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Advice needed on first African Safari

This is a discussion on Advice needed on first African Safari within the Hunting Africa forums, part of the HUNT AFRICA category; Hello Folks, I'm trying to plan my first (maybe my only) safari. I am pretty set on Namibia. I would ...

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    Post Advice needed on first African Safari

    Hello Folks,

    I'm trying to plan my first (maybe my only) safari. I am pretty set on Namibia. I would like some advice on making sure this an enjoyable trip with no big surprises. The questions below are for a safari I am hoping will cost $10,000 at the most

    1. How do I choose a good outfitter? I want a decent place to sleep and good food but I don't need luxury, I want good hunting, fair chase, prefer spot and stalk. I don't want to be at a place where I am one of many hunters...

    2. Are package hunts a better choice then daily rates and trophy fees? I would like to stay around $6000 or less for the "hunt". Kudu and Imapala is a must. I am thinking of maybe trying to get a Oryx and Red Hartebeest as well for around that price. Is 7 days enough hunting time for that? Will I wish later that I would have spent more money and gotten more animals?

    3. What can I expect the approx cost will be to pack and dip the above trophies and export them to the USA? Is that a better way to do it then to have them mounted in Africa?

    4. I am very comfortable with my 300 Win mag up to 300yds and deer hunt alot. Will this set up work for me over there?

    Any advice is appreciated, I just don't want this trip to turn into a horror story like some I have read. $10k is a chunk of money for me but worth it for a once in a lifetime trip.

    Thanks, Vee

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    Welcome to AH

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    Quote Originally Posted by veeyoder View Post
    I am very comfortable with my 300 Win mag up to 300yds and deer hunt alot. Will this set up work for me over there?
    ..no problem at all for the PG that you have chosen. Use premium ammo and practice shooting off the sticks as much as possible. You will get much info and help here, so enjoy your planning..

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    Welcome to the forum, finding a quality outfitter is pretty simple references should help with this.

    Pertinent questions on how much land you'll be hunting, is it all adjacent or are they operating black top or asphalt safaris by driving from area to area..

    How many hunters will be in camp... It seems that you know exactly what you'd like so make this clear to prospective outfitters.

    7 days should be good make sure of actual hunting days, transfers or any other related costs some outfits might have.

    Agreed with DOCMAN all should be fine with calibre choice and rifle...

    Finally leave with an open mind and go to enjoy... I doubt whether you'll only go once... :-) it gets in your blood!!!!

    Good luck and my best always!
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    Welcome to the AH forum...

    With a limit of $10,000 for your safari it is doable.

    Does that include Airfare?

    Many PH on our forum will do you a great job.

    I would look to South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Namibia. All are a good place to go right now, just ask for references....

    Check out the "hunting deals" on our top header, to find some smoking good deals.
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    Better answer for you

    Quote Originally Posted by veeyoder View Post
    Hello Folks,

    I'm trying to plan my first (maybe my only) safari. I am pretty set on Namibia. I would like some advice on making sure this an enjoyable trip with no big surprises. The questions below are for a safari I am hoping will cost $10,000 at the most

    Is this for the entire safari, airfare, trophy fees, tips, shipping and taxidermy?

    1. How do I choose a good outfitter? I want a decent place to sleep and good food but I don't need luxury, I want good hunting, fair chase, prefer spot and stalk. I don't want to be at a place where I am one of many hunters...

    We have many PH's on here who will do a great job and fill these requirements..

    2. Are package hunts a better choice then daily rates and trophy fees? I would like to stay around $6000 or less for the "hunt". Kudu and Imapala is a must. I am thinking of maybe trying to get a Oryx and Red Hartebeest as well for around that price. Is 7 days enough hunting time for that? Will I wish later that I would have spent more money and gotten more animals?

    With package hunts, you will have to decide if it is right for you...many like to pick a PH and go animal by animal and build there own trophy list. 7 day will be fine for what you are looking at doing.

    3. What can I expect the approx cost will be to pack and dip the above trophies and export them to the USA? Is that a better way to do it then to have them mounted in Africa?

    Depending on what country you will select it will run you about 1500 for dip and pack and shipping...now if you do taxidermy work in Africa select a very good taxidermist and obtain a price prior to going. check state side and in Africa to see what your cost will be...Look at doing a few euro mounts to reduce your total cost.

    4. I am very comfortable with my 300 Win mag up to 300yds and deer hunt alot. Will this set up work for me over there?

    This will work fine for the animals you have picked..

    Any advice is appreciated, I just don't want this trip to turn into a horror story like some I have read. $10k is a chunk of money for me but worth it for a once in a lifetime trip.

    Airfare --- $2,000 to 2,500 depending on time of year and dates traveled.
    PH fees @ 7 days --- 350.00 to 450.00 a day = $2,800
    Trophy fees: rough numbers $4,150
    Kudu....................1,750
    impala...................400
    Gemsbuck............1,000 depending on country selected higher or lower
    Red Hartebeest ...1,000

    Dip and Pak...........500
    Shipping ................500
    importer .................500

    Taxidermist work 4 shoulder mounts $2,000 to $4,000 depending on where you go..

    This comes out to about $11,000
    Who you go with may have different pricing on fees and trophy costs. Your taxidermy cost are your area to check out. that is why many hunters are doing some mounts and other in euro mounts.


    Thanks, Vee
    James Grage - New Mexico
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    Welcome to the forum, I see you ve already got the right answers from the old hands here

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    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by DOCMAN View Post
    ..no problem at all for the PG that you have chosen. Use premium ammo and practice shooting off the sticks as much as possible. You will get much info and help here, so enjoy your planning..
    I have always used bipods for shooting and love them. Harris Bipods HB25CS Adapter You have to go down on one knee. Does this work or should I buy shooting sticks? If so what type?

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    Quote Originally Posted by James.Grage View Post
    Better answer for you
    Thanks for the answer.

    I was "hoping" to stay at $10k, but am not sure if that is realistic for everything. I do want to go to Namibia. From what I have seen online I think I should be able to get the animals I want and PH fees for $6,000 to $6,500. Airfare is approx $2,000. From what you said about getting the trophies over here $1,500. That is $9,500 - 10k. I am wondering what are all the other costs I should be aware of and what can I expect to run into? As far as taxidermy goes is it possible keep everything the way it arrives and mount them over a period of time? Thanks for your help...

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    Quote Originally Posted by James.Grage View Post
    Better answer for you
    Airfare --- $2,000 to 2,500 depending on time of year and dates traveled.
    PH fees @ 7 days --- 350.00 to 450.00 a day = $2,800
    Trophy fees: rough numbers $4,150
    Kudu....................1,750
    impala...................400
    Gemsbuck............1,000 depending on country selected higher or lower
    Red Hartebeest ...1,000

    Dip and Pak...........500
    Shipping ................500
    importer .................500

    Taxidermist work 4 shoulder mounts $2,000 to $4,000 depending on where you go..

    A few additional costs:
    Tip (PH): Discretionary, but typically 10%-15% of safari cost
    Tip (Camp staff): Typically $50 - $75 per day - covers trackers, skinners, cooks, housekeepers, etc...
    Overnite stay in Joberg: Figure $200 per night if required (African Sky Guesthouse or Afton Guesthouse)
    Gun Service: Discretionary but worth for a first timer - $150
    Souveniers: Discretionary, but you'll want some momentos - $150 -$200 unless your wife goes, then double it! LOL
    Airlines: Extra baggage charges - The way things are going, you will have some.

    Hope this helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buff-Buster View Post
    Airfare --- $2,000 to 2,500 depending on time of year and dates traveled.
    PH fees @ 7 days --- 350.00 to 450.00 a day = $2,800
    Trophy fees: rough numbers $4,150
    Kudu....................1,750
    impala...................400
    Gemsbuck............1,000 depending on country selected higher or lower
    Red Hartebeest ...1,000

    Dip and Pak...........500
    Shipping ................500
    importer .................500

    Taxidermist work 4 shoulder mounts $2,000 to $4,000 depending on where you go..

    A few additional costs:
    Tip (PH): Discretionary, but typically 10%-15% of safari cost
    Tip (Camp staff): Typically $50 - $75 per day - covers trackers, skinners, cooks, housekeepers, etc...
    Overnite stay in Joberg: Figure $200 per night if required (African Sky Guesthouse or Afton Guesthouse)
    Gun Service: Discretionary but worth for a first timer - $150
    Souveniers: Discretionary, but you'll want some momentos - $150 -$200 unless your wife goes, then double it! LOL
    Airlines: Extra baggage charges - The way things are going, you will have some.

    Hope this helps.
    I think this is a really close estimate. I think the dip and pack and air freight are a little light. Having just paid all these costs for my recent hunt I would tack on $1000-$1,500 to what is stated above for these expenses. My friend, once your done you won't even think of the costs becuase you can't put a value on the memories you'll make and the fun you'll have on your trip. It's worth every red cent.

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    Thanks everyone for the wonderful responses. One more question. I think just from my own research that I would want to go to Namibia. But for all you who have been over there if it were up to you, would you choose Namibia or SA for the plains game I have chosen?

    From what I can tell from pricelists online, SA is higher, but then airfare for me would be less.
    To me the experience is more important tho, I want to feel like I am far from civilization and hunting in the wild

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    Sorry men i had a brain fart on tips, motels and travel to camp...

    Rifle service is free if you book with Gracy travel...

    Taxidermy work on an extended time period...again ask the taxidermist you are planning to use...i have seen this done before, however care of your capes and hides determines what you will have to work with...

    You need to use a Internationale travel agent to help you on your trip...that specializes in hunter/rifle travel...to help you with the rifle permits needed for countries you will be staying in and or some times traveling through...

    Do not forget your travel doctor to be current with your immunization.

    Quote Originally Posted by veeyoder View Post
    Thanks for the answer.

    I was "hoping" to stay at $10k, but am not sure if that is realistic for everything. I do want to go to Namibia. From what I have seen online I think I should be able to get the animals I want and PH fees for $6,000 to $6,500. Airfare is approx $2,000. From what you said about getting the trophies over here $1,500. That is $9,500 - 10k. I am wondering what are all the other costs I should be aware of and what can I expect to run into? As far as taxidermy goes is it possible keep everything the way it arrives and mount them over a period of time? Thanks for your help...
    James Grage - New Mexico
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    As far as the total cost is concerned- budgets are important but remember- the memory will linger for years after the cost is forgotten. As an example, on my first trip (Zimbabwe in 1999), when it came time to pay for the trip at the end, I paid for eveything and tips and had $2000 left over. I looked at it and gave the Travelers Checkes to the PH/Outfitter and told him to put it toward his sons college fund. It was the only time in my life when money had absolutely no value compared to the experience. I've been back 4 more times now. Africa will get into your blood. Plan on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by veeyoder View Post
    Thanks everyone for the wonderful responses. One more question. I think just from my own research that I would want to go to Namibia. But for all you who have been over there if it were up to you, would you choose Namibia or SA for the plains game I have chosen?

    From what I can tell from pricelists online, SA is higher, but then airfare for me would be less.
    To me the experience is more important tho, I want to feel like I am far from civilization and hunting in the wild
    I myself am an East Cape fan but both places are great. Let me give you one more to look at he's been at it for year he's a member of DSC, SCI and PHASA and has great prices to boot. Lindale Safaris on the East Cape Welcome to Lindale Safaris
    Enjoy life now -- it has an expiration date.

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    Quote Originally Posted by veeyoder View Post
    Thanks everyone for the wonderful responses. One more question. I think just from my own research that I would want to go to Namibia. But for all you who have been over there if it were up to you, would you choose Namibia or SA for the plains game I have chosen?

    From what I can tell from pricelists online, SA is higher, but then airfare for me would be less.
    To me the experience is more important tho, I want to feel like I am far from civilization and hunting in the wild
    I think just from my own research that I would want to go to Namibia. But for all you who have been over there if it were up to you, would you choose Namibia or SA for the plains game I have chosen?[/QUOTE]I can only speak to SA since I was there this past July. I'm very particular and I wanted both comfort and a real hunting experience, and that was exactly what I got. This was hunting and a vacation for me. I felt completely disconnected from the rest of the world to the point that I completely lost conception of time. I had no idea what day it was anymore until I asked. As far as the game is concerned, you would NOT be disappointed with SA. There's game all over the place. SA was awesome for me and there's no doubt I'm going back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post
    Africa will get into your blood. Plan on it.
    This is so true...it's an addiction. It's all I think about now.

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    If you can afford 10 days do it. 7 days will be over so fast you wont believe it. It takes a couple of days to get acclimated due to jet lag etc. For the critters you want Namibia is a great choice, but so is RSA. Namibia is a bit less cultivated though and that may be what you are looking for. Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post
    As far as the total cost is concerned- budgets are important but remember- the memory will linger for years after the cost is forgotten. As an example, on my first trip (Zimbabwe in 1999), when it came time to pay for the trip at the end, I paid for eveything and tips and had $2000 left over. I looked at it and gave the Travelers Checkes to the PH/Outfitter and told him to put it toward his sons college fund. It was the only time in my life when money had absolutely no value compared to the experience. I've been back 4 more times now. Africa will get into your blood. Plan on it.
    Great gesture Cliffy! Classy...very classy!

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