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This spiral-horned antelope is a beast with a similar body size as a moose. Formerly widely spread from Southern Sudan, Central and East Africa to Angola in the west, down to Southern Africa. There are three species of Eland, namely the Cape Eland, huntable in South Africa, Livingstone Eland with its more distinctive white stripes which can be hunted in Namibia, Botswana, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique and now also introduced to many game ranches in South Africa. However the most impressive is the Lord Derby (also known as the Giant) Eland which can be hunted in the Cameroon and Central African Republic. SCI has an additional classification for East African Eland hunted in Tanzania and Uganda. This animal is also sometime referred too as Patterson's Eland.
Cape and Livingstone Eland species may sometimes be advertised in a package hunt or sold as a “Spiral Horn” special hunt which will include other species of the spiral horn family, like Bushbuck, Nyala and Kudu. The general rule of thumb is as you move north in Africa, so does the price of Eland increase, especially free range Eland. The trophy fee for a ranch hunted Cape Eland ranges from $1,600 - $2,200. Livingstone Eland prices range from $2,700 - $3,200 where hunting free range animals makes for a more difficult and challenging hunt. Added to this are anything between 6 and 10 days daily rates ranging from $350 up to $600 a day. In the Cameroon a dedicated 12 day Lord Derby Eland hunt would cost between $36,000 and $50,000.
When to hunt Eland?
Cape and Livingstone Eland may be hunted all year round In South Africa and Zimbabwe. In Namibia, for instance, hunting is closed in January and February, and in Mozambique the season is open from April 1 to November 30. The best months for hunting Eland are the dry autumn months, especially after the grass has been burnt. Lord Derby Eland are best hunted from January to March during the hunting season when they are in peak condition. The best hunting period for Cape and Livingstone Eland is June – October and for Lord Derby Eland: January to March. The East African Eland is best hunted from July - October.
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Usually, never an easy hunt and requiring a certain level of fitness to track or reach these animals, especially when hunted in free range areas or hilly terrain. This can often be a very challenging hunt as these animals can cover so much ground in such a short period of time Hunting methods used to hunt Eland are spot-and-stalk or from a blind, at last light, over water and salt for bow hunters. However on the large desert ranches of Namibia and the Kalahari in South Africa, these animals can be tracked and hunted like many of the larger African free range species. This is truly one of the most rewarding ways of hunting, watching a master tracker at work. Make sure of your first shot counts as these can be really tough animals to put down, otherwise you will be in for a long follow up.
Eland, the largest antelope in sub-Saharan Africa, of which the Cape Eland is a subspecies that is widely distributed and can be hunted throughout South Africa. Originally a migrating species which moved from the mountains to the lower lying areas during the winter months and vice versa in the wet summer months. Now only found in national parks and on high fenced properties, the Cape Eland prefers the drier areas of northern, western and southern South Africa as well as the mountainous regions of central and eastern regions.
Why hunt Eland?
One is always blown away in awe by their size and agility of how high they can jump for such a heavy animal. Eland hunting can be one of the most challenging hunts as these animals have great eyesight and although mostly silent, they may bark like a Kudu when alarmed. When in close proximity, you may hear a clicking sound, caused by their hooves snapping together while walking. Old bulls turn blue/grey in colour with a massive dewlap and brush of hair on their foreheads, often with brimmed off horns giving each individual so much character. Their meat compares favourably to lean beef and is a camp favourite when prepared on the barbeque. There is no doubt that a Lord Derby Eland is probably the holy grail of all the African antelope species to hunt.
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