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Hunting In Zimbabwe 

Hunting In Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe formerly known as Rhodesia gained its independence April 18th 1980. It has been a country with some trouble in its past and even I recant years with bush wars and civil unrest but it remains one of Africa’s great hunting destinations as it is what many people belie to be the gate way to the true wilds of Africa offer hunts for 4 of the big 5 in big vast free range areas although prices have risen in recent years Zimbabwe has been one of the most affordable countries to hunt the dangerous game such as Cape Buffalo, Lion, Leopard, and Elephant. Zimbabwe has some tremendous success stories within its great hunting areas protecting and bringing value to the land and the animals that call it home.

Zimbabwe is situated is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers, bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia to the north, and Mozambique to the east. The capital and largest city is Harare, and the second largest is Bulawayo.

A country of roughly 15 million people as per 2022 census, Zimbabwe's largest ethnic group are the Shona, who make up 80% of the population, followed by the Northern Ndebele and other smaller minorities. Zimbabwe has 16 official languages, with English, Shona, and Ndebele the most common. Zimbabwe is a member of the United Nations, the Southern African Development Community, the African Union, and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa


Information on hunting Zimbabwe.


Zimbabwe is our beautiful home country, and we get excited about the opportunity to share it with both new and returning clients. With over 30 species of huntable game and a healthy safari industry, combined with some of the best-trained and skilled Professional Guides and Hunters on the entire continent, Zimbabwe remains a top destination for photographic visitors as well as trophy hunters. 

Vast tracts of big game government concessions and conservancies offer excellent hunting opportunities for elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, hippo and crocodile, as well as some of the best plains game hunting on the African continent.



Below is a list of species found and hunted within Zimbabwe.

·       Chacma Baboon - CITES II

·       Cape Buffalo

·       Chobe Bushbuck

·       Limpopo Bushbuck

·       Bushpig

·       Caracal - CITES II

·       African Wildcat - CITES II

·       Cheetah - CITES I

·       Nile Crocodile - CITES II

·       Civet

·       Common Duiker 

·       Blue Duiker - CITES II

·       Red Duiker 

·       Livingston's Eland

·       Elephant - CITES II

·       Kalahari Gemsbok

·       Genet

·       Sharpe's Grysbok

·       Hippopotamus - CITES II

·       Southern Impala

·       Black-Backed Jackal

·       Side-Striped Jackal

·       Klipspringer

·       Greater Southern Kudu

·       Leopard - CITES I

·       Lion - CITES II

·       Vervet Monkey - CITES II

·       Common Nyala

·       Oribi

·       Porcupine

·       Ratel/Honey Badger

·       Spotted Hyena

·       Brown Hyena

·       Common Reedbuck

·       Sable

·       Serval - CITES II

·       Steinbok

·       Tsessebe

·       Warthog

·       Common Waterbuck

·       Blue Wildebeest

·       Burchell's Zebra




Zimbabwe is home to an Elephant population estimated at 100,000 animals, with a threshold at 50,000, mostly in Hwange and the Zambezi Valley. Hunting of Elephants, Lion and Leopard are allowed. Lions and Leopards are hunted exclusively with bait and can be found in almost all areas. Zimbabwean Leopards are well known for their size. There are also large herds of Buffalo in Zimbabwe and so this country offers the possibility to hunt four of the renowned “Big Five”. 


In Zimbabwe much stalking and hunting is done on foot but given the vastness of the hunting areas, it is often necessary to travel by vehicle to get to the hunting spots or until fresh tracks are located. The hunting areas are not very rugged and the actual hunting is not physically rigorous although Elephant hunting can require much walking.  


What types of land you hunt in Zimbabwe.

Hunting in Zimbabwe may be conducted on 3 land types which have varying game laws.

·       National Parks Safari Areas or Controlled Hunting Areas which include Matetsi, Tuli, Chirisa and Chete. The National Parks authority decide on the annual quota of animals to be hunted.

·       Communal or Tribal Areas where local District Councils are responsible for the management and utilization of the wildlife. They decide on the annual quota of animals to be hunted and tenders them to hunting companies. The income then can be used on local infrastructure development and to compensate for any crop decimation caused by wild animals. This scheme is known as CAMPFIRE (Communal Areas management Plan for Indigenous Resources).

What to expect for weather.

·       The higher areas in the east and the High Veld receive more rainfall and are cooler than the lower areas.

·       Temperatures on the High Veld vary from 12 - 13°C in winter and 32°C in summer.

·       Low Veld temperatures are usually 5.5°C (10°F) higher. Summer temperatures in the Zambezi and Limpopo valleys average between 40°C - 50°C.

Typical hunting terrain.

Zimbabwe does not have extremely physically challenging terrain with most of the hunting areas consisting of rolling hills, with Mopane woodland, natural forest and a few flat valleys. There are steep mountain ranges within the country but hunts are not typically conducted in this terrain as it makes game retrieval much harder 



Rifle Minimum requirements.

·       Minimum rifle energy requirement for big dangerous game (elephant, hippo, buffalo) is 5300 Joule or 9.2 diameter. Equivalent 3909.0 ft/lbs.

·       Minimum rifle energy requirement for very large plains game (giraffe, eland) and lion is 4300 Joule. Equivalent 3171.5 ft/lbs.

·       Minimum rifle energy requirement for large plains game (kudu, wildebeest etc.) and leopard is 3000 Joule. Equivalent 2212.6 ft/lbs.

·       Minimum rifle energy requirement for medium and small plains game is 850 Joule. Equivalent 626.9 ft/lbs.

·       Black powder rifles have a required minimum caliber of .40


Hunting laws and Permit system.

·       A separate permit must be issued for each individual hunting client.

·       Hunting permits (TR2) must be issued prior to the hunt commencing, signed and stamped by Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA). These must be signed by the client and PH at the end of the hunt. 

·       Before the start of a hunt make sure a stamped TR2 - Application for Hunting NP/CITES - Hunting Return Form and a completed NP/CITES Form 11 are provided.

·       The TR2 permit is the 'authority to hunt', a declaration of what was harvested during the hunt, a banking form and an export application permit.

·       The client should look at the TR2 permit to verify that the professional hunter and safari operator listed on the TR2 permit are the ones that he will be hunting with.

·       The client is advised to record the TR2 permit serial number for future reference with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority should there be a problem exporting the trophies.

·       Make sure your PH is carrying a valid license with the valid date stickers on the reverse. See below.


The minimum number of days for a hunting safari is set by the outfitter, based upon the species being hunted and a Government minimum hunt charge for this species.

National Parks Safari Areas

·       All hunting must take place within the hours of daylight - half an hour before sunrise until half an hour after sunset.

·       No electronic calls, night vision scopes or artificial lights are allowed to be used to assist in hunting.

·       Hunting from a vehicle is not permitted, though the vehicle can be used to reach the area from where hunting on foot can begin.

·       You must be more than 50m from a vehicle before shooting an animal.

·       You must not hunt an animal within 400m of any designated watering place.

·       Hunting with dogs is not permitted.

·       Handgun hunting is not allowed though handguns are allowed as a backup.

·       Bowhunting is not permitted.

Communal or Tribal Areas

·       Hunting of certain species may be done at night, such as leopard, bushpig or lion hunting.

·       Use of artificial light or night vision scopes are allowed when hunting at night.

·       Handgun hunting is allowed.

·       Bowhunting is allowed.

Private Land

·       The landowner or outfitter will decide the standards and ethics of hunting on his land.

·       Hunting of nocturnal species may be done at night.

·       Use of artificial light or night vision scopes may be allowed to hunt at night.

·       Handgun hunting may be allowed. 

·       Bowhunting may be allowed.

·       Hunting with dogs may be allowed for cats with a special permit.





Large areas of Zimbabwe are devoted to conservation of habitat and rich natural biodiversity through sustainable hunting practices.  Working hand in hand the Zimbabwe Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management and the Zimbabwe Professional Guides Association ensure the highest standards, ethics and morals of their members, through strict apprenticeships, examining and qualification systems, ongoing monitoring and codes of conduct and a constitution that our members have pledged to uphold and enforce.

The Z.P.G.A. is proud that Zimbabwe’s Hunting Guides are recognized as the highest qualified in Africa and amongst the highest qualified worldwide.

Z.P.G.A. members practice “fair chase” and all members undergo rigorous training on animal behavior and life cycles ensuring that they understand which animals to select in a sustainable and ethical manner that ensures correct off take and alignment to research-based management policies. 

The Z.P.G.A. and our members do everything possible to ensure that hunters visiting Zimbabwe are ensured of the best possible safari experience.  Vast areas of well managed African bushveld and the natural friendly disposition of Zimbabweans from the camp staff, trackers, and hunters themselves goes a long way to ensuring this.  Behind the scenes the uncompromisingly high standards and knowledge needed to qualify as a Zimbabwean Professional Hunting Guide and the built-in knowledge of ecosystems ensure you are being led by professionals who are invested in long term conservation, species health and each area’s natural biodiversity.

All Zimbabwe’s Professional Hunting Guides are required to adhere to the National Wildlife Laws including the Tourist Hunting Regulations. Clients are urged to assist and respect their Professional Hunting Guides in this responsibility.

The Z.P.G.A. urges all clients seeking to hunt in Zimbabwe to only book and use paid up members of the Zimbabwe Professional Guides Association.  The Z.P.G.A. and our members are professionally and ethically motivated to ensure that all hunts are conducted within the legal framework of Zimbabwe, and we therefore advise all potential hunting clients planning a trip to Zimbabwe to do your research and ensure that your Safari Operators and Guides belong to reputable organizations*.

Please note: 

  • IT IS ILLEGAL for a non-resident foreigner to obtain a Zimbabwean Professional Hunter’s license – and as such it is illegal for them to conduct a safari in Zimbabwe.

  • Conducting a hunt that is not fully within the legal framework of the laws of Zimbabwe can have serious repercussions on both the outfitter and the hunting client.

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