Nile Crocodile

the patient survivor - picture by George Donkin

The Crocodile is perhaps the closest we will come to realizing the natural perfection which occurs in animals. This giant reptile has been around since the dawn of the dinosaurs and in it’s present skin, has remained unchanged for over 4 million years. Indeed the Crocodile is one of the most remarkable species you are likely to hunt and often do not ever get this recognition.

Their nature bestows upon them terms such as vile sneaky killers, yet the ever present crocodile remains true to it’s history – it is a survivor! In the dry deserts of Tunisia where water flows for but 3 weeks a year, Crocodiles are found hibernating in caves, slowing down their metabolism to last the rest of the year without water and food. In times of plenty they can consume up to half their body weight and often prey upon each other. Contrary to common thought, most Crocodiles live mostly off fish, insects, turtles and birds. It is only the much larger and older Crocodiles that target animals and humans exclusively.

In Africa they are ever present and adapt to their surroundings and situation with ease making them indiscriminate opportunists that consider any living thing as food. They are adept at recognizing a pattern of behavior such as animal coming to the water to drink at a certain point during a specific time of the day. Hence the fact that they are notorious man-eaters as women and children along Africa’s rivers and lakes tend to come down to the water to bath and wash their clothes just before noon. Crocodiles can grow to enormous size, especially in girth, often resembling Hippo.


Nile Crocodile

'medium' sized Crocodile - Kafue River, Zambia

Gustave is a large male Nile crocodile living in Burundi. In 2004 he was estimated to be 60 years old, 20 feet (6.1 m) in length and to weigh around 1 ton, making him the largest confirmed crocodile ever seen in Africa. He is a notorious man-eater, who is rumoured to have claimed as many as 300 humans from the banks of the Ruzizi River and the northern shores of Lake Tanganyika. Though that number is difficult to prove, Gustave has attained a near-mythical status and is greatly feared by people in the region. Scientists and Herpetologists who have studied Gustave claim that his uncommon size and weight impedes the crocodile’s ability to hunt the species’ usual, agile prey such as fish, antelope and zebra, forcing him to attack larger animals such as Hippopotamus, large wildebeest and, to some extent, humans. According to a popular local warning, he is said to hunt and leave his victims’ corpses uneaten. from the pages of WIKIPEDIA




Huge Nile Crocodile

Massive Crocodile - PH Hartley Cantdrink

As reptiles, Croc’s need to to refuel their body heat often and this is the most common way to seek a large trophy. Crocodile hunting is usually done by combing the banks of rivers and lakes in search for a large specimen – typically the bigger croc’s tend to sun themselves in the same spot each day. They also like to come out in the late afternoon before dusk and at these times tend to be at their most vulnerable – or deepest in sleep.¬†They are incredibly sensitive to any movement, vibrations, smell, noise and often tend to have a sixth sense when being stalked.

Crocodiles are judged purely by their length, for record purposes that is, however a true trophy specimen will appear jurassic-like with a massive girth, a wide head with well gnarled features and a visibly thick neck. If you are hunting in an area that has many crocodiles and you see a good number each day, your trophy will immediately be obvious to you when you set eyes upon it – big crocodiles just have a certain aura about them.

Crocodile are numerous throughout the rivers, lakes and waters of Africa and the old adage, never swin in any water until you know, could not be more true. However there are certain area that simply have bigger river monsters than anywhere else. Of these, the most easily accessible and possible most reasonable from price point is that great river of Africa, the Zambezi and it’s triutaries. Flowing through Zambia, ¬†Angola, Namibia, Botswana and ending in Mozambique, more big croc’s come from this river than anywhere else.

Currently Mozambique seems to be producing the biggest crocodiles on Lake Cahorra Bhassa and downstream from here – possibly due to limited hunting pressure. The Luangwa river also produces some great croc’s while the rest of the countries along the Zambezi also offer some big boys each year.






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