Plains game generally includes the many antelope species, plus pigs and zebras. Including races and subspecies, there are well over 100 varieties of antelope, plus a half-dozen each of wild pigs and zebras. There are also a number of small predators. No single area offers even a small fraction of Africa’s total variety. However, unlike the rest of the world, most regions in Africa hold at least a dozen different varieties, and some hold more than 20.
- Size variance. African antelope range in size from the pygmy antelope, perhaps 10 to 30 pounds, on up to the eland, which might weigh a ton. Large antelope include wildebeest, up to 500 pounds, and kudu, perhaps 400 to 600 pounds. A zebra might weigh 800 pounds. On most plains game safaris available, animals will thus range from very small to fairly large.
- Versatility is the key. On any given day, African hunting is often focused. You may go out looking for an impala for the camp larder or specifically hunting for kudu in likely habitat. Reality is that, with such variety available, you really don’t know what you might run into on any given day. The kudu of your dreams could turn up at any time. But while looking for a kudu, you may see a 25-pound steenbok with irresistible horns. The rifle or rifles you select must cover all the bases, from small animals to large, and all the shots you might encounter, from very close in thick cover to longer shots in open areas.