Red Ivory Safaris is committed to ensure that you take your trophy back home. We will do what ever is needed to ensure that you just achieve this. We are very aware of age, gender and other circumstances amongst our hunter family. For this reason we are willing to cater for our clients to their own special needs and circumstances.  This is why we will do what ever is needed to accommodate you and apart from this, is to present you with the trophy you had come for.

Red Ivory Safaris is one of the best Dangerous Game Outfitters in Africa. Being a dangerous game outfitter and professional hunter, it simply means that you have lived through some dangerous situations while hunting dangerous game. So it follows that the more dangerous game hunts an outfitter and PH has been on the more experience he has gained. The outfitter for Red Ivory Safaris has experience in all dangerous game hunting, using various methods and weapons. Please contact Andre Wiese in this regard as he will give you first hand answers and information. You can read through a thousand web sites, and still don’t have the right answers.

A note of understanding…..   Hunting with Red Ivory Safaris as a client you should understand that our PHs don’t stand “ready times ten” to kill the clients animals for him.  Stories are common about PH’s boasting how they have had to kill a client’s trophy for him. The only thing worse than bragging about shooting a client’s animal is making a DVD about it for the international market. However, even more disturbing is for the animal to get away wounded because of the PH’s reluctance to take a back-up shot after the client had failed to bring it down in the first place. 

Hunting with Red Ivory Safaris the PH will wait the “time” one to three seconds needed to asses the impact of the clients shot, and then the follow-up shot before firing a back-up shot.  We are not talking about when a dangerous animal is charging.  At Red Ivory Safaris we will give the client the chance to bring a charging wounded animal down himself if possible.  If not, the Red Ivory Safari PH will take the shot for the safety of the hunter first as well as for others.  If you are hunting dangerous game you should be an accomplished hunter but it is good to remember that even “professionals” occasionally make a poor shot and it should not be looked upon as poor sportsmanship if another downs the animal for safety sake.  

We would advise to read the book “The Perfect Shot” and also watch the DVD about the same book by Kevin Robertson. You will also be able to go through the book and watch the DVD once you are in camp. The book and DVD are available in camp, and we can forward you the book or DVD if required.

Cape Buffalo

The African Buffalo personifies the words “Dangerous Game.”  Tremendous strength tops the list after which comes the extreme sense of smell.  Sight and hearing are not as good.  However his skulking attitude should never be taken for as a run and hide disposition.  He will run and hide….and then wait until the right moment to charge, gore and decimate his intended victim by tossing the unsuspecting hunter in the air with his tremendous horns.  Once on the ground he will trample and crush you with his hooves until he feels that it is over.  Never the less he will come back and do it all over again….just to make sure and feeling good by doing it.

The side on heart-lung shot are recommended for the surest/most efficient first shot. Putting the first shot through the vitals either from a side on, or the frontal shot will put the bullet path through the vitals of heart and lungs. The animal will not go down right away, but he will run off some distance, where you will either find him still alive or dead. If he is still alive, he might wait for you as he had by then circled back to his own tracks. On finding him first you will need to put another shot into him.

Circumstances will dictate the shot and bullet to use, if the animal is in a herd the hunter can not use solids as the bullet will over penetrate and hit another animal. In such circumstances a soft will be appropriate. If he stands alone, a solid will work fine for a frontal shot and penetration would be desirable. To take a frontal brain or go for the chest cavity will be dictated by the distance and position of animal; if the animal stand broad side then the obvious would be to go for the heart-lung shot again. Your PH will take you through all these steps and decisions to make. Generally the first shot will be a good quality soft and there after solids. After the first shot your PH will tell you what to expect as it might be visible that the bull move away from the herd if it was part of a herd.

 Contrary to some beliefs that after a buffalo are hit once, one should just keep firing in the hope of hitting it, most of the time this result only in more adrenalin being released in the animal and in making it even more aware that it is being hunted. In doing so one just pushes the animal further and makes it more alert. If you do have a good follow up shot, then take it, but don’t just “throw lead”. Rather follow the animal until a second, well-placed shot can be made.

By law some countries may require a minimum calibre of .375, but for South Africa a minimum requirement is a bullet weight of at least 250grain. We would how ever not recommend other wise and not less than 250 grain soft and solids. The bigger the calibre the hunter uses the better. Other standard factory calibres such as .378, .458 Winchester Magnum, .460 Weatherby and the various .416 manufactures are all good options. The older British calibres like, .450, .470, .475, .500, .577 and .600 would be also enough gun if ammunition is available. Remember to select the calibre with which you are most comfortable – think of the recoil – and with which you can shoot consistently well.

If you use a scope it would be advisable to use a fixed scope of 4x magnification, or then a variable of 1.25 – 6 x magnification. If the scope supports an illuminated dot/crosshairs it will be plus as the hunter might take shot in poor light conditions.  Good quality scope mounts are essential, as all of these large calibres have a hard kick that might have an impact on your scope and mounts


An elephant (loxodonta africana) is considered to be the ultimate African safari trophy and especially a bull topping 100 pounds in ivory.   Even though elephants are the largest and appear to be the slowest trophies to hunt they provide one of the hardest challenges in any hunter’s career.  The SCI minimum score for an elephant is 100 pounds in ivory, both tusks.  The thickest part of the tusk is usually at the lip.

 Once again the mantra of – Don’t Panic, Shoot Straight, and Live – comes into play.  All happens very quickly in elephant hunting.  The best shot is a brain shot at very close range with heavy grain solids from a large calibre rifle, either a frontal or a side on shot. It is a difficult shot to take due to size and the location and position of the brain. From the side the brain is located in a line between the bottom of the ear-hole slits and the eyes. The ideal shot should be placed on this line about 4 inches in front of the ear-hole slits. Remember to compensate for angle according to how close you are from the elephant. The frontal brain shot is more difficult due to factors that will influence your point of aim, factors such as the elephant’s height, the shooting distance and then the angle at which the elephant is holding his head – high or low. As the brain is located in line with, and forward of the ear-hole slits, you should draw an imaginary line through these ear-holes and visualize the passage of your bullet through the head to this line… some will say to visualise a broom stick through the bottom part of the ear-holes, then at any angle, to shoot at the broom stick, to cut it in two, exactly between the ears. There is also no reference point to work from on a frontal brain shot.

On the brain shot the elephant will collapse by falling hind quarters and a lifting trunk. An elephant going down after a brain shot need to be shot in the heart/lung area right after the elephant had collapsed.

When a shot is taken on an elephant and it run away, irrespectively where you aimed to put the shot, the elephant will run away and the hunter have a few options to stop it, either go for an anchoring shot on the hip bones, or simply wait for the elephant to turn his head to look back where the danger coming from as elephant most likely will do on running away, then the hunter can go for a shot into the brain from this angle.

For the inexperienced hunter it might be a safer and surest option to put the shot towards the heart/lung area. How ever, your PH will go through all these until you are sure about the exact location of the vitals.

Some countries may state a minimum calibre of .375 H&H, South Africa have no calibre requirement, except that when hunting thick-skinned animals the bullet must be a full metal jacket or monolithic solid construction.  However for Dangerous Game Hunting the adage of always using enough-gun applies.  The more realistic minimum would be at least a .416 Rigby with heavier calibres as being the better choice. Good options would be .470 Nitro Express the .505 Gibbs and .500 Jeffery.  Only good solids should be used on elephant. Solids such as Barnes, Woodleigh, A-Square and similar solids (monolithic) would be ideal.

Hunting elephant is mostly done on foot… following fresh spoor until the right animal is located. With a favourable wind, you should be able to approach to within 30 yards. Hunting a bull out of a herd is very dangerous as you might easily provoke a charge from a cow.

Red Ivory Safaris is in possession of concessions that produces 100lb ivory a side and more, but unfortunately these come at a price. So if you are interested in taking elephant not less than 100lb, please make sure to contact us directly in order to get you set up for such a safari.

However, taking an elephant today in the 40lb to 80lb range are more realistic, with a 70lb as a good indicator… with Red Ivory Safaris one can take ivory of 70lb consistently.


Hunting leopard (panthera pardus) is as unique and as different as any other Dangerous Game trophy.  The considerations for this animal are the stealth it uses and the danger it presents if not shot well.  You are not only doing a disservice to those who you are with if a bad shot is made but you are putting your PH in great danger when he has to go after it.  So listening to your PH on everything from what to wear to when to take the shot is imperative. 

There is a lot of paperwork that is necessary which must be done by your PH before during and after the hunt.  It is an animal that requires CITES and import permits as well for some countries.  Most countries have an annual quota which they are not permitted to exceed.  In the U.S. the US Fish and Wildlife gets involved over and above the CITES permits.  Only leopard from certain sub-Saharan countries are allow.  If you go to our Links page and click on the appropriate links for the US you will find out more information that is current.

SCI minimum score is 14 inches.  Since a leopard is smaller than the other Dangerous Game animals it can be shot with a medium caliber rifle such as a 30.06 but also a .300 magnum is fine as is something in .375. 

Using any good soft-nosed bullet between 180 and 250 grain in Nossler Partition, Swift A-frame and Barnes in soft nose, would be a good choice. Make sure that you can place the bullet where you need to aim, as good shot placement is very critical

Leopard are usually solitary animals which roam an area that is wholly theirs.  Since the leopard protects this area it makes the rounds on a regular basis.  All of its senses are excellent as well as it camouflage coat.  Males are a bit larger in body with a broader head and have a darker, yellowish orange tinge on their coats.  They are of course nocturnal and hunt anything from medium size antelope all the way down to mice and frogs. 

It is next to impossible to hunt leopard on a 14 or 21 day hunt without using bait.  Baiting is the most popular method of hunting.  Your PH must go to the area and know that a leopard is there.  They then set the bait and see if it has been hit.  If so, a blind is made and the hunter and PH come to the blind and make the wait.  Usually just before dark the leopard will come on the bait.  This is where good optics must come into play.  With low light conditions it would be very difficult to make the shot without good optics.,  Listen to your PH when the leopard comes to the bait.  He will be whispering in your ear everything that you should know as well as where and when to make the shot. 

Sometimes there is a problem baiting as you can see in these two photos.  We had hung a warthog as bait for a leopard to judge the size and sex for hunting.  We are using a red light field camera so as not to scare the leopard if a flash takes place.  What we have got is a Honey Badger coming and taking the bait as well as scaring the leopard away.  Needless to say Honey Badgers are only $200 USD and make great mounts.

A true trophy leopard is judged by your PH by its maturity, body, head and neck size.  If you have never hunted leopard before then it is best to let your PH tell you if you have an SCI leopard in your sights. 

Where to hunt leopards are based upon where the leopards are.  Since they are very adaptive quality leopards are hunted in many countries.  Zimbabwe is the most consistent country with a very high success rate while Tanzania and Zambia having some good concessions as well. 

South Africa has very good quality leopards but it is because of the game farms these leopards do not readily come to the bait and permits are controlled by the government with strict allotments each year


Hunting lion in today’s society become more and more difficult. However lion hunting is permitted in various countries…  Red Ivory Safaris have access for very good trophies in Zimbabwe and then in South-Africa, all lions need export permits from the country of origin. Red Ivory Safaris will make sure that all of the proper paper work is ready and in place so that you will not have to worry about taking your trophy home. We will also sent you all documentation needed to ensure a legal hunt and for export purposes before your arrival, as to give you peace of mind that all is in place… remember, never undertook any hunt booked, if you don’t have copies of permits for the intended trophies.

Today South-Africa might have the biggest number of huntable lions. There is much opinion out there regarding the hunt of lions. I guess it depend on which side of the fence one find himself to cast an opinion… You will find some people saying there are no free roaming lions to hunt in South-Africa, which is not true at all, on your hunt to South-Africa, you will see lions in the hunting area that is available for hunting, and they roam freely and hunt for themselves.

Then there is lion hunting available in the Kalahari, on the hunting area there are some free roaming lions to hunt, but there is also some lions released from time to time to keep the numbers up in the hunting area due to hunting pressure. These lions do come from areas where they are breed for future hunting purposes, one don’t need to make the mistake in that they are tamed and used to people… this however is not true… to many incidence would reflect that these lions are wild as any other lions.

Hunting in South-Africa is mainly done on foot, the old walk and stalk method. This implies that the hunting car will drive out early mornings looking for lion tracks,

upon finding  fresh tracks, the hunting team will stop the car and take up the tracks following them on foot… we have two trackers focused on the tracking part, and they will be focused on the tracing part mostly, it will be you as hunter and the PH’s job to be focused, trying to spot the lion as soon as possible. This does provide for some interesting hunting, walking on fresh lion tracks. Believe me this provides way more exciting moments than sitting in hiding waiting for the lion to come to the bait… and then never came…

Please have a look at our South-African Pricelist regarding these hunts and prices on different lion options.

Tracking lions will often reveal more information regarding your quarry you following, like scratch marks on a tree 

A number of permits are available for hunting these cats, these areas are open areas with no fences at all, these lions move around in the area. Lion intend to defend their territories and most likely a big trophy roams around some females. Currently n pride of 15 lions roams an area close to camp and could be heard frequently during the night. One would like to hunt a male, not in a family group but rather an old male kicked out of the pride…

Depending on where you are hunting the bait could be a buffalo, zebra, hippo or any other large animal.  The carcass is then fastened to a tree in an area where lion are known to roam.  The bait is then checked every day until there has been a hit. A large spoor or long hairs with black tips on the bait signal the building of a blind, on the ground or in a tree nearby where the hunter and PH will lie in wait usually from mid-afternoon or early mornings. The time spent in the blind waiting for the Lion is one of the most interesting and exciting of the chase. Here you have to remain absolutely still and silent, with other game and often the Lion passing close on the way to the bait.

The best shot to take is of course in the vitals through the shoulders.  A head, neck or shot that would destroy the mane is not advisable.  Any caliber from a .375 H&H would be a good choice… rather use a caliber that you are familiar with and can put an accurate shot through the vital than a to heavy caliber with poor shot placement.


Rhino (Ceratotherium simum) is far from extinct and because of the success story in the conservation of these animals they can now be hunted properly.  They are plentiful in reserves as well as game ranches throughout Namibia, South Africa and somewhat in Zimbabwe.  

Recently there has been a drive to dart rhino as opposed to the actual taking of the trophy.  Ranchers see this as a reusable income source and the conservationaly minded hunter see this as a somewhat less expensive way to get their trophy into the record books.  SCI has a category for darted Rhino entries.  The main difference is that you must be at least proficient with a dart rifle and you must get a lot closer to the animal because the lack of power of the dart rifle.  It is no doubt that this makes for a very exciting hunt. 

You can import your hunted trophy into the Untied States and Europe from South Africa and Namibia.  Those from South Africa require only a CITES export permit.  Those hunted in Namibia require both and import and export permit. 

The minimum score for SCI is 70 inches.  This is a measurement that is the length of the horns and the base added together. 

The minimum caliber for hunting is .375 magnum however it is best to start with a caliber .416 and larger.  A well placed shot behind the shoulder from less than 50 yards into the vitals will usually bring  the trophy down. 

Rhinos are not that easy to hunt.  Most Rhinos are sold to ranchers and only after many years are they allowed to be hunted.  Once on the ranch with hunting going on around them they become very elusive and can disappear right in front of your eyes despite their size.  They have very acute hearing and smell but have very poor eyesight.  The obverse can also be true when hunting them.  They can turn and charge in a manner that is akin to a buffalo with only one intent on their mind. 

Rhino prefer to graze in open busy savannahs with plenty of trees as shade.  They must also have a constant water supply.  

White Rhino can only be hunted in South Africa and Namibia.  Black Rhino have only a very limited amount of tags and is very expensive as well as a lot of planning goes into not only the permit work but also the pre hunt requirements as well.  If you wish Red Ivory Safaris can make the proper inquires and arrangements if tags are available.


Hippopotamus amphibius

Hippo is classified as a dangerous game animal as it is very dangerous to approach on land and swallow waters. It simply does not take much for an old bull to charge.  It can even get worse if a hunter find himself between a hippo and water or a young one and his mother. Hippos don’t feed in the water, but they venture out onto dry land mostly during night in search for shorter grass to feed on.

Some countries may require a minimum calibre of .375 H&H or then South Africa require the use of only solids or monolithic solids on hippo. We would how ever advise to use a minimum of a .375 category calibre and a minimum of 275 grain solids. The shot placement will be dictated on where you will find the hippo. If the bull is in the water the other vitals will obviously not be visible, and a brain shot would then be the only option. From the side, the brain is situated on the line between the ears and the eyes. But not further forward than midway between the ear and the eye. From the front you can draw a line from each ear to the opposite eye, where the lines intersect one another will be your aiming spot. The angle of the head plays a role as well. Alternatively, you will notice a V shape, up-side down on his fore head. Put the bullet into the V’s corner (top) and the bullet will pass through the brain. If the hippo lifts his head you will need to put the bullet closer to a spot between the eyes. The hippo will sink and it might take 1-2 hours for him to surface. If it is a running river the water will take him down stream and you will need to look down stream for him, don’t take too long as the crocodiles will have a good feast on him.


If the Hippo is on land you will have to familiarise yourself of its heart/lung area if you not going for the brain. From the side on, simply take you aim at the back of the front leg, go up with this line until half way up his body; don’t go over the halfway position. If the bull is quartering away it is also a good opportunity to go for the heart/lung shot, aim for the opposite shoulder.

The frontal chest shot is very difficult as the head most likely will be in the way. If t is quartering towards, avoid taking this shot as a first shot. But if the shot are going to be taken you would need to get the bullet in between the middle of the fore legs, if the legs are positioned right next to each other (not walking position).

On a wounded hippo that is on the run from you, the hunter can either go for a shot on the hip bones as to anchor/stop him, or can simply wait for the hippo to turn his head in such a way that the hunter can put a shot in from behind the ear into the brain. The hippo might not always present this shot and it is not always easy to put in such a shot on a running hippo.