Hippo hunting

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152 hunting trips from 48 outfitters starting from $7,200

152 hunts
$7,200 starting from
8 countries
5860mi to the nearest trip

Where to hunt Hippo

Hippo, is the third largest terrestrial animal in Africa and found in many sub-Saharan Africa countries. Hippos are split into two groups, the more commonly known Hippo and the endangered Pygmy Hippos of West Africa. Hippos may be hunted in seven African countries, namely, Benin, Cameroon, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa, with the highest concentration of Hippos being found in the Luangwa Valley in Zambia. Although they occur in the Central African Republic, they are listed locally as a protected species and may not be hunted. In Uganda they may only be hunted as a PAC (Problem Animal Control) animal and it is unlikely that a permit will be issued in such instance.

Price distribution

In Zambia you will be required to book a minimum of a 7 day hunt with daily rates around 1,800 per day, excluding licenses, community levies and a trophy fee of approximately $3,850. Some of the Zimbabwe territories offer combo deal with a 10-day Buffalo/Hippo combo costing $26,400 and a 7-day Hippo/Croc selling for $10,250. Daily rates for a Hippo hunt in Zimbabwe run at $750 per day and a trophy fee of between $4,500-5,000. A Tanzanian Hippo hunt requires a 21 day licence with a daily rate of approximately $1,700 and trophy fees around $3,350. In South Africa, the best advertised deal is a 4-day hunt with a daily rate of $350 per day and trophy fee of $6,000 or you could buy a 7-day package for $11,480.

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When to hunt Hippo?

Hippo hunting season is open year round in Zimbabwe and for the enclosed areas in South Africa. In Mozambique the season is open from April 1 to November 30. The Zambian hunting season runs from the beginning of May to the end of November. In Tanzania the hunting season is from 1 July to 31 December. Crop raiders may be hunted at night but in general, the best time to hunt Hippos is early morning. Being a nocturnal grazer, they tend to bloat quicker when hunted in the morning if shot in the water making for a quicker retrieval process.


Hunting methods All hunting methods (15)

Trying to hunt Hippo on land can be quite challenging as they have good hearing and will dart off into the water for security. Once in the water they can hold their breath for longer than five minutes and will breathe by keeping their head submerged and taking a gulp of air with just their nostrils emerging above the water surface. If you were detected during your stalk you may need to build a temporary hide or disguise yourself behind some of the riverine vegetation. Once the Hippos start to relax they will start keeping their head above the water for a longer period of time. Your Professional Hunter will then identify the bull and you will be able to take a brain shot. If you are a bowhunter, you will need to find a territory that is able to feed these animals to encourage them out of the water where you can take aim from a blind. An alternative is to wait along a Hippo path, a method also used to hunt problem Hippos at night.

Why hunt Hippo?

They derive their name from the ancient Greek word for ‘River Horse’. Prior to our modern day convenience stores, these animals were sought after for their fat. If you are into cooking, one of the best meals is a Hippo/Buffalo tail combination. Hippos are responsible for killing more people in Africa than any other species. For this reason they are often hunted as problem animals to appease the community who also benefit from the meat. Due to their sheer bulk, most hunters do not have space in their trophy room for a full mounted Hippo, so replica head mounts are the norm. Hippo skulls with their teeth also make impressive mounts. When smoking was in vogue, the feet were used for ashtrays and also make impressive bookends

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