Elephant hunting Safari

“We are stewards of a life altering experience you will remember for years to come and at GSS, we take that responsibility seriously”

“Hunting the planet’s largest terrestrial animal has been by far one of the most exhilarating experiences you will ever have in your life(GSS).

The pure size of the animal, the terrain, the stalk, the danger, the adrenaline all contribute to the magnificent Elephant hunting lifetime memory which is a once in a lifetime experience. Not to mention the spectacular sunsets, bright blue skies and scenic landscapes.

Elephant hunting with Graham Sales Safaris, will ensure that you are going to share many stories and conversations at night around the campfire not only about the sheer size of the animals, the final approach, aiming and ultimately the shot which takes the gigantic “tusker” down but also the unequivocal level of respect one has to have for these magnificent animals.

Elephant hunting is one of the most spectacular experiences you will ever have. This magnificent animal is the world’s largest land mammal. Hunting Elephants require a lot of patience as it can be time-consuming because the Elephants travel far and fast and they hide out in the thick cover where they are hard to find.

Hunting elephant in the South African bush, mostly in the Mpumalanga province (which is home to the largest concentration of the Big Five – Elephant, Lion, Buffalo, Leopard and Rhinoceros) and Limpopo from March until November, starts early morning at day break and one returns to camp after sunset. In the Timbavati and Klaserie Private Nature Reserves, Elephant hunting is done mostly on sight (one will spot Elephant form the hunting vehicle and we will plan a stalk to get close to be able to determine tusk size). Their counterparts which live in the equatorial forests are more difficult to follow.

If you are looking for the best Elephant trophy hunting experience contact Professional Hunter Graham Sales, where your Safari is designed on an individual basis and tailored to your trophy requirements. Once your Safari is booked, we will get all the necessary permits, your Elephant hunting license and clear your firearms on arrival.

Elephant Hunting

“While tracking the trophy Elephant there are a number of factors which will determine the trophy quality of the Elephant.”

My trackers follow bull herds or single bulls on the Elephant hunt (if they move out of sight as one might only see the backs of the animals from a distance) and once a good track has been found the real work starts and continues until the trophy elephant is encountered. While tracking the trophy Elephant there are a number of factors which will indicate to the trophy quality.

The most obvious is the size of the track. Age, and therefore possible Elephant trophy size, could also be determined by the particles found in the dung. Over an Elephant’s lifespan, it receives six sets of molars and once these wear out the more noticeable is the digested leaves, branches, bark and roots in the dung, which in turn indicates to typically an older animal.

Impressive weight and beauty of the tusks are what we are looking for when hunting trophy Elephant.

The nerve which runs inside of the tusks makes estimating the weight of the tusks challenging. Generally, females are smaller than males which is also reflected in the tusk size. Their main purpose of their tusks is to dig for food and water as well as chiseling bark off trees and could weigh up to 200 pounds (biggest ever recorded) each. Some animals do not have tusks at all. We do offer tusk less Elephant cow hunts in Zimbabwe to take these animals out of the gene pool – these hunts are extremely exciting as one has to find a specific animal among sometimes hundreds of other elephant.

Countries have different regulations with regard to the importation of elephant products. CITES also governs the import and export of elephant trophies.

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Please contact Graham Sales for further information regarding these ever changing rules and regulations. Contrary to the opinion of some, the Elephant is not endangered at this stage in South Africa and in particular the Timbavati and the Klaserie one can export to the United States of America.

The habitat where they roam is mostly grassy plains, dense savannas with high rainfall and woodlands. To penetrate a bull herd or get into close quarters with a bull to determine trophy quality can be extremely exciting and can get the adrenaline pumping.

Botswana has two major hunting areas, the central region of Kalahari and the Okavango Delta. These hunting areas are managed by local, South African or Namibian Safari Outfitters. We have two areas in Botswana for trophy Elephant, Buffalo and some plains game species. Majority of the Safaris’ access to the hunting areas are with small planes from Maun.

Bulls in breeding herds are never hunted. Be exceptionally cautious when stalking these magnificent animals because Elephants have unusually sensitive smell and hearing, so wind direction is essential when tracking. Elephant hunting is an aggressive hunting experience.

These are enormously majestic animals and a show of dominance is often given through the flapping of their ears, a deafening trumpeting which can be heard up to eight kilometres away, the breaking of bush and pushing over of trees.

In hunting Elephant choose the largest caliber rifle. The .375 is the legal minimum caliber, however, there will be no room for error when it comes to shot placement, if this caliber is your choice.

Other options would be a forty or even a fifty caliber rifle with four-hundred to five-hundred grain solid bullets. Knowing the exact position of the brain and other vital organs from different approaches are essential in guaranteeing the perfect shot. Graham Sales will explain and discuss the different angles.

Most Elephants are taken at between twenty and thirty yards.

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Full frontal brain shots are very common and the angle varies greatly depending on the range, on the side – brain look for the crease at the ear.

Graham Sales Safaris primarily hunts in The Associated Private Nature Reserves which consists of Timbavati and Klaserie, and covers 420 000 acres of land without any fences. These nature reserves are a conglomerate of privately owned nature reserves.

The process of dismantling the fences between these private nature reserves and the Kruger National Park started in the early 1990s and therefore ensures an abundance of a variety of game, including Africa’s big five.

The Kruger National Park is one of the largest National Parks in Africa. The Timbavat Private Nature Reserve is one of the largest privately owned nature reserves in South Africa and covers some 120 000 acres. The Timbavati Private Game Reserve is a prime hunting area with mainly savanna type of vegetation which includes grass and trees. The altitudes ranges between one thousand to one thousand five hundred feet above sea level. The months November to March are the wet season. Safaris are scheduled between April through till end of October.

Trophy elephant hunting provide revenue and incentives for people to conserve and restore wild populations, maintain areas of land for conservation and most importantly protect wildlife from illegal practices. Poaching poses to be a  problem these days due to the high population of game in our areas.

Graham Sales has nearly twenty years’ experience in dangerous game hunting as well as plains game hunting. His experience and natural desire to ensure an ultimate trophy elephant hunting experience will without a doubt have all clients in awe and completely satisfied with not only the tusker taken as well as the overall hunting experience.

Please make provision for all accommodation and travel expenses before and after your Elephant Safari as these expenses are not covered by your daily rate during your contracted Safari. Upon your arrival in Botswana, you will be welcomed by our staff at the nearest port of entry (airport) to the hunting area and transported to the Safari camp/lodge by either air charter or ground transport. Our Camps are a comfortable grass thatched Safari lodge or Safari tented camp – the desired specie/s will determine the location of you Safari. Linen and basic toiletries are provided. All meals, soft drinks a daily laundry (except on travelling days) service are provided.

Packing, dipping and shipping of trophies: An import and export CITES permit for Appendix I and an export CITES permit for Appendix II animals are required for each shipment. Field preparation of trophies are done in camp and transported to a shipping agent designated by Graham Sales Safaris. Clients will be put in touch with the shipping agent to discuss their requirements and arrange for the payment of services.



Frequently Asked Questions


How is Elephant hunting regulated?

Elephant hunting is typically regulated by government agencies and conservation organizations, which set quotas, establish guidelines for hunting practices, and monitor the impacts of hunting on elephant populations. Some countries require permits or licenses for elephant hunting, and hunters may need to demonstrate their experience and proficiency with firearms.


What are the measurements for a trophy elephant?

The measurements used to determine the size and quality of a trophy elephant typically include the weight and length of the tusks. The tusks are measured along the outside curve, from the tip to the base, and the length of each tusk is added together to determine the total length. In general, a trophy elephant will have tusks that weigh at least 50-60 pounds each and have a total length of at least 100-120 inches. However, minimum requirements can vary depending on the specific hunting area and regulations, and some outfitters may have higher standards for what constitutes a trophy elephant. It’s important to note that the pursuit and killing of elephants solely for their tusks is illegal in many countries and widely considered to be unethical.


What is the best time of day for elephant hunting safari?

The best time of day for an elephant hunting safari can depend on a variety of factors, including the season, weather conditions, and the habits of the particular herd or individual elephants being hunted. In general, elephants are most active during the early morning and late afternoon, when temperatures are cooler, and may rest during the midday heat. This means that early morning and late afternoon hunts may be more likely to result in a successful encounter with an elephant. However, it’s important to note that hunting regulations and local customs may dictate when and how elephant hunting can take place, and that ethical considerations should always be taken into account when planning a hunt.


What time of year is the best for an Elephant hunting safari?

The best time of year for elephant hunting can vary depending on the hunting location and local climate patterns. In general, however, the dry season is often considered to be the best time for hunting elephants. During the dry season, which typically occurs in the winter months in the southern hemisphere and the summer months in the northern hemisphere, water sources can become scarce, causing elephants to congregate in larger numbers around remaining water sources. This can make them easier to track and locate for hunters.

Additionally, during the dry season, the vegetation is often less dense, making it easier to spot and track elephants through the bush. However, it’s important to note that hunting regulations and laws in different countries may dictate when elephant hunting is allowed and which seasons are open for hunting.


What rifles and ammunition are used for Elephant hunting?

The choice of rifle and ammunition for elephant hunting will depend on various factors such as the hunting location, the size and behavior of the animal, and the preference of the hunter. However, in general, elephant hunting typically requires powerful, large caliber rifles with heavy bullets that are designed to penetrate deep into the animal’s thick skin and muscle tissue. Common calibers used for elephant hunting include the .375 H&H Magnum, .416 Rigby, .458 Winchester Magnum, and .470 Nitro Express.

When it comes to ammunition, hunters should select premium quality bullets that are specifically designed for elephant hunting, such as the Swift A-Frame, Barnes TSX, or Nosler Partition. These bullets are known for their ability to penetrate deeply and deliver a lethal shot to the animal.

It’s important to note that hunting regulations and laws in different countries may dictate the types of firearms and ammunition that are allowed for elephant hunting. Additionally, ethical considerations should always be considered when planning a hunt, and hunters should strive to make a quick, clean, and humane kill.