Zebra Hunting

Zebra are a popular first time hunter's trophy, once they get over the 'shooting a horse' hang-up. It's a great animal for a first timer to learn to track quietly and use cover and the wind efficiently.

Which Zebra Is Which?

To most hunters a zebra is a zebra and they will probably only hunt one of these iconic African animals in their early plains game hunting career. However hunters interested in zebras might like to know there are several different types.

Essentially there are 3 species of zebra - plains zebra, mountain zebra and Grévy's zebra.

There are 6 subspecies of plains zebra, excluding the quagga and the original Burchell's zebra which are extinct...

  • Burchell's zebra - Equus quagga burchellii. This zebra is found in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana. This subspecies now includes the Damara zebra, Equus quagga antiquorum.
  • Grant's zebra - Equus quagga boehmi. This zebra occurs west of the Luangwa river in Zambia and north through Tanzania.
  • Selous' zebra - Equus quagga selousi. This zebra occurs in south east Africa, primarily in eastern Zimbabwe and western Mozambique.
  • Maneless zebra - Equus quagga borensis. This zebra occurs in the Karamoja, Uganda through to north-west Kenya.
  • Chapman's zebra - Equus quagga chapmani. This zebra is found in north-east South Africa, north to Zimbabwe, west into Botswana and the Caprivi Strip in Namibia.
  • Crawshay's zebra - Equus quagga crawshayi. This zebra occurs east of the Luangwa river in Zambia, south east Tanzania and northern Mozambique.

There are 2 subspecies of mountain zebra...

  • Cape mountain zebra - Equus zebra zebra. This zebra only occurs in the mountains of Western and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa.
  • Hartmann's mountain zebra - Equus zebra hartmannae. This zebra occurs in west Namibia.

The Grévy's zebra Equus grevyi stands alone as a separate subspecies. It only occurs in Kenya and Ethiopia.

Click images to enlarge
Burchell's Zebra
Burchell's Zebra - has shadow stripes & black stripes fade out on white lower legs

Grant's Zebra
Grant's Zebra - no shadow stripes & black stripes down to hooves.

Selous' Zebra
Selous' Zebra - has shadow stripes (not on face/neck) & partial black stripes fade down legs.

Maneless Zebra
Maneless Zebra - no shadow stripes & minimal mane. Legs striped down to hooves.

Chapman's Zebra
Chapman's Zebra - has shadow stripes (not on face/neck) & partial black stripes fade down legs.

Crawshay's Zebra
Crawshay's Zebra - has narrow stripes & no shadow stripes. Full black stripes down to the hooves.

Hartmann's Mountain Zebra
Hartmann's Mountain Zebra - has narrow close stripes & no shadow stripes. Full black stripes down to the hooves. Orange/brown patch on nose. Has dewlap.

Cape Mountain Zebra
Cape Mountain Zebra - has narrow close stripes & no shadow stripes. Full black stripes down to the hooves. Orange/brown patch on nose. Has dewlap. Slightly smaller than the Hartmann's zebra.

Grévy's Zebra
Grévy's Zebra - has very narrow, close black stripes & no shadow stripes. Full black stripes down to the hooves. Extra large ears. It is the largest of all zebras.

Where To Hunt A Zebra

If you do want to hunt a specific subspecies of plains zebra, always check with your outfitter first. Many outfitters just list a non-specific zebra, others list the Burchell's zebra as a kind of generic plains zebra, while others do specify the subspecies. However, these outfitters may use different names, such as Boehm's zebra instead of Grant's zebra.

There may be similar confusion in the trophy listing of mountain zebras. Though these zebras look practically identical, they are separate subspecies, and their natural location is clear - Hartmann's in Namibia and the Cape Mountain in South Africa. You will often find Hartmann's mountain zebra listed on South African hunts or even strangely listed as 'Cape (Hartmann's) Mountain Zebra'. South Africa, known for relocating and breeding non-indigenous animals, now has the Namibian Hartmann's mountain zebra on game farms.

  • You can hunt a Burchell's zebra on private game ranches in Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
  • You can hunt a Grant's zebra in Tanzania, west of the Luangwa river in Zambia and northern Mozambique, where it is usually known as a Boehm's zebra or just a 'zebra'.
  • The Selous' zebra can be hunted in western Mozambique.
  • Chapman's zebra may be hunted in South Africa, Zimbabwe and the Caprivi area of Namibia. However you will rarely find 'Chapman's zebra' on a trophy list.
  • Crawshay's zebra may be hunted east of the Luangwa river in Zambia, south east Tanzania and northern Mozambique.
  • You can hunt a Hartmann's mountain zebra in it's true home of western Namibia or as an introduced animal in South Africa.
  • The Cape mountain zebra may be hunted in the Cape Provinces of South Africa.
  • The maneless zebra of Karamoja, Uganda may not be hunted.
  • The Grévy's zebra is 'Endangered' and obviously may not be hunted in it's home range in Kenya or in Ethiopia.

Zebra Hunting Prices

  • In Botswana a Burchell's zebra may be hunted on private land for a trophy fee of between US$980 and US$1450.
  • In Mozambique the various zebra populations are small and fragmented but you will find up to 4 zebra subspecies on different outfitters' trophy lists. For a Selous' zebra, the non-refundable Government licence fee is between US$1000 and US$1800 with an additional trophy fee ranging from US$1500 to US$3500. The Grant's zebra aka Boehm's zebra has a trophy fee of between US$2300 and US$3000 including the licence fee. A Burchell's zebra has a licence fee of around US$1000 and a trophy fee of around US$1700. A Crawshay's zebra trophy fee is about US$2000.
  • In Tanzania you can hunt a Grant's zebra on a 10, 16 & 21 day licence. The Government trophy fee for a Grant's zebra is US$1200. With the additional Community Development/anti-poaching fees, the full trophy fee will be between US$1300 and US$2200. Most outfitters don't specify the type of zebra.
  • In Zambia the zebra subspecies that may be hunted is rarely specified, however it will be either a Grant's or Crawshay's, depending on your hunt location. The zebra trophy fee ranges from US$1250 to US$1950.
  • In Zimbabwe the zebra subspecies is usually not specified but will likely be a Burchell's or a Chapman's zebra, depending on your hunt location. The zebra trophy fee is between US$1000 and US$1800.
  • In Namibia you can hunt a Burchell's zebra for a trophy fee of between US$950 and US$1860. A Hartmann's mountain zebra is a CITES II animal, requiring an export permit. It has a similar trophy fee of US$950 to US$1860.
  • In South Africa the trophy fee on a Burchell's zebra is between US$1100 and US$1490. A Cape mountain zebra is a CITES II and TOPS animal and will require an CITES export permit and a special hunting permit which must be issued before the hunt in your name. The trophy fee for a Cape mountain zebra is from US$2800 to US$4950. Hartmann's mountain zebra are being kept on private reserves in South Africa and have a trophy fee of about US$1800. Hartmann's mountain zebra from South Africa still require a CITES export permit but do not need a TOPS permit.

Zebra Hunting Methods

  • Spotting, walking and stalking the likely habitats. Check for fresh tracks at waterholes as zebras must drink regularly.

A Good Zebra Trophy

  • An old stallion past breeding is preferable but he will probably have a scarred skin. If the look of the skin is important, select a younger stallion.

Zebra Hunting Shot Placement

Zebra Vital Statistics

Zebra Vital Statistics
  Plains Zebra Mountain Zebra Grévy's Zebra
Shoulder Height47-51"

Zebra Habitat And Requirements

  • Mountain zebras live in dry, stony, mountainous and hilly habitats. They prefer slopes and plateaus and are excellent rock climbers.
  • Plains zebras graze mainly in open, short-grass savanna with reliable water.

Zebra Social Structure

  • The mountain zebras form small family groups consisting of a single stallion, several mares, and their recent offspring.
  • Bachelor males live in separate groups.
  • Mountain zebra groups do not aggregate into big herds like plains zebras.
  • Plains zebra live in permanent small family groups made up of a stallion and one to several mares and their foals.

Zebra Gestation Period

  • All zebras have a 12 month gestation period and usually 1 foal is produced.

Zebra Gender Identification

  • Zebra are notoriously difficult to sex as both male and female are of similar size and the genitalia is often hard to see.
  • The necks of males tend to be slightly thicker than the females.
  • The most reliable way to determine the sex of a zebra is to observe their behaviour - the herd is usually led away from danger by the lead mare and the stallion is usually at the rear. He will often stop and look back.

Zebra Trophy Permits (2015)

All Plains Zebra
Hartmann's Mountain Zebra
CITES II Export Permit CITES II Export Permit Annex B Export Permit CITES II Export Permit
Cape Mountain Zebra
CITES II Export Permit CITES II Export Permit Annex B Export Permit CITES II Export Permit
Grévy's Zebra
CITES I - Not Huntable CITES I - Not Huntable Annex A - Not Huntable CITES I - Not Huntable

Zebra Trophy Taxidermy

Whichever mount you choose for your zebra, it will always be a spectacular addition to your trophy room. If you choose to have the skin tanned to be a rug or wall hanging, let the taxidermist know whether you want to keep the head or have it trimmed at the neck and whether you want it felted on the back.

Click images to enlarge
Zebra Pedestal Mount Zebra Wall Mount Zebra Shoulder Mount Zebra Rug Mount
Taxidermy photos courtesy of Life-Form Taxidermy

What About The Name?

  • The basic name 'zebra' comes from a Congolese word meaning 'striped'.
  • The scientific name Equus quagga comes from the latin for 'horse' and the Afrikaans 'kwagga' meaning 'zebra'.
  • Burchell's zebra Equus quagga burchellii was one of several animals named after William John Burchell (1781 - 1863) who was an English explorer and naturalist.
  • The Grant's zebra, Equus quagga boehmi was scientifically named after Richard Böhm (1854 - 1884) who was a German zoologist and explorer. He found his zebra in the Kilimanjaro region of then, German East Africa. Meanwhile James Augustus Grant (1827 - 1892) who was the Scottish Nile explorer with John Hanning Speke found his own zebra Equus quagga granti in East Africa. These were later found to be one and the same zebra - so Grant got the common name and Böhm retained the scientific name.
  • Selous' zebra Equus quagga selousi was named after Frederick C Selous who found his zebra in Mashonaland of then, Rhodesia.
  • The scientific name for the maneless zebra Equus quagga borensis is in reference to the place Bor in South Sudan.
  • Chapman's zebra Equus quagga chapmani was named after James Chapman (1831 - 1872) who was an explorer of southern Africa. He originally found his zebra between Damaraland and Matebeleland.
  • Crawshay's zebra Equus quagga crawshayi was named after Richard Crawshay (1862-1958) who was a hunter/collector and agent for the African Lakes Company based at Lake Mweru in northern Rhodesia, now Zambia.
  • Hartmann's mountain zebra Equus zebra hartmannae was named after Anna Hartmann who was the wife of Georg Hartmann, a German explorer who worked in the then, German South West Africa, now Namibia.
  • Grévy's zebra Equus grevyi was named in honour of François Paul Jules Grévy (1807 - 1891) who was the fourth President of France. In 1882 he received one of these zebras as a gift from the Emperor of Abyssinia, now Ethiopia.

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