We conducted a meta-analysis of local hunting practices affecting the carnivores of forested Africa and Madagascar to collate the information available on this subject and to assess underlying trends in offtake rates. We located 62 relevant articles in a detailed literature search; the data included taxa reported as hunted, the purpose of hunting and the hunting method. The families most reported as hunted were Herpestidae and Viverridae (excluding Civettictis civetta), with 32.7 and 19.2% of total records, with C. civetta comprising 13.5% of records and Nandina binotata 9.9%. Hunting for consumption was the most commonly reported purpose (61.7% of all records). Sale for consumption was associated with 60.5% of all consumption records, and sale of any kind was reported for 56.6% of all records. The number of carnivore carcasses or parts sold at urban markets rose by 8.2% from the 1990s to the 2000s. The commonest hunting methods were traps (31.0% of records) and guns (16.6%). For records reporting the use of guns, 89.4% also reported sale of some kind. We conclude that carnivores are hunted pervasively across the forested regions of mainland Africa and Madagascar, and offtake rates for both personal use and income are probably increasing. These findings have implications for efforts to protect dwindling forest ecosystems and to establish sustainable consumptive practices.