Where to hunt Lechwe
Lechwe, a name that originates from an African language meaning “antelope”. The huntable species in the Lechwe group is divided into three subspecies by the SCI record book. The Kafue Lechwe is endemic to the Kafue floodplains in Zambia and the Black Lechwe, a native species found in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zambia and northern Botswana. Red Lechwe, the more common Lechwe in the group, occurs in Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and South Africa. This species has been very successfully introduced on some game farms in South Africa and now in Namibia. Namibia does have a free-range population in the Caprivi Strip. However, Zambia is without a doubt, the best place to hunt Lechwe.
Lechwe trophy prices and hunting daily rates range vastly from game ranched to free-range specimens hunted in their naturally distributed habitats. Daily rates for Red Lechwe in Namibia range from $350-520 per day and trophy fees between $2,000-4,500. In South Africa prices range from $350-450 per day with a trophy fee of approximately $1,675-4,500. Zambia offers both ranch and free-range hunts with a daily rate price tag ranging from $485-1,643 depending on the rarity of the other included species and trophy fees ranging from $3,000-4,750.
When to hunt Lechwe?
In South Africa Lechwe can be hunted year-round, in Namibia the hunting season runs from 1 February to 30 November. The official hunting season in Zambia starts in May and ends in November. The best time to hunt these animals is in the direr winter months and before the warmer summer months begin in October. Being a water-dependent species they are always found near river systems and open floodplains in a natural system compared to the ranch animals that may be found in the more wooded areas.
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Lechwe have elongated splayed hooves, an adaptation to the muddy environment they inhabit. They always feed near water and even go shoulder deep at times to feed on floating aquatic plants. So during a walk and stalk hunt, you need to scan the water’s edge. They are good swimmers and not afraid to take to the water to escape danger or an oncoming hunter. Often they are found way out in the open and can be tough to approach due to a lack of cover therefore expect to take a long shot.
Why hunt Lechwe?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the cost depends on the size of the wallet but this group of animals is unique and you will get to see some of the most beautiful aquatic habitats and sunsets in Africa. Besides their uniqueness, they make fantastic shoulder mounts. The Nile Lechwe, a fourth species is on the endangered list and can no longer be hunted as we as humans are continuously invading Lechwe habitat by increasing irrigable agricultural lands and flooding their grazing areas with the construction of dams that totally drown the floodplains, so who knows what lies ahead for the future of this species.
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