Hunting warthog in South Africa

Hunting warthog in South Africa

Hunting warthog in South Africa with an African hunting outfitter whose favorite animal to hunt is warthog. Warthogs can either be uncommonly canny or exceedingly stupid. With a slight breeze in your favor you can stalk a feeding warthog to within 10 to 20 yards from it.

Warthogs have been heavily hunted in some areas with the result that trophy warthog are not commonly found in those areas anymore. Fortunately, Mkulu African Hunting Safaris still have a few hunting concessions with good trophy warthog available.

Most of a warthog’s day is spent foraging for food. Like pigs, warthog are not fussy about what they eat. Anything from grass, to bulbs, roots, insects, larvae, carrion, lizards, birds, bird eggs and more are consumed with enthusiasm.

To get their mouths down to the correct level to graze and root they kneel on their front knees. Warthogs are diurnal, meaning they are mostly active during the day. In areas where they are severely hunted big boars will roam around at night.

Warthog average body weight: boars will weigh down the scale to an average body weight between 130 lb. – 220 lb. (60 kg – 100 kg), and sows between 100 lb. – 150 lb. (45 kg – 70 kg).

A batch of 1 – 6 piglets are born during the peak season from September to November after a gestation period of three months. Two piglets on average make it to adulthood.

Interesting warthog facts

Warthog scientific name: Phacochoerus aethiopicus

Warthog boars and sows are promiscuous and will mate with any warthog of the opposite sex. Boars have nothing to do with raising the young and become solitary after the rut. Sows will form small sub-groups that consist of two to three sows and their offspring.

They have a particular fondness for waterholes during summer when they love to wallow in the mud. The mud assists in protecting their skins from for overexposure to the sun and against bug bites.

Shelter is in the form of old, disused aardvark holes that are used as a den. Warthogs reverse into their dens allowing a face front exit in case of danger. Apart from the obvious, warthog boars have an additional set of warts between the tusks and the eyes slightly above the tusks.

Predation is mostly from jackal, leopard, python and crocodiles. Sows will defend their young against smaller carnivores like jackal, cheetah and young leopard.

Warthog hunting prices

Warthog hunting prices in South Africa for the 2020 hunting season is $ 450.

During severe droughts warthogs may be cull hunted on some properties. If you are cull hunting warthogs there is no difference between males, females or juveniles. The cost of cull hunting warthogs is $ 150 per animal regardless of size.

Ammunition for hunting warthog

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

Our preferred ammunition manufacturer for hunting warthog 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 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 will possibly survive and you still pay.

Gun scope for hunting warthog

Purchase the optics you can afford. Or even better, use the ones you have.

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 warthog in South Africa.

Caliber for hunting warthog

The best caliber for hunting warthog 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 warthog 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 second 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 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

Caliber for hunting warthog
Ammunition for hunting warthogs
Warthog hunting prices

Hunting warthog in South Africa shot placement diagram

Warthog shot placement diagram
Broadside shot

General rule of thumb is to place the shot directly behind the shoulder of the warthog, 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.

Quartering to

Aim for the inside of the closer shoulder to allow the shot to penetrate the vital organs. Warthog shot placement with medium bore calibers usually ends well for the hunter.

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 warthog.

If you are using a 375 warthogs seldom move far from where they receive the shot.

Facing on

Aim for the center of the chest of the warthog 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 stands up and be ready to place the shot where the neck joins the chest.

Gallery of warthog trophy hunting pictures

Hunting warthog in South Africa general information

There was a time when irresponsible professional hunters were on a course to see if they could totally eradicate warthogs as a specie. This was done with the sole purpose of making money from a market that required very little motivation to be here.

It is our task as hunters to ensure NO specie is over hunted at any given point in time. It is also a fact that many land owners have saved a number of threatened species like sable and roan antelope. Let us as hunting outfitters be the custodians of making sure our warthog populations survive.

Hunters are responsible for legal hunting according to set laws by government. Illegal hunting and poaching is responsible for the uncontrolled eradication of most 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 supply chain.

Enjoy your hunt. Be sure. Be safe.


Tips for hunting warthog in South Africa

With a slight breeze in favor of the hunter warthog can be approached to within a very short distance. However, this does not occur at regular intervals. Warthog have less than average eye sight but well above hearing- and smelling capabilities.

When feeding with their heads down in knee high grass, it is difficult to judge trophy quality so the hunter needs to be at the ready until such time the warthog lifts its head.


Best time of year to hunt warthogs

Traditionally the bush in the best warthog hunting areas is rather dense during our summer months from November to April. From June to August the bush starts to recede rather quickly and during September and October the daily temperatures start rising while the bush recedes to a minimum.

Best time of year to hunt warthog is from March to November with peak hunting taking place during the very dry spell between July and October.

We can and do hunt warthog from January to December.


Warthog average shot distance

The average expected shot distance when hunting warthog in South Africa is 20 to 100 yards depending on the terrain you are hunting in.

Hunting warthogs in South Africa

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