In the vast bushveld of Africa, where the circle of life plays out, one animal is the true king of the bush, the magnificent African Lion. As a member of the dangerous game and Big Five animals, the Lion embodies strength, grace, and abundant courage. With its majestic mane and awe inspiring presence, it stands as the king of beasts in the animal kingdom. A lion hunting safari is not to be taken lightly, but a thrilling pursuit that tests the limits of human resolve, skill and courage. You will experience an adrenaline rush as the hunter faces the challenge of outwitting these magnificent predators in their natural wild habitat. The challenge of a hunt in South Africa for Lion is an incredible adventure that brings together the allure of Africa’s wild places, the indomitable spirit of the African Lion, and the ultimate test of human resolve.

Big male African Lion - Lion hunt in South Africa.
Big maned male Lion - Lion hunting

Lion Hunts Prices and Packages

DetailsDay FeesDurationPriceTotal
Full mane Male Lion hunting 1 X 1$ 3 8507 Day HuntFrom $ 7 900$ 11 750
Full mane Male Lion hunting 2 X 1$ 3 1507 Day HuntFrom $ 7 900$ 11 050
Lion Prices are determined by the class and quality of the mane. $ 7 900 is the base price.

Hunting Methods for Lion in South Africa

Lion hunting methods used on a South African hunting safari encompass a varied range of strategies tailored to the area and conditions.

The Baiting Method

One widely employed technique is hunting over bait. Large baits such as Buffalo or Zebra are strategically positioned to attract lions at the height of a grown mans head. Hanging baits at this height prevents other predators such as Hyena, Jackal and Leopard from feeding on the carcass. Once a Lion starts to feed on the bait the signs such as tracks and long mane hairs are evaluated to determine if a big maned male is present. A ground blind or elevated platform known as a machan are then built and the hunters wait for the lion to return.

An alternative method is to carefully stalk the bait at sunrise or sunset, in the hope of finding the lion still feeding. This method demands stealth and precision as the hunter stalks the lion on the bait, carefully closing the distance while maintaining the utmost caution and stealth to avoid being seen or heard.

Track and Stalk Method

The Track and Stalk Method of lion hunting is method often employed on a hunt in the Kalahari desert of Botswana and areas where you have sandy terrain. It begins by finding fresh lion tracks, carefully examining the imprints left on the ground to gauge the direction and possible proximity of the lion. This process requires a good tracker and an intimate knowledge of their habits, enabling the hunter to anticipate their possible intentions and proceed accordingly.

As the tracks lead deeper into the thick bush, the hunter must walk at a decent pace in order to catch up with the lion. This requires physical endurance and mental focus, as the pursuit can cover vast distances through entangled brush. The tension builds as the hunters navigate through thick vegetation, fully aware of the inherent dangers that may lie in wait close by. Lions are powerful and stealthy animals, capable of hiding within dense vegetation, making it imperative for the hunter to remain cautious and alert throughout the tracking process.

African Lion Hunting – The Approach

Safety considerations are of the utmost importance during a lion hunt, and experienced hunters must make critical decisions based on the circumstances. If the conditions become too hazardous or the risks outweigh the potential rewards, the hunt may be aborted to prioritize the safety of all involved. If the situation remains manageable, the hunter continues the hunt with cautious determination.

Approaching a lion requires the utmost care. The hunter must move silently, minimizing any sudden movements that could alert the lion to their presence. Finding a suitable position for a clear shot is essential, ensuring a clean and effective kill. The adrenaline surges as the hunter prepares to take the shot, fully aware that shot placement is crucial for a successful outcome. The vital areas, such as the heart and lungs, are targeted to swiftly incapacitate the lion, minimizing suffering and ensuring a humane kill.

Make the first shot count, you do not want to wound these big cats, this creates an extremely dangerous situation. In the event of a dangerous situation, a quick reload and the involvement of a backup shooter will become essential. Lions are formidable adversaries, and the ability to react quickly and decisively is vital for the safety of everyone involved. The backup shooter (normally a competent P H) provides an additional layer of protection, ready to intervene if the situation becomes precarious. Should a lioness be present you can generally expect a charge from her straight after the shot goes off. Unlike a Leopard a wounded lion will normally growl before a charge.

The overwhelming excitement and the realization of a successful lion hunt are incomparable to any other big game hunting. The culmination of tracking, stalking, and executing the perfect shot fills the hunter with a sense of accomplishment and respect for these majestic cats. It is a moment that encapsulates the primal connection between mankind and the wilderness, reminding us of our place in the intricate tapestry of nature.

Lion hunting in South Africa - Hunters with Lion trophy
Lion trophy Hunting in South Africa - Hunter with lion trophy

Trophy Lion Hunts

Trophy evaluation is an integral part of lion hunting, requiring the Professional guide to assess the quality and maturity of the animal. The evaluation often takes into account factors such as skull size and the quality of the lion’s mane. A larger skull indicates an older and more mature lion, while the larger and darker the mane signifies a top trophy. This evaluation process contributes to the conservation efforts of ensuring the sustainability of lion populations by selectively targeting older males, thereby allowing younger males to assume dominant roles and ensuring the genetic diversity and health of lion prides.

Conservation efforts and the need to protect this iconic species have led to strict regulations governing lion hunting. Hunting permits are carefully managed and allocated to ensure sustainable practices and prevent overexploitation. This approach acknowledges the intrinsic value of lions as apex predators and the importance of maintaining their populations for the overall health and balance of the ecosystem. Responsible hunters recognize the significance of these restrictions and actively participate in conservation efforts while engaging in legal and controlled Lion hunting.

Shot Placement on Safari

Shot placement is a critical aspect of hunting, particularly when targeting powerful and formidable animals like lions. It refers to the precise location on the animal’s body where the bullet or arrow should be placed to ensure a swift and ethical kill. In the context of lion hunting, where you place your shot is of the utmost importance to minimize suffering and ensure the hunting party’s safety. The objective is to deliver a well placed shot that targets vital areas such as the heart and lungs. Aiming for these specific areas maximizes the chances of incapacitating the lion quickly, leading to a efficient humane kill. Knowledge of the animals anatomy, understanding their skeletal and muscular structure are crucial factors that contribute to the hunter’s decisions on shot placement. This level of precision and accuracy in shooting is not only a testament to the hunter’s skill but also a reflection of their ethical commitment to ensuring the principles of responsible hunting.

To achieve this, hunters are recommended to use calibers with sufficient stopping power, such as the .375 H&H Magnum or 416 Rigby or Remington magnum. The .375 is considered the minimum caliber for hunting Lion or any other dangerous game in most African countries. These cartridges provide the necessary kinetic energy to effectively incapacitate the lion, minimizing suffering and ensuring a clean kill. While lions can be effectively put down with a 30-06, 300 Winchester Magnum or similar cartridge this practice is not recommended on a dangerous game hunt.

African Lion hunt

Safety and Ethical Considerations When Hunting Lions

Safety and ethical considerations are of paramount importance in lion hunting, reflecting the responsible approach of hunters towards both their own well-being and the preservation of these magnificent cats. Working with Hunting Outfitters and well qualified Professional Hunters ensures a structured and informed approach to the hunt, with hunters adhering to their instructions and guidance. This collaboration emphasizes safety protocols, including the use of proper rifle cartridges, adherence to firearm safety, and understanding the behavior and warning signs that lions emit. Prioritizing safety measures during encounters with lions is crucial, as these apex predators command respect and demand caution. Maintaining a safe shooting distance, avoiding unnecessary risks, and being prepared for uncontrolled and unpredictable situations are fundamental aspects.

Ethical considerations encompass the conservation of lion populations and the promotion of sustainable hunting practices. This involves adhering to strict hunting regulations and licensing restrictions, selectively targeting older males to allow younger males to assume dominant roles and contribute to the genetic diversity and health of lion prides, contributing to the conservation of these iconic beasts.


Lion hunting encapsulates the challenges of engaging with one of Africa’s most iconic animals. The pursuit of a big male African Lion represents a dream fulfilled for many hunters, as they embark on a thrilling adventure that tests their skills and deepens their connection with the untamed wilderness. Working closely with Professional guides and respecting conservation efforts is an essential part of a dangerous game hunt. Lions play a vital role in the delicate balance of the ecosystem, and the appreciation of their significance further enriches the hunting experience. With an understanding of the primal nature of these creatures, the fulfillment of a lifelong dream, and the commitment to responsible hunting, the pursuit of lions becomes a testament to the harmonious coexistence of humans and wildlife in the vast African bushveld.

FAQ’S Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I hunt lions in South Africa?

Lion hunting in South Africa is primarily conducted on game reserves and private hunting concessions. These areas offer controlled hunting as a means of controlling lion populations in line with conservation policies. Some of the best lion hunting regions in South Africa include the Limpopo province and Mpumalanga province. In these areas, there are various hunting outfitters and professional guides who offer lion hunting opportunities. It is important to note that lion hunting in South Africa is regulated and requires proper permits and licenses. Working with a reputable hunting outfitter or booking through a registered safari operator is recommended to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations and a great African hunting Safari experience.

Is lion hunting Legal in South Africa?

Yes, lion hunting is legal in South Africa under specific regulations and with the necessary permits and licenses.

What is the best rifle and caliber for a lion hunt?

The best rifle and caliber for lion hunting would typically be a bolt-action or double rifle chambered in a caliber with sufficient stopping power. The .375 H&H Magnum is often considered the minimum caliber for lion hunting due to its ability to deliver the necessary energy for a clean kill. However, larger calibers such as .416 Rigby or Remington Magnum, .458 Winchester Magnum, or even .470 Nitro Express are also popular choices, offering increased stopping power and penetration. It is crucial to consult with experienced Professional Hunters and adhere to all regulations with regards the specific rifle and caliber requirements for lion hunting in the particular region.

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.