Eland hunting is in the mountainous areas of the Eastern Cape. Eland is the largest of the spiral-horned family in South Africa. Older mature males can weigh up to one ton and be difficult to bring down.
There are no seasonal restrictions on Eland in Eastern Cape, South Africa. Nick Bowker Hunting offers Eland trophies year-round.
Table of Contents
- Eland Hunt Cost
- Interesting Facts
- Difference between Male and Female
- About the Eland
- Eland in the Eastern Cape
- Trophy Judgement and Rifle Calibre
A trophy Eland will cost around $3000. See our current south African hunting price list. Eland can be added to any of our hunting packages. Alternatively, we can design an Eland hunt package. Guests stay at our lodge ranch which includes accommodation and meals.
Included in the Eland package is a licensed hunting guide. As well as a license and all permits.
- The word “eland” originates from the Dutch for elk.
- Eland will often stay and face predators rather than run away..
- They will group with the calves in the center and present the offending animal with a wall of kicking legs.
- Eland will rarely fight. They avoid combat by weighing each other up, with the smaller one conceding its ground immediately.
- If they do not, the more dominant male will give the inferior male a “stare,” which should move it on.
- Adults like their own space and do not tolerate others coming within six feet of them.
- Eland conserves water by not sweating to keep cool. Instead, they allow their body temperature to rise during the day and lose the heat during the cooler nights.
- This practice can save 500kg eland five liters of water.
- It was food and spiritual inspiration to the prehistoric hunter-gatherer peoples of southern Africa.
Species and Meat farming
- It features prominently in rock- and cave art across the region.
- Today’s names such as “Elands fountain” and surnames such as Mpofu (‘eland’ in Zulu) suggest how central this game antelope was to the region’s culture.
- The giant eland is also called ‘Lord Derby’s eland’ in honor of Edward Smith-Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby.
- Lord Derby sent botanist Joseph Burke to South Africa to collect animals for his museum.
- The Livingstone eland species is found in Angola, Northern Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.
- The Eland is much better adapted than cattle to the African environment and is easily domesticated.
- Eland game is farmed for its meat and milk in South Africa and Russia.
- A female can produce up to 7kg of milk daily, which is richer in fat than cow’s milk.
The difference between a male and a female
Mature males are larger and have a very prominent dewlap on the throat. Adult males also have a darker coat, sometimes with a bluish tinge.
Males have dense fur on the forehead, while females do not. Both sexes have horns. The horns of males are thicker and shorter than those of females.
Eland prefers to live in semi-arid areas with low bushes and often inhabits grasslands, woodlands, sub-deserts, bush, and mountaintops.
They do, however, avoid forests, swamps, and deserts. Eland form herds of up to 500 animals but are not territorial.
Eland hunts will result in a larger trophy than kudu and roan antelope.
They are spiral-horned antelopes. Females are smaller than males. Females weigh 660–1,320 pounds and stand 49–60 inches at the shoulder.
Bulls weigh 882–2,077 pounds and stand 59–72 inches at the shoulder. Eland bulls can weigh up to 2,200 pounds.
Apart from the course mane, the coat is relatively smooth. Females have tan skin, while the coats of males are darker, with a blueish tinge.
Bulls can also have vertical white stripes on their sides. As males age, their coat becomes darker.
Males have dense fur on their foreheads and a large dewlap on their throats.
Both males and females have horns with a steady spiral ridge (resembling that of the bushbuck). The horns of males are thicker and shorter than those of females.
During rutting season, males use their horns to fend off and butt heads with rivals, while females use their horns to protect their calves from predators.
The Eland is the slowest antelope, with a peak speed of 25 miles per hour.
However, they can maintain 14 miles per hour trot indefinitely.
They can jump up 8 feet from a standing start when startled. Eland is the largest antelope in the world.
Eland’s life expectancy is between 14 and 22 years.
Eland also has a nursery in their herds for their calves.
They migrate widely in search of grazing, and therefore, the dominant bulls are not territorial or defensive of their land areas.
During the females’ estrus cycles, bulls become possessive and territorial.
Living in regions with little surface water, the Eland, a nocturnal animal, feeds on vegetation that absorbs atmospheric moisture at night.
This provides the Eland with sufficient fluid sustenance. The Eland is a browser that feeds on a variety of plants.
They can go long periods without water but then need “tsama” fruits and gemsbok cucumbers for their water requirements.
Eland safari-style hunts make for a fantastic day in the African bushveld.
Hunts in South Africa
Shot placement must be in the bottom third of the animal directly above the front shoulder. This will ensure a heart or lung shot. Avoid head and neck shots which are high-risk.
Your Eland should have an average shoulder height of around 67 inches, weigh about 1500 pounds, and have a Horn length of approximately 30 – 33 inches.
The minimum Safari Club International score for an Eland is 77 and is measured by adding the length of each horn and the circumference of the bases.
Eland is the largest species of the Spiral Horned family in South Africa.
Bulls can weigh up to one ton and be very difficult to bring down.
Hunt Eland using spot and stalk techniques on ranches in the mountains.
It is found in the Bedford mountains, where the Eland is free-ranging amongst the sheep, cattle, and other game. However, high-quality bulls to hunt are scarce.
If you want to hunt an outstanding bull, you may have to consider going into one of the high-fenced reserves.
If you listen closely, you’ll hear a distinct clicking sound as the herd approaches.
The Eland’s hooves, which splay apart and click back together under the animals’ great weight, cause the clicking sound.
Trophy Judgement and Rifle Caliber for Eland Hunting
As with most African animals, shot placement should always be in the bottom third of the shoulder.
Hunting with 7mm or 30 caliber rifles would be the minimum recommended caliber. Loading the Eland always proves to be a fun exercise.
For those hunters who do not wish to go through the red tape of bringing a rifle into South Africa, Nick Bowker Hunting has a Sako carbon light 300 Winchester Magnum fitted with a suppressor.
Mounted on the gun is a Swarovski DS with a built-in rangefinder.
We have hand-loaded Hornady ELD-X 200-grain ammunition.
The rifle, including ammunition, is available as part of all hunting packages free of charge.
Exotic hunts in Texas for Eland and many other African animals, red stag, and whitetail deer are available. The cost of the African antelope is fivefold higher in Texas compared to South Africa, where they are indigenous.
When judging the trophy quality of Eland, it’s essential to look at the size of the ridge on the boss and the color of the dewlap.
Mature bulls will display a black/darkened fringe on the forehead, with the emphasis not always on the horn’s length but on the animal’s age.
Hunting Eland should always be considered for any African hunting safari.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to hunt an Eland?
The trophy fee as a standalone Eland hunt is between $2,000 – $3,000. Daily rates vary between $250 and $500 per day.
Included in the Eland trophy fee is a licensed guide. As well as a hunting license and all permits.
How to hunt an Eland?
Eland hunting is in the early mornings and late evenings and spotted from an elevated vantage point in the thick brush and then stalked. Alternatively, hunters use ambush techniques at watering holes or as they move back to cover from feeding.
Where do you shoot an Eland?
Shot placement must be in the bottom third of the animal directly above the front shoulder. This will ensure a heart or lung shot. Avoid head and neck shots, which are high-risk.
What is a trophy, Eland?
Eland trophies have a Horn Length of approximately 30 – 33 inches. The minimum qualification score under Safari Club International for an Eland is 77. Add the length of each horn and the circumference of the bases to get your SCI score.
How do you judge an Eland trophy?
As with all African animals, a thick, heavy, darkened neck is the first sign of maturity and often the most visible maturity characteristic when observing at a distance.
When judging the trophy quality of Eland, it’s essential to look at the size of the ridge on the boss and the color of the dewlap. Mature bulls will display a black/darkened fringe on the forehead, with the emphasis not always on the horn’s length but on the animal’s age.
When can you hunt Eland in South Africa?
There are no seasonal restrictions on Eland in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
Do you offer bow hunting, rifle hunting, or pistol hunting?
We only offer rifle hunting.
SA Venues – Wildlife
Wild Life – Conservation
Wikipedia – Common Eland
SafariBookings – Facts about the Eland
Wikipedia – Eland