Duiker Hunting

You will probably see a duiker of some description wherever you hunt in Africa. You need to be quick to get a shot as they don't hang around for long before streaking off into the thick bush.

Duikers are generally small antelopes that can be divided into 2 groups - those that inhabit African rainforests, of the Cephalophus type and those who inhabit savanna bush areas, the Sylvicapra duikers. The smallest duiker is the blue duiker and the largest is commonly said to be the yellow-backed duiker but some say the Jentink's duiker is actually bigger.

Duikers have low-slung bodies on slender legs, wedge-shaped heads topped by a crest of long hair and relatively large eyes.

Only the huntable duikers are considered here in detail, though there are many more...

Duiker Trophy Minimums

Cephalophus spadix (Abbott's Duiker)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
3" 43/8" 7 N/A 153/16" 1
Cephalophus dorsalis (Bay or Black-Backed Duiker)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
23/8" 47/8" 7 5" 173/16" 1
Cephalophus niger (Black Duiker)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
23/8" 67/8" 7 3" 166/16" 1
Cephalophus nigrifrons (Black-Fronted Duiker)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
21/2" 43/4" 7 N/A 142/16" 1
Philantomba monticola (Blue Duiker)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
11/4" 27/8" 7 4" 92/16" 1
Sylvicapra grimmia grimmia (Grey, Common, Southern Bush Duiker)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
41/2" 71/8" 7 11" 194/16" 1
Sylvicapra grimmia hindei (East African Bush Duiker)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
37/8" 61/8" 7 11" 1512/16" 1
Cephalophus natalensis harveyi (Harvey's Red Duiker)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
21/2" 5" 7 6" 152/16" 1
Cephalophus maxwelli (Maxwell's Duiker)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
11/8" 25/8" 7 3" 812/16" 1
Cephalophus ogilbyi (Ogilby's Duiker)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
33/8" 47/8" 7 5" 166/16" 1
Cephalophus callipygus (Peters' Duiker)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
3" 57/8" 7 6" 191/16" 1
Cephalophus rufilatus (Red-Flanked Duiker)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
21/2" 41/8" 7 7" 1310/16" 1
Cephalophus natalensis (Natal Red Duiker)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
21/2" 41/8" 7 8" 139/16" 1
Cephalophus leucogaster (Gabon, White-Bellied Duiker)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
23/4" 5" 7 N/A 1610/16" 1
Sylvicapra grimmia coronata (Western Bush Duiker)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
33/8" 61/4" 7 10" 152/16" 1
Cephalophus sylvicultor (Yellow-Backed Duiker)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
41/2" 83/8" 7 13" 222/16" 1
Cephalophus weynsi (Weyn's Duiker)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
N/A N/A N/A N/A 165/16" 1
Cephalophus zebra (Zebra, Banded Duiker)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
1" 31/8" 7 2" 126/16" 1
Cephalophus jentinki (Jentink's Duiker)
RW Minimum RW Record RW Measurement Method SCI Minimum SCI Record SCI Measurement Method
5" 83/8" 7 N/A 228/16" 1

Where To Hunt Duiker & Duiker Hunt Prices

Duikers are usually hunted as and when the opportunity arises while hunting something else. They are popularly hunted on southern African plains game hunts.

However, if you think you have the makings of a mad keen duiker hunter and want to hunt the widest variety of them on one trip, head to the rainforests of west and central Africa.

Hunting Duikers In Benin

  • The rainforest regions of Benin are home to quite a few duikers (Maxwell's, yellow-backed, bay and the latest 2011 discovery, Walter's duiker). The black duiker which was present in Benin, seems to have become locally extinct.
  • Now, the only huntable duikers in Benin are the red-flanked duiker and the western bush duiker, both of which prefer light savanna woodlands.
  • In Benin, most of the trophy fees are quoted in Euros. The red-flanked duiker has a trophy fee of around 600 Euros and the western bush duiker will be around 300 Euros.
Click images to enlarge
Red-Flanked Duiker Western Bush Duiker

Hunting Duikers In Burkina Faso

  • In Burkina Faso you can hunt the red-flanked duiker and the western bush duiker.
  • Some trophy lists don't specify the type of duiker, so check with the outfitter for which is available in the area if it is important to you.
  • Again in Burkina Faso the trophy fees are quoted in Euros. The red-flanked duiker trophy fee ranges from 70 Euros to 160 Euros. The western bush duiker will go from 70 Euros to about 120 Euros.

Hunting Duikers In Cameroon

  • The biggest number of huntable duikers are to be found on a forest hunt in Cameroon, however the hunting licence Group stipulations may mean you need to prioritise which duikers to try for. Some outfitters have juggled the Cameroon forest and savanna hunting licence Groups according to their area quota, so you might find a few different animals in different Groups. Also if you are hunting on a 'Big Hunting Licence', some outfitters will offer the chance to buy an extra smaller licence so you can hunt all the Group C animals, which happens to include most of the duikers except Peters', which is in Group B.
  • So in the Cameroon rainforest, you can currently hunt the bay or black-backed duiker, Peters' duiker, Gabon or white-bellied duiker, Ogilby's duiker, black-fronted duiker and blue duiker. The yellow-backed duiker is currently not huntable in Cameroon though you still might find it on trophy lists.
  • On a savanna hunt in Cameroon you can hunt the red-flanked duiker and western bush duiker.
  • Duiker trophy fees vary a bit in Cameroon. Both the red-flanked and western bush duikers are about 250 Euros to 300 Euros. In the forest the blue duiker goes from 250 Euros to 300 Euros. The Peters' duiker trophy fee is about 500 Euros. The Gabon or white-bellied duiker goes from 250 Euros to 600 Euros. The black-fronted duiker also goes from 250 Euros to 600 Euros. The bay duiker will be about 350 Euros to 600 Euros. The Ogilby's duiker will be about 350 Euros.
Click images to enlarge
Bay Duiker Peter's Duiker White-Bellied Duiker Ogilby's Duiker
Blue Duiker

Hunting Duikers In Central African Republic (CAR)

  • CAR has a wide variety of duikers that may be hunted, usually while hunting the stars of the show - Lord Derby eland on savanna hunts or the bongo on forest hunts. Having said that, the yellow-backed duiker is a very popular priority animal for many hunters.
  • So in CAR you may hunt the yellow-backed duiker, blue duiker, bay duiker and Weyn's duiker in the forests.
  • On a savanna hunt in CAR you can hunt the red-flanked duiker and western bush duiker.
  • CAR duiker trophy fees are mostly quoted in Euros. In the forest, the yellow-backed duiker trophy fee ranges from 1000 Euros to 3500 Euros. The blue duiker will be about 300Euros to 350 Euros. The bay duiker goes for 500 Euros to 900 Euros. Weyn's duiker is from 500 Euros to 1200 Euros. On a CAR savanna hunt red-flanked duiker trophy fee ranges from 200 Euros to 600 Euros and the western bush duiker from 200 Euros to 500 Euros.

Click images to enlarge
Yellow-Backed Duiker (photo courtesy of JB de Runz) Weyn's Duiker (photo D R Mills) Zebra Duiker Black Duiker Jentink's Duiker

For the truly hard-core duiker hunters, there are a few hunts being offered in the forests of Congo and Liberia.

  • In the Republic of Congo you can hunt the yellow-backed duiker, black-fronted duiker, Peters' duiker, blue duiker and bay duiker.
  • In the forests of Liberia, there are specific duiker hunts on offer where you may hunt the zebra duiker, yellow-backed duiker, black duiker, bay duiker, Ogilby's duiker, Maxwell's duiker and the highly protected CITES I Jentink duiker which may not be imported into the US, being classified as Endangered by USF&W.

Hunting Duikers in Tanzania

  • The duikers present in Tanzania are the Harvey's red duiker, Natal red duiker, East African bush duiker, Abbott's duiker (only occurs in the forests of Tanzania) and the blue duiker. However you may only hunt the 'red' duiker and the East African bush duiker which is often called the 'common' or 'grey' duiker on trophy lists.
  • There is a bit of a conundrum about the 'red' duiker in Tanzania. Despite it's name, the Natal red duiker is native to Tanzania and there is some debate as to whether the Natal red duiker and Harvey's duiker are sub-species or full species. Harvey's duiker has more black on the legs and face and its body colour is a darker red but where the ranges overlap they do hybridise. So as a hunter, your Tanzanian red duiker really could be either species. As far as range within Tanzania, the Harvey's is thinly dispersed in Masailand, Mikumi and outside the Selous reserve. The Natal red duiker is most thickly dispersed in Masailand, (even though they are supposed to only range as far north as south-eastern Tanzania) which is where it is mostly offered for hunting as a 'red' duiker.
  • The 'red' duiker of Tanzania, no matter what it's exact species, and the East African bush duiker are both available to hunt on a 16 and 21 day licence. A few outfitters mistakenly list the East African bush duiker on the 10 day licence.
  • The Government trophy fee for the red duiker is US$280 but with added community development/anti-poaching charges, the real trophy fee can range from US$250 up to a hefty US$900. The East African bush duiker or common duiker has a Government trophy fee of US$250 but the charged trophy fee can be between US$250 and US$700.
Click images to enlarge
Natal Red Duiker Harvey's Red Duiker East African Bush Duiker

Hunting Duikers in Uganda

  • The forests in the west of Uganda are home to quite a few duikers such as Peters', yellow-backed, blue, Harvey's red, black-fronted and white bellied but the only duiker usually available to hunt in Uganda is the East African bush duiker.
  • The trophy fee for the East African bush duiker ranges from US$450 to US$600. There is usually a 12 day hunt minimum for this animal.

Hunting Duikers in Zambia

  • Zambia is home to the Southern bush duiker, (frequently listed as a 'common' duiker), blue duiker, Natal red duiker and the yellow-backed duiker.
  • The Southern bush duiker occurs practically all over Zambia and the trophy fee ranges from US$250 to US$350. The blue duiker has a trophy fee of between US$750 and US$1200. The Natal red duiker has a trophy fee of around US$1250 and the yellow-backed duiker is about US$750.
Click image to enlarge
Southern Bush Duiker
The Most Familiar To Hunters Is The Southern Bush Duiker

Hunting Duikers in Zimbabwe

  • In Zimbabwe you can hunt the southern bush duiker, Natal red duiker and blue duiker. However you will be hard pressed to find an outfitter offering blue and red duikers in Zimbabwe.
  • There are plenty of package plains game combo hunts in Zimbabwe that include the southern bush duiker, or as it's usually listed, 'grey' or 'common' duiker. Read more about package hunts
  • The straight trophy fee for a southern bush duiker in Zimbabwe goes from US$200 to US$500.

Hunting Duikers in South Africa

  • In South Africa you can hunt the southern bush duiker, Natal red duiker and blue duiker.
  • The best place to hunt a Natal red duiker is, as the name suggests, in the north-east coastal area of KZN. You can find quite a few all-inclusive KZN plains game package hunts which include the red duiker and the nyala in the list of included animals. Red duikers can also be found in east Mpumalanga. The trophy fee for a Natal red duiker is in the range of US$800 to US$2000.
  • The southern bush duiker, or as it is usually called, the 'common' or 'grey' duiker, can be found practically all over South Africa and is featured in numerous plains game package hunts. The trophy fee for the southern bush duiker is between US$350 to US$450.
  • Blue duikers are not very numerous in South Africa. They can be found in the south coast areas of KZN, following the coast all the way round to the western cape. This tiny antelope commands a trophy fee in South Africa in the range of US$1350 to US$1650.

Hunting Duikers in Namibia

  • In Namibia the only duiker you can hunt is the southern bush duiker, frequently called the 'common' or 'grey' duiker, which can be found all over Namibia.
  • There are many plains game package hunts in Namibia that include the southern bush duiker. The trophy fee varies from US$275 to US$480.

Hunting Duikers in Mozambique

  • In Mozambique you can hunt thesouthern bush duiker, Natal red duiker and blue duiker.
  • The blue duiker can be found in the forests of central Mozambique and can be hunted on a 7 day minimum hunt. As usual with all Mozambique hunts you need to tell the outfitter that you want to hunt this animal and pay the non-refundable licence fee before the hunt starts. Including the licence fee, the blue duiker trophy fee will be between US$1350 and US$1500.
  • The Natal red duiker, listed only as a red duiker on most Mozambique trophy lists, is mostly found south of the Zambezi river and along the eastern coast. The trophy fee, including the licence fee, can range between US$700 to US$1500.
  • The southern bush duiker may be found all over Mozambique and has a trophy fee, including licence fee, of between US$500 and US$750.

Duiker Hunting Methods

  • All duikers are a challenge to hunt as they can move like greased lightning if they spot a potential threat, so you must be ready for a fast, accurate shot. The red duikers show particularly impressive speed - literally a streak of red across a forest opening as it dives for cover in the thick undergrowth.
  • The bush duikers are probably the easiest to hunt by walking and stalking their likely habitat areas, especially at dawn and dusk when they are most active. They are active during the day but if there is frequent human disturbance they will become more nocturnal in their habits.
  • Both forest and bush duikers will usually respond well to calling. So patiently waiting and calling will often bring them in towards you at a run.
Calling A Yellow-Backed Duiker In The Congo

A Good Duiker Trophy

  • Look for the horns themselves! They can be rather difficult to see in the smaller duikers because some have crests of hair which may cover the tiny horns. An additional factor is some female duikers may grow rudimentary horns. Female Natal red and blue duikers always have horns.
  • So do your best to look for thick bases and good horn length - if the horns extend beyond the tips of the ears you have a very good trophy.

Duiker Hunting Shot Placement

Male Duiker Vital Statistics

Savanna Duiker Vital Statistics
  Western Bush Duiker East African Bush Duiker Southern Bush Duiker Red-Flanked Duiker
Shoulder Height 17-18"
43-46cm
17"
44cm
23-25"
58-64cm
18-19"
45-48cm
Weight25-30lb
11-14kg
26lb
12kg
33-46lb
15-21kg
25-30lb
11-14kg
Forest Duiker Vital Statistics
  Bay Duiker Abbott's Duiker Black Duiker Black-Fronted Duiker Jentink's Duiker
Shoulder Height20-22"
51-56cm
24-26"
61-66cm
19-20"
48-51cm
19-21"
48-53cm
32-35"
81-89cm
Weight35-50lb
16-23kg
100-110lb
45-50kg
25-35lb
11-16kg
35-40lb
16-18kg
150-200lb
68-91kg
Forest Duiker Vital Statistics
  Blue Duiker Harvey's Red Duiker Maxwell's Duiker Ogilby's Duiker Zebra Duiker
Shoulder Height11-13"
28-33cm
18-20"
45-50cm
15-16"
38-40cm
22"
56cm
18-20"
45-50cm
Weight8-10lb
3.5-4.5kg
30-35lb
13-16kg
17-20lb
8-9kg
35-40lb
16-18kg
30-40lb
14-18kg
Forest Duiker Vital Statistics
  Peters' Duiker Natal Red Duiker White-Bellied Duiker Yellow-Backed Duiker Weyn's Duiker
Shoulder Height22"
56cm
17-18"
43-46cm
20"
51cm
30-33"
76-84cm
22"
56cm
Weight35-45lb
16-20kg
25-30lb
11-14kg
40lb
18kg
100-150lb
45-68kg
35-45lb
16-20kg

Duiker Habitat And Requirements

  • Duikers are divided into two groups - forest duikers and bush duikers.
  • The forest duikers frequent the open areas of the rainforests, only going into dense undergrowth to hide.
  • Bush duikers prefer savannah woodlands and are not found far from cover.

Duiker Social Structure

  • Some duikers are solitary and others are known to live as monogamous pairs.

Duiker Gestation Period

  • After a gestation periods range between 4-6 months, one offspring is usually born.

Duiker Gender Identification

  • Even though the female bush duikers are larger than the males, they usually do not have horns.
  • Male and female forest duikers are about the same size and both may have horns.
  • Duiker horns are small and spikelike, lying so flat against the head that they are not too useful in fighting.

Duiker Trophy Permits (2015)

Most duikers are unclassified excepting the ones listed below which require CITES permits.

Cephalophus dorsalis (Bay or Black-Backed Duiker)
CITES
USF&W
EU
AUS
CITES II Export Permit CITES II Export Permit Annex B Export Permit CITES II Export Permit
Cephalophus jentinki (Jentink's Duiker)
CITES
USF&W
EU
AUS
CITES I Import & Export Permits Endangered - No Import Annex A Import & Export Permits CITES I Import & Export Permits
Cephalophus ogilbyi (Ogilby's Duiker)
CITES
USF&W
EU
AUS
CITES II Export Permit CITES II Export Permit Annex B Export Permit CITES II Export Permit
Cephalophus sylvicultor (Yellow-Backed Duiker)
CITES
USF&W
EU
AUS
CITES II Export Permit CITES II Export Permit Annex B Export Permit CITES II Export Permit
Cephalophus zebra (Zebra or Banded Duiker)
CITES
USF&W
EU
AUS
CITES II Export Permit CITES II Export Permit Annex B Export Permit CITES II Export Permit
Philantomba monticola (Blue Duiker)
CITES
USF&W
EU
AUS
CITES II Export Permit CITES II Export Permit Annex B Export Permit CITES II Export Permit


Duiker Trophy Taxidermy

  • A duiker full mount with habitat is the most popular taxidermy style. However a duiker shoulder mount or skull/shield mount also make attractive mounts.
  • Don't forget to tell your taxidermist not to blacken and polish the horns, if you want the horns to look natural.
Click images to enlarge
Southern Bush Duiker Full Mount Yellow-Backed Duiker Full Mount Southern Bush Duiker Shoulder Mount Duiker Skull Mount
Taxidermy photos courtesy of Life-Form Taxidermy

So What About The Name?

  • The 'duiker' name comes from the Dutch word for 'diver', which refers to their habit of diving into vegetation when running for cover.
  • Most duikers are named according to their location, colours and features but there are some which are still known by the names of their original discoverers.
  • Ogilby's duiker was named after William Ogilby (c.1808 - 1973) who was a British barrister and zoologist. He found this duiker first on the island of Bioko which is off the coast of Cameroon.
  • Harvey's red duiker was named after Sir Robert G Harvey (1847 - 1930) who was a British mining businessman and big game hunter. He hunted in East Africa "from Zanzibar to the Borders of the Masai" with John C Willoughby where he came across this red duiker.
  • Maxwell's duiker was named after Lt General Sir Charles William Maxwell (1776 - 1848) who served in the British army and became a Governor of Sierra Leone in 1811.
  • Peters' duiker was named after Wilhelm Karl Hartwig Peters (1815 - 1883) who was a German naturalist and explorer who became curator of the Berlin Zoological Museum. He collected a vast number of specimens from Africa including this duiker.
  • Jentink's duiker, among several other animals, was named after Dr Fredericus Anna Jentink (1844 - 1913) who was a Dutch zoologist.

Duiker Hunting Recommended Reading

Duikers Of Africa - Masters Of The African Forest Floor

Duikers Of Africa - Masters Of The African Forest Floor by Vivian Wilson (2002)is the most in-depth study of duikers ever produced. It is based on 12 years of field work.


Hunting Other African Animals

Big Five Hunting

Waterside Hunting

Other Plains Game Hunting

Spiral Horned Antelope Hunting

Large Antelope Hunting

Medium Antelope Hunting

Small Antelope Hunting

African Pig Hunting

Other Cat Hunting

Animals Of Opportunity





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