The African Civet is a nocturnal animal which is not seen very often. They have a cat-like appearance but are not cats by nature. The African civet is recognized by its thick fluffy tails, cat-like whiskers and grey coat with two rows of black spots along its body. In the past Civets were hunted for their perennial musk scent secretion which was originally used to stabilize perfumes. This musk scent can now be synthetically produced and no longer needs to be extracted from civets.
The African Civet can be hunted in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia as well as savannah hunts in Cameroon. There are good populations of Civet in Mozambique as well but they may not be hunted there.
The opportunity for a shot on a civet often arises while out hunting other game. You may be lucky to encounter a civet early morning or late afternoon as they begin moving around or are heading back to a nest. Being mostly nocturnal-when targeted they are hunted at night. They can be baited with fresh fruits and vegetables or ambushed at waiter points but are generally tricky to hold of. Many civets are simply taken by driving around in the evening in regions where hunting with artificial light is legal. A civet may be spotted but it will not stand still for long so the hunter will have to be quick and accurate to get their trophy.
The African Civet is a solitary animal and seldom seen with another individual, unless it is a female with its young. They have a secretive lifestyle and unless one looks for signs of civets, you will not really know that they are there. They will pair up for a very short time during the mating season or when a female is on oestrus, but this only last a short while. Civets mark their territory with a musk secretion from their perennial glands along well used paths and tree trunks, it is said that these markings can last up to three months. It is these musk secretions that made the hunting of civets once popular. As mentioned above, the secretions were originally used to stabilise high end perfumes. Thanks to modern science the active ingredients in the secretion have been identified and can now be synthetically synthesised.
When looking for a good trophy, any big mature civet will do. The female civets are generally bigger in body size than the males but it is difficult to tell unless the two are standing next to each other. There are some countries such as Tanzania and Zambia where the hunting of certain female animals is strictly prohibited. Talk to your PH regarding this when you are going after civet, as it is extremely difficult to tell the sex of one of these animals especially in the evening which is when majority are hunted.
The African Civet lives in dense areas where there is sufficient cover and permanent water, they are common in savannah plains as well as dense thickets. Civets feed on small vertebrates, invertebrates, bird’s eggs, fruits and vegetables. There are no real predators which threaten civets besides the odd leopard or wild dog which may kill them while chasing them out of a territory.
If you have the choice, take your civet with a well-placed solid bullet in the centre of the chest. A broadside shot should be taken behind the shoulder. The skin of a Civet is delicate and expanding bullets might damage your trophy. African Civets make the most amazing full mounts and/or rug mounts they have thick fur which when tanned correctly is really impressive.
If you are looking for a great African Civet hunt, give us a call or fill out the form below and let us help you find the perfect Civet hunt for you.