Where to hunt Forest Sitatunga
Sitatunga, a swamp dwelling-antelope is closely related to the Kudu, Nyala and Bushbuck. Its distribution is limited to the swampy and marshy habitats of central Africa. Hunting records split the species into four groups: 1. The Forest Sitatunga is hunted in the Cameroon and Central African Republic (CAR) 2. The Island Sitatunga of the Ssese Islands of Uganda 3. The East African Sitatunga of Western Tanzania and Uganda 4. The Zambezi Sitatunga of Zambia also formerly hunted in the Okavango Delta of Botswana. This section is dedicated to the Forest Sitatunga.
Normally hunted by a select few. Usually these hunts are combined with a few other specialist species, like Bongo, Dwarf Buffalo and a number of Forest Duikers. In Cameroon numerous outfitters offer 10-16 day safaris. The daily rates for these safaris range between $2,000-3,000 per day with trophy fees running between $2,750 and $ 3,800. If you are a serious hunter we recommend the longer 16 day safaris as just getting to this destination is expensive and you do not want to return home empty handed.
When to hunt Forest Sitatunga?
The best time to hunt Sitatunga is the driest time of the year when the marshy areas and open glades amongst the huge forest trees. When the glades start to dry out the Forest Sitatunga are more concentrated in the remaining areas. The official hunting season in Cameroon starts on the 1 March and finishes on the 30 June. No matter what time of the year expect to get wet and muddy.
As with most antelope species they are most active at dawn and dusk. During the day they disappear into the reedbeds and only break cover to feed. The best is to try to pattern an animal or find fresh tracks or maybe even a likely looking spot where an animal may occur. Build a blind or high stand (machan) overlooking the area where the animal has been seen and wait patiently to get your shot.
Why hunt Forest Sitatunga?
Also known as a “Marshbuck’, this must be one of the most secretive, under-studied antelopes in Africa. This and Bongo hunting are probably Africa’s two most challenging hunts. Having elongated, splayed hooves this animal is well adapted to its aquatic habitat. When disturbed they are likely to dive into deep water and disappear with only their nostrils above the water surface. For the same reason, you do not want to wound a Forest Sitatunga as you are likely to lose the animal in this watery undergrowth. If you are a spiral horn collector, this species is a must have in your collection. They make great shoulder and full mounts.
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