The Art of Hunting Impalas: A Guide

Introduction to the Art of Hunting Impalas

Experience hunting safaris in South Africa and the thrill of pursuing the Impala, scientifically named Aepyceros melampus. In Afrikaans, the graceful antelope is called “rooibok” and is a treasured part of Southern Africa’s wildlife. Whether you’re a seasoned hunter or a first-timer, pursuing impalas offers an unforgettable experience. Let’s take a look at the essentials of impala hunting, including the species’ traits and the best ways to take them down.

Impala Characteristics

Weight and size:

  • Males: Weigh around 40 – 76 kg (88 – 167 lbs).
  • Females: Slightly smaller, averaging 40 – 53 kg (88 – 117 lbs).
  • Shoulder Height: Approximately 90 cm (35 inches) for males and 80 cm (31 inches) for females.

Habitat and Behaviour:

  • Impalas are sociable animals known for their tendency to roam freely in open woodlands, bushvelds, and mopane shrubbery.
  • They are both browsers and grazers, relying on vegetation for sustenance.
  • Water is essential; impalas must drink daily and never venture far from water sources.

Keen Senses:

  • The impala depends on its sharp senses, including good hearing, a strong sense of smell, and excellent vision.
  • Approach with caution; they can detect danger from a distance.

When to Go Impala Hunting

  • Autumn Rut: The prime time for impala hunting is during the autumn rut (April/May). During this time, the herds are filled with impressive males competing for breeding rights. Impalas become more active, making them ideal targets.
  • When It’s Less Hot Outside: Hunt early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when impalas are most active. Consider setting up an ambush close to places where animals are known to graze.

Hunting Tips

Stalking Strategies:

  • Make cautious and calculated stalks to get close to your quarry.
  • Be aware of their keen senses; any sudden movement can alert the herd.

Shot Placement:

  • For a clean kill, aim for the high heart/lung area.
  • The neck shot can be effective but requires precision.
  • Brain shots should only be attempted by experienced hunters.

Firearm Choice:

  • While .22 centerfire rifles are legal, larger calibres (6mm, 7mm, up to 30 calibres) are recommended.
  • Quality, heavy-for-calibre round-nose bullets perform well in bushveld conditions.

Black-Faced Impala


  • The black-faced Impala has a distinctive black blaze on its nose and face.
  • You can find impalas throughout Southern Africa, but their preferred habitat is woodland savannas, particularly in the northern and eastern parts of South Africa.

Cost and Conclusion

Cost of Impala Hunting:

  • Impala trophy fee: $600.00
  • Daily fee: $350.00
  • Packages may include additional species like blesbuck and warthog.

First Hunt for New African Hunters:

  • Impala hunting provides meat for the table and a memorable experience.
  • It’s a great way to start any safari adventure.
  • In the heart of South Africa’s wilderness, tracking impalas becomes an art—a dance between predator and prey. So, gear up, embrace the thrill, and let the African savanna weave its magic as you pursue the elusive rooibok.
Impala Hunting - Tootabi Hunting Safaris


1. Weight:

  • Males: Typically weigh around 40-60 kg (approximately 88-132 lbs).
  • Females: Slightly smaller, with an average weight of 30-50 kg (about 66-110 lbs).

2. Height:

  • Impalas stand at a height of about 75-95 cm (30-37 inches) at the shoulder.

3. Horns:

  • Males: Possess striking, lyre-shaped horns, particularly those of mature bulls. These horns are a sought-after trophy.
  • Females: Lack horns entirely.

4. Temperament:

  • Impalas are generally docile when in herds.
    However, they can become nervous and quick to flee when threatened.

5. Habitat:

  • Impalas are found in herds throughout southern and eastern Africa, especially in savannah and bushveld areas.

6. Hunting Difficulty:

  • Impala hunting is considered challenging due to their alertness and agility.
  • These elegant antelopes provide an exciting challenge for hunters, and encountering them in their natural habitat is an unforgettable experience.