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What is the TRUE cost of my African Hunting Safari!

This is a discussion on What is the TRUE cost of my African Hunting Safari! within the Hunting Africa forums, part of the HUNT AFRICA category; Hi guys Been scratching on this site for a while and have done some posts, however I have found mostly ...

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    Jaco Strauss's Avatar
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    Default What is the TRUE cost of my African Hunting Safari!

    Hi guys
    Been scratching on this site for a while and have done some posts, however I have found mostly from feedback from my clients or other fellow hunters that have hunted Africa that there seems to be some confusion regarding total costs or total safari breakdowns, this is a subject that comes up far to often and can leave a bitter taste or a disappointing end to what would have been the perfect safari.

    Does all inclusive really mean what it should, and while most or many of these potential costs are not payable to the outfitter we as outfitters could surely prepare our guests for such expenses it would be good to get a complete frame work on this (orn a norm so to speak) I truly believe that it would make the booking process for hunters much easier (less complicated) and remove any uncertainty that there might be, I would like some feedback from hunters and outfitters alike to see what we as a group can come up with.


    These could potentially include:
    * Pro-forma invoices Dipping packing
    * Shipping (pro forma invoice)
    * Additional taxes if any
    * Taxidermy
    * Average on tipping
    * Full quote on additional species at time of booking.
    * Pricing on additional flights, inland commercial or charter, and if so pricing on overnight guest housing, does this include dinner or only breakfast.
    * All services that we truly include whilst on safari, transfers to non hunting activities for wives as well as pricing on those transfers and on activities themselves.
    * So called free species(Varmint) any Cities or permit fees should you decide to export
    * What does moderation mean (maybe I'm really happy after shooting a big kudu for 2 days? And feel like a party does this still fall under the term moderation, or rather when do I start paying and how much.)
    * Possible costs on international airfare, as well as cost on inland flights to designated gateway cities.
    * Visa costs if any.
    * Pre arranged rifle importation

    Keep in mind while I understand that there are allot of variables we (outfitters) also need to remeber that we should truly be able to list all costs directly related to visiting with us or as direct result of taking a trophy or exportable animal,

    These are all things that seems simple to us but they are concerns especially for the budget minded hunter, who we all depend on.


    My point is that trophies fees and daily rates do by no means constitute a complete breakdown on all safari costs involved, as outfitters do we really give our clients a complete breakdown on all safari costs involved, We are their/your contact/route/gateway to Africa and I feel that Ultimately we as outfitters should be responsible for providing clients potential or booked with all information instead of shrugging it off as non related costs.

    No matter which way we cut it in the end is part of safari expenses. Would really appreciate some positive feedback to see where we as outfitters can better ourselves and make the whole booking process less complicated.

    Thought it would be good to start this as it is just before Vegas and some other shows.


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

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    AfricaHunting.com is online now Jerome Philippe, Founder of AfricaHunting.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRICKBURN
    Jaco, this is a good topic. I'll put some thought into it and get back to you.
    Quote Originally Posted by 35bore
    Seems like a great concept.

    You pay X amount of $$ and you don't pay a dime more from the time you leave your front door (with luggage and gun in hand) and the next thing you know, trophies are arriving at your front door nine months later. Hell, I like it.

    That would really make it tough to start a pricing system like that though. At least until ALL the Outfitters were pricing the same. Then again, it could be a great selling point for you, plus you would get the "air miles" offered by so many airlines, plus better prices on the airline tickets themselves.

    Never know Jaco, you might be onto something.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaco Strauss
    35 Bore while I see were you are coming from and like it allot!!!! ;-) as well it could be complicated, as you say.... but my thoughts are more along the lines of providing my clients a complete breakdown on ALL costs involved for their budget purposes, and whether we do this as a norm or not, if anything it should be a great service you deliver as an outfitter.

    I have had many potential African hunters mentione that their budget is $10 000 not that they would like to spend $10 000 on animals animals and trophies but a total budget, I think that approaching it this way would save some nasty surprises, taxidermy work is another, while it might be more affordable to mount and ship in Africa is it more vialble?\

    When taking 2 big 50% lump sums into consideration, Dposit and final payment, would you as a hunter be able to do this, or might it be better to ship to the U.S and taxidermy over a period of time,?? this would mostly apply to true once in a liftime hunters but are factors to be taken into consideration and information that needs to be shared.

    Thanks for getting this going.

    My best always.
    Quote Originally Posted by 35bore
    Jaco,

    Guess why I like the idea is, the way I took your comment on "all inclusive" meaning no unforseen cost. Bear with me here...

    If a SA outfitter is offering a 7 day hunt for $5500.00US and then does the research and see's that airline tickets will run another $2000.00 and then tips (that was a previous thread) but let's say $400.00 to the PH, firearm and ammunition importation fees $300.00, then taxidermy work including shipping to your door run's $2600.00. This just turned into a $10,800.00 trip, right? Then say that Jaco Strauss was selling the same animals but, it is all inclusive, and you will sell your hunt to this same client for say $10,500.00. The client would know exactly how much he was going to spend, up front and have the comfort of knowing that it was all he had to spend.........

    Unless I am just really missing your point, but, that's my take on it.

    I think maybe not 50% lump sums, more like 1/3 upon reserving the hunt, another 1/3 upon arrival, then the last 1/3 after the hunting is done.

    Like I said, I like the concept, others may not.... It's a good topic though. Good luck.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaco Strauss
    I get what you are getting saying and could be another option my intention would not be handling funds for 3rd parties but my point is providding a client with a complete breakdown of all costs involved.

    I like where your head is at though.

    My best always.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nyati
    I use an excel spreadsheet where I list the animals, and add up the cost

    Trophy fees
    Daily rates
    Tips
    Airline tickets
    Dip and pack
    (so far, these costs can be exact)

    Airfreight and customs clearance (estimated)
    Taxidermy (you can also get an exact quotation)

    I dont t see it s that hard to make a safari budget. The tough part is raising the money
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaco Strauss
    Mostly it is not Nyati but for hunters that have never been it can be tough, not knowing all steps drawing up a buget is virtually impossible, Saving you the time your outfitter could have provided you with all this info and you would have been impressed.

    My best always.
    Quote Originally Posted by 35bore
    Oooooooohhhhhh.......... Sorry about that

    After re-reading everything, TWICE, I am catching what you are throwing now.

    Your breakdown of cost prior to the hunt so there are no surprises. I could see it as being benificial for both the hunter and outfitter, just to avoid, the "Shock' that I have read about so often. You gathering the information so the client is fully aware of the cost before he/she makes the decision to do something, i.e. shoot another animal, or cross over into another country to hunt "visa costs'". Possibly the price list of some of the more trusted taxidermist in SA and one for the shipping courier. I could see how it would a very time consuming process on your end, but, I as a client would appreciate any help I could get while traveling abroad.

    Hope I got the context right this time, and sorry for getting it wrong the first time.
    Quote Originally Posted by James.Grage
    Jaco Good post.

    I like :
    1. Daily rates X number of days
    2. Trophy Fees by animal
    3. Tips - Poor - Average - above average - excellent. Provide a $ amount for each. I budget for average and have gone well into the above average - to excellent range. example: If it takes 2 days to get hot water to shower that person will receive less. or if the cook - waiter checks every time you are near or around to help or get you anything there tip goes up. At a camp the tips can go from poor to excellent and this is talked about with the PH.
    4. Airline tickets - adjust travel days for best rates if you can.
    5. Trophy care plus Dip & Pack
    6. Shipping
    7. customs clearance.
    8. Motel costs
    9. Meals are budget for and some days i am over and other i am under.
    10. Gun service
    11. Taxidermy - This is big in flexibility for me...When i go i have mounts in my head what i want to do and changes sometimes occur..As trophy's are harvested some shoulder or rugs mounts could be come pedestal mounts or life-size mounts. and it could go the other way and some shoulder mounts could become European mounts.
    Quote Originally Posted by AfricaHunting.com
    Great topic Jaco!

    Here are some expenses that may also apply...

    - Equipment needed for the trip
    - Bank charges
    - Traveler's cheques costs
    - Bank wire transfer costs
    - Credit card charges
    - Insurance costs (medical, evacuation, travel insurance...)
    - Create or revise your will
    - Passport
    - Visas
    - Custom charges
    - Doctor visits
    - Preventative Medications
    - Vaccinations
    - Immunizations
    - International Certificate of Vaccination
    - Certificate of Registration for Personal Effects Taken Abroad (CBP form # 4457)
    - Airport transit permits for weapons
    - Overweight or too many luggage costs
    - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service & CITIES permits for certain sport hunted trophies
    - Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Etiologic Agent import permit for certain sport hunted trophies
    - Sport hunted trophies export permits
    - Hunting licenses
    - Hunting permits
    - Weapon permits and importations costs
    - Ammunition permits and importations costs
    - Practice shooting costs
    - Fine on wounded trophies
    - Accommodations pre/post hunt costs
    - Excursions and tours
    - Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages costs
    - Ground transportation costs to and from airport
    - Charter flights
    - Field preparation of trophies costs
    - Hiring of weapon and ammunition costs
    - Pre-hunt preparation costs (baited hunts)
    - Game scouts costs
    - Delivery of trophies to local taxidermist in Africa
    - Taxidermy and Dip and Pack costs
    - Taxes on non exported trophies
    - Shipping of Trophies
    - Trophy clearing Agent
    - Gratuities
    - Expenses of a personal nature
    - Gift for wife
    - Unforeseen expenses...
    Quote Originally Posted by TOM
    I don't want to know what i'm spending total! I'm serious.

    That is the nice part about safari....most expenses are spread out over time.

    Deposit for safari (6 months to a couple years out)
    air tickets (3-6 months out)
    daily rates and trophy fees (on safari)
    taxidermy deposit (on safari or a month later)
    taxidermy final payment (6-12 months later)
    shipping payment (6-12 months later)
    then....
    Saving for next safari (13 months later)
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaco Strauss
    Jerome, You are most definitly proving why you own the site...he he !! I just feel that as an outfitter I have received these questions, and have made it a fixture in all my quotes. Many hunters have gone on $10 000 safaris and it turned into a nightmare when they eventually got to all costs involved.

    As far as revising a will well i have not thought of that one yewt maybe I'll add it ;-)

    My best always.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaco Strauss
    That's one way of looking at it Tom! Like where your heads at!

    My best always.
    Quote Originally Posted by sestoppelman
    Agree with Tom on this one. If we knew ahead of time what every little doo-dad and service was going to cost beforehand, we might reconsider the whole thing. I tend to not worry about the payments on the portions of the trip that I know are down the road a ways.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tikkaman1
    Great topic guys and perfect timing for me as I just booked my first African Safari. I have been lucky as I have an acquaintance who was in SA last year and has provided me with some good advice as to costs but as Jerome has shown there are a lot of "little" extras that people would not think of that add up quick to the budget minded hunter. I am sure if I would have told my wife before hand what the total cost was going to be 10-12k then it would have definately been a NO go. TOM has hit it on the head though with his comment about it being spread out and it is helping us immensely knowing that we will hopefully be bringing some trophies home and spreading out the taxidermy has relieved a little of the pressure. Can't wait for the Safari and learning some more on AH
    Quote Originally Posted by firehuntfish
    Jaco,

    I commend you on your effort to try and come up with a method to be as truthful and forthcoming as possible in relation to the "actual cost" of a safari...

    In my opinion as an American consumer who has had the good fortune of being able to hunt and fish with outfitters in a lot of different places, I can tell you that just making the effort to mention all of the various expenses that may follow will go a long way in establishing a trust and positve repore with your clients.

    I don't know if you can ever give a client a truly accurate quote on all of the many expenses after just because of the fluctuation is some of these expenses in the changing market. Associated costs that are out of your hands, for example, are impossible to guarantee, but as I said, just making the client aware of these costs will definately give you an advantage over other outfitters who don't prepare their clients other unscrupulous outfitters who purposely attemt to deceive them.

    I can assure you that I when I book a trip, I stress the fact to the outfitter that I want to be made aware of every potential expense beforehand. I won't tolerate unpleasant suprises, and I would refuse to pay for something that I was led to believe was part of "all-inclusive".... The more detailed and honestly you can quote a trip for the client the better...

    Jerome Philippe, Founder of AfricaHunting.com
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    Ole Bally is offline AH Enthusiast
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    Jerome...you're them man!! Your list is good and comprehensive!
    Jaco, I think that certain operators leave out a lot of 'hidden costs' to snag the hunter! Everyone looks for a bargain...which ALWAYS turns out much more expensive than you think!
    I am one of those people who'd prefer to know as close to the last cent how much somethings gonna cost! I spend time researching my trips and making sure I (think I) know whats involved! Not being a wealthy person makes me more careful how I spend my hard earned! I always turn the dollar over twice....sometimes that can be a very annoying trait to myself! Also having been sharked more than once makes me more cautious!!
    Jerome. could I copy and forward your list to a friend for possible publication in African Hunter magazine? I know he'd be delighted!!

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    Jaco Strauss's Avatar
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    Baly, my whole point.... I for one try to give my clients a heads up on all and any (especially the ones easily left out) costs, this provides them with the opportunity to draw up a complete budget, for their safari, turning $ twice over and possibly once more is a much more common occurance than what you may think, so don't be so hard on your self
    Point is simple all factors and comparisons needs to be taken into consideration and compared to (for the most part) get a complete cost breakdown on a safari.

    I for one try to list all involved as best I can, if anything it helps my clients tremendously, and makes the whole planing process allot easier, after all if we do not provide potential hunters with all neede info, pricing and otherwise, who's going to do it.

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

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    AfricaHunting.com is online now Jerome Philippe, Founder of AfricaHunting.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole Bally View Post
    Jerome. could I copy and forward your list to a friend for possible publication in African Hunter magazine? I know he'd be delighted!!
    Feel free to forward this list to your friend...

    Note that my list omitted the fundamental costs such as:

    - Hunters' daily rates or hunting packages' costs
    - Non-hunting guests' daily rates
    - Rests or or transfers' daily rates
    - Government tax on daily rates or hunting packages
    - Trophy fees
    - Government tax on trophy fees
    - Possible refunds for animals not taken on hunting packages
    - Bird hunting costs
    - Fishing costs


    Omitted from list below:
    - Concession fees
    - Airport taxes


    Here are some expenses that may also apply...

    - Equipment needed for the trip
    - Bank charges
    - Traveler's cheques costs
    - Bank wire transfer costs
    - Credit card charges
    - Insurance costs (medical, evacuation, travel insurance...)
    - Create or revise your will
    - Passport
    - Visas
    - Custom charges
    - Doctor visits
    - Preventative Medications
    - Vaccinations
    - Immunizations
    - International Certificate of Vaccination
    - Certificate of Registration for Personal Effects Taken Abroad (CBP form # 4457)
    - Airport transit permits for weapons
    - Overweight or too many luggage costs
    - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service & CITIES permits for certain sport hunted trophies
    - Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) Etiologic Agent import permit for certain sport hunted trophies
    - Sport hunted trophies export permits
    - Hunting licenses
    - Hunting permits
    - Weapon permits and importations costs
    - Ammunition permits and importations costs
    - Practice shooting costs
    - Fine on wounded trophies
    - Accommodations pre/post hunt costs
    - Excursions and tours
    - Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages costs
    - Ground transportation costs to and from airport
    - Charter flights
    - Field preparation of trophies costs
    - Hiring of weapon and ammunition costs
    - Pre-hunt preparation costs (baited hunts)
    - Game scouts costs
    - Delivery of trophies to local taxidermist in Africa
    - Taxidermy and Dip and Pack costs
    - Taxes on non exported trophies
    - Shipping of Trophies
    - Trophy clearing Agent
    - Gratuities
    - Expenses of a personal nature
    - Gift for wife
    - Unforeseen expenses...

    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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    gillettehunter is online now AH Enthusiast
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    Great thread. Especially for a first time hunter to Africa. We went last year. My second trip so I was better prepared for the extra costs involved. The 3 other members of the group had not completely assimilated the info on what it would fully cost in the end. I tried to tell them as well as reminded them that the $$ would be spread out a bit. That part helped for sure. Thanks Jaco for bringing this up. Bruce

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    I am tagging this for future use for when i talk to potential hunters going to Africa...

    Way more thought went into this than many would look at...or anticipate...

    If one is going on a first time hunt there are great point to review.
    James Grage - New Mexico
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    Ole Bally is offline AH Enthusiast
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    Jaco, you're clearly the sort of outfitter I'd hunt with and build a lasting friendship with!!
    I gave up PH work almost entirely due to the dishonesty of Outfitters (Operators as we call them here!) As a PH, my integrity and rep was all too often questioned by clients NOT getting what was advertised. Being the fall guy for the Operator was not any fun and I really squirm at having to make excuses for something I know fully well is not right! The other thread running at the moment irt the poor chap hunting Moz is about par for the course!
    As a Christian, I just got the point where I said I'm done!
    4 years lie free now!!! I make no excuses for anyone anymore!!!
    There is also a difference between guys like yourself who are the outfitter AND the PH! They tend to take care of their reps far better than guys who try to build an empire by having mutliple areas and numerous PH's working for them. A lot of it has to do with a simple lack of business training too. A great book called the E-Myth Revisited shows why this is so!!!
    Have a blessed day Jaco!!

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    The last safari I went on was bought at an auction and with cost of the auction, plane tickets for one, trophy fees for 7 animals (4 animals over a $2500 trophy fee), dip and ship taxi fees, air freight to the USA, broker fees and extra taxi fees from the broker (warthog redipped),and shipping to my taxi was somewhere between $2500 and $3000 per animal. where in the USA can you find a trophy 10 day hunt for that price. Africa is cheaper! Give me elk in the USA and the animals in Africa and I am a happy camper!
    HCA Speed Pro, 70#'s @ 29", 560 grain Gold Tip XT Hunters tipped w/100 grain Smoke Ramcat.

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    Ole Bally thanks for the compliments!

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

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    great post jaco !
    just as important as honest expectations as far as costs is honest expectations as far as availability of species and style of hunt ...thats probably another thread ..

    one of the issues is that very few people come to africa to shoot three things and go home with three things , most that i know or hunt with come for three and go home with 6 !!

    taxidermy is also very variable as a lot depends on what type of pose etc etc , so a guy thinking he will do 3 shouldermounts , sees something in a magazine , brochure etc and the next thing his kudu is on a pedastel and his springbok is lifesize ...very different costs.

    the five big ones on the ground usually are
    daily rate
    charter
    trophy fees
    dip and pack
    shipping

    all the rest , while they do add up are small in comparison
    the two biggies before you leave are
    international flight
    extra gear

    in tanzania for a while outfitters got into a way of quoting that was very complicated where they broke out all the taxes and government royalties and extras and you ended up with a long explanation and nobody really understood , today its far more normal to get straight to a bottom line cost of daily rate and charter..the better outfitters include medivac of some sort.

    most of the anxiety that one hears about is when the daily rate has an unforseen change , "yes you can shoot the kudu but it will; mean your daily rate changes" unless the client knows that BEFORE the hunt thats simply not right ..

    i hunt a lot in botswana where today most people go for an elephant , or sometimes two ...the price is not very variable and VERY few additional charges ...so very easy to very accurately quote ...in my prep i have three samples of what the dip and pack may be ..one ..tusks only , two ..tusks feet and ears and one panel
    three shouldermount panels feet and tusks ...that gives people an idea of what to expect

    i have thought and battled long and hard on exactly the same topic and time and again i come up with the same thing...if everything is to be prepaid , in order that the outfitter or booking agent doesnt lose money , he will need to "overcharge" in case the shipping is more , in case some of the third party costs go up , charter rates vary all the time with fuel costs etc ..

    the way i quote is basic hunt cost =xx known additional extras cost =xx possible additional costs =xx so that there is a reasonable expectation.

    great thread people , some great things to consider ..thanks
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Carter View Post
    ............

    most of the anxiety that one hears about is when the daily rate has an unforseen change , "yes you can shoot the kudu but it will; mean your daily rate changes" unless the client knows that BEFORE the hunt thats simply not right .................
    Speaking of Confusing rates:
    I'll ask this one right here. I have noticed this "alternating" (escalating) day rate with the change in species with some outfits.
    Ivan, you note Kudu, as an example. I can see that a hunter takes a plains game hunt and then wants to add Dangerous Game (Buffalo) I can see the rate going up.
    But Sable, Roan, etc ?? (still Plains game with larger TF's) . Fully recognizing it is an outfitters choice to set what ever rates they want. I am just wondering about the rationale in general.

    The other one that concerned me was an instance of hunting (Elephant, Lion, Leopard, etc.) and "adding" to quota (Kudu) adds extra day rates. Although most times you are already going to be paying top day rates to start with.
    (Not that most sane hunters on Elephant spoor are going to shoot a Kudu)


    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Carter View Post
    i hunt a lot in botswana where today most people go for an elephant , or sometimes two ...the price is not very variable and VERY few additional charges ...so very easy to very accurately quote ...in my prep i have three samples of what the dip and pack may be ..one ..tusks only , two ..tusks feet and ears and one panel
    three shouldermount panels feet and tusks ...that gives people an idea of what to expect
    ..............
    From a long time Elephant hunter like me (mostly zoos and game reserves);
    What does someone do with a panel from an Elephant?
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRICKBURN View Post
    What does someone do with a panel from an Elephant?
    From an even more naive perspective. What part of the Elephant is the panel anyway?
    The journey is the reward.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondhitch View Post
    From an even more naive perspective. What part of the Elephant is the panel anyway?
    That is one of the chunks of hide.
    Large "panels" of hide are almost like large art canvases.

    I guess leather goods etc from what I have found now.
    Practice whispering before you leave for Africa!
    A Legend in my own mind!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRICKBURN View Post
    That is one of the chunks of hide.
    Large "panels" of hide are almost like large art canvases.

    I guess leather goods etc from what I have found now.
    I had assumed as much but you never know. Elephant backskins!
    The journey is the reward.

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    jeff is online now AH Senior Member
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    I returned from another trip to South Africa,I had a blesbok ,gemsbok,and waterbuck shoulder capes and skulls plus a blue wildebeest skull only. The cost for dip and pack $425, air freight $880, custom broker and receiving charges $482. Total $1787 before taxidermy Thought someone might be interested in what it costs.

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    Some great info here, I missed this thread earlier... The 2nd time I went to SA it was much easier on the planning and dollar side, I knew what to expect and the real actual costs, as I did most myself and did not go thru an outfitter back in Canada! That being said, there is a few things in this thread that I will use in my future trips, as I am heading back in 2014. All I can say is great thread here and really good info to help out getting a true understanding of the costs and planning that needs to happen to have a great all around safari!!!

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    As a Newbie going on my first hunt a year out I allready feel a budget Pinch just piecing together the equipment,,,Binos,,a decent Camera,,an approved Gun Case etc,,,,let alone the price of transportation and the Hunt itself I,m starting to think the Hunt itself is a Bargain compared to equipping yourself,,,,that being said I,m on my way to Cabelas to look and try on some hunting shoes and a jacket they have on sale

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    Once you have the equipment you will be set for a long time.

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    And as they say, thats part of the fun and excitement, the planning, etc, etc!! As long as you take whats suggested (doesnt have to be the top quality or $'s, its what you can afford) you will have a great time and as soon as you are in the air on your way home, you will be thinking, how the heck do i get back there, it is addicting!!!

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