True wilderness hunting
Zimbabwe features true wilderness hunting in some of Africa’s last great wild areas
An affordable Big Five hunt
Zimbabwe is one of the most affordable countries to hunt Big Five species such as buffalo
Proud safari tradition
Zimbabwe has a proud safari tradition and is home to some of Africa’s best-trained and most qualified professional hunters
About hunting in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe, situated in the heart of southern Africa, is one of the continent’s most storied safari destinations. The country contains a wide variety of terrain and habitat, from the Zambezi Valley in the north to the game-rich Lowveld in the south. Zimbabwe’s lengthy list of huntable game includes African wild cat, baboon, jackal, buffalo, klipspringer, kudu, bushbuck, bushpig, leopard, caracal, lion, civet cat, crocodile, nyala, duiker, eland, sable, elephant, serval cat, genet cat, steenbok, giraffe, grysbok, warthog, hippo, waterbuck, wildebeest, hyena, and zebra. The Zambezi Valley in particular is a major draw for big-game hunters, known for huge herds of elephants and one of the highest concentrations of Cape buffalo in Africa, as well as good populations of lions and leopards. The islands and marshes along the Zambezi also offer the opportunity to hunt hippos and crocodiles. A number of large, privately owned conservancies, including the Save and the Bubye Valley conservancies, also provide excellent hunting opportunities for plains game and dangerous game. Many of these conservancies started out as traditional farms and later banded together to create large, unbroken tracts of wildlife habitat.
What you need to know
1. Planning your trip
2. Upon arrival
4. After the hunt
Planning your trip
If you are traveling to Zimbabwe to hunt, you may obtain a visa upon arrival at the airport. You can expect to pay $30 US for a 30-day/single-entry visa or $60 US for a 60-day/multiple entry visa.
Malaria is present in many of Zimbabwe’s hunting areas, and malaria prophylaxis is highly recommended for all hunters.
Application for a temporary firearm import permit for Zimbabwe can be made on arrival at the port of entry. There is no fee for issuing a firearm permit. Firearms import into Zimbabwe is fairly easy and straightforward, but traveling to Zimbabwe through other countries with firearms is not.
According to EU Regulation (EC) No 314/2004, the importation of firearms and ammunition, including those for hunting/sporting purposes, from the E.U. into Zimbabwe is prohibited. European and British airlines will not carry firearms of any kind on flights direct to Zimbabwe. If you want to take firearms into Zimbabwe and you are flying from an EU country, it will be necessary to get two sets of tickets issued; one set for Johannesburg and another set for the onward flight to Zimbabwe. Canada has also implemented a ban on all firearms going to Zimbabwe, which includes hunting firearms. Because of this, you will likely travel through South Africa to enter Zimbabwe, and you will have to go through the process to clear your firearms in South Africa, which has strict firearms import procedures, and then re-check them for your flight to Zimbabwe.
Most hunters arrive at the airport in Harare, Zimbabwe. In most cases, it’s necessary to take a charter flight from Harare to the hunting area. You should make arrangements to be met at the Harare airport by your outfitter or a charter pilot, who will assist you through the firearms permitting and customs process.
It’s important to note that due to a cash liquidity crisis in Zimbabwe, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) has announced a series of measures designed to stem the flow of U.S. dollars out of the country. Tourists and visitors who do not have bank accounts in Zimbabwe should plan to bring sufficient cash with them for the duration of their trip. Expenses such as hotels, flights, and tours should be prepaid or paid for by credit or debit card. Hunters need to declare the amount of cash they are entering the country with and get a blue-colored receipt issued by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority or they risk having any remaining cash seized upon leaving the country.
Most hunts in Zimbabwe are safari style, with hunters covering ground in a vehicle, and then, when an animal or fresh tracks are spotted, completing a stalk or tracking job on foot. Some safaris require extensive walking; others require very little, so it’s a good idea to ask the professional hunter.
Dark green or brown clothing is best, as are boots with soft soles for quiet stalking. Bring a wide-brimmed hat, sunblock, good optics, and a jacket for cool mornings and evenings. Most professionals recommend rifles in the .300-caliber family for plains game and .375 and up for dangerous game, but the most important thing is to bring a rifle you are familiar with and can shoot well. Due to thick brush (called jess), shots in many areas can be fairly close-range.
After the hunt
Tips are appreciated at most safari camps in Zimbabwe; in addition to the professional hunter, trackers, driver, and skinners, there are usually staff members at camp who handle cooking and cleaning and other chores and help to make a hunter’s stay pleasant. The professional hunter or outfitter can advise how much is appropriate to tip each staff member.
Tag your skulls and skins
Typically, animals are skinned at the safari headquarters and all skins are cleaned and salted, skulls and horns are cleaned and buried in salt, then the skins are folded and stored in a skinning shed. Before leaving camp, it’s a good idea to ensure your skulls and skins are properly tagged with your name and contact information.
Once the hunter departs, or at the end of the season, trophies will be taken to a taxidermist for professional cleaning and dipping, which is required for export. The taxidermist then contacts the hunter for instructions regarding preparation and shipment and to arrange payment for these services. A shipping agent then handles the permits and shipping to the hunter’s home country.
Always check the latests regulations
It’s very important that hunters check the latest regulations in order to make arrangements in advance if they are hunting species that require CITES permits or other special export or import permits from the hunter’s home country. Many export and import requirements, especially for Big Five species, have undergone dramatic changes in the past couple of years.
Zimbabwe on map
Hunting methods All hunting methods (6)
Game classification All classifications (7)
Robert United States 10.0 of 10
Success seems to go hand in glove when hunting with John.
Outfitter: John Sharp Safaris
John knowledge of the game and other animals in the bush was very good. My questions about birds terrain and hunt process were answered with the complete story. The diversity of wildlife observed was amazing. There were plenty of animals other than ones hunted to observe. John has the knowledge and the drive to successfully complete your hunt.
The biggest disappointment was having to end the hunt. To leave this area of such a wide variety of game would have been depressing if know making plans for a future hunt. The price is not cheap, but then again I've found you get what you pay for.
Joe United States 9.7 of 10
Five Hunts with Brent
Outfitter: Brent Hein Safaris
I have hunted with Brent Hein 5 times. His team is very professional and friendly. The accommodations are wonderful, game plentiful, food ample and quite good. And Brent is about the best I have encountered in getting the job at hand done. He has extensive knowledge in every aspect of the game hunted. Personally, I have taken 5 of the dangerous 7 with Brent and have trusted my life with him on many occasions. I am sorry to say that I have taken all the animals to be hunted in Zim or would be returning to hunt with Brent again.
Read what I liked. Would not have hunted with Brent 5 times if I didn't like things. Haha.
Brian United States 10.0 of 10
John Sharp Safaris - Bubye Valley Conservancy
Outfitter: John Sharp Safaris
My favorite part of hunting with John is learning about professional hunting strategies and seeing all of the wild game the Bubye offers.
Going back to work after unwinding from internet services. The connectivity in the bush is limited and can be expensive.
Hoot United States 10.0 of 10
Excellent hunting experience
Outfitter: Brent Hein Safaris
Brent's commitment to providing you with a damn good safari and excellent trophy quality. I have had four safaris with Brent and almost all my trophies are in the SCI Record Book. This reflects Brent's professionalism and his commitment to you. The few trophies that did not make the book just barely missed entry. Please understand, I do not hunt with a tape measure. I am satisfied with a good representative of the species. I only enter my trophies with SCI to give credit to the operator and the PH.
Having to go back home
David 9.3 of 10
Trip of a lifetime
Outfitter: John Sharp Safaris
Admittedly, you pay a bit of a premium to hunt on the BVC with John, but the money is well spent! We saw loads of elephant and lion while hunting buffalo. Really neat experience. John and Issac truly are legends. Why not hunt with legends?
Hunting, accommodations, food, company was all first rate.
Jack 10.0 of 10
I have Hunted with the Muller family since 1988 for a total of 9 times. The last a tuskless hunt in 2013, it exceeded all expectations as usual. The Mullers are great people
Outfitter: Pro Safaris
The whole experience is what you would dream about having great safari, adventure, knowledge, camp and food, all of it/ wonderful
Richard United States 10.0 of 10
Bubye Valley Hunt
Outfitter: John Sharp Safaris
I really enjoyed hunting with John Sharp as my professional hunter. His vast knowledge game and and experiences made the hunt a lot of fun. I brought my wife, son and daughter and all had a great time. John selected two additional PH's who were excellent with our group.
Honestly, we all enjoyed everything.
Animals All animals (39)
Trips All trips (86)
Hippo / Croc Hunt Zimbabwe
Hippo are hunted on land and water however in the Zambezi hunting them in strong current is avoided as you will lose your trophy. Hippo Bulls are generally hunted for trophy however, it’s near impossible to judge a Hippo in the water or land. So we focus on Mature Bulls and hope for the best. Crocs are very limited in permits as they are Cities controlled animals and a mature big croc is many years old. Our Crocs are sought after as they reach over 13 feet in Rifa and our biggest taken was 16’2”. Crocodile are hunted over bait and blind but the majority are harvested by stalking when they are digesting food in the sun or resting. Crocs are generally taken by a head or neck shot at ranges from 40-100 yards.
Trip duration: 7 - 16 days
Trip available on: 1 March 2017 30 November 2017
12 Day Buffalo / Nyala / P. Game Hunt'18 Zimbabwe
All clients will have their own camps – they are pretty much all of the same standard. They are generally stone under thatch with bathrooms en suite – just different designs with different views. Additional animals can be added to this safari on request.
Trip duration: 12 days
Trip available on: 1 April 2018 30 November 2018
Buffalo & Sable Package Zimbabwe
Today, Bubye Valley Conservancy is among the premier hunting destinations in Africa, with over 30 species, including the Big Five. Herds of buffalo, zebra, wildebeest and impala roam the area, as well as a healthy population of lion. This 14 hunting days trip includes 1x trophy Buffalo and 1x trophy Sable antelope plus arrival and departure days. Other species can be added as per price list. Brent Hein Safaris operates to strict quotas and please ensure at the time of booking your safari that the specific species you wish to hunt are available. Hunts available between Sept 1-18 and from 1st October onward. Please inquire for available dates.
Trip duration: 16 days
Trip available on: 1 September 2017 31 December 2017
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