The most expensive game ever sold in South Africa
To the breeder the wildlife that he nurtures and raises becomes more than a product to be sold off. The care given to his animals to make sure that they are healthy and that they grow strong is a passion that he takes pride in. But he always knows that the animals under his watchful care will be sold eventually and of course since this is his main aim, a high price is to be expected. In South Africa, selling wildlife is big business and it is an industry that is quickly growing. When we say big business we don’t mean that game is sold for a few thousand Rands, we’re talking millions of Rands being spent on some of Africa’s most exquisite game.
1. R 40 million for a Cape Buffalo
A few years back the record for the most expensive animal ever sold in South Africa was set at R40 million for a Cape Buffalo by the name of Mystery. This particular Cape buffalo had a massive horn span. The biggest misconception about the selling of wild game is that the game will be sold off to be hunted. While that might be the fate of some animals sold by game breeders, this Cape buffalo was bought for breeding purposes. By having such a massive horn span and by being cleared of all diseases he was in high demand and after being auctioned he has set the record for the most expensive animal ever sold.
2. R 26 million for a Buffalo
In 2012 a Buffalo bull named Horizon was sold for a staggering R26 million at an auction in Bela Bela. The overall auction made an incredible R122 million and it was attended by around 1000 people. The bull was 4 years and 10 months old. He had a horn span of 1.3 meters and a horn base of 41 cm. It is more than likely that he was bought for breeding purposes as he was bought by two game breeders from Rustenburg.
3. R 18 million for a Buffalo
In 2011 this was the most expensive animal ever sold in the country. Named Senatla, the African buffalo bull has remarkable breeding prospects thanks to his good genes, so it was no surprise that he was sold for breeding purposes. As a breeding animal he will give his new owners an incredible return on their investment as he will produce very high quality offspring, a desire that all game breeders hold onto when they spend this type of money.
4. R 11 million for a Sable Antelope
Called Wiele, this is one of the country’s most expensive Antelope ever auctioned. This Zambian sable bull was sold at the same auction where South Africa’s most expensive animal was sold for R 40 million. Wiele is another example of animal being sold for breeding, all thanks to his genetics.
5. R 9.7 million for a White Impala
South Africa’s deputy president raised a few eye brows when he made a small fortune off of the sale of a white impala. White impala are completely unlike the other impala breeds as they have a completely white coat rather than the usual light brown and white fur that covers their body. This particular impala ram was 8 months old at the time of his sale.
6. R 8.1 million for an East African Buffalo
In South Africa, buffalo and sable are among the most prized animals sold with buyers forking out millions to get their hands on a fantastic, well-bred animal. Almost R 10 million was paid for this East African Buffalo heifer. The heifer was pregnant when she was sold, a factor that certainly pushed the price up handsomely.
7. R 7.8 million for a White Saddle Blesbok
In 2014 a lucky game breeder walked away with a unique White Saddle Blesbok. This magnificent white and brown animal is named Top Deck and all eyes were on him during the auction. The average blesbok can be sold from anywhere between R 1000 and R 5000 or more. This particular type of blesbok sold for such a high price because of his unusual colouring and his impressive stature.
8. R 6.5 million for an East African Buffalo
Yet another buffalo makes our list as one of the most expensive animals ever sold in South Africa. There is not much known about this buffalo, only that the price had jaws dropping.
9. R 4 million for a pregnant Matetsi Sable
The market for well-bred sable antelope with good genetics is not only highly competitive but it is also a big market that is continuously on the rise. This sable antelope fetched a good price because she was pregnant and from very good stock. When breeders have many of the same animal to choose from, coming across a unique gem can push the price up.
10. R 3 million for a pregnant buffalo
While it is usually the bulls that sell for high prices, pregnant heifers can fetch high prices as well. Game buyers can see that they are going to get an almost immediate return on their investments when they invest their money in an animal that is already expecting offspring. The price can go up even higher if the animal has been bred with a prized bull as the genes will be passed on.
The game selling industry goes beyond being a merely profit making business, the selling of game is also highly valuable for tourism and conservation while there will be some game that will enter the hunting industry. As you can see from the list above, lions, rhinos and other game are not sold for such high prices. Lions are often sold for under R 200 000 and the same goes for rhinos.
Cottondale Game Breeders are committed to the breeding of superior animals especially Sable Antelope and Buffalo. These animals are sold to other breeders as well as used for conservation efforts. We ensure that the animals we sell are able to satisfy the expectations of their new owners by making sure that the animals are always well cared for and that they are given the space that they need to roam freely.