Bow Hunt South Africa, the do's and don'ts before you go.

If you are an avid bow hunter and are looking to bow hunt in South Africa you are at the right place, TDK Safaris. We offer the first time and experienced African bow hunter the opportunity to hunt most of the South African plains game species and some of the dangerous game species. Dangerous game that can be bow hunted in South Africa are the Cape buffalo, Lion and Hippopotamus given that the correct permits are in place.

Bows and the minimum requirements for bow hunting in South Africa.

The Compound, re-curve and longbow are all legally permitted to be used for bow hunting in South Africa, provided that the following requirements are met:

Category 1

Small game: Birds, small carnivores, hares, hyraxes, rabbits, and the pygmy antelopes.

  • Bow minimum draw mass: 40 Lbs.
  • Bow minimum KE: 30 ft. /lbs.
  • Minimum arrow weight: 300 grains.

Category 2

Medium game: Impala, Blesbuck Warthog, Bush pig, Springbuck, and Nyala.

  • Bow minimum draw mass: 50 Lbs.
  • Bow minimum KE: 50 ft. /lbs.
  • Minimum arrow weight: 400 grains

Category 3

Large game: Wildebeest, Kudu, Gemsbok, Zebra, Waterbuck, Sable and Red hartebeests.

  • Bow minimum draw mass: 60 Lbs.
  • Bow minimum KE: 60 ft. /lbs.
  • Minimum arrow weight: 500 grains

Category 4

Cape buffalo.

  • Bow minimum draw mass: 80 Lbs.
  • Bow minimum KE: 80 ft. /lbs.
  • Minimum arrow weight: 750 grains

Category 5


  • Bow minimum draw mass: 90 Lbs.
  • Bow minimum KE: 90 ft. /lbs.
  • Minimum arrow weight: 750 grains

Broadheads and the minimum requirements for bow hunting in South Africa.

When it comes to broadheads, there are so many options available to the bowhunter these days and with what we have seen over the years we can only make a recommendation. With the knowledge gained through hunting with clients over the years we prefer fixed blades, these have proven to be the most reliable and effective on African game in our experience.

Also, keep the following minimum requirements in mind when selecting your broad heads:

  • In the case of mechanical broadheads, 5% additional kinetic energy is required for Category 1, 2 and 3 animals.
  • Broadheads must have at least two cutting edges.
  • The minimum permitted arrow length for all categories is 50 cm. or 19,6 inches.

It is of utmost importance that the hunter is comfortable with the equipment being used.  Time should be spent on the practice range honing his skills prior to the safari. This usually makes the difference between a well-placed shot and a day spent walking after a wounded animal.

Bowhunting methods.

Most of the hunting is done from blinds or by spot and stalk. We utilize ground, pit, and elevated blinds strategically placed at waterholes or we make use of movable canvas blinds, placed in a spot where we can ambush a specific species like a bush pig or some of the smaller night predators.  Shot distances at the various blinds vary from 10 yards to 30 yards.

Another method of bowhunting here is spot and stalk hunting. This method of bowhunting South African game is much more challenging and the success rate much lower than hunting from a blind. This is a real adrenalin rush for those who are up for the challenge, especially when you hunt Cape buffalo. Be prepared with good camouflage, quiet shoes, good fitness levels, nerves of steel and a lot of patience, all this is necessary to get within shooting range on foot and then you still have to make the shot. With this method of bowhunting, the hunter must be able to make shots up to 50 yards confidently and accurately.

The best time and the duration of a bowhunting safari.

These are very important points to take into consideration when planning to bow hunt South Africa. You do not want to spend all the money and time to go on a safari and then you do not see any game while in the blind.

The first thing to look at when planning your safari is the moon phase. Plan your hunt over the dark moon cycle to ensure success.

Next, you need to do your hunt during the dry season. In South Africa and specifically the Limpopo province this is from late May to September. During the dry season, water is limited to only a few waterholes, and game concentrations around waterholes will greatly increase your success rate.

The duration of your safari is also an important point to consider. Depending on the number of animals you plan to hunt, a bowhunting safari should be slightly longer than a rifle hunting safari. In general, if you plan to hunt five trophy animals you should have at least seven hunting days. If you want to hunt some of these animals with the spot and stalk method you should book even more days, and remember that the days required for bow hunting is dependent on the species hunted.

Final thoughts.

No legal documents or import permits are required when importing your bow hunting equipment into South Africa.

Finally, we recommend that you bring a good supply of arrows, spare broadheads, an extra string and other spares for your bow and do not forget the anti-scent sprays.

Kevin Brits

Kevin Brits

Born and raised in South Africa, I have had the opportunity and privilege to hunt and guide all over Southern Africa.

This image shows a proud bow hunter and his trophy Blesbok that he harvested. when he bow hunted South Africa.
Dakota McArtor

Bow Hunt South Africa.

Bow Hunt South Africa, the do’s and don’ts before you go. If you are an avid bow hunter and are looking to bow hunt in

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