Hunting with your own weapons in a South African
hunt can be one of the most thrilling and satisfying
experiences of a lifetime.
The hunting caliber for big game hunting in Africa
will always be debated.
It simply has to be, given the 100 or so species
wandering the African landscape - from rabbit size
to mighty elephant. Commonsense dictates you
bring the hunting rifle and caliber you shoot with
because instinct will serve you best when the
pressure is on.
You are allowed two rifles, but don’t stress because
Mabula Pro Safaris have an African battery available
for your use.
Our pick for those two African big game calibers
would be the ever popular and effective 30-06 and
the .375. With these you will be able to hunt
anything that walks the African veld. To clarify, the
.375 is there to cover the dangerous game
element but with those not even remotely possible,
we’d would shortlist the ,270 or 7mm along with
In the end the plains game rifle must be powerful
enough for the largest animal you have even the
slightest interest in taking. It must also be accurate
enough for the smallest animals. And then it must
be flat-shooting enough and versatile enough for
the longest likely shots. This is our reasoning
behind the lighter of our recommendations. The
,375 is the .375 and well serviced with premium
ammunition and a steady hand this single caliber
will happily manage all of Africa’s creatures.
Your chosen caliber will only deliver its best with the
premium ammunition it shoots with most accurately.
In the end you are going for one-shot kills.
The bullet you use must be tough enough for the
largest animal you plan to hunt. It is a good idea to
select just one softpoint tough enough for anything
you might run into. Nosler Partitions are a good
baseline and choice, always considering what your
rifle shoots best. Other African bullets include the
proven Barnes X, Winchester Fail Safe, Trophy
Bonded Bearclaw and Swift A-Frame. The new
“tipped and bonded” Hornady Interbond, Nosler
AccuBond, Swift Scirocco - are all excellent for a
wide range of plains game.
Stick with bullets that are relatively heavy for the
caliber and you won’t go far wrong.
Mabula Pro Safaris believe in a good softpoint for
the first shot on buffalo, but you will want solids for
backup and solids for elephant and hippo. The
amount of ammunition you need is dictated by the
amount of game you will hunt, but remember the
airlines’ five-kilogram rule. On a lengthy modern
safari 60 rounds for the “lighter rifle” and 30
rounds for the “heavier rifle” should be plenty.
Always check with Mabula Pro Safaris as we keep
premium ammunition for our African battery.
Binos & Scopes
Make certain your scope has enough eye relief. Some
of the best brands don’t have adequate eye relief and
no-one wants to walk Africa with cut eyebrows and
worse - a flinch that will ruin your performance.
You want the best optics you can afford… not the
most powerful. Very little genuine long-range
shooting is done in Africa. On the flat-shooting rifle
to be used on a wide range of plains game there is
no need for a scope of higher magnification than
the popular 3-9X or 3.5-10X variables. On a more
powerful rifle that might be used on dangerous
game and probably will not be used much past
200 yards a simple fixed 4X will do just fine.
Traditional khaki is really too bright.
Please use a nondescript olive green - its good
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