Zebra Hunting in Africa

Interesting facts about the Zebra

  • Every zebra has a unique pattern of stripes. And scientists can use the patterns like bar codes to identify individuals in a herd and keep track of them over time.
  • For decades and decades, scientists have wondered why zebras have stripes. One prevailing theory held that the stripes confuse predators, making it harder for, say, a lion to pick out an individual zebra from a stampeding herd.
  • Lately, more intriguing theories have emerged. Some scientists think that stripes keep zebras cooler. The dark stripes soak up more sunlight than the light ones, and this stirs up eddies of wind that swirl heat away. Other researchers discovered that biting flies avoid striped patterns. And the two theories might be linked: Biting flies prefer hot temperatures, so they may be less likely to bite a cooler zebra.
  • One of the three zebra species, the mountain zebra, lives mostly in hilly, rocky places in South Africa and nearby Namibia. It has especially hard, sharp hooves that help it climb and keep its balance in rugged terrain. And while this rugged critter can’t grow a mountain man beard, it does have a bizarre, prominent neck flap called a dewlap.
  • Plains zebras are the smallest. They’re also the most abundant—in fact, they’re the most numerous of all the wild members of the horse family. They roam across much of southeastern Africa.
  • Plains zebras come in all sorts of subspecies, and there’s a lot of coat variations between. For example, as you travel farther south across Africa, plains zebras will have fewer stripes on their legs. Nobody’s sure why, but it may have something to do with temperature or populations of those biting flies.
  • Found in Kenya and Ethiopia, Grevy’s zebras have a more donkey-like shape, with huge round ears. They’re the largest wild members of the horse family, and can weigh up to 990 pounds.
  • The quagga, a remarkable subspecies of the plains zebra, was mostly yellow-brown and un-striped below its shoulders. Native to South Africa, it was driven to extinction by European settlers and hunters. The last quagga died at the Amsterdam Zoo in 1883.
  • Zebras can breed with other members of the horse family. The offspring come in an amazing variety of semi-striped patterns, and are usually infertile.

The difference between a male and female zebra

Sex determination can be very difficult; males will generally be slightly larger and have more developed necks, but more than one professional hunter has shot a stallion that instantly became a mare once downed. Glass carefully when hunting zebra; if alerted, the stallion will most often trail the herd as they withdraw - this may be your best and only indication.

Zebra male kicking another zebra in the grass lands of South Africa

Zebra Stallions Fighting

Background information for African Zebra hunting

The unique stripes of zebras make them one of the animals most familiar to people. They occur in a variety of habitats, such as grasslands,savannas, woodlands, thorny scrublands, mountains, and coastal hills . Zebras have excellent eyesight. Like most ungulates, the zebra's eyes are on the sides of its head, giving it a wide field of view.

Zebras also have night vision, although not as advanced as that of most of their predators. Zebras have excellent hearing and have larger, rounder ears than horses; like other ungulates, zebras can turn their ears in almost any direction. In addition to superb eyesight and hearing, zebras also have acute sense of smell.

Like most members of the horse family, zebras are highly social. Their social structure. Plains zebras live in groups, known as 'harems', consisting of one stallion with up to six mares and their foals. Bachelor males either live alone or with groups of other bachelors until they are old enough to challenge a breeding stallion.

The common plains zebra is about 47–51 inches at the shoulder. It can weigh up to 700 - 900 pounds, males being slightly bigger than females.

Zebra Trophy, where to place your shot when Zebra hunting in Africa.

Shot Placement for Zebra Hunting

Zebra Hunting in South Africa

Your zebra trophy should have an average shoulder height of around 50 inches, weigh about 800 pounds

Hunting zebra can prove very difficult in certain areas as judging stallions from mares can be very tough. Although it's the mares who choose the dominant stallion, the stallion will assume his position at the back of a retreating herd, thus being closer to the point of danger, often stopping to look back. Zebra are very resilient and tough and likely will require a follow up shot.

This is a remarkably tough member of the equine family; shot placement is critical and, if poorly placed, you will be in for a long day and at risk of losing your trophy. We would recommend the 7mm or 300 Magnums for your Zebra hunt.

For those hunters who do not wish to go through the red tape of having to bring a rifle in to South Africa Nick Bowker Hunting has available a Sako carbon light 300 Winchester Magnum fitted with a suppressor. The rifle is mounted with a Swarovski DS with a built-in rangefinder. We have hand loaded Hornady ELD-X 200 grain ammunition. This set up including ammunition is available as part of all hunting packages free of charge.

Zebra have been reintroduced in to the Eastern cape and are not truly free ranging. Standard cattle and sheep fences are an impediment to the movement of a zebra. Zebra are relatively widely spread across the Eastern Cape. Hunts are conducted mainly using ambush techniques in open country as well as walk and stalk techniques.

Vital organs of a Zebra for shot placement. Where to place your shot when Zebra hunting in Africa.

Zebra vital organs for shot placement

The zebra forms small herds, usually 8 to 10 in number, consisting of a stallion, several mares and their foals. Surplus males are ejected from the herd and form bachelor herds.

These habits may be useful when hunting zebra. Good glassing may be essential in trophy assessment. If it is the flat skin you are after, be advised that the old stallions will most likely be battle-scarred and worn. Look for a younger male or a mare if a nice clear hide is what you seek. Hunting zebra is best in the early morning or late afternoon. Regular drinkers, set up an ambush on trails leading to water holes or pans.

A Zebra trophy hunted in South Africa with Nick Bowker Hunting. One of Africa’s leading hunting safari outfitters

Zebra Trophy taken with Nick Bowker. Your Proffessional Hunter and Outfitter