty brown on the back parts.

Sable cows also have horns and a careless mistake can lead to the incorrect animal being hunted. The horns on sable cows are shorter than those of the bulls and have less mass. This is South Africa’s third largest antelope and will make a fine contribution to your collection.

Information on hunting sable in Africa

Sable hunting prices

The cost of hunting sable in Africa for 2016, 2017 and the 2018 sable hunting season was $ 6 500.

Our discounted sable hunting prices 2019 have been reduced to $ 4 500.

And a further discounted price for 2020! We are happy to pass our savings along to you. The 2020 sable hunting price is $ 4 000.

Caliber for hunting sable in Africa

The best caliber for hunting sable in Africa is a medium bore rifle that you can shoot accurately and feel comfortable using. T

We recommend the following calibers as being the best calibers for hunting sable:


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 are Federal Premium, Sierra and others.

Only use premium grade ammunition.

Gun Scope

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 sable.

Average shot distance

The average expected shooting distance when hunting sable is 100 to 180 yards depending on the terrain you are hunting in.

Shot placement

Broadside shot

The shot should be placed right on the shoulder 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.

Quartering to shot

Place the shot at the spot bisecting the angle formed by the front legs, aiming at the inside shoulder at the same height as a broadside shot.

Quartering away

Aim at the spot bisecting the angle formed by the front legs, aiming at the same height as for a broadside shot.

Facing to shot

Place the shot at the point where the bottom of the throat meets the chest.

Shot placement diagram for hunting sable

Gallery of sable trophy hunting pictures

Rifle hunting sable in Africa videos

Tips for hunting sable in Africa

To walk-and-stalk when hunting sable is the traditional way of going about it. Both sable bulls and cows have horns and the one should not be mistaken for the other. Sable bulls have thicker and longer horns than sable cows.

Best time of year for hunting sable in 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 to hunt sable in South Africa is:

  • sable 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 sable from January to December.

If you prefer bow hunting sable please follow this link.

Africa hunting safari trips 2020