Hunting Zebra in Southern Africa

Contrary to popular belief, zebra aren't horses in pyjamas. In fact, the Burchell's zebra is more closely related to the donkey species than to the horse. Burchell's zebra is a large and heavy-boned creature, which is distinguished from other zebra species by its different pattern. Unlike other zebra, Burchell's zebra have grey or light brown shadow stripes within the broad white stripes on its rump, and it lacks the dewlap and grid-iron pattern. This particular species weigh approximately 900 pounds, and while female Burchell's can weigh slightly less, they are hard to tell apart from the males.

Burchell's zebra favor grassy savannas and open woodlands near abundant watering holes. The lion is their biggest enemy, and herds will gang up and fiercely defend their own against the attacker using violent kicks executed by their strong legs.

Herds are typically smaller than 12 zebra, and they are led by a  alpha mare in front, more 8-10 mares or young zebra in the middle, and a dominant herd stallion at the back. Sexually mature male zebra will join bachelor herds.


Every zebra has a unique pattern of black and white stripes and can weigh up to 385kg


Burchell's Zebra Fact Sheet

Scientific Name: Equus quagga burchelli
Gestation period: 360 days
Weight: 175 - 385kg
Height: 1.1 - 1.45m
Length: 2.17 - 2.46m


Burchell's Zebra Hunting Considerations

Due to the fact that it is hard to tell the sex of a Burchell's zebra, it is typically not specified on hunting permits. Knowing their habits will help you establish which zebra to target.

When in flight, one of the mares will lead the way. The dominant stallion will be at the back. He will stop to look back several times, thus presenting an easy target. When heading to the water, the lead stallion will most often be in the lead.

However, he will often be battle-scarred. If you're hoping for a smooth, beautiful skin, you should rather opt for one of the younger mares or stallions in the herd. Likewise, shooting the herd stallion or the lead mare, breeding will probably be affected for a few years.

Also avoid shooting herd stallions when they are in their prime, because new herd stallions tend to kill the foals in order to bring on heat in the mares. They do this in order to impregnate the mares with their genes. However, it can take years for the mares to accept a new herd stallion. It's only advisable to hunt the key mare and stallion when they are very old.

The best time of day to hunt zebra, is early morning or late afternoon at the watering holes. They have very good eyesight, so in most cases, you will have to hunt from 200 yards away.

Ideally, when hunting Burchell's zebra, opt for a 30 caliber or higher with heavy, expanding soft-points, although .270 is the minimum recommended. Opt for the biggest gun you can comfortably handle, because the Burchell's zebra is surprisingly tough. Many hunters have been successful with a .375 H&H.

Shot Placement

A poorly placed shot will result in a long day on the African savannah, as well as the possibility of losing your trophy to a lion, or worse, maggots.

As with most other trophies, the best way to secure your Burchell's zebra is to sight up the center of the front leg, placing your shot just over one-third up the upper torso on a broadside presentation. You can also opt for a spinal / shoulder shot by aiming further forward and higher up through the center of the shoulder blade.

On a full frontal presentation, place the shot in the center of the chest at the base of the animal's neck.

Hunting Burchell's Zebra Shot Placement

Burchell's Zebra Shot Placement


Hunting Zebra in Southern Africa

Burchell's Zebra Shot Placement


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