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New Namibia Farms Research Project

This is a discussion on New Namibia Farms Research Project within the Hunting Africa forums, part of the HUNT AFRICA category; Hello all, I'm part of a project researching the viability of converting cattle farms in Namibia into hunting farms. We're ...

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    gabbs is offline New Member
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    Default New Namibia Farms Research Project

    Hello all,

    I'm part of a project researching the viability of converting cattle farms in Namibia into hunting farms. We're curious to hear what you have to say on the matter.

    Any opinions relating to what you would like to see in the way of amenities, improvements you feel should be made to the current process, or any changes in general would be greatly appreciated. Also, how do you choose from the long list of hunting services in Africa?

    Finally, any resources or contacts you recommend checking out?

    Thanks in advance!

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    enysse's Avatar
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    Amenities don't mean too much to me, good food, a comfortable bed....simple shower and sink. A place to have a drink and sit by the fire is fine.

    The main thing is to keep the daily rates from getting too high....along with the trophy animal lists. If you keep costs down people can do more hunting.....hence why most people fly to Africa in the first place. I remember the first time I was to Namibia...it's been 5 years almost but the hunting is really great there. I couldn't get enough of hunting kudu, eland, oryx, springbok, mountain zebra and red hartebeest. Sure there are other things to hunt but they are usually very affordable in Namibia. I don't like Ostriech, but there seems to be a fascination with them by many USA hunters.

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    gillettehunter is online now AH Enthusiast
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    I'll agree with Enesse. I'm not interested in a plush lodge and being waited on hand and foot. I want good trophy quality and a PH that loves to hunt. Gets up early and goes to the end of the day. In a sense you have different clients to choose to go after. Those that have big $ and want top notch 5 star surroundings. Those on a budget looking for a great hunt. There are also those in between the 2 extremes above. RSA has a done well on group one above. Namibia seems to do better on the other 2 groups. Just starting out is hard. Poor economic conditions abroad and fewer hunters. The market is squeezed a bit. Shows in the US are expensive to do. One option is to become VERY active on a few forums. Here, AR and some others where hunters congregate. Become part of the community and then offer some great packages. When people come and have a good time they will report and the word spreads. Other opinions will vary. Bruce

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    I think the best approach when starting up is something similar to what enysse talks about.
    Most hunters don't expect or want a 5 star lodge. They want it clean and comfortable, with good food and GREAT hunting.
    I think most hunters(me included) want to spend little money on sleeping and much money on hunting.

    If clients feel that you do your best all the time to give them a great experience and the hunting is great, you will most likely have lots of repeat guests and you will quickly get a reputation of being a top notch place to go hunting.

    Since I am also very eager to hunt with a bow as I am with a gun, I will advice you to make a part of the farm to be for bow hunting only.

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    I think you have a good idee now of what the Hunters want, what i seem to expieriance is to get the clients to take a chance on the new guys! I myself is a fairly new outfitter/ph, it is a tough market to get in as many clients stick with their outfitters they have hunted with in the past.

    But life is tough keep on kicking and screaming and you will soon recieve some attention.
    Good luck with the project and happy hunting
    Regards
    Gerrit Jansen van Vuuren
    BOS EN DAL HUNTING SAFARIS - South Africa
    Website -www.bosendal.com
    Email- gerrit@ehw.co.za

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos en Dal Safari's View Post
    ................ I myself is a fairly new outfitter/ph, it is a tough market to get in as many clients stick with their outfitters they have hunted with in the past.
    ..................
    It is interesting that you speak about this apparent "brand loyalty".

    For some people it is fun to do the research, (me for one) for many others it is daunting and it stops them from ever completing the deal.
    These people want to meet someone and have everything taken care of and it is made easy.
    After you have done it once and it is comfortable many people just want to go back to something they know.

    You can buy a BigMac in how many countries.. Why? Comfortable and familiar.
    Practice whispering before you leave for Africa!
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    Welcome to AH.

    Quote Originally Posted by gabbs View Post
    Hello all,

    I'm part of a project researching the viability of converting cattle farms in Namibia into hunting farms. ............
    Have a long term plan. Make sure the investors know that.
    Hire an excellent PH/Game Manager
    Involve the community.
    Do not create a straight put and take operation, please.
    Manage the property to its potential and ensure you have the biodiversity. If not, please just raise cattle.

    Quote Originally Posted by gabbs View Post
    Any opinions relating to what you would like to see in the way of amenities, improvements you feel should be made to the current process, or any changes in general would be greatly appreciated.
    Namibia's laws are excellent and is generally very stable with progressive policies in place regarding hunting and wildlife management.

    If you happen to have some real pull it would be great to have more direct routes to Windhoek, but its hard to fight population!


    Quote Originally Posted by gabbs View Post
    Also, how do you choose from the long list of hunting services in Africa?
    Value for Money; is the hardest concept to get across.
    Day rates ranging from $120 to $3000
    These rates are all being paid somewhere in Africa.
    I have friends who paid the top end rates and were quite satisfied. They also hunted in Tanzania for 30 days.
    I have also heard of people being very dissatisfied with paying lower rates and not getting what they expected.
    No surprises and you'll likely have satisfied customers.

    I avoid anyone who oversells to me.

    The market (hunters) have pushed outfitters (farms) into being "one stop shops" because of time and budget constraints.
    Notice the price lists include almost everything you can hunt within 3 days drive.
    Who is your market? Decide and stick to it.


    Quote Originally Posted by gabbs View Post
    Finally, any resources or contacts you recommend checking out?
    Suggestions of where to start.

    1. Game Ranch Profitability in South Africa 2003 ABSA
    2. A COMPARISON BETWEEN THE GAME AND HUNTING
    INDUSTRIES IN KWAZULU-NATAL AND THE EASTERN CAPE

    LOUANN KOBUS
    3. BUILDING BLOCKS OF MARKETING STRATEGY FOR
    TARGETING LOCAL BILTONG HUNTERS: AN EVALUATION

    MARLé VAN EYK
    4. Optimizing game production in a new era: The road to financial success D Furstenburg
    5. How to Establish a Hunting and Game Farm Ezemvelo

    Good luck with your research.
    Practice whispering before you leave for Africa!
    A Legend in my own mind!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRICKBURN View Post

    If you happen to have some real pull it would be great to have more direct routes to Windhoek,
    Brickburn,
    You beat me to it.
    It would be great if there was a direct flight to Windhoek from North America.


    Gabbs,
    Welcome to AH and best of luck on your project.

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    Thanks guys! For some more background, we are working with the Namibia Tourism Board on our project. Right now its just preliminary research; we're looking for the right direction to head in. As a good portion of this project is marketing, we are looking to find out what would make the experience most enjoyable for you all. We really appreciate your feedback and we will certainly take your comments into consideration.

    -gabbs

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    It would be great if there was a direct flight to Windhoek from North America.
    Sorry gabbs, but this would do wonders for Namibia hunting!!!!

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    Bobpuckett's Avatar
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    Welcome to AH Gabbs! I too am all for the direct flight idea.
    Enjoy life now -- it has an expiration date.

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    The Big Game Hunter's Avatar
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    I also agree with the direct flight idea. I think the lack of direct flights from the United States is the biggest single thing hurting hunting in Namibia right now. Going through Frankfurt or South Africa makes the trip much more difficult and complicated. I personally would even pay slightly more for my plane ticket if I could fly direct from Atlanta to Windhoek for example.

    In addition, I consider myself part of the group that favors minimal amenities. I would rather spend money on more days of hunting or trophy fees than on luxury accommodations. On both of my trips to Africa I hunted so hard during the day that falling asleep was not a problem at night. I could have been sleeping on the ground and still gotten a good nightç—´ sleep. My top priorities on a future safari are a competent, friendly PH and an abundance of game. Everything else is just icing on the cake.
    http://www.thebiggamehuntingblog.com/
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    Default Game Ranch Management by J du P Bothma and JG du Toit (Fifth Edition)

    Here is a great read for you gabbs... or any hunter passionate about Africa for that matter. Not an inexpensive book but well worth it! Good luck with everything!

    Front cover (click on image to enlarge)


    Back cover (click on image to enlarge)



    Game Ranch Management by J du P Bothma and JG du Toit (Fifth Edition)

    The growth of the wildlife industry in South Africa can be measured by the growth in the number of wildlife ranches. In 1965 there were only four wildlife-fenced properties in the former north-western Transvaal. By 2005, 40 years later, there were more than 10 000 properties with wildlife exemption permits in the nine provinces combined. As the wildlife industry continues to expand, so does the need for knowledge upon which it must be based. Game ranch management 5 is a comprehensive guide to establishing and maintaining a healthy and profitable wildlife enterprise. It is updated to include the vast volume of new information available, to the benefit of those who work in wildlife conservation as well as those who are merely interested in it.

    Hardcover: 979 pages
    Dimensions: 7.2 x 9.9 inches
    Weight: 4.1 pounds

    Jerome Philippe, Founder of AfricaHunting.com
    Visited by over 240,000 hunters monthly, viewing 2.5 million pages, generating 14.5 million hits over 11,000 members (statistics Jan 2014).

    Click HERE to Support AH

    If you enjoy this site then tell fellow hunters about it!

    Our community is a place for seasoned African hunters and those who dream of someday hunting in Africa. I hope that you will find AfricaHunting.com a great place to spend time preparing for or dreaming about your future African hunting safari or reliving your last.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Big Game Hunter View Post
    I also agree with the direct flight idea. I think the lack of direct flights from the United States is the biggest single thing hurting hunting in Namibia right now. Going through Frankfurt or South Africa makes the trip much more difficult and complicated. I personally would even pay slightly more for my plane ticket if I could fly direct from Atlanta to Windhoek for example.
    the problem is even if you suddenly booked a couple of thousand hunters to go to namibia in a year, it doesnt exactly make it viable to lay on long haul jets and set up a schedule of flights. air namibia used to fly direct from uk to windhoek but i presume there were not enough business people and tourists using it to make it viable, so now they only fly from germany, which has more distant connections with namibia being the old german colony of german south-west africa. so unless there is a big upturn in tourist demand to make it worthwhile for an airline to fly direct usa to namibia, i would get used to the detour either via germany of joburgh..

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    Cliffy's Avatar
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    Reviving an older thread-
    spiket is correct and this is from someone who spent a career in the airline business.
    A direct flight to Windhoek will in all probability never happen from North America. The demographics just are not there. Joberg is a world transit point, the largest business center in the southern half of the continent and they have a large population in and around the city. Windhoek, unfortunately can't compete. Even Joberg has limitations for such long and expensive flights, I can think of one or two airlines that tried to enter that market and are no longer around.

    I have read the book that Jerome is showing. It is a very interesting read. Highly recommended even if you don't own a farm.

    Now to the OPs original postings-

    I guess I am of the second or 3rd group as far as amenities go. Maybe if I was 25 years younger I might go for the "rougher" style and go out in a blaze of glory on the hunting. Can't knock it. BUT, a look at the demographics of the entire market might revel some interesting facts. In attending many conventions from the top to the bottom of the spectrum and talking to countless hunters and "possible safari clients" I tend to see that the majority of safari hunters are getting up in years (they are the ones for the most part that have the spendable income and time available) and many if not most want to take their spouses with them. This is where the upper levels of accommodations and food service come to the fore.
    From what I see, they are not looking for your typical "elk camp" with a cold tent and a can of beans at night. I feel the bigger market is in providing at least 4 star levels of accommodations. Now, it can be provided at a price level that is not prohibitive to the less than ultra rich hunters. I'm not talking Intercontinental Hotel stuff here. What I am saying is ultra clean well appointed (hire an interior designer if needed) sleeping accommodations with attached en suites that are at the same level of quality. 4 star bedding and linens is mandatory for the wives to want to come. Dinning room service can be a stand out feature. It's not that costly to have quality designer place settings and proper glassware and utensils. Food preparation and display is paramount. A good selection of fine South African wines and beers will go a long way for the clients interest. There has to be something (the a fore mentioned items) to draw the wives into the mix. After a career in hauling well heeled clients around the world in both corporate and airline transportation I have come to the realization that- If the wife wants to go- the husband will pay for the trip and go!
    I guess my closing position is again that I feel that the biggest market is in the "older" hunter and looking to getting the wife interested enough to "go to Africa"
    Your mileage may vary!
    IF YOU GO ONCE-YOU WILL GO AGAIN-DEAL WITH IT

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    rphguy is online now AH Veteran
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    my 1st safari with my son. accommodations weren't important to us when planning. we just wanted to hunt. BUT, once there we really enjoyed the food immensely and the sleeping arrangements were in the luxury tents which were very good. These 2 things made our hunt better, to us, because we're not used to that sort of thing, especially when hunting.

    next trip, the wife will be going and I'll want the food and dining to be just as top-notch. We will want to stay in a lodge instead of luxury tents. My wife gets cold easy. We are 50, so not too old yet. But I want her to experience the same or better experience with the facilities. She is a hunter. We own a little swamp land in Mississippi with a cabin on it. No frills. she enjoys it. she hunts only in the afternoons at home. So, if she hunts there like at home, she'll sleep in while I hunt the mornings and then we'll both hunt the afternoons. For her mornings, I'll want her to be real comfortable.

    I took a lot of words to say "I agree with Cliffy".
    I don't imagine it costs that much more to do the upscale accommodations. just upfront maybe is extra.

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    I see a lot of this or that feedback. Is the opinion really either sparse amenities and good hunting for low price or luxury and good hunting for high price. I may be missing something. I did my searching before my first trip to Namibia this past July and felt like I had both. What is the lesser fees you would get a safari for?
    I got a 10 day package of Kudu, Gemsbok, Blue Wildebeest, Hartmann Zebra, Impala, Springbok, Red Hartebeest, and Warthog for me, my wife, and son lodging, gourmet food, drinks and luxury accommodations for less than $10K. Hunted all day, drove me to Sossusvlei and back, bought me a box of 300 RUM when I ran out and let me use their .243 all without adding a single cent to bill.

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    My wife and I both hunt and more importantly we take vacations together.
    We use our precious time off to take our vacations together.
    If she says no to an African safari for our vacation then we don't do it.

    I can happily stay in the bush in a tent and hunt hard every day. My wife is not so much the hunting fanatic.
    On a 7 day hunt she will happily hunt 4 or 5 days days. The rest of the time she'd like to do sight seeing or hang around a LUXURY lodge.

    My main point is this: it will be LOT easier for me for book a safari if I can tell my wife "hey if you want take some time out to do a day trip or hang around spa-like surroundings while I'm out hunting..."
    We've discussed it. Our next trip to Africa will have some alternatives to hunting for her.
    I think, therefore I am paid.

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    Plenty of animals. Had a friend go to Namibia, the PH had made all kinds of promises, my friend saw one Red Hartebeest a Springbok and a Baboon. 10 days of hunting that is all he saw. Plenty of animals is the key. Gibe the hunter a choice of eating the game they kill. Clean room and comfy bed.

    I have not hunted Africa but I have fished in remote Canada. I slept int he boat out on the lake because the door to the cabin would not shut and the misquotes were eating me alive.

    My wife on the other hand has been back in the Bob Marshall Wilderness several times, so she is not a high maintenance lady.

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    Bwannabe- Don't know where your friend went but where I go in Namibia there is NO shortage of animals
    I saw springbuck in 600 animal herds, eland in 200 herds, 50 or better heartebeest, kudu, blue wildebeest, zebra (both types) , impala, blesbuck, and more. No shortage of something to hunt.
    I hate to hear of bad experiences like that.
    IF YOU GO ONCE-YOU WILL GO AGAIN-DEAL WITH IT

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