Waterbuck hunting South Africa Mkulu Safaris

Waterbuck scientific name – Kobus ellipsiprimnus


Waterbuck hunting in South Africa with Mkulu African Hunting Safaris.



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Waterbuck hunting South Africa

Waterbuck hunting South Africa

Waterbuck hunting South Africa is hunting for the fourth largest antelope in South Africa. As the name indicates, this rather stocky antelope can be found close to a permanent water source. Waterbuck do not mind stepping into a waterhole to drink from the center of a water hole.  This keeps them away from the hustle and bustle at the edge of the drinking facility.

Contrary to popular belief, if care is taken during the skinning process not to allow the musk to come into contact with the meat, the meat makes tasty dishes. Biltong (South African version of jerky, or dried meat) is a popular form of processing waterbuck meat.

Their large rounded ears are useful in detecting any possible approaching danger. They have a shaggy gray and hairy coat with longer hair down the throat. The most distinguishing factor would be the large white ring round the rear of the animals. Only bulls sport horns. Bulls will actively defend their harems during the rut that will leave many opponents wounded.

Waterbuck facts

Waterbuck are known to emit a strong musky odor when bedding down, or passing through shrub in the early mornings and late afternoons. They have a very oily skin that leaves your hands dirty after handling the trophy.

Bulls become solitary after the rut, or join bachelor herds with some sub-adult males in the group. On average, waterbuck herds will comprise of up to 10 cows, their juvenile offspring and the dominant herd bull.

On approaching a waterhole, the large and older bulls will walk in the back of the herd patiently. They will wait to see if any form of danger is lurking while allowing the younger animals to warn of any possible danger.

Waterbuck hunting South Africa is hunting for one of the top 10 most wanted antelopes to hunt.

Waterbuck bulls can draw the scale down for an average body weight of 570 lb. (260 kg) and an average shoulder height of 55”       (1,4 m).

Mating is during the rut from mid-April to the end of May with a single calf born during summer time from October to end November. Gestation period is nine months after which calves are hidden for the first 4 – 6 weeks before being introduced to the herd.

Predators have to be of the larger kind to hunt adult waterbuck. These predators would include spotted hyena and lions. Leopard tend to feed on juvenile waterbuck.

Information on waterbuck hunting South Africa

Caliber for hunting waterbuck

Mkulu African Hunting Safaris suggests the following calibers as being the best calibers for waterbuck hunting South Africa:

Waterbuck hunting caliber
Gun Scope

There are numerous gun scopes and gun scope brands available on the market. Leupold and Swarovski optics certainly provide more light under darker conditions. 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 waterbuck hunting South Africa.

Average shooting distance

The average expected shooting distance when hunting waterbuck in South Africa is 50 to 150 yards depending on the terrain you are hunting in.

Waterbuck hunting prices

The cost to hunt waterbuck in South Africa for the 2020 hunting season is $ 2 150.


Our preferred ammunition manufacturer is Barnes in just about any weight.

Other premium grade ammunition manufactures you can use are Federal Premium, Sierra and others. 

We recommend you only use premium grade ammunition for hunting waterbuck.

Waterbuck rifle hunting video

Click on the images below to enlarge

Shot placement when waterbuck hunting

Broadside shot

Place the shot 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 back.

Quartering to shot

The shot should be placed at the spot bisecting the angle formed by the front legs while aiming at the inside shoulder at the same height as for 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

Aim where the bottom of the throat meets the chest.

Shot placement diagram waterbuck hunting

Gallery of waterbuck trophy hunting pictures

Tips for hunting waterbuck

Larger waterbuck herds are more difficult to stalk due to many eyes and ears. Solitary bulls can become extremely wily and are hard to hunt.

Any sudden movements and not releasing the safety catch under control will attract the attention of any weary waterbuck. This will result in walking back to camp.

Waterbuck are part of the forward curve family of antelope (Kobus), making it almost as difficult to hunt as its cousin black- and red lechwe.

Archery hunting waterbuck is on the increase and in such a case you can bow hunt a waterbuck from a hide or blind.

Best time of year to hunt waterbuck

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 waterbuck in South Africa is:

  • from late May to end October when the bush has receded most making visibility easier


We can and do hunt eland from January to December.


We can and do hunt waterbuck from January to December.

South African hunting packages 2020