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Caveat Emptor: Buyer Beware, do your research! Hunter, Outfitter, Agent, Taxidermist Complaints

This is a discussion on Caveat Emptor: Buyer Beware, do your research! Hunter, Outfitter, Agent, Taxidermist Complaints within the Hunting Africa forums, part of the HUNT AFRICA category; I wondered if there was a repository of complaints anywhere. Really, there are just too many countries involved to have ...

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    Default Caveat Emptor: Buyer Beware, do your research! Hunter, Outfitter, Agent, Taxidermist Complaints

    I wondered if there was a repository of complaints anywhere. Really, there are just too many countries involved to have one central list.

    Complaints and concerns are out there. You have to dig to find the information and Newbies may not or do not know the questions to ask.

    No one is immune to complaints or concerns from a client and it is more important, in my mind, how they deal with the problem than the mere existence of someone having lodged a complaint or the lack thereof. Read the whole story whenever you can.

    My advice: Simply dropping this type of post, "Anyone hear of these guys?", is not enough. Read the threads where the problems have come to light and ASK THE HARD QUESTIONS of the people you are thinking of doing business with.

    I got an inspiration the other day and thought I would have a look into this.

    I decided to look at the Exhibitors list for DSC 2012 and cross reference it with the complaints of hunters on public forums.

    I think people assume, as I have in past, that there is some type of screening that goes on before anyone can be an exhibitor at one of these shows or conventions.

    NOT!

    (I chose DSC only because a fellow AH'r is attending that show and it inspired me, no other reason)

    Exhibitors Pay their money and they get space, as illustrated by the DSC Application Contract Exhibitors have to fill out.

    This is the only restriction I can find in the contract:

    "Exhibitor consents to DSC's right to prohibit any exhibit, Exhibitor or
    proposed exhibit that, in DSC's sole opinion, is not suitable for the
    Convention. DSC may exercise this reserved right at any time prior to or
    during the Convention. The reservation concerns entities, persons, items,
    audio or video digital recordings, images, printed matter, conduct and all
    other things that may affect the Convention, DSC, its members or the
    hunting industry. DSC reserves the right to prohibit from exhibiting at the
    Convention any outfitter, guide or professional hunter who is not a member
    in good standing of a recognized regional state, provincial or national
    professional hunting association."


    Yet, nowhere on the Exhibitor application form is any requirement to provide this information or proof thereof!!


    So, on to the point:
    There are FOUR outfits that have earlier or active complaints/concerns/issues by hunters that are exhibiting at DSC 2012.

    Adam Clements-Safari Trackers, Inc. 1244-47
    Frontier Safaris C510
    Impala African Safaris 2654
    Safrique, Lda. 1035/36


    I am cross referencing publicly available information. Look up the outfits you are thinking of booking with.

    BUYER BEWARE!


    These are the other names that I pulled from an archive search using various key words: (Complaint, Guilty, Suspended, etc.)
    Whether the concern is well founded or not I can not attest. I am only sharing the fact that someone was concerned enough to create a thread that is public and has been presented and debated in the open. Judge for yourself.

    This is not a comprehensive list.

    LOOK FOR THE THREADS AND READ THEM FOR YOURSELVES. DO YOUR RESEARCH.

    (look for variants of the spelling, you are dealing with various languages in a host of countries)

    SAFRIQUE
    SHINGANI
    TOUCH AFRICA
    IMPALA AFRICAN SAFARIS
    NICO LOURENS
    Krys Wessels from Kukuzans Safaris
    Terry Cundiff, Mark Willman, Hunt It All, Inc.
    Mozambique Unlimited Safaris
    MARK SULLIVAN
    Col. Watson Tshipa Zimbabwe Safari Company
    Hunts are being offered by: Allison Smith yoafrica.com
    PH in question: Lorrie Van Aasvagen
    Area: Sinamatella camp, Hwange
    Tyler W Lowery - Global Sporting Expo's
    Mid-South Hunting & Outdoor Expo
    Barry Burchell of Frontier Safaris
    TC Africa / Top Class Africa
    ZINGELA FORWARDERS out of South Africa
    Sable Taxidermy Kerneels Bronkhorst
    Chris van Wyk Tienie Bamberger PH Warthog Safaris in Ellisras
    Jan Groenewald Swart, Trophy Hunting Safaris.
    Dawie Groenewald? "Out of Africa Adventurous Safaris"
    Dirk Terblanche
    JUAN PACE of Shangwari Safaris, Trophy Quest Africa and Leopards Lair
    Victor Ildefonso Anselmo "Ideal Safaris", Frenchman, Julien Raymond
    HWANGE Safaris, Gordon and Allan Banks
    Vaughan Fulton Classic Safaris, Mr Fulton
    Jeff Martinell
    Adam Clements Safari Trackers?
    Jimba Safaris, owner is Wayne Dietrechsen
    Tim Lamprecht
    Out of Africa?
    EK Safari's and Nyala Safaris (Zim)
    Tusk and Hide Safaris Inc.
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    I will add another: Blair Worldwide. He booked a sheep hunt for a client. the outfitter did not show and the hunter lost his entire payment. IIRC it was over $50,000. Blair would not even refund his commission.

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    I now find myself on side of defending an outfitter/agent which is somewhat different for me.

    Adam Clements is somewhat of a hybrid of a booking agent/outfitter. He hunts his own areas in Tanzania and is a licensed PH there also. He has some of the best PH around working for him including Brian van Blerk, Dean Kendall, and I believe Cliff Walker. His areas have been consistently very good. I hunted his LU5 area in 2008 and his operation is top notch.

    He is also a booking agent for outfitters in other countries. He books for Mokore in Zim and Moz who is among one of the best outfitters in Africa. Barrie Duckworth is nothing short of a legend and Neil and Gary Duckworth are exceptional hunters. They also book for the DuPlooys in Zambia and they are top notch and consistently produce very good results. They also book in other countries with outfitters I am not familiar with.

    The companies I listed are ethical, legal, and will consistently give clients very good experiences.

    Jamie who works for him in his office is a gem. She handles the details and stays on top of business.

    Here is the problem that was mentioned above. He also books for Jimba Safaris owned by Wayne Dietrechsen. Wayne caters to clients who want lower priced hunts. The agreement Adam has/had with Wayne is that Wayne would be the PH for all of Adam's clients. Wayne decided to allow Tim Lamprecht to be a PH for one of Adam's clients without informing Adam.

    The hunt was basically a disaster although the client did take a very nice leopard and bushbuck. The client also played a role in this fiasco and I have very little sympathy for him.

    Adam refunded his commission plus $3000 of trophy fee money and offered some options on discounted hunts in the future in his Tanzania areas. As the booking agent he was more than fair with what he offered IMO.

    I would never hunt with Wayne Dietrechsen or Tim Lamprecht. Wayne is primarily responsible for allowing Tim to cause this mess.

    I would book with Adam as they almost always do a very good job. When have you heard of a booking agent returning his commission because of problems on a hunt especially when the client was complicit?

    To include ACST with some of the clowns and criminals in that list is a little unfair.

    The whole sordid mess is on other forum. There are 578 posts concerning this situation. Interesting read on how things can get screwed up.

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    Brickburn

    I noticed that you have Mark Sullivan listed. Though a controversial character I can't recall any discussion of Mark Sullivan conducting shady business. I think that is one of the reasons I disagree with these internet forum efforts to "warn" people about outfitters and agents. If everyone on your list had an equal voice in responding to the accusations made against them a different picture is often brought to light.
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    I have to agree with the others if you're going to list these Outfitters then please have the Courtesy to attach the link that would let us look at the complaint as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macs B View Post
    Brickburn

    I noticed that you have Mark Sullivan listed. Though a controversial character I can't recall any discussion of Mark Sullivan conducting shady business. I think that is one of the reasons I disagree with these internet forum efforts to "warn" people about outfitters and agents. If everyone on your list had an equal voice in responding to the accusations made against them a different picture is often brought to light.
    These are the other names that I pulled from an archive search using various key words: (Complaint, Guilty, Suspended, etc.)

    This is a tool for everyones use.

    Please note the one of the words in the archive search regarding Mark Sullivan. Suspended from SCI! WHY?

    You ask yourselves why this individual was suspended from an organization. Perhaps you know why. Ask the questions!

    The point of this exercise is to do the due diligence yourselves. This is a point of interest NOT an accusation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike70560 View Post
    I now find myself on side of defending an outfitter/agent which is somewhat different for me.

    Adam Clements is somewhat of a hybrid of a booking agent/outfitter. He hunts his own areas in Tanzania and is a licensed PH there also. He has some of the best PH around working for him including Brian van Blerk, Dean Kendall, and I believe Cliff Walker. His areas have been consistently very good. I hunted his LU5 area in 2008 and his operation is top notch.

    He is also a booking agent for outfitters in other countries. He books for Mokore in Zim and Moz who is among one of the best outfitters in Africa. Barrie Duckworth is nothing short of a legend and Neil and Gary Duckworth are exceptional hunters. They also book for the DuPlooys in Zambia and they are top notch and consistently produce very good results. They also book in other countries with outfitters I am not familiar with.

    The companies I listed are ethical, legal, and will consistently give clients very good experiences.

    Jamie who works for him in his office is a gem. She handles the details and stays on top of business.

    Here is the problem that was mentioned above. He also books for Jimba Safaris owned by Wayne Dietrechsen. Wayne caters to clients who want lower priced hunts. The agreement Adam has/had with Wayne is that Wayne would be the PH for all of Adam's clients. Wayne decided to allow Tim Lamprecht to be a PH for one of Adam's clients without informing Adam.

    The hunt was basically a disaster although the client did take a very nice leopard and bushbuck. The client also played a role in this fiasco and I have very little sympathy for him.

    Adam refunded his commission plus $3000 of trophy fee money and offered some options on discounted hunts in the future in his Tanzania areas. As the booking agent he was more than fair with what he offered IMO.

    I would never hunt with Wayne Dietrechsen or Tim Lamprecht. Wayne is primarily responsible for allowing Tim to cause this mess.

    I would book with Adam as they almost always do a very good job. When have you heard of a booking agent returning his commission because of problems on a hunt especially when the client was complicit?

    To include ACST with some of the clowns and criminals in that list is a little unfair.

    The whole sordid mess is on other forum. There are 578 posts concerning this situation. Interesting read on how things can get screwed up.

    Mike, I am glad you are putting something up here.
    Unfortunate situations like the event you refer to above happen.
    Hence, the "complaint"! criterion being met, that is all.

    If you were a rookie hunter about to book a hunt would you not like to know what might be expected of you or how PH's, agents and outfitters might make mistakes or how you might try to avoid making "client/hunter" mistakes yourself? Of course!

    It is terrifying to see how badly something can get screwed up and how quickly. It is costly and bad for everyone.

    Not my call about the authenticity of the complaint, I am not judging.
    I related this as basis for learning and to ASK QUESTIONS AND ANSWER THEM.
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    I have been following this post with interest, and since I am only a rookie as far as African safaris, compared to others on AH. However, I thought I would throw in my opinion anyway. I think that had I found the outfitters name that I was thinking of hunting with on a list such as Brickburn has posted then I believe it is a just another source of information to follow up on and find out for ones self if the issue is relevant to what I want from the safari. In the world of guided hunts ( not just in Africa) I am sure that no operator gets it perfectly right 100% of the time just as not all hunters can be satisfied no matter what effort is made for them by outfitters. So in the end if the outfitters name appears on a list " Beware" and the reason for this turnes out to be that the client who made the a the complaint on a forum or similar was upset that the coffee was the wrong brand or he could not get a 65" Kudu then to me it makes no difference. However, If there are numerous complaints regarding failed and improperly organized hunts, illegal hunts then who ever has posted the list has done me a good service.

    As has been stated by many of the various post on this forum BE DELIGENT IN YOU OWN RESEARCH before parting with hard earned cash. And if you don't do your research don't complain when it all goes south.

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    The only bad thing about a post like this both sides dont always get heard.There are to many lazy people who may read this and never look to find out why there were problems.If you found the reason why to list there names post it for all to see.In this new age of doing things it is to easy to bad mouth people with out all the facts.I have been in to many hunting camps were there was no pleasing the hunter.They think there money gurnatees them a great hunt and animal.When in must cases it was there lack of effort why there trip was not the great one.They may have seen other hunters have a great hunt take a great trophy but They also have no idea how hard the other hunter may had tried compared to them.I am sure some on that list maybe bad people but would bet there are a few who should not be there either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billc View Post
    The only bad thing about a post like this both sides dont always get heard.There are to many lazy people who may read this and never look to find out why there were problems.If you found the reason why to list there names post it for all to see.In this new age of doing things it is to easy to bad mouth people with out all the facts.I have been in to many hunting camps were there was no pleasing the hunter.They think there money gurnatees them a great hunt and animal.When in must cases it was there lack of effort why there trip was not the great one.They may have seen other hunters have a great hunt take a great trophy but They also have no idea how hard the other hunter may had tried compared to them.I am sure some on that list maybe bad people but would bet there are a few who should not be there either.

    Bill,
    I agree that there are lazy people. I can not change that nor can you.
    I am not paid to do the work for anyone. I am trying to share some information in a community.
    I just asked a guy for pictures of his taxidermy work and provided them for your personal benefit (you placed your trophies with that taxidermist) on another thread.

    This post is only about being aware!

    ALL THE REASONS ARE ALREADY PUBLIC and both sides can present their stories or already have. This is a reference source, that is all.

    I wish everyone could be 100% happy and everyone was honest and informed and then NO ONE WOULD BE ON THIS LIST.
    To that end, maybe some people can do a little more reading and find out how to avoid being the problem/ avoid the problem and also contribute to the solution.


    I agree there are problem hunters and they can complain about anything. People have to learn that someone will complain about something as simple as the breakfasts.
    In South Africa they do not eat "breakfast".
    You will get "Rusks" and coffee. Brunch will be later in the morning.
    Although, many lodges and outfits cater to the North American client and have changed so that they provide a full breakfast. For those who want to experience the culture, take the rusks and coffee and get out hunting.
    If it is important to you to have a big breakfast when you wake up, you had better ask some questions.

    Some people can not tell the difference between a minor glitch and a major problem or out and out criminal behaviour.
    I have heard and read everything from complaints about the food (in camps usually) to I gained 20 pounds from the food at the lodge.
    So, in some instances someone expected five star catered meals ( 3 per day) in a Buffalo camp in the middle of a swamp?! I have no idea why. I think they are nuts, unless they paid $3500.00 per day for a day rate.


    Most rookie hunters could not tell the difference between a monster Kudu and a juvenile before they leave for their trip.
    ( I still have trouble after ten days in PH school, Kudu are my personal nemesis for trophy judging)
    But, after it hits the ground and they come home and compare pictures. Then are they happy anymore? I hope so. Some are not. Who's fault is that. There are many instances of blame being layed at the PH's (Professional Hunter's) feet.
    Did the hunter actually ask to conduct a 60 inch trophy Kudu hunt? If he did Great. Does he know to expect to spend 10 days hunting their butt off and not getting one. They do not grow on trees. Many people spend repeated trips over years and never see one. You have to make your expectations clear and ask questions.

    Do, outfitters and Agents put up pictures of below average specimens on the web sites or in their booths? No they don't. Some are representative and some are the largest specimen ever shot in their entire working lives. Is this intentionally misleading? We want to see the biggest and the best and want to get excited and go hunting. It is only after there is a problem/concern that people choose to notice and then complain.

    Do you make the assumption that the posted pictures are all from last years hunting? Many people do. Some outfitters have up to date sites that list species per annum. Some do not. Maybe they are smaller and do not have the resources to change the web site every week.

    Do you ask about diseases in the herd? I never did. I heard about Kudu rabies after arriving in Africa. Well, it occurs in cycles and might effect the number of animals available to hunt. No fault of the PH but it will effect your hunt.


    Here is a good example of a cultural difference between North America and Africa. It is as simple as having "trophy lists". The mere existence makes it "appear" that you can expect to walk into a store and purchase a trophy Kudu like you would a loaf of bread.
    Of course it is not the case, it appears that way and creates a perception that they are on the shelf somewhere.
    That does not happen in North America.
    Although, when someone pays $200,000 for a Big Horn Sheep hunt they probably expect to get a sheep. But not a list of species.

    If the hunter can do some reading beforehand maybe the PH's, Agents and Outfitters [PAO's] will get the questions beforehand and the rookie hunter can get the answers and the problems on both sides will be reduced.


    And speaking of bread, before parting with the grocery money for that "once in a life time" trip to Africa and being disappointed take the time and read the threads and everything you possibly can and learn that there are ways to avoid that disappointment and have a great trip.
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    This site is great for getting info and help.Yes you have helped me with info more then once.Just think if you post this stuff the proof should be there also.Paid or not your post can cause damage to someone who may not deserve it.Sometimes if you dont have a dog in the fight better to not say anything at all.Someone can now see your post and look no farhter then that.Is that fair to all on the list but it is now info that may get used when deciding.I know your post was meant to help other hunters but if you found bad things the info is there for you to post with your list.To easy for things to get out of hand now adays with out all the facts.

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    I searched for the word "SCAM" in the archive. This post came up 8th in a line of many at this point in time.

    The whole post / thread must be read to obtain the entire story.
    This is a great example of how asking questions can turn into a successful hunt even though it appeared "too good to be true" to start with.
    In the hope that people will be able to ask questions and avoid the pitfalls that are out there. Including, leaping to conclusions.

    After some deeper research the hunt turned out very well after significant initial trepidation on the hunters part.


    Shavesgreen Safaris had an excellent offer that an AH member (TAP) was interested in.

    This is a case where what was being offered was so incredible it was initially disbelieved.

    TAP, a demanding, experienced (Africa) hunter (my characterization) viewed the offering initially with significant doubt and indeed shared his immediate impression in his posting here on AH as quoted:

    " I found a particular ad from shavesgreen safaris marketing a sable that was suppose to go over 47" easily. In addition the package included an eland, a zebra, a waterbuck, and an impala. all this was for $14,000 and I instantly knew it was a scam?"

    The link: Monster sable!


    TAP asked lots of questions before making the deal and everything turned out with a successful hunt and record book animal and a very satisfied customer.

    Good luck with your questions and your hunt.
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    perfect point why there name should not be on the list.He knew it was a scam but ended up going and was happy.Guess it was not a scam after all and he was way wrong.But now that post is out there for all to see.If people dont go far enough with there search they will just think this place is a scam.He was stupid for doing the post to start before talking with them.he got no facts before but thought bad right away.Now those words are out there for all to see.To much damage can be done with out people thinking before they type or talk.What was gain by adding this place to your list nothing just some bad info that adds to the first wrong info.So now two post can come up with miss info againist a perfectly fine place to go to hunt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billc View Post
    perfect point why there name should not be on the list. So now two post can come up with miss info against a perfectly fine place to go to hunt.
    BillC ,

    The outfitters name is not on the list and TAP's post is here as an example of a good outcome from asking some further questions.

    Neither post has misinformation in it. How did you jump to that one?


    I think it is an excellent example of NOT jumping to conclusions and a lesson to ASK MORE QUESTIONS!.


    TAP was actually providing a "hunt report" of his experiences, impressions and feelings, which we are all welcome to do here.

    TAP's hunting report is glowing in praise if you READ IT ALL.

    However, when "great offers" are made people are prone to disbelieve.
    Hence the old adages.

    Sadly, anything can be misinterpreted if people are lazy. I'll give people the benefit of the doubt though.

    The benefits of this forum and others like it are significant if people get involved and participate AH members will all benefit.

    In my mind, not being involved or sharing will only create an environment where more people will be taken advantage of. No one needs that.
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    seems a name has been removed and some other posted comments on here got taken off.They were on the list even ask why they were on the list or there is another post with this subject.I dont think this is a bad idea to make the list just think people should prove things before adding on to problems that could be or not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Macs B View Post
    Brickburn

    I noticed that you have Mark Sullivan listed. Though a controversial character I can't recall any discussion of Mark Sullivan conducting shady business. I think that is one of the reasons I disagree with these internet forum efforts to "warn" people about outfitters and agents. If everyone on your list had an equal voice in responding to the accusations made against them a different picture is often brought to light.
    I have to agree about Mr. Sullivan. A lot of people (as far as I can tell all of which have never hunted with him) don't like his approach to hunting Dangerous Game but I have never heard of anybody that hunted with him calling him out as a ripoff or thief.

    I have to wonder if he doesn't provoke the heart stopping charges on his videos but I have to say that if something was charging that wanted to stomp me he would probably be the guy I hoped was next to me.

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    I totally disagree with putting Jimba Safaris, owner is Wayne Dietrechsen on this list. we just got back from a great hunt with Wayne D. and Wayne clark. Extemely professional outfit! I have been an many african safari's and Jimba was one of the very best safari outfits I have been on. Friendly, professional and effective! chopperdan@plateautel.net if you want any further information.


  18. #18
    James.Grage's Avatar
    James.Grage is offline GOLD SUPPORTER
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    Chopperdan welcome to AH...

    Quote Originally Posted by chopperdan View Post
    I totally disagree with putting Jimba Safaris, owner is Wayne Dietrechsen on this list. we just got back from a great hunt with Wayne D. and Wayne clark. Extemely professional outfit! Attachment 9680 I have been an many african safari's and Jimba was one of the very best safari outfits I have been on. Friendly, professional and effective! chopperdan@plateautel.net if you want any further information.
    James Grage - New Mexico
    Hold a steady Eye & Rifle...
    "Very few of the so-called liberals are open-minded...they shout you down and won't let you speak if you disagree with them." John Wayne

  19. #19
    Red Leg's Avatar
    Red Leg is online now GOLD SUPPORTER
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    I would be very hesitant about creating a problem list from a google search. As you yourself point out, at least one of the potential listed parties fell out based upon the quirks of search criteria. Assuming some equal due dilligence were applied to the remaining complaints themselves, I wonder how many would fall off? Fortunately, you didn't turn up a quality outfitter and PH of mine who had a scathing report submitted on him by a disgruntled client two years ago. I happened to be in camp with him at the same time. He was an insufferable little tyrant from Pittsburg who would have been unhappy at the Four Seasons. He did his very best to extend his unhappiness to everyone else in camp. He concluded his attempted little reign of terror with no tip for his PH or staff and a grossly unfair trip report on another site.

    You are most certainly correct that anyone going to Africa should do thorough research before signing a contract - and perusing the outfitter's website is not really research. Indeed, my advice to all first time African hunters is to use a respected booking agent and take full advantage of the research he does and upon which he builds his reputation. But I am very uncomfortable with a list like the above, because it represents little in the way of real research either. Small businesses are at the mercy of the internet and can easily be victimized by a single malcontent. We simply reinforce that power when we create lists like the above which represent thorough "googling" but zero due dilligence.
    "We sleep peaceably in our beds because rough men stand ready in the
    night to visit violence on those who would do us harm" Winston Churchill

  20. #20
    Jaco Strauss's Avatar
    Jaco Strauss is offline AfricaHunting.com SPONSOR
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    True, it seems way to easy as an outfitter myself I understand that things do not and can not always go well on safari, I believe it is how one handles problems that arise on safari that sets you apart in the end, There are limits to what one can and ca not do of course but we should remember that we are in the service industry.

    There are many legit complaints in circulation, by clients but there are many crappy ones as well, I know of a client that did a ele on a good area he was set on at least a 50lbs and we just never got such a bull (keep in mind this was a good area that suited the clients stipulated budget he had options to begin with as well as all info on hand) after safari he held onto the remainder of the daily rate payment, and a year and a half long struggle started, he threatened to go to SCI he wanted to sue, all because he did not shoot his Ele.

    Now while I know how much this hurts it is a reality behind hunting a free roaming area. Something he was adement about doing, as well as hid size stipulation.

    Point is I and a top notch Zim outfit could have been branded and placed on this list for no real good solid reason/complaint.

    I do like the idea of such a list but it should have endorsement such a PHASA, IPHA, and all the other clicks" If the have been kicked out of their associations in their respective country there should be a good reason for it.

    Something like this could work but it needs to be a solid well established site/forum one complaint can not brand you as a bad outfit.

    Just my thoughts.
    My best always.
    Jaco Strauss
    Kwalata Wilderness safaris - South Africa/Mozambique
    Jaco@kwalata.com
    www.kwalata.com

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