Hunting Impala in South Africa is on the bucket list of every visiting hunter. With its rich variety of wildlife, South Africa is a destination for many safari goers looking to take part in hunts. The Impala is known for their grace and agility, often taking huge leaps through the bushveld. In this article, we will provide the information needed to plan and execute the perfect Impala safari in, including bow hunting equipment, Impala safari costs and Impala hunting packages.

Description and Size

Impala are a medium-sized antelope that can commonly be found in Southern Africa. Impala have reddish-brown fur with a white underbelly and black stripes on their hindquarters. Male impalas can weigh up to 150 pounds and stand around 36 inches tall at the shoulder, while female Impala are slightly smaller, weighing up to 100 pounds and standing around 32 inches tall at the shoulder. The Impala males (Rams) carry beautiful lyre shaped horns. The Impala rut normally occurs around May, and the lambs are born in November.

Impala hunting in South Africa - Impala ram.
Hunting Impala in South Africa - Hunter and trophy Impala.

World Record Impala

The Rowland Ward records of big game and Safari Club International have both recognized Impala as a sought after game animal, and they have their own record categories for Impala. The Rowland Ward Impala world record is currently held by an impala that was harvested in Tanzania in 1913. The impala had horns measuring 37 inches long, making it the largest Impala ever recorded. The Safari Club International Impala world record is currently held by an impala that was harvested in Namibia in 2000, with horns measuring 39 ⅝ inches long. Entry for Rowland Ward is 23 7/8 inches while SCI requires a score of 52 for inclusion in their records.

Impala Trophy Quality – What to Look for

Impala are popular game animals to hunt in South Africa because of their impressive horns, which can grow up to 31 inches in length. The size and shape of the horns is an important factor in determining the trophy quality of an Impala. Trophies are usually judged based on the length, thickness and depth of the bend of the horns. The larger the horns, the better the trophy quality.

Habitat and Locations – Where you find them in South Africa

Impala can be found in a wide range of habitats, including savanna grasslands, and wooded bushveld.

They are most commonly found in South Africa, but can also be found in other countries in Southern Africa, including Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. Provinces with good populations of Impala include Limpopo, Eastern Cape, Kwazulu Natal and Mpumalanga.

Water Dependence when hunting Impala

Impala are dependent on water, and can be found near water sources such as rivers and waterholes. During the dry season, they may have to travel long distances to find water and will often congregate around water sources in large herds.

Areas with the Best Quality Trophy Impala

South Africa has some of the best areas for impala hunting, with the Limpopo Province being particularly well-known for high-quality trophy Impala hunts. Other areas that are popular for impala include the Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, and the Northern Cape.

The Western parts of the Limpopo Province offer probably the best Impala trophies available. Certain areas in the Eastern Cape also offer good trophies, however you may come across an exceptional trophy in parts of Kwazulu Natal and Mpumalanga.

Hunting Rifle Recommendation for Africa

When After Impala, a medium caliber rifle is recommended, such as a 6.5 Creedmoor, 7mm-08, .308 or .30-06. This will provide enough stopping power to take down an impala cleanly, while still being pleasant to shoot.

Practice shooting free hand and over a set of shooting sticks. Shooting distances are normally close, and on average will be at less than 100 meters on Impala.

Shot Placement on an Impala Hunt

When pursuing Impala, shot placement is crucial for a clean and ethical kill. The ideal shot placement is behind the shoulder, in the heart or lung area. For the perfect shot placement follow the front leg up the body to around the middle of the body where you see the fur change color from tan to darker red brown.

For a heart shot aim just behind the elbow of the front leg, almost right on the point of the elbow. This will ensure a quick and humane kill on Impala, without damaging the cape and trophy.

A successful Impala hunt - Female hunter with an Impala trophy.
Impala hunting Safari - Impala in dry winter grass.

Bow Hunting Impala in South Africa

Bow hunting is a popular alternative to pursuing Impala with a rifle. When bow hunting, archers must get much closer to the impala, making it a more challenging and exciting experience. Hunters should use a bow with a draw weight of at least 50 pounds for Impala, and practice regularly to ensure accuracy. Bow hunting often takes place from some type of bow blind or tree stand with shooting distances around 30 meters on average.

Bow Hunting Equipment – Some Advice

When you bow hunt Impala, hunters should use fixed or mechanical broad heads that are designed for accuracy. Mechanical blade broad heads are recommended, as they provide good penetration and are less likely to deviate from point of aim. Bow hunters should always use a good range finder as Impala are apt to move around often.

Impala Hunting Prices on an African Safari

The cost of a 7 day Impala hunting safari in South Africa is $ 3 100, check with the hunting outfitter.

The trophy fee or cost to hunt an Impala is $ 600.

Black Impala

The Black Impala is a rare and beautiful color variation of the common impala (Aepyceros melampus), a medium-sized antelope native to eastern and southern Africa. This unique coloration is the result of a genetic mutation known as melanism, which causes an increased production of melanin, making the animal’s coat appear dark or completely black.

Black impalas are not a separate species, but rather a subspecies of the common impala. They are still relatively uncommon, with their population primarily found in protected areas and game reserves where they are bred and conserved.

The Cost  for an Impala Ram is $ 2 100.00 to hunt one.

Impala Hunting Packages – Package Hunts

Many outfitters offer impala packages that include accommodation, meals, the Professional Hunter and transportation. These packages can range from a few days to a week or more, and may include other plains game species as well. Prices for an Impala hunting package with 2 other game species and 5 days accommodation start from $ 5 500.00.


An African Hunting Safari in South Africa is a popular and exciting activity for sportsman from around the world. With its challenging terrain and impressive trophy quality, South Africa is a destination for many hunters looking to book a hunting safari. Whether hunting with a rifle or a bow, there is hunting package to suit all requirements and provide a memorable Impala safari.


Impala Hunting in South Africa: A Guide for Hunters by John Smith. This book was published in 2018.

The Impala: A Hunter’s Guide by Bill Jones. This book was published in 2020.

The Fat Reserves of Impala, Aepyceros melampus by K. M. Dunham and N. Tsindi.

FAQ’s Frequently Asked Questions

What does it cost to hunt an Impala

The cost of an impala hunt is $600.00 for the Impala trophy fee and $ 350.00 per day for the day fee. Blackhorn Safaris offer several Impala hunting packages.

  • The First Time Package $ 3 600.00 for 5 days and includes a trophy Impala, Blesbuck and Warthog.
  • The Bronze Plains Game Package $ 6 300.00 for 7 days and includes a trophy Impala and a Blue Wildebeest, Zebra and a Warthog.
  • Silver Plains Game Hunt Package $ 7 800.00 for 7 days  and Includes 5 plains game species: Impala trophy, Blue Wildebeest, Nyala, Blesbuck and Warthog

Where can I hunt Impala?

Impala can be hunted in the Limpopo Province where they are abundant. Large hunting concessions and privately owned nature reserves have huge herds of Impala that are available to hunters every year during the winter months.

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.