Sable Hunting in Africa

Sable Hunts

Sable Hunting

The antelope species Hipotragus niger, sometimes known as the African sable, is native to the savannahs of East Africa, namely the region between Kenya and South Africa. The African sable and the roan are members of the Hippotragus family, often known as the horse antelope family. 

The African sable is the third-largest antelope on the African continent, coming in third after the eland and the roan. At maturity, a male sable's shoulder height can range from 46 to 56 inches, and his weight can range from roughly 520 to 600 pounds. A female typically weighs 30 to 50 pounds less than the bull and is slightly shorter.

Sable Subspecies

Sable Hunting
  1. Sable de Mastitis is an alternate name for the more common black sable. As for the common sable, its habitat may be found in southern Africa, extending across Zimbabwe and Botswana and ending just north of the Zambezi River. Its name comes from the fact that it has the darkest coat, which contributed to its hue.
  2. The Giant sable, also known as the Royal sable, gets its name because its horns are far longer than any other subspecies of sable. In the central region of Angola, there aren't very many of them remaining. It is listed in Appendix 1 of CITIES as being in a critically endangered state. It is a southern or common sable referred to as the West Zambian sable. You can find it in specific parts of Angola, Malawi, and northwestern Zambia.
  3. The Eastern sable is the member of the sable family that is considered the smallest. Its range stretches from the coastal regions of southern Kenya to Mozambique, passing through the eastern Tanzanian part of Tanzania.


The African sable is characterized by its hefty hide and broad neck. It is a robust, compact animal with powerful horns that can reach up to 60 inches in length and sweep back over its withers. A mature bull is almost all black and is a stunning sight. It can live anywhere between 14 and 16 years in the wild.

Sable antelopes are native to Africa and can be found in woodlands and meadows, where they feed on grass and leaves. They depend on water and stay near water sources near the open plains where they eat. They live in herds consisting of thirty or more animals at a time. Sable bulls are highly territorial and will fight with another sable bull over breeding rights and territory if necessary. 

Sable battles can get rather brutal and result in one of the fighters dying. Therefore, when sable hunting in Africa, a hunter must be aware that the bull can and will charge if it is injured, perceives a threat, or is simply in the wrong state of mind on that day.

The African sable will not back down when confronted by a dangerous predator, such as a lion, but instead will stand on its own and use its horns to defend itself. As a result, lions and leopards have been found dead with huge holes in the shape of the sable’s horn.

Depending on the region, calves are often born during January and March. These youngsters are pushed out of the herd when they reach three years of age. After that, they create bachelor herds of ten to twelve animals. When the male member of the new herd passes away or dies, the most dominant bull in the new herd will move in with a herd of females. 

The younger females are expected to remain with the herd. When the herd of African sables grows too large, it will break into smaller groups made up of the females and their young. One dominating bull is all that will be present in each smaller herd.

Sable Hunts

Sable Antelope Hunts

When sable hunting in Africa, it is necessary to use an appropriate amount of gun, same as when hunting roan or eland. The African sable bull has a superior attitude and distinguishes himself from the rest of the herd. As a result of the fact that he will stand and observe rather than run and hide, he may be somewhat easier to approach. 

Be wary, however, since he will charge you and is incredibly agile; this much is true. Therefore, always have a level head and always be prepared. Some sable hunting experts suggest that a rifle with a caliber of .270 is sufficient for hunting the African sable. However, the best choice would be a rifle chambered in .30 caliber with bullets weighing 180 and 220 grains.

The .338 Winchester Magnum would be a better choice because it carries a bullet weighing 250 and 275 grains, travels at a speed of 2500 feet per second, and has a muzzle energy of 3800-foot pounds. In Africa, sable hunting is possible with calibers as small as 9.3mm or as large as .375 H&H. If the sable decides to attack after being wounded, the larger calibers are more ethical.

When sable hunting in Africa, a shot to the heart or lungs should be taken whenever possible. Move your sites 1/3 up the body and put the target in the center of your crosshairs, approximately two inches behind the front leg. Aim directly in the middle of the point where the neck meets the torso. 

A shot like this will cause the African sable to stop dead in its tracks. When taking a shot from the forward quartering position, you should aim for the leg on the other side and shoot through the body. A similar technique can take shots from the rear quartering position. If you do your part and shoot accurately, you will have a trophy of an African sable that you will be able to cherish for years to come.

Charity Safaris is available for organizing some of South Africa's most successful sable hunts. You will be able to go sable hunting with the assistance of our knowledgeable PHs, and the pursuit will result in a valued trophy you will be proud to display in your man cave

In addition, Charity Safaris offers sable and kudu hunt packages at affordable prices, stretching your Africa hunting dollar. So please make contact with Charity Safaris so that they can help you plan the hunt of a lifetime.

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