The western or lowland bongo, (Tragelaphus eurycerus eurycerus), is a herbivorous antelope. It is the largest of all forest antelopes. Both sexes are similar in size and both have white markings on their brown coats to help camouflage themselves. Both sexes have spiral horns, very heavy in weight, although the males’ horns are longer.

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• Bongos are near Threatened to extinction.
• When in distress the bongo emits a bleat.
• Their average lifespan is 19 years.
• The bongo is the only species of spiral-horned antelope in which both sexes have horns.


Thorough preparation is the key factor to ensuring a high-quality final product. All hides are tanned and oiled using the world’s very best available chemicals and processes to ensure permanence and longevity.Forms are selected to ensure the best fit and posture will be altered to suit you, the client’s preference without additional cost. Natural habitat bases are custom-made for full mount trophies without additional cost.Only the finest materials and 40 years of professional experience are used in defining your trophies in a whole new way. The final trophies are almost Life-Formed. When the restoration is required, every effort is made to repair cuts and abrasions, and to minimise bullet damage. Natural scarring is kept unless otherwise requested.


Bongos are found in dense, tropical forests in Central Africa with isolated populations in Kenya, Angola, Ivory Coast and Mali. They feed on grasses, berries, leaves, cereals, roots and shrubs.They require salt in the diet and are known to enjoy natural salt licks. They are also known to eat burned wood and experts have thought this behavior to be because of their salt needs.

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Professional Bongo Taxidermy in South Africa

The Kenya Bongo, Tragelaphus eurycerus, also known as the Mountain or Eastern Bongo, and the Lowland Bongo, known as the Western Bongo, are the only two Bongo subspecies officially accepted by scientists. As the tallest, heaviest, and most vibrantly coloured antelope native to Africa’s forested regions, this animal is a true spectacle to behold. Its coat is either auburn or chestnut with 10–15 white or yellow stripes going vertically down each side.

As a rule, females have more vivid patterns and colours than the males do. The horns of both sexes twist and turn like a lyre. It is speculated that bongos’ enormous ears aid in hearing, and that their unique colouring helps them recognise one another in the dense woodland environments where they live. They don’t have any specialised glands for secretions, so they rely less on scent than similar antelopes to locate one another.

Their length ranges from 1.7 to 2.5 metres, with males being slightly longer than females. A typical individual of this species weighs between 210 and 405 kg. They’re about 1.2 m tall at the shoulders.

What they eat consists mainly of leaves, flowers, twigs, thistles, and grain. It’s possible they’ll eat grass during the appropriate seasons. Lightning-struck, badly burned wood is a tasty treat for them. This may offer them with necessary salts and minerals. Their prehensile tongue aids them in grabbing food from plants.

Related to the Kudu, Nyala, Bushbuck, and the Sitatunga of the swamps, the Bongo is one of the rarest antelopes to hunt in Africa. The species can be divided into two groups: The Western or Lowland Bongo; and The Eastern or Mountain Bongo, which lives in the forested mountains of Kenya and cannot be hunted.


Hunting Bongo

A Bongo is one of Africa’s most coveted trophy animals. Bongo hunting occurs mostly in the rain forests of the Central African Republic, Cameroon, and the Congo.

It is better to go on a Bongo hunt during the driest months of the year, even though the forest is hot and humid all year-round. Hunting in the heat and humidity is never pleasant, and only the most determined and intrepid hunters ever stand a chance at taking one of these impressive specimens.

While bongo hunting used to be an extremely difficult and often unsuccessful endeavour, modern techniques have made it such that even novice hunters may successfully hunt a Bongo. Tracking by foot, tracking with dogs, or waiting at elevated machans with access to salt licks are your three alternatives. People who don’t use dogs to help them find their way are considered by some to be using a “purer” method. Although this presents a greater challenge, the main issue is that all you can really do is follow tracks and aim at a spot of red hide. It’s hard to get a good look at the horns and make an informed decision.

Rifles built of stainless steel with a synthetic or plastic stock are the most reliable. Considering the range and the speed of the shots, open sights are recommended. In terms of calibre, anything above.375 will do.


What is Bongo Taxidermy?

Mounting or preserving animal skulls & hides for mounting, for the sake of study or display, is known as taxidermy.

Skin mounts and replicas are most popular taxidermy techniques. The skin is traditionally mounted by extending it over a mannikin form.

Although the mounted hides and horns, appear to be genuine animals, these recreations are really made, moulded and carved, from fibreglass and foam. Taxidermists need to seriously consider the animal’s natural behaviour, habitat, the animal’s skin colour, and the taxidermist’s own knowledge of the animal’s anatomy when creating a resemblance for display.


Skin preparation and storage for a flawless Bongo trophy

Most of the time, everything that is shot in the forest is skinned either soon after the hunt or straight away, according to the hunter’s skinning preferences, for mounting which is finalized days beforehand. Hides and skulls and the rest of the animal is then taken back to camp.

The sooner the animal is skinned, the less likely it is to experience bacterial activity and hair slip because of the process. It’s crucial to make sure the skin is completely devoid of any trace of flesh, cartilage, muscle, and fat.

After skinning the animal, immediately wash the skin well to remove any trace of blood. It is recommended to use an anti-bacterial solution like F10(cl) for this.

When the skin has been drip-dried for a few minutes, it is ready to be salted. Use a lot of salt and really work it into all the creases and folds, of the skin. Hang the skin up to dry after three to four days.


The Bongo Taxidermist’s process and method

Once Life-Form Taxidermy has received your detailed mounting instructions and requirements, they will begin the process of creating a foam mould to match the skin. The tanning and oiling of the skins is done using only the highest quality natural solutions and methods, which helps to extend the functional life of the skins for many years to come.

During the creation of traditional trophy mounts, the skin of the animal is tanned, prepared so that it can be stretched over a mannikin. The creation of these astonishingly lifelike animal trophies typically involves the use of fibreglass and foam, moulding, stitching, carving of foam for facial details to come to life.

When attempting to capture an animal’s resemblance in a display, taxidermists take into consideration a number of factors, some of which include detailed understanding of the anatomy and behavior of the Black Wildebeest, as well as the colour of its skin – including muscle definition, anatomical features, veins, facial movement etc.

After assuring a comfortable fit, the cape is glued in place, and artificial eyes are fused to the form. After this any remaining stitching is done, the skull cap is placed on the form. As soon as the mount is dry, the hair is brushed out to give it a more natural look, and the eyes, nose, and mouth are sculpted and painted to look lifelike


Taking care of your Bongo trophy

Insect damage has occurred in the finest trophy rooms and museums. Small demisted/carpet beetles or moths are to blame for this. Make sure no pests are lurking in the trophy rooms by using a bug room fogger. All mounts and rugs should be moth proofed once a year. Basically, any spray designed to repel moths from clothing will do. Mist the mount thoroughly and work it into the hair with a brush. A hair dryer can be used to restore fluffiness to the fur of an animal. If a mount has been eaten by bugs, take it outdoors, spray it down with bug spray, and store it in a plastic bag for the night.

Your mounts will continue to look great with just a simple dusting once or twice a week. A feather duster and a damp cloth wiped in the direction of the hair can get rid of any lingering dust. We recommend using Mount Medix Africa (obtained from Life-Form Taxidermy – a trusted product).

Bongo taxidermy should be stored in a dry, cool place that is away from any heat sources like fireplaces, heaters and direct sunlight (exposure to natural elements). Moist places are breeding grounds for mildew and mould. Temperature and humidity fluctuations can be harmful to your trophies. Avoid storage areas, such as attics or basements.


Frequently asked questions


How much does a bongo trophy cost?

The pricing of any trophy is subject to the costing stipulated per taxidermy order, quantity of trophies and preferred mounting options, along with additional requirements. Should you wish to receive a quotation prior to the hunt, the taxidermist can generate such for you.


How long does a bongo trophy take?

The time it takes a taxidermist to mount an animal might range from days to weeks, and possibly several months, depending on the quantity of trophies per taxidermy order, the display preferences, and volumes of client trophies to be produced, simultaneously, per production schedule.

The completion and packing timeframe combined, ranges from 10-12 months. This depends largely on the “what, how, when” factors. A taxidermy order also only becomes available for production scheduling upon receipt of the required deposit and trophy mounting instructions.

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