Hunting Glossary

The number of species that are allowed to be hunted in South Africa is unparalleled, and the Bushmen Safaris hunting properties feature many of these species. In our safari hunting glossary, you can learn more about the animals that will be a welcome addition to your trophy room. In our glossary we have also included some words and traditional cuisine you may encounter on your safari to South Africa. 

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  
N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Ayoba – Something cool.

Baboon – There are five different species of baboons, and all of them live in Africa or Arabia. Baboons are some of the world's largest monkeys, and males of different species average from 33 to 82 pounds. Baboon bodies are 20 to 40 inches long, not including substantial tails of varying lengths. Baboons generally prefer savanna and other semi-arid habitats, though a few live in tropical forests. Baboons do not have prehensile (gripping) tails, but they can and do climb trees to sleep, eat, or look out for trouble. They spend much of their time on the ground.

Big Five – The phrase Big Five was coined by big-game hunters and refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot. The term is still used in most tourist and wildlife guides that discuss African wildlife safaris. The collection consists of the Lion, the African Elephant, the Cape Buffalo, the Leopard and the Rhinoceros, either the black rhinoceros or the white rhinoceros. The members of the big five were chosen for the difficulty in hunting them and not their size.

Black Backed Jackal
– The Black Backed Jackal is endemic to Africa, found in two separate subpopulations: one in East Africa; and one in southern Africa. The species is generally widespread, and are well-suited for an opportunistic lifestyle in a wide variety of habitats. The species is persecuted for its role as livestock killers and as rabies vectors.

– A national delicacy that is similar to American jerky, but totally different. It is made from spiced slices of meat that are hung up – out of the sun – to dry in the wind. The most common variety is beef, but game biltong is also available. Connoisseurs claim that ostrich and kudu biltong are the best.

Black Wildebeest – The Black Wildebeest is one of two wildebeest species. The natural populations of this species, endemic to the southern part of Africa, have been almost completely exterminated, but the species has been reintroduced widely, both in private areas and nature reserves throughout most of Lesotho, Swaziland, South Africa, Namibia and Kenya.

Blesbok (Common) – The Blesbok is a purplish antelope with a distinctive white face and forehead. Its white face is the origin of its name, because bles is the Afrikaans word for blaze. Although they are close relatives of the Bontebok and they can interbreed creating an animal known as the Bontebles, they do not share habitat. The Blesbok is indigenous to South Africa and are found in large numbers in all national parks with open grasslands.

Blue Wildebeest
– The Blue Wildebeest is a large antelope and one of two species of wildebeest. They range the open plains, bushveld and dry woodlands of Southern and East Africa, realizing a life span in excess of twenty years. This herbivore is a grazing animal that is often sighted in open grasslands or clearings in a savanna. The male is highly territorial using scent markings and other devices to protect his domain. The largest population is in the Serengeti, numbering over one million animals.

Bobotie – A traditional Cape Malay dish consisting of a fruity mince curry which is topped with egg custard and lemon or bay leaves, and baked.

Boerewors – A fatty, spicy beef sausage – there are loads of secret recipes all containing quite exotic spices such as coriander, cumin and others.

Boet, bru, china or ou
– Brother or man (equivalent to dude or bro).

Boggems – Are small, whole mullet (called harder in South Africa) that are salted and dried. They're a bit tough to just chew on but they can be reconstituted and cooked into something approaching a Portuguese bacalhau, which makes them far more palatable.

Braais – Are part of South African life and they are so much more than a barbecue. As well as boerewors, sosaties, pap en sous and roosterbrood, there may be any other kind of meat and fish. Crayfish braais are very popular.

– Meat roasted over an open wood or charcoal fire, is very popular and generally done at weekend social events.
Bredie – Is the Afrikaans term for a stew, usually mutton-based and served with rice. The most popular is tamatie bredie (tomato stew), and the most unusual is waterblommetjiebredie (see below).

Brown Hyena – This scruffy looking scavenger is distinguished from the other three hyena species by its long shaggy coat and pointed ears. The Brown Hyena has a dark brown or slate colored coat with a short brown tail, and striped brown and white legs. Cream-colored fur around the neck forms a distinct mane in adults, which, along with the hair on its back, stands erect in aggressive or defensive situations. Sometimes, the mane may not be present, as due to fighting it has been replaced by scar tissue. Like all hyenas, the Brown Hyena possesses incredibly strong teeth and jaws, enabling it to crush bones and release the nutritious marrow within.

– The Bushbuck has geometrically shaped white patches or spots on the most mobile parts of the body – the ears, chin, tail, legs and neck. Males make the markings more visible during highly ritualized displays during which they arch their backs and walk in a tense, high-stepping gait. The hierarchy among males is age-based; as they get older and the chestnut color changes to dark brown, the white markings are more conspicuous. Only male Bushbucks have horns, which are between 10 and 20 inches long and grow straight back. At 10 months, young males sprout horns that are strongly twisted and at maturity form the first loop of a spiral.

Bunny chows – Half a loaf of bread with the inside replaced by lamb or beef curry.

Bush Pig – The Bush Pig is a strong, stocky pig with powerful forequarters. Its upper tusks are barely visible, but the lower tusks are razor sharp and grow to 7cm in length. It is very dangerous when surprised in the bush or wounded during hunting, and can inflict serious wounds with the sharp, protruding canines. An adult boar can measure 24 to 33 inches at the shoulder and 320 to 400 lb in weight.

Top of Page

Cape Buffalo – The African buffalo, affalo or cape buffalo is a large African bovid. It is not closely related to the slightly larger wild Asian water buffalo, but its ancestry remains unclear. Owing to its unpredictable nature which makes it highly dangerous to humans, it has not been domesticated, unlike its Asian counterpart, the domestic Asian water buffalo.

Caracal – The Caracal is a fiercely territorial medium-sized cat ranging over Western Asia and Africa. With their sleek, streamlined bodies, reddish gold coats, and the dramatic markings on the face, Caracals are among the most beautiful of cats. Also called the desert lynx, medium-sized caracals have no spots or stripes and have longer legs than a true lynx and a slimmer body. They are the heaviest and also the fastest of the small cats. Like the rest of the small cats, they may purr when content and make a variety of other mews, growls, and hisses to express their mood.

– Used for saying good-bye, as well as saying thank you and for the occasional toast.

Civet Cat
– The Civet Cat is the largest representative of the family Viverridae which comprises themselves, suricates, mongoose and genets weighing about 22 – 26 pounds. They secrete an oily, tar – like and odiferous substance from perianal glands when excited. They vocalize with a loud pitched cough or a low growl. The limbs are short and black. The Civet Cat is secretive and nocturnal by habit, lying up in dense grass, holes or bush thickets, during daylight hours. Civets are mainly carnivorous, preying on snakes and small mammals but also readily feed on invertebrates, fruits, berries and other vegetable matter.

Common Reedbuck
– The Common Reedbuck is a medium-sized antelope generally found near water and especially on the floodplains.  They are distinguished by a long neck and body, sturdy legs, and powerful hindquarters.  Only the rams carry horns, which are generally short, heavily ridged, and curved forward.  Reedbuck males are territorial, living with a single female, which they follow at all times to prevent it having contact with rival males. Females and young males are usually solitary, except in the dry season, when they sometimes form herds of up to twenty individuals out of necessity. Color varies from yellowish to grey-brown.  The throat and chest tend toward a grayish white and the belly will be almost pure white.

Top of Page

Eish – As in, "eish, it's hot today", "eish, that's expensive" or "eish, that's too far to drive".

Eland –The Eland is the world's largest and slowest antelope. However, it has the endurance to maintain a trot indefinitely and can jump an 8 foot fence from a standstill. Both males and females have horns that spiral tightly, though female horns tend to be longer and thinner. A tuft of black hair grows out of the male eland's prominent dewlap, the loose fold of skin that hangs down from the neck. Adult males also have a mat of hair on the forehead that grows longer and denser as the animal ages. Usually fawn or tawny-colored, elands turn gray or bluish-gray as they get older; the oldest animals become almost black. The Eland is the animal most often depicted in the early rock art of East Africa. Even today, it still holds an important place in the mythology of some southern African tribes.

Top of Page

Gatsby – Is a form of street food found mainly in Cape Town. Cheap and filling it consists of a whole loaf of bread cut lengthwise and filled with chips (French fries), salad and either meat, curry or fish.

 Gemsbok – The Gemsbok is a large African antelope that are light brownish-grey to tan in color, with lighter patches to the bottom rear of the rump. Their tails are long and black in color. A dark brown stripe extends from the chin down the bottom edge of the neck through the join of the shoulder and leg along the lower flank of each side to the brown section of the rear leg. They have muscular necks and shoulders and their legs have white 'socks' with a black patch on the front of both the front legs and both genders have long straight horns. Gemsbok live in herds of about 10-40 animals, which consist of a dominant male, a few non-dominant males, and females. Gemsboks are about 4 ft 7 in at the shoulder, and males can weigh between 510–550 lb while females weigh 440–460 lb. They can reach running speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.

Genet Cat
– The small-spotted Genet, found in more arid regions, is recognized by a prominent dorsal crest running from shoulder to tail. Its spots are round and elongated. Although catlike in appearance and habit, the genet is not a cat but a member of the family Viverridae, which also includes civets and mongooses. Similar to the civet, the Genet produces secretions conveying messages about sexual, social or territorial behavior. When angry, frightened or injured, the Genet can squirt a foul-smelling substance that deters enemies. Genets also have retractable claws adapted to climbing and catching prey.

Giraffe –The giraffe is an African even-toed ungulate mammal, the tallest of all land-living animal species. It is covered in large, irregular patches of yellow to black fur separated by white, off-white, or dark yellowish brown background. The average mass for an adult male giraffe is 2,600 lb, and it is approximately 14 ft to 17 ft tall, although the tallest male recorded stood almost 20 ft. The giraffe is related to deer and cattle, but is placed in a separate family, the Giraffidae, consisting of only the giraffe and its closest relative, the okapi. Its range extends from Chad in Central Africa to South Africa.

Grey Duiker – The Grey Duiker is a medium-sized duiker, still much smaller than most of the other antelope species.  A shy antelope with only the males having short horns, the Grey Duiker has a characteristic habit of taking off at high speed in a series of diving jumps when alarmed. The Grey Duiker’s legs are longer and better developed, while his back is less rounded than the forest duikers. 

Top of Page

Heita – Hello.

Howzit – How is it?

Honey Badger – The Honey Badger is a tenacious small carnivore that has a reputation for being, pound for pound, Africa's most fearless animal despite its small size. It is even listed as the "most fearless animal in the world" in the 2002 Guinness Book of Records. It regularly eats poisonous snakes, and also raids the nests of bees for honey.

Just now – sometime soon (from Afrikaans "net-nou").

Top of Page

Imifino –Is a wonderful dish of wild spinach-like greens fried up with onion, spices and perhaps a bit of chili, and usually served with pap or putu

Impala – An Impala is a medium-sized African antelope whose name comes from the Zulu language meaning "Gazelle". They are found in savannas and thick bushveld in Kenya, Tanzania, Swaziland, Mozambique, northern Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, southern Angola, northeastern South Africa and Uganda.  The Impala is reddish-brown with white hair inside the ears, over each eye and on the chin, upper throat, under parts and buttocks. A narrow black line runs along the middle of the lower back to the tail, and a vertical black stripe appears on the back of each thigh. Impalas have unique brush-like tufts of black hair that cover a scent gland located just above the heel on each hind leg.


Top of Page

Koppie – A small hill (can also mean a cup).

Kudu – The Kudu have stripes and spots on the body, and most have a chevron of white hair between the eyes. Males have long, spiral horns. The Kudu’s horns are spectacular and can grow as long as 72 inches, making 2 1/2 graceful twists. These beautifully shaped horns have long been prized in Africa for use as musical instruments, honey containers and symbolic ritual objects. Kudu may be active throughout the 24-hour day.  The large ears are extremely sensitive to noise, making these shy antelope difficult to approach.  Under normal circumstance, kudu will sneak away and hide from potential enemies.  When startled, however, they flee with large jumps with their tails rolled upwards and forwards.  Kudu often stop and look back after a running for a short distance - a frequently fatal habit.

Lekker – Nice, enjoyable.

Top of Page

Madiba – Nelson Mandela.

– For the culinary adventurer, fried Mopanie worms.

Moskonfyt – Is a delicious, sweet, tangy syrup made from must (which is the solid residue left over after pressing grapes for wine.)  A bit like a fruity version of maple syrup, it's really good on bread or pancakes and even, for those with a very sweet tooth, on ice cream. It is delicious stirred into plain yogurt.

– A wild spinach on its own or with potato.

Now now – Sooner than just now! (from Afrikaans "nou-nou", pronounced no-no).

Nyala – The Nyala is a spiral-horned dense-forest antelope that is uncomfortable in open spaces and is most often seen at water holes. Nyalas live alone or in small family groups of up to 10 individuals. The male stands up to 3.5 feet, the female is up to 3 feet tall. The male has loosely spiraled horns and a long fringe on throat and under parts; the female has no horns and no noticeable fringe. The male is dark brown, white on the face and neck, with vertical white stripes on the body. The female is reddish brown with clear striping.

Top of Page

Oom – (uncle) Respectful term for an older man.

Top of Page

Pap –  As a gritslike maize porridge. It can be made quite sloppy in which case it is eaten with a spoon as a breakfast cereal, or made really stiff in which case it is called stywepap and eaten with the hands with some kind of sauce or relish. Relish could be imifino (see above) or a rich meat stew. Pap en sous, in which the sauce (sous) will almost always be an onion and tomato based one, is a traditional accompaniment to a braai.

– Are designer vegetables developed and patented in South Africa. A cross between a sweet pepper and a chilli, they are slightly spicy, fruity and piquant, and are usually found pickled. Although they are patented, they are a hybrid and are not genetically modified. They're delicious in anything from salads and sandwiches to pizza and pasta.

Peri-peri, or piri-piri
– Hails from neighbouring Mozambique. It's a fiery concoction of mainly, chilies, garlic and tomato (and a few other secret ingredients). It's most commonly used as a basting for fish, chicken or prawns but can be used for anything. Some varieties are very hot, while others are nicely tasty.

Porcupine – The Porcupine is the prickliest of rodents, though its Latin name means "quill pig." There are about two dozen porcupine species, and all boast a coat of needle-like quills to give predators a sharp reminder that this animal is no easy meal. Some quills, like those of Africa's crested porcupine, are nearly a foot long. Porcupines have soft hair, but on their back, sides, and tail it is usually mixed with sharp quills. These quills typically lie flat until a porcupine is threatened, then leap to attention as a persuasive deterrent. Porcupines cannot shoot them at predators as once thought, but the quills do detach easily when touched.

Potjiekos – A meat and vegetable stew made in a cast iron pot over an open fire.  

Top of Page

Red Hartebeest – The Red Hartebeest is a large, reddish-fawn antelope with sloping back and long narrow face. Both sexes carry these very unique horns however the Bull’s are much heavier, especially at the bases.  The Red Hartebeest have an excellent sense of smell and hearing, but their sense of sight is poor. When alarmed, they tend to mill about in seeming confusion, snorting nervously before running off. Once in its stride, a hartebeest can achieve a speed of about 40 miles per hour, zigzagging left and right in its characteristic bouncing flight, which make it more difficult for predators to catch them. Like the blue wildebeest, it has an uncanny sense of direction and will find water and fresh grazing after rain has fallen a considerable distance away.

Robot – Traffic light.

Roosterbrood – Is bread made on the grill over an open fire. (Brood is the Afrikaans word for bread.) 

Top of Page

Sharp – (usually pronounced quickly) OK.

– Is a kedgeree-like dish made of flaked smoked snoek (see below) cooked up with tomato, onion and spices.

– Is a local game fish not unlike barracuda. It is delicious freshly braaied but it most often eaten smoked – possibly even more delicious.

Sosaties – Are very similar to kebabs – chunks of meat impaled on a skewer. Traditional ones will be marinated in a lightly curried fruity sauce and then cooked over the fire but there are dozens of variations.

Springbok (Common) – The Springbok or “jumping antelope” is a lithe and beautiful little animal that also serves as emblem for the South African rugby team. The Springbok is the southern African representative of the gazelle group of animals. It is only found in Southern Africa on the central plains, where it flourishes on the grassveld, despite the aridity. Male and female springboks have horns, are handsomely marked and are particularly distinguished by a dorsal fan.

Steenbok – Steenbok are petite antelope, with long legs and an upright stance. The coat is a light golden-brown color, although there is some variation among individuals with some being quite reddish and others grayer. Steenbok have few distinctive markings: the large eyes are ringed by a fine circle of white hairs, and there is a slender black triangle which starts at the nose and tapers upwards. The ears are extremely large. The horns, found only in males, are straight, sharp, and very upright.

Sure-sure – (more pronounced like sho-sho) Correct, agreement, thank you.

Top of Page

Tannie – (auntie) Respectful term for an older woman.

– Phone call.

Top of Page

Warthog – Warthogs are members of the same family as domestic pigs, but present a much different appearance. These sturdy hogs are not among the world's most aesthetically pleasing animals—their large, flat heads are covered with "warts," which are actually protective bumps. Warthogs also sport four sharp tusks. They are mostly bald, but they do have some sparse hair and a thicker mane on their backs. Though Warthogs appear ferocious, they are basically grazers. They eat grasses and plants, and also use their snouts to dig or "root" for roots or bulbs. When startled or threatened, warthogs can be surprisingly fast, running at speeds of up to 30 miles an hour.

– Mutton and indigenous water lily stew.

Waterbuck – Despite its name, the Waterbuck is not truly aquatic nor as much at home in water and swamps. It does, however, take refuge there to escape predators. The Waterbuck is a large, robust animal; males are generally about 25 percent larger than the females. Waterbucks have large, rounded ears and white patches above the eyes, around the nose and mouth and on the throat. Only the males have horns, which are prominently ringed and as long as 40 inches. The horns are widely spaced and curve gracefully back and up. They are sometimes used with lethal results when males fight one another over territories. The Waterbuck has a shaggy brown-gray coat that emits a smelly, oily secretion thought to be for waterproofing. Only male waterbucks have horns.

Yebo - Yes.

Zebra (Burchell's) – Zebras are equids, long-lived animals that move quickly for their large size and have teeth built for grinding and cropping grass. Zebras have horse-like bodies, but their manes are made of short, erect hair, their tails are tufted at the tip and their coats are striped. Three species of Zebra still occur in Africa, two of which are found in East Africa. The most numerous and widespread species in the east is Burchell's, also known as the common or plains zebra.  The Burchell's Zebra is built like a stocky pony. Its coat pattern can vary greatly in number and width of stripes. The stripes are a form of disruptive coloration which breaks up the outline of the body. At dawn or in the evening, when their predators are most active, zebras look indistinct and may confuse predators by distorting distance. Their shiny coats dissipate over 70% of incoming heat.


joomla 1.5 stats
South African Bow Hunting SafarisPremium South Africa Bowhunting PackagesBow Hunting VideoAfrican Photo Safari ToursSafari Hunting GlossaryBushmen Safaris - Bowhunting Experts in AfricaTrophy Hunting in South Africa