Hunting Lichtenstein's Hartebeest in Africa

Hunting Lichtenstein's Hartebeest in Africa

The Lichtenstein’s hartebeest (Alcelaphus lichtensteinii) is a savanna dwelling antelope found in the miombo (low nutrient) woodlands of eastern and southern Africa.  It is native to Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and parts of Zimbabwe.  When you go hunting Lichtenstein’s hartebeest in Africa, you will have to plan your hunt in one of these countries.  This hartebeest stands about four feet at the shoulder and weighs around 480 pounds.  Their horns vary from 18 to 28 inches in length, and are used for predator defense and when contesting another male during breeding season.  Hartebeest in the wild have an 11 to 20 year lifespan.  It derives its name from Africa zoologist Martin Lichtenstein, born January 10, 1780.

Lichtenstein’s hartebeest live inthe  grasses of floodplains and savannas.  They are active during the day, and roam in herds of five to fifteen females, calves and a dominant male leader who stands guard from the tops of termite mounds.  They graze in the early morning and late afternoon, preferring to rest under shade during the heat of the day.  Both sexes have horns that when viewed from the side spell the letter “S”.  From the front, the horns make the letter ”O” with a section missing at the top.  Both sexes have a good sense of smell and great hearing, but have poor eyesight.

Hartebeests are social antelopes that are generally calm in nature, but can become quite agitated and aggressive when challenged.  When fleeing danger, the herd runs in single file and can reach speeds upwards of 45 miles per hour.  Males normally control their territory for less than seven years. When they fight other males, they drop to their knees and bang their heads together, interlocking horns.  They attempt to push their opponent’s head off to the side so they can stab its neck and shoulder, resulting in some vivid wounds.

Lichtenstein’s hartebeest mate anytime during the year, depending on the abundance of food and water, plus climate.  Both males and females reach sexual maturity between one to two years of age.  In large herds, females mate with numerous males.  Gestation requires around 240 days, after which time a single calf is born.  The female will hunt out a thicket to give birth.  Weaning occurs after four months.  The young male hartebeest will stay with its mother for up to two and one half years. 

Hunting Lichtenstein’s hartebeest in Africa can take place at high altitude.  Most hartebeest species are declining in number, but the Lichtenstein’s hartebeest population is considered stable and is listed as “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 

Hunting Lichtenstein’s hartebeest in Africa is very popular due to the high quality of their meat and their colorful hide.  The animal is fairly easy to see due to its high visibility coloration.  The average carcass weight of a male Lichtenstein’s hartebeest is 175 pounds of meat. 

When hunting Lichtenstein’s hartebeest in Africa,  the hunter must be patient.  It is a highly inquisitive antelope, and even after having been spooked, will stop and mill around with the herd while looking over the danger.  That’s when the shot must be made.  Hunting Lichtenstein’s hartebeest in Africa is best accomplished by glassing from high ground.  The hartebeest herd is most active near dawn and dusk, so that is when you should hunt.  A good pair of binoculars is a must, although the animal is relatively easy to spot when on open ground.

Rifles for hunting Lichtenstein’s hartebeest in Africa should be flat shooting.  The .30 caliber magnums excel at hunting Lichtenstein’s hartebeest in Africa.  Use 180 grain bullets and set the crosshairs midway up the body, just behind the front leg.