Hunting tsessebe in South Africa

Hunting tsessebe in South Africa

Hunting tsessebe in South Africa is for the collector who wants to add something extra to his / her collection. This is Africa’s fastest antelope at 37 mph (60 kmh) over shorter distances. However, it cannot sustain high speed running like NA Antelope.

Tsessebe are not commonly hunted as they do not occur on all hunting properties and they are rather expensive to hunt.

This is a small frame animal about in the same class as blesbok. Most rifle calibers used for hunting tsessebe will penetrate completely and exit on the other side. This will make it possible to wound an animal not intended as the target.

Hunting tsessebe South Africa is a plains game hunting experience to look forward to. Our tsessebe hunting opportunities are limited but we have a variety of areas where tsessebe hunts can be booked.

Interesting tsessebe facts

Tsessebe scientific name: Damaliscus lunatis

Tsessebe bulls weigh in at an average body weight of slightly more than 300 lb. (140 kg) and have an average shoulder height of 47” (1,2 m). Tsessebe cows pull the scale down to an average body weight of 260 lb. (120 kg).

Tsessebe bulls and cows grow horns, with the bulls displaying more mass on the horns. A note to hunters: even if you are sure of the sex of the animal you are hunting, reconfirm when hunting tsessebe. These animals are very difficult to sex accurately in the field.

Dietary requirements of tsessebe are not as varied, allowing tsessebe to adapt to general bushveld conditions rather well. They do not do well in cold regions.

Calving reaches a climax between September and October with a single lamb that is born. The rut is between middle February into March leaving the gestation period at approximately seven months.

In areas where large termite mounds are prevalent, solitary, territorial bulls can often be found resting on these mounds during the midday heat. Tsessebe are gregarious, keeping to smaller groups of between six and 10 cows along with dependent offspring. Young bulls are evicted from the herd after reaching the age of 12 months. Once evicted, the sub-adult bulls form bachelor herds before contesting for mating rights once they are sexually mature.

Tsessebe, along with red hartebeest are not the most attractive of antelope species as a result of their fore-quarters being higher than the hind-quarters.

Tsessebe hunting prices

Our discounted tsessebe hunting prices in South Africa have plummeted to $ 2 000 for the 2020 hunting season. This is a $ 1 000 saving from the tsessebe hunting prices from 2019.

We are happy to discount our tsessebe hunting prices when we receive discounts.

Tsessebe cull hunting prices: there are no tsessebe cull hunts available.

Ammunition for tsessebe hunting

We recommend you only use premium grade ammunition when hunting elephants in South Africa.

Our preferred ammunition manufacturer for hunting tsessebe in South Africa is Barnes TTSX. Other premium grade ammunition manufactures you can use would be Federal Premium 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 your trophy.

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 will possibly survive and you still pay.

Any ammunition from a weight of 150 gr and heavier will be good to use when hunting tsessebe in South Africa.

Gun scope for hunting tsessebe in South Africa

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

Remember to confirm your rifle scope will be able to withstand the recoil of your caliber rifle.

Caliber for hunting tsessebe in South Africa

The best caliber for hunting tsessebe 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 tsessebe 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 or any similar calibers
  • 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 soft nose ammunition is fine
  • 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

Tsessebe hunting caliber
Tsessebe hunting tips

Hunting tsessebe in South Africa shot placement

Tsessebe hunting shot placement
Broadside shot

A broadside shot on tsessebe: the shot should be placed behind the shoulder in line with the front leg and almost two thirds of the way up from the bottom of the brisket to the top of the back. Alternatively, place the shot right on the shoulder of the tsessebe about one third of the way between the brisket and the hump on the back.

Quartering to

Aim for the inside of the closer shoulder of the tsessebe. Tsessebe shot placement with medium bore calibers usually ends well for the hunter. Do not take the shot if you are unsure about taking the shot.

Quartering away

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 tsessebe.

Facing on

This is a very small frame animal. Facing on shots should rather be avoided on shots in excess of 100 yards.

Hunting tsessebe in South Africa general information

Hunting tsessebe in South Africa is hunting for one of the less hunted animals. For some reason tsessebe have for ever been extremely expensive. With intensive breeding projects tsessebe numbers have steadily increased over the last few years.

Tsessebe hunting prices have stubbornly stayed where they are and as of late, tsessebe hunting prices have come down dramatically.

Hunting tsessebe requires a tag or permit to be hunted. Please inform us if you intend hunting one of these animals prior to arrival.

Enjoy your hunt. Be sure. Be safe.


Tips for hunting tsessebe in South Africa

To walk-and-stalk when hunting tsessebe is the traditional way of going about it. Archery hunting tsessebe is on the increase and in such a case you should hunt tsessebe from a hide or blind.

Territorial tsessebe bulls can commonly be found on a covered termite mound during the heat of the day which will assist in finding the tsessebe when hunting. The height of the mound enables them to keep a watchful eye for possible intruders and hunters. The added benefit is a shady spot helps keep them cool.

A careful stalk should put the hunter in a favorable position to take a shot from a steady rest. This is Africa’s fastest antelope.


Best time of year for hunting tsessebe in South Africa

The best time of year to hunt tsessebe in South Africa is:

  • tsessebe 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 tsessebe from January to December.


Tsessebe hunting average shot distance

The average expected shooting distance when hunting tsessebe in South Africa is 80 to 150 yards depending on the terrain you are hunting in.

Below is one of our tsessebe hunting videos.

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Tsessebe average shot distance

Gallery of tsessebe trophy hunting pictures

Hunting tsessebe South Africa
Hunting tsessebe in South Africa

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