Chasse Libre en Afrique / Self Guided Hunt in Africa
"Chasse Libre" is a French term that if translated directly would be "freedom hunt", which essentially means self guided hunt. "Chasse Libre" can found in some former French colonies in Africa, it is a system put in place so that someone can apply for and receive permission to hunt legally in a country without the use of a professional hunter or hunting guide.
The chance to do a "Chasse Libre" offers hunters a true taste of Africa. These unguided or self guided hunts are still allowed today in designated hunting areas of some French speaking countries such as Central African Republic (Republique Centrafricaine), Cameroon (Republique du Cameroun), Congo (Republique du Congo), Burkina Faso (Burkina Faso), Gabon (Republique Gabonaise) as well as others. Hunting in Gabon and Congo is possible however you will not be able to export any trophies from either of these two countries which may make it less appealing to some hunters.
Picture by Christophe Morio - Camp Volant - Movable Tent Camp in CAR
Self guided hunts on foot are true classic hunting safaris using "Camp Volant" (movable tent camps) and are certainly not for the inexperienced African hunter. The language barrier may pose a challenge right from the start in the planning stages which requires lots of organization and much attention to detail.
The upside of choosing to do a "Chasse Libre" is that the cost of such a hunt is usually quite inexpensive in comparison to the cost of a typical guided hunt for the same species and it can be an incredibly rewarding experience for the adventurous hunter.
The possible drawbacks can be that these hunts are only for the very experienced outdoorsman and can be very dangerous, physically demanding, in remote areas and require lots of planning, logistical preparation and organization.
It is best that two hunters go together as partners since you are basically on your own with the team of trackers and porters that you hire. You will be responsible for your own welfare, as well as that of your team. It is essential to allow for plenty of time on a self guided hunt, 14 days is usually a good place to start. Keep the number of animals and species you wish to hunt realistic.
If you are purely looking at doing this type of hunt for cost savings or as a trophy hunting safari you will probably be disappointed. On the other hand if your desire is to have a truly unique and adventuresome experience that includes hunting in Africa and all that it entails, then this type of hunting safari may be exactly what you have been looking for.