The Nile crocodile is the species usually hunted on African safari. It lives in rivers, lakes, and marshes throughout sub-Saharan Africa, and can grow up to up to 15 feet and live for up to 100 years. The Nile crocodile is one of the most dangerous species of crocodile and is responsible for hundreds of human deaths every year.
Crocodile hunts are generally paired with hippo hunts due to the fact that the two dwell in the same rivers and streams. Like the hippo, the crocodile may seem like a slow and lazy creature. You’ll often find it basking in the sun on the bank of a river. But it’s tough to get within shooting distance to this reptile, as they are highly cautious and skittish animals. If they are spooked, they’ll slide off into the water before you can get a clean shot off.
Crocs are generally hunted via hunting blind or spot-and-stalk. Expert marksmanship is required. The hide of a Nile crocodile is extremely tough and heavily armored, and the skull is made of very thick bone. A croc can only be killed by one of two carefully placed shots: a brain shot (and a croc’s brain is only the size of a golf ball!) or a shot in the neck. Both shots will anchor the croc where it lies; anything less will send the injured reptile back into the water. Unlike the hippo, a dead croc won’t float in deep water.
While a powerful rifle is certainly called for, anything larger than .375 caliber should be avoided. Recoil can affect shot placement, especially if shooting from the prone position. Soft-point bullets with controlled expansion, as well as a scope of at least 4-power, are essential. Crocs can be hunted in Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, or Zimbabwe.
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