Taxidermy - After your South African Trophy hunting Safari - hunter with trophy Kudu.

Embarking on a South African hunting safari is a thrilling adventure, and the conclusion of a successful hunt marks the beginning of a meticulous process. At Black Horn Safaris, our commitment to excellence extends beyond the chase itself, ensuring that your prized game is treated with the utmost care and respect. In this short guide, we take a look into the intricate world of taxidermy, exploring the various mounts that transform your hunting triumphs into timeless pieces of art after your hunt in South Africa

What Happens to Your Trophy After the Hunt in South Africa?

The journey begins with the field preparation, where our highly skilled skinning staff meticulously attends to your trophies. Tailored to your preferences, whether it’s a Zebra destined for a striking rug mount or a majestic Lion for a full mount, each trophy undergoes a careful skinning, drying and salting process, preserving its integrity for the mounting process. The connection between the hunter and his quarry is honored in this phase, setting the stage for the transformative artistry of taxidermy. 

Start of the Taxidermy Process – Skinning and Capping

Our skilled team of skinners ensures that each trophy is treated with precision, adhering to your specific mount requests recorded on a tag by the PH or outfitter. The importance of these initial stages is highlighted, setting the foundation for a lifelike and enduring taxidermy result. With the nuances of skinning and capping, we emphasize the meticulous care taken to preserve the intricate details that make each trophy unique and a lasting tribute to your hunt. 

Dip and Pack then Ship To Get Your Trophies Home

Once dried, your skins and horns that will not be mounted in South Africa are entrusted to our Dip Pack and Shipping company. With meticulous care, the procedure involves the packaging and shipping of your raw trophies and obtaining the necessary export permit from the department of agriculture. We emphasize the significance of a seamless transition from the hunting grounds to the skilled hands of the taxidermist. The delicate balance of ensuring the trophies arrive at their destination in pristine condition is undertaken, underscoring our commitment to the safe and secure transportation of your prized trophies. 

Different Mount Options – The South African Taxidermists Art

If you will be having your trophies mounted locally, choosing the right type of taxidermy is a decision, often influenced by the species hunted and the desired aesthetic you would like to display. The classic Rug Mount, ideal for zebra and the tanned skins left over from the animals that will become skull mounted, exudes timeless elegance, showcasing the intricate patterns of hides. A Head-on Rug Mount adds drama, better capturing the essence of the trophy. The European mount, with its minimalist approach, highlights the raw beauty of horns and skulls, offering a tasteful option. A Pedestal introduces an element of sophistication, elevating the trophy into a three-dimensional display. For a lifelike representation, the Shoulder Mount reigns supreme, immortalizing the animal’s essence. The grandeur of a Full or life-size presentation, suitable for cats and exceptional trophies, tells a complete visual story. Each choice is a deliberate expression, capturing not just the hunt but the individuality of the trophy, turning it into a captivating piece of art.

Rug Mount – Zebra and any Animal chosen for a European Type Presentation

Flat skin rug mounts offer a classic and versatile way to display trophies, particularly suitable for animals with distinctive hides or those destined for skull mounting. This elegant presentation involves showcasing the animal’s hide as a rug. Animals like zebra, with their striking black and white patterns, are particularly well-suited for this style. Rug mounts also provide an excellent option for displaying the skins of animals intended for European mounts. Choosing a rug not only preserves the beauty of the trophy but also offers a timeless and sophisticated representation that complements various interior styles.

Zebra Flat Skin Rug mount

Head-on Rug Mount

Head-on rug mounts provide a captivating and dynamic way to showcase trophies, capturing the intensity of the moment. This style involves positioning the animal’s head in a forward-facing manner, creating a bold and dramatic display. Particularly suitable for cats, predators, and animals without horns, this presentation highlights the unique features of species like Lion, Leopards, and other hornless creatures. The head-on presentation enhances the overall visual impact, making it a compelling choice for those who seek a distinctive and eye-catching representation of their hunting achievements. Whether it’s a majestic lion or a stealthy leopard, the head-on rug adds a touch of drama to the trophy display, making it a focal point that commands attention.

European or Skull and Horns Mount

From the meticulous cleaning and preparation of the head to the strategic positioning of horns, this style captures the essence of the hunt in a unique and elegant manner. The versatility of the European presentation is emphasized, making it a cherished option for hunters seeking a tasteful display that focuses on the natural form.

The European mount is a minimalist and aesthetically pleasing way to showcase the raw beauty of hunting trophies. In this presentation, the taxidermist meticulously cleans and prepares the skull, leaving the antlers or horns intact. This style provides a sleek old world display, emphasizing the intricate details of the head and horns. It is a popular choice for those who appreciate the essence of the hunt without the full body representation, offering a tasteful and understated option. The European mount is versatile and can be applied to various species, making it a favored choice among hunters who seek a clean and striking representation of their trophies. Whether it’s a Kudu, Sable, or Impala, the European mount captures the essence of the hunt in a minimalist and timeless manner. 

Blesbuck European mount

From the meticulous cleaning and preparation of the head to the strategic positioning of horns, this style captures the essence of the hunt in a unique and elegant manner. The versatility of the European presentation is emphasized, making it a cherished option for hunters seeking a tasteful display that focuses on the natural form.

Sable Antelope Pedestal mount

Pedestal Mount

The pedestal serves as a sophisticated and visually impactful way to showcase hunting trophies, emphasizing the magnificence of the animal on display. In this presentation, the trophy is on a raised pedestal, allowing for a three-dimensional view that enhances the overall aesthetic appeal. Whether it’s a regal Kudu or a formidable Wildebeest, the pedestal mount provides a captivating perspective, drawing attention to the intricate details of the animal. This display style not only elevates the animal figuratively but also adds a sense of grandeur to the overall presentation. The pedestal mount is an excellent choice for those who wish to highlight the stature and presence of their African hunting game, creating a focal point that commands admiration and respect.

Shoulder Mount

The shoulder mount stands as the classic choice for displaying South Africa’s trophies, embodying timeless elegance and lifelike representation. This style captures the essence of the hunted animal by showcasing the head, neck, and shoulders in a dynamic pose. It is particularly revered for its ability to preserve the lifelike expression and features of the animal, making it a favored option among hunters. Whether it’s a majestic Impala, a stately Nyala, or an imposing Cape Buffalo, the shoulder mount brings the preservation to life, telling a story of the hunt in a way that resonates with tradition and authenticity. Its enduring popularity stems from the meticulous attention to detail that taxidermists employ, ensuring that each shoulder mount becomes a captivating centerpiece, symbolizing the rich heritage of a South African hunting experiences. Considerations such as pose selection and direction are explored. 

Full Mount – Cats, Predators and exceptional Safari Trophies

The Full Mount exudes grandeur and serves as the ideal display for South Africa’s hunting game, particularly any of the big cats and other predators. This presentation style captures the full essence of the hunted animal by showcasing the entire body in a lifelike and dynamic pose. Whether it’s a sleek Leopard, a cunning jackal, or another remarkable trophy, the Full Mount transforms the hunting triumph into a captivating centerpiece. This style is favored for its ability to tell a complete visual story of the hunt, providing a comprehensive representation that includes not only the animal but also its naturalistic habitat. The full or life size presentation stands as a testament to the artistry of taxidermists and the remarkable experiences of your hunts, creating a lasting and immersive tribute to the diverse African animals encountered on these extraordinary hunting trips.

Leopard Full mount

Shipping After the Hunting Safari

Navigating the intricacies of shipping taxidermy work is a crucial aspect of the process, and this section provides a thorough examination of the considerations and precautions taken. Ensuring the safe and secure delivery of your prized animals to your chosen taxidermist, is a top priority.

Shipping processed African taxidermy from South Africa to the hunter’s home is a meticulous process that involves careful coordination and attention to detail. Once the trophies are expertly prepared and processed by the skilled team at the taxidermist, they undergo a secure packaging phase. Specialized packaging materials and crates are utilized to ensure everything is protected during freight transit of the shipment. The team works closely with trusted shipping partners to guarantee the safe and timely delivery to the chosen taxidermist of your choice or directly to the hunter’s home. The shipping process includes adherence to international regulations and documentation to facilitate a smooth customs clearance. Communication is key, and the team provides regular updates to the hunter, ensuring transparency and peace of mind throughout the journey of these prized keepsakes. Our commitment extends beyond the hunting grounds, ensuring that the trophies reach their final destination in impeccable condition, ready to be showcased as lasting mementos of the remarkable African hunting safari experience. 


The art of taxidermy transforms the memories of a hunt into a lasting testament to your skill and reverence for wildlife. With our dedicated team and meticulous processes, your animals are not just preserved; they are elevated to the status of art, immortalizing the thrill of the hunt. We invite you to explore the diverse options available, each a canvas for preserving the memories of your hunting trip in South Africa. Whether you choose the classic elegance of a Rug, the striking presentation of a Head-on Rug, the minimalist beauty of a European or Skull, the sophistication of a Pedestal, the timeless charm of a Shoulder preservation, or the grandeur of a Full Mount, each choice is a celebration of your time spent hunting in Africa.

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.