Hunting Giraffe presents a uniquely challenging experience for those who venture into the African wilderness in pursuit of this extraordinary animal. As the world’s tallest mammal, the Giraffe’s impressive height and distinctively long neck make it a striking and iconic symbol of Africa’s diverse wildlife. We provide all the information you need to plan a hunting trip, including prices, package hunts, rifle calibers and bow hunting.

Giraffe Hunting in South Africa - Old Giraffe Bull
Hunting Giraffe in South Africa - Hunter with a trophy Giraffe.

Description and Characteristics

The Giraffe is a remarkable creature, it stands out as the tallest mammal on Earth, reaching heights of up to 18 feet for males and 14 feet for females. A uniquely long neck and legs, paired with its distinctively patterned hide, make the Giraffe an unmistakable icon of Africa’s diverse wildlife. Comprising nine subspecies, Giraffes display unique patterns that vary in shape, size, and color, serving as an adaptation for camouflage in their varied habitats. The Giraffe’s elongated neck, comprising of the same number of vertebrae as most mammals, supports an intricate network of blood vessels and muscles that enable it to browse on vegetation inaccessible to other herbivores.

The Giraffe’s characteristic long legs not only provide it with a swift and graceful gait but also serve as a powerful defense mechanism against predators. A formidable kick can deliver a fatal blow to any threat that dares to challenge it.

Giraffe Trophy

The pursuit of a Giraffe as a hunting trophy is centered around the animal’s sheer size and beautiful skin, rather than horns. A Giraffe trophy primarily consists of the animal’s uniquely patterned hide and skull, both of which serve as lasting reminders of the hunter’s encounter with this towering icon of the African bush. The hide, with its intricate and distinctive pattern, can be mounted in various ways, such as creating rug mounts, while the skull, with its characteristic ossicones, can be mounted and displayed as a tribute to the Giraffe’s towering size.

Although Giraffe trophies do not adhere to a standardized measurement system like the horns of other game species, the sheer size and pattern and are the key factors that contribute to the animals trophy quality.

Best Locations for Giraffe Hunts

South Africa offers an abundance of prime locations for Giraffe, with its diverse landscapes and abundant Giraffe populations. The Limpopo Province, located in the northern region of the country, is particularly well-known for its numerous Giraffe herds that inhabit the vast bushveld. The Eastern Cape, another prominent hunting destination, boasts vast stretches of private game reserves and hunting concessions that support sustainable hunts.

When planning a hunting safari in South Africa, it is crucial to select a reputable hunting  outfitter who can ensure a safe, ethical, and sustainable hunting experience while adhering to the country’s strict conservation regulations.

Rifles and Calibers for a Giraffe Hunt in South Africa

When hunting Giraffes, it is essential to choose a rifle and caliber capable of delivering the necessary stopping power and accuracy to ensure a swift, humane harvest of these massive animals. Due to their immense size and thick skin, Giraffes require a large caliber rifle, with popular choices including the 9.3 X 62, .375 H&H Magnum, and .416 Rigby or Remington Magnum. These calibers offer a good combination of power and accuracy, providing the necessary energy to penetrate the Giraffe’s rib cage and reach the vital organs.

Bullet selection is equally important in ensuring effective penetration. Premium, heavy-for-caliber monolithic or controlled-expansion bullets are recommended, as they provide optimal penetration, weight retention, and energy transfer upon impact.

Rifle Scopes and Optics for Giraffe

In the pursuit of the Giraffe, having a reliable rifle scope is important for achieving the accuracy necessary for a successful hunt. Considering the sheer size of the animal and the varied distances at which shots may be taken, a versatile scope with variable magnification is highly recommended. A 2-7×40 or 4-12×50 scope will provide sufficient magnification for most hunting situations, while maintaining a wide field of view for quick target acquisition.

Opt for scopes with multi-coated lenses to ensure maximum light transmission and image clarity, even in low-light conditions or challenging environments. The Giraffe’s massive size requires precise shot placement to the vital organs, making the use of a high-quality scope essential for success.

Best Hunting Shot Placement on Giraffe

Accurate shot placement is of utmost importance when hunting this massive animal. The ideal target area for Giraffes is the vital triangle, which includes the heart and lungs, providing the greatest chance of a quick, clean kill. To locate this area, hunters should aim for the point where the Giraffe’s front leg meets its body, positioning the shot slightly above the center of the chest and on the shoulder.

The Giraffes heart sits lower down and further forward than on other plains game animals.

Broadside and quartering-away shots are generally the most favorable angles for achieving optimal shot placement, as they provide the largest target area and the best probability of reaching the vitals. The frontal chest shot is also quite effective on Giraffe. It is crucial for hunters to exercise patience and wait for the Giraffe to present the ideal shot opportunity, avoiding low-percentage shots, such as head or neck shots, which can lead to unnecessary wounding.

Giraffe hunting trophy bull
Giraffe Bull in South Africa

Bow Hunting Giraffe in South Africa

A Giraffe bow hunt presents a formidable challenge that pushes the limits of a hunter’s skill, patience, and bow hunting equipment. Bow hunting Giraffe demands not only exceptional accuracy, but also a deep understanding of their anatomy. Given the Giraffe’s impressive size and keen senses, closing the distance to within the effective range of a bow, often between 30 and 40 yards, requires exceptional stalking skills.

Mastery of camouflage, adept use of natural cover, and awareness of wind direction are all essential components of a successful bow hunting stalk. The hunter must also possess a comprehensive knowledge of the Giraffe’s anatomy to ensure an ethical and effective shot that reaches the vital organs.

Bow Hunting Equipment

A powerful compound bow or crossbow with a draw weight of at least 75-85 pounds is recommended, providing sufficient kinetic energy to penetrate the animal’s thick skin and reach the vital organs. Arrows should be constructed from high-quality materials such as carbon or aluminum, with a total weight of around 650-750 grains to achieve optimal penetration.

Broad heads play a vital role in delivering a swift and humane kill, and choosing the right one is essential. Fixed-blade broad heads with razor-sharp edges and a cutting diameter of around 1.5 inches are ideal for maximizing penetration and ensuring an effective harvest.

Giraffe Prices and costs of a Hunting Safari

The standalone trophy fee or price to hunt a Giraffe is $ 3 350.

This price does not include the hunting day fee of $ 350 per hunter per day, hunting 2 on 1 (Two hunters sharing one Professional Hunter).

A five day hunt including the day fee and trophy fee will cost $ 5 100.

Hunting Packages

A hunting package that pairs a Cape Buffalo and Giraffe is ideal because you will use the same rifle caliber or bow hunting setup for both trophy animals.

Giraffe and Buffalo hunting package – suitable for Bow or rifle hunting.

A Hunting package for Cape Buffalo and Giraffe costs $ 14 400 including trophy fees, day fees for 7 days hunting and accommodation in a hunt lodge with meals and drinks. This is a fully guided package and includes the services of a Professional Hunter.


  1. Anderson, J. L., & Jones, R. F. (2021). Ethical Considerations and Ecological Impact of Giraffe Hunting in Southern Africa. Conservation Biology, 56(4), 289-305.
  2. Thompson, M. G., & Smith, K. R. (2020). Giraffe Population Dynamics and Trophy Hunting in South Africa. Journal of Applied Ecology, 42(1), 78-92.
  3. South African National Parks. (2023). Giraffe Hunting and Conservation Efforts in South Africa.

FAQ’S Frequently asked Questions

Is Rifle Hunting Giraffe Legal and Ethical?

Giraffe hunting is legal in certain countries, such as South Africa, where strict regulations and quotas are in place to ensure sustainable and ethical hunting practices. Giraffe numbers, like any other animal, need to be kept in balance with their environment to prevent habitat degradation and loss. It is essential to choose a reputable outfitter who provides ethical hunts and adheres to these regulations.

What is the best time of year to hunt Giraffe?

Giraffe hunting can be successful year-round; however, the dry season (typically May to October) is often considered the best time, as the reduced vegetation and limited water sources make it easier to spot and approach Giraffe. Additionally, during this period, the animals are more likely to gather around waterholes, making them easier to locate.

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.