First trip to SA
I just confirmed my first trip to SA with KMG Hunting Safaris and paid my deposit. Can't believe it is actually going to happen.
I've gone through my checklist of things to do, passport, plane tickets, etc. But what are some things you guys have found that you forgot at home that you wished you would have had or something you did different after the first trip?
To tell you the truth I purchased some toiletries locally. It was intended though.
Your best bet is to choose to forget some things at home on purpose.
Most take too much junk along. Cloths, etc.
A journal for writing everything down in. Actual Paper.
Faster Memory or just Memory cards and lots of them.
Small camera for in the field when I do not have the big gun along.
I'll see if I can think of any more....
During my hunt this year I plan to not strictly stick to my list of animals, but be much more open minded and go with the flow.
I also hope I will be able to save up some extra money so I can pay Marius fees for more trophies than I have planned to. I am sure he will not dislike that :)
I am going to bring plenty of arrows and broadheads just in case:p
This may sound silly but for your first trip the thing to leave home is your preconceived notions of what safari is going to be like. If like many of us you have spent many years reading everything in print about safari, especially if from the golden age of safaris, you will have a certain picture in your mind of how it is. Forget it. Its different than what you imagine. So go with an open mind, stay open to options, and go with the flow as much as possible but dont do things you dont want to do. On my first trip to be truthful I did not enjoy it as much as I should have due to my own notions of safari life. It was still great but I should have enjoyed it more. When I first went in '85 we didnt have all the videos available now which do a better job of preparing the first timer for their safari. I had spent many years reading and re-reading, every magazine article, Ruark, Capstick and many of the early hunters. Most of which was simply not applicable anymore, except the most recent writings, but even they tend to give a certain flavor to "their" hunt that YOU may not experience at all. Only YOU can experience your first safari and it wont be like what you read about because those are someone else's memories. You will make your own. I dont know if you ever read the Charlie Brown funnies and I forget which character said but it was profound, when talking about upcoming events. "The anticipation far exceeded the actual event". This is true of many things in life and it applies here too. Oh I know many will probably write and say oh thats BS. Much depends on ones own expectations, mine were almost impossible to meet. My subsequent safaris's were more fun than my first since I then had some frame of reference and more realistic expectations. Good luck, shoot straight and have a great hunt!
Well said and you went on your first safari when there was a lot of options. And trophy fees were not bad.
Originally Posted by sestoppelman
wash clothes Marius may not find it fun when he comes in and finds his towels cut into 5 or 6 pieces :laughing: but first things first ask Marius I bet he's got a list and what you don't bring he's got covered. Have fun you've picked a good one.
Yeah Eric, If memory serves a Tanzania buffalo trophy fee was $300! The basic cost of the trip including airfare from NY to TZ and back was only $4300! The trophy fees on top of that were ridiculously low! For instance,
Buffalo $299, Grants Gazelle $150, Thompsons $104, Impala $138,
White Bearded Gnu $173, Zebra $253, Warthog $138, I still have that brochure!
We wont see those prices again. Thats one hunt I wish I could do again!
Scott, I should have been hunting Africa the second I got out of high school. Guys like me and you will be lucky to hunt RSA and Namibia soon enough. Luck for me I still love plains game and have a open mind on what to expect.
Welcome to AH and plan on more animals than you think. I went the first time thinking 8 and came back with 13! It's real easy to get carried away.
Congratulations on booking your first African safari, you have come to the right place for information. I myself am planning my first plains game trip and have found this forum to be priceless. Your going to get more information than you could have ever imagined.
Welcome to AH, Kedman, wish you the best on your hunt !
Im sure you will take everything you need...
I like to bring my own optics..your ph will have plenty, but i like to bring my own binos and a good spotting scope...lots of fun using them even when your not hunting..so much to see there. I also take my own ranger finder although phs's carry them, i like taking my own that i use and practice with a lot...
You will take lots of videos and pics so make sure you have extra memory cards and and battery charger with a converter.. Also have them take you out at night if possible to do some viewing..awesome at night there. Im a science teacher and i was blown away at the variety of insects we found at night...anyway i guess what im trying to say is enjoy and explore everything you can while your there...hunting in Africa is a total experience... The smells, sounds, the people the culture and of course the wildlife!!
One last last thing that goes without saying... is to practice big time with your gun or bow....you would he surprised how many people come so prepared to Africa with equipment and knowledge but neglected to practice shooting enough before there trip. Also take a back up bow if you can and practice with it too!!
If your bow hunting, practice hunting from ground or tent blinds as that will be most of what your going to do. I also practice with 3D deer targets and blocks but 3D targets help me a lot.
Also practice with the weight of arrows your going to use there too... And for plains game be accurate out to 50 to 60 yards..but most of my shots there have been under 40.
Also make copies to take with you and go over the vitals placement shot areas for the animals your going to hunt in the guide they have here on this site.. Anyway just my two cents. You will be hooked after your first trip. Post your pics and trip report when you come back.
Hey congrats on ruining your life. You will become addicted and constantly daydream of bowhunting africa. The advice so far has been good. The main thing overlooked so far is a spare release. I took a dozen arrows and wished I had more. I am going in April and will bring 2 dozen. I am more aware of penetration. African game can be very hardy. I have switched to Easton Injextion arrows for that reason. Fixed blade broadheads are recommended and most places tell you they are required. I bring my own range finder as it is an old friend and we have worked well together.The last bit of advice I will give you is to study the kill zones. African game is different from North American. Vitals are in most cases further forward and it is worth the study.
Thanks for all the pointers guys, and sestoppelman, I think you are right about trips like this. Two years of planning and think all rolled into one week that happens so fast you hardly get a chance to stop and think, wow, I am hunting on another continent. I have spent my entire life reading every magazine article and watching every hunting show on Africa.
This one will most likely be the most memorable, I am taking my father for his 65th birthday. His first trip as well, I think he is more excited than I am. I feel like the adult taking his son hunting, I do all the planning and set everything up and all I want to do is see my old man have a good time.
I'm sure I will have more questions once the time comes closer to leave.
I remember my first hunting trip to SA. I went well over my list of animals thinking that I would never go back. Now that I have been several times and currently own an Outfitter company that books these trips for other hunters I can agree that it becomes very addicting. My biggest mistake my first trip was that I packed to much. Check with your Outfitter and see if they provide laundry services. Comfortable boots/shoes is a must. Along with plenty of arrows and a spare release. Practice practice practice with your bow before you go then practice more when you get there. I have never shot more than 40 yards but some where not the ideal shots that you normally get on say whitetail. and most importantly go with an open mind, like others have posted just go with the flow. Have fun and be safe!