There is an established confidence that ALL 7mm and .30" calibre cartridges will shoot to the same point of impact out to 250 yards and kill exactly the same with similar weight bullets.
Because the 30-06 and 7mm Rem Magnum and 8x57 are ballistic triplets, and the .308W and .270W and 7x57 are ballistic triplets, and the 6.5x55 Swede, 6.5x57 Mauser, 6.5x58 Portuguese are ballistic triplets, and because all of these 9 cartridges shoot to within less than 1/4 MOA from one another when zeroed at 200 yards, the actual calibre designation has very little to do with the way South African hunters choose their hunting rifles.
The 7mm Rem Magnum is not very popular here because despite its bigger case capacity it merely equals the 30-06 in performance. On top of that try and explain the reason for the presence of the belt on the case and South African hunters are not convinced that it has any advantage - in fact the opposite - and they just stay with their 30-06s.
The .270W can not handle the heavier bullets we prefer for big game, so the 7x64 Brenneke and .308W outshines it on big game - and with 150gr bullets and lighter the .270W merely equals the .308W. So the .308W has become the most sought after calibre for big and smaller game.
The rifle brand name is the first driver in getting the buyer's interest - but when paying the money even that is lower than the appealing appearance the rifle will have regarding a pleasing, understated profile, good wood, and neat wood to metal appearance, and the ease of shouldering, and immediate and instinctive line up. Only then will the buyer look at the calibre designation. He may beforehand have decided on whether he wanted a 6.5 mm or larger - but the choice between a 7mm and .30" and particularly amongst the ballistic similar chamberings will be made by the individual RIFLE as there is no difference in killing ability as long as any one of the 7mm chamberings allows for bullets in the 170+ gr weight class.
The new (since the 1970s) standard against which all hunting cartridges have been measured regarding big game killing ability is the 308W. (Of course the real standard is the 30-06 or 8x57 which is 100% capable of killing even the 2,000 lb eland under all conditions - but the .308W is far by far the most popular big game hunting cartridge in South Africa).
There are very few .338" calibres around and virtually no .35s because nothing "more powerful" than the 308W is needed to kill any of the 12 size elk big game with a single heart shot. The .338" / .35" is a true American want-but-not-needed calibre, which is a concept we do not fully understand in Africa. Having a non dangerous game rifle which merely sends its fully penetrating bullet further into the unknown beyond the shot animal than the .308W already does is seen as kind of an anomaly. If a .308W 180 gr bonded core bullet has a perfect penetration impulse to penetrate through the shoulders of all the 12 elk size big game animals then the next step up is for a rifle to kill buffalo or elephant - which is the .375 H&H - so there is no requirement in Africa for a rifle in between the ballistic similar group of the 7x57 / .308W / 30-06 / .303 Brit / 7x64 Brenneke and then, for dangerous game, the .375 H&H / .416 Rigby / .458 Lott / .458 3" Express / .458 Sabi.
Regarding brand names - European made rifles without a doubt rule the roost - SAKO, BRNO, CZ 550, and of course the locally manufactured Musgraves and custom built rifles on Mauser actions.
There are many South African hunters who only own one rifle and that invariably is a BRNO / CZ 550 / Mauser / SAKO / Musgrave in .308W. He will in all likelyhood use only one bullet weight in it all the time which will depend on the area where he hunts - the distances that he shoots at will determine bullet weight - whether he hunts wildebeest or impala. The size of the animal he hunts is not the determining factor. Always using only one bullet weight allows the hunter to intimately know the trajectory out to say 300 yards.
In the northern part of the country where I live and where shooting distances are mostly between 80 - 150 and rarely 200 yards it will be 180 gr, and on the open plains with shooting distances of 200-300 yards it will be a 165-150 gr bullet of premium construction.
On shooting distances: There still is a strong ethic here that if your stalking skills are such that you are unable to get closer than 300 yards then you need to practice more. The culture we foster in the hunter education programmes (the hunting rifle shooting competitions) is that there should never ever be a reason to shoot at an animal beyond 300 yards. If the local hunter can not get closer than 300 yards it more than likely means that game is too scarce in his area to be hunted.