Its about as powerful as you can get for a rifle that can be carried by a single person (only some models).
The one I shoot does not have bad recoil at all. Id say about the same as a 12ga. It does how ever have a big shock wave when you shoot it. It has been known to throw small boxes (such as a carton of 50 22lr) of ammo of the bench next to us when we shoot it.
Some times when I shoot it I feel like not only do I need ear plugs and muffs but that I should also have nose plugs. The shock for me is felt the most in my sinuses.
It is also very accurate. I have shot targets 1 mile away (at an informal competition) the target was 5 foot by 5 foot and while I did not win I was able to get all 5 rounds on the target... at 1 mile that target looks really small.
The reason you don't read about it much in Africa is that the law in most of the countries does not allow military cartridges so the 50BMG is illegal to hunt with.
Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.
all 26 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple. Wish my wife did as well...