Bow Hunt Roan Antelope in South Africa - Roan Bull in open grass veld.

Bow hunting Roan Antelope in South Africa is a thrilling and challenging adventure. With its tremendous beauty and formidable nature, the Roan offers a unique experience for a bow hunt in South Africa. By understanding their habitat, employing effective hunting techniques, and seeking the expertise of experienced guides, you can increase your chances of a successful and rewarding hunt.

Hunting Roan Antelope is a unique pursuit, primarily due to the inherent cost associated with it. Roan’s are known for their magnificent appearance, and they possess the largest ears relative to their body size among all antelope species. While the cost of a Roan has been a deterrent in the past, the good news is that their numbers are gradually increasing, thanks to conservation efforts and reinvestment of hunting revenue into breeding programs. As the population grows, hunting costs are expected to decrease over time.

Roan Antelope: A Unique Species

Roan are often described as a cross between the Gemsbok and Sable Antelope. They inherit the distinctive white facial markings of the gemsbok and the gracefully curved horns of the sable. This combination of features makes them a truly remarkable species to encounter during your trip.

Introduction to Roan

The Roan Antelope (Hippotragus equinus) is a large and robust antelope species that is native to the grasslands and open bushveld of Southern Africa. It is known for its striking reddish-brown coat, distinctive black and white facial markings, and impressive horns. Adult males can weigh up to 1,300 pounds and stand at an average shoulder height of 4.6 feet. These magnificent creatures are not only visually stunning but also present a formidable challenge for bow hunters due to their keen senses and remarkable agility.

Prime Locations to Hunt Roan in South Africa

South Africa boasts a variety of prime hunting locations that offer excellent opportunities for bow hunters to pursue this species. Here are some of the top destinations:


Located in the northernmost part of the country, Limpopo is home to numerous private game reserves and hunting concessions. These areas offer exclusive archery experiences for those seeking the thrill of pursuing this species.

North West: 

The North West province is characterized by its vast open plains and dense bushveld. It provides an ideal setting for bow hunters to test their skills against this elusive animal.

Eastern Cape: 

The Eastern Cape province is renowned for its diverse wildlife and stunning landscapes. It provides ample opportunities to encounter Roan in its natural habitat.

Preparing Your Bow Hunting Equipment for a Safari

Before embarking on your South African bow hunting safari it’s crucial to ensure you have the right equipment. To meet South African bow hunting regulations and maximize your chances of a successful hunt, consider the following factors:

Kinetic Energy (KE) Requirements

The minimum kinetic energy (KE) required for bow hunting this species is 60 ft/lb. Ensure your bow setup meets this requirement to deliver a humane and effective shot. This is the same setup that you would use for Kudu and Eland. A crossbow is also very effective for these animals.

Draw Weight

To effectively take Roan, we recommend you use a bow with a draw weight of at least 70 lb. A higher draw weight provides the necessary power to ensure a clean and humane shot.

Arrow Specifications

For Roan , we suggest the use of arrows with a minimum velocity of 250 feet per second and a minimum total weight of 450 grains. These specifications are vital for penetration and ethical shots.

Average Shot Distance 

When targeting Roan from our bow blinds, shots are typically taken at distances ranging from 20 to 30 yards from your trophy. Practicing at these distances is essential to ensure your accuracy on the hunt.

Broad Heads

We recommend using broad heads with a minimum weight of 100 to 125 grains (gr). Options like cut-on-contact fixed 3-blade broad heads, open on contact mechanical broad heads, or fixed blade 2-blade broad heads with bleeders are recommended. The choice of brand is yours, but ensure they meet the minimum weight requirements for ethical hunting.

Roan Antelope Bow Hunting Prices

As for the 2023 and 2024 African bow hunting season, the price to bow hunt Roan in South Africa are as follows:
– Trophy Fee for Roan under 28 inches $6,500
– Trophy Fee for Roan over 28 inches $7,200

Shot Placement for a Roan Trophy Hunt

Achieving proper shot placement is essential for ethical archery hunting. Consider the following guidelines:

Broadside Shot

Place the shot right on the shoulder in line with the front leg, one-third of the way up from the bottom of the chest to the top of the back.

Lung Shot

For a lung shot, place the arrow behind the shoulder and aim for impact midway between the bottom of the chest and the top of the back.

Quartering On Shot

Avoid quartering on shots at all costs due to the heavy brisket and shoulder bones that will stop adequate arrow penetration.

Quartering Away Shot

On a quartering away shot, aim to avoid penetrating too much stomach content. Place the arrow immediately behind the shoulder, one-third of the way up from the bottom of the brisket to the top of the back. Always aim for your arrow to exit on the offside front shoulder, in this way you will be sure to hit the vital organs.

Bow Hunting Tips & Techniques for a Roan Hunt

Taking Roan with archery equipment requires archery skill, precision shooting, and patience. Here are some techniques and tips to enhance your chances of a successful hunt:

Stealth and Concealment: 

Roan have keen senses, including excellent eyesight and hearing. It is essential to remain invisible and minimize noise while stalking these animals. Camouflage clothing, scent control, and slow, deliberate movements are crucial for a successful approach.

Practice and Accuracy: 

Bow hunting requires consistent practice to maintain accuracy and proficiency. Regularly shooting your bow at different distances and angles will help you become familiar with your equipment and increase your chances of a successful shot.

Expert Tips for Successful Roan Antelope Bow Hunting

Bow hunting these animals requires a unique approach due to their cautious nature. Here are some valuable tips:
They are known to come to water sources during mid-mornings around 9 am to 11 am and again in the late afternoon around 3 pm onwards till dusk, typically around 5:30 pm during the winter months. Be patient and vigilant when waiting for them.
They often approach water sources cautiously, taking only a few steps at a time. Due to their high value, they are not among the top 10 most popular animals to bow hunt in South Africa.

Choosing the Best Time for Your Roan Hunting Safari

Roan hunts can be conducted year-round, but it’s essential to consider weather conditions. December, January, and February can be hot and wet, potentially causing discomfort during the hunt. However, lodges typically offer air conditioning and swimming pools to help you cool off. For the best hunting experience, we recommend scheduling your trophy Roan hunt between April and October/November.

Hunting Guides and Outfitters: 

Booking with experienced outfitters and guides can greatly enhance your African Safari experience. They possess extensive knowledge of the local terrain, animal behavior, and can provide invaluable assistance in locating and pursuing Roan.


As responsible hunters, it is crucial to prioritize conservation and sustainable practices. Here are some key considerations:

Observe Legal Requirements: Familiarize yourself with the hunting regulations and permits required in the specific area you plan to hunt. Adhering to these guidelines ensures the preservation of wildlife populations and contributes to sustainable hunting practices.


Bow hunting Roan offers an unparalleled African hunting Safari for enthusiasts seeking a thrilling and challenging trip and unique trophy. The beauty of this unique species, combined with the diverse landscapes of Africa, creates an unforgettable hunting experience. Remember to prioritize conservation and ethical practices to ensure the preservation of this remarkable species and its habitat. So, gear up, hone your hunting skills, and embark on an extraordinary outing to hunt this magnificent animal.

Adrian Anderson has been a Licensed Professional Hunter and Hunting Outfitter for 32 years

Adrian Anderson first obtained his Professional Hunters license in 1991. He is a Big Five and Dangerous Game licensed Professional Hunter and Hunting Outfitter. He has a tremendous love for wildlife and the African bush and enjoys sharing his knowledge with the hunting clients that he guides. Guiding hunters in Africa’s wild places is a passion and seeing them succeed with their goals brings satisfaction. With knowledge of the Safari industry built up over 32 years he is well qualified to give guidance to his hunting clients.