Regional Names

Afrikaans: Woudolifant (Bosolifant) French: Éléfant de forêt d’Afrique
German: Waldelefant Portuguese: Elefantes da floresta
Nama: ╪Khoab Shangaan: Ndlopfu
Sotho: Tlou Spanish: Elefante de la selva
Shona: nzou Swahili: Tembo
Tswana: Tlou Xhosa: iNdlovu
Zulu: iNdlovu
Average Body Dimensions Trophy Dimensions
Average male mass: 6,600 lb (3000 kg)? Rowland Ward Minimum: 35 lb (16 kg) Method-16
Average shoulder height 7.7’ (2,35m) Rowland Ward Record: n/a
Spoor size front: 15.75” (400mm) SCI Minimum (Rifle): 27 / SCI Record (Rifle): 104 Method-1
Spoor size rear: 16.4” (416mm) SCI Minimum (Bow): n/a / SCI Minimum (Bow) n/a


Restricted to the equatorial forest belt westwards from, and including, Congo (DRC) to the Gulf of Guinea and patchily through the remaining West African forests with trophy hunting only in Cameroon at present.


Unlike savannah elephants they do not form into large herds. Although they congregate in clearings, solitary animals are the norm. It is suspected that although they do not form distinguishable herds, they nevertheless operate in loosely knit groups that maintain vocal contact across the area of dispersion. Home ranges cover as much as 386 square miles (1000 km2).

* Read more in Game Animals of the World by Chris & Tilde Stuart

Hunting tipsN/a

Sexual Dimorphism

Both sexes carry tusks. Female tusks are small.

Habitat & Food

Focus more on fruits than the savannah elephant and eat less grass.

Rifle and Cartridge Recommendations

Bolt Actions : When backed-up by a PH any rifle design can be used. When hunting alone a controlled feed design as a Dakota M-76, Enfield P-14/Mod-17, Kimber Talkeetna, Mauser M-98, Montana 1999, Springfield M-1903, Ruger M-77 RSM, Hawkeye Alaskan or Winchester Safari should be considered. Cartridges fitting standard length actions are recommended. In forest conditions a stainless version with synthetic stock is recommended. So are reflex (red dot) sights.

Double Rifles : Boxlock or sidelock. It is immaterial in modern trophy hunting situations whether the rifle has ejectors or not.

Bullets : Flat-nosed large meplat monometal bullets are recommended. If not an option for whatever reason, opt for steel jacketed bonded core round-nose solids.

Cartridges : Large (≥ .400” bore) and Super Bore (≥ .465”) are required. The various .375’s can be used where legal and if the hunter is more accurate with these than larger calibres. Do not go overbore on power unless very used to such cartridges as it affects hunter accuracy and between shot recovery time.

Typical Cartridges :

.375 Ruger 300-gr bullets
.416 Taylor 400-gr bullets
.416 Ruger 400-gr bullets
.404 Jeffery 400-gr bullets
.450 No.2 480-gr bullets
.458 African 500-gr bullets
.470 NE 500-gr bullets
.470 Capstick 500-gr bullets
.500 NE 3” 570-gr bullets
.500 Jeffery 535-gr bullets
.577 NE 750-gr bullets

* Read more in African Dangerous Game Cartridges by Pierre van der Walt.