Looking forward on seeing you soon!
I knew I found an excellent PH when I sent an email with a laundry list of questions. He responded asking for my cell number. Within about 15 minutes we were on the phone chatting for about 30 minutes going over my questions. Since our hunt, we have chatted a few more times and I didn't even have a hunt booked. However, I'm going back in 2014 to add a few more trophies to the man cave and you can bet on who will be my PH!
Just for record he is Andrew Renton with Kei River Safaris.
I took a similar approach to Brickburn.
1st I had determined that Nyala was my primary target long before I ever got started. Because of this I chose to focus my search in the Nyalas native range and find a free range hunt if possible or a large high fence operation.
Once I had googled up sufficient operators that may meet that criteria I looked at price. I bounced the very high, impossibly low and those who did not post prices (there are simply too many operators out there to waste time on those who may not fit financially at this point in the game).
I made up an excel spreadsheet figuring in all expenses and made notes beside each of any pluses I noticed on the web then eliminated those that did not stand out.
I consulted the PHASA website and eliminated all non-members.
Now with a manageable list of outfitters I went back through each of their websites making notes that were compiled into a list of questions that was asked via email to each candidate.
My spreadsheet was updated with each outfitters answers and weeded further.
Arrangements were made for a time to call each of my 5 remaining choices. Details were discussed and rapport established. Gut feelings were confirmed and strengthened.
PHASA was contacted via email regarding any complaints about each of the finalists.
Then I went with my gut. All worked out well and I couldnt have been happier.
As it turns out I had unknowingly chosen a respected member on here, Chris Troskie. If I had it all to do again I would start with our top notch AH member PHs and save myself alot of time. (Although I did enjoy it)
On my first hunt in SA I used an agent.
I did this because I didn't have a clear idea of what I wanted and what to expect.
The only thing I really knew was that I wanted to experience to hunt in Africa and I had a list of what species I wanted to hunt on the trip.
I enjoyed the hunt a lot. But I also learned a lot about what is good and what is not and also what I want and not.
One thing is for sure, it gave me the African fever and I am not sure if it is a good thing or not :p
I joined this forum shortly after I came back from my first African hunt and I wish I had joined it before I booked that hunt.
I am going on my second hunt to SA this year and I am using an outfitter that is a member on this forum.
Lots of good advice from BRICKBURN.
My main advice is to become totally sure about what you want and what is important to you.
There are some very good outfitters that are members on this forum that I would not hesitate to book a hunt with.
I am sure one or more of them can offer exactly what you want and I am very confident you will have a GREAT time :)
I went with a some what different approach.
I went to sporting shows and picked up information form the various PH's & outfitters.
Then did some internet research on the different ones i looked at.
Then year 2 came by and i asked about my trophy selection list, with the different PH's and outfitters.
The ones that told me i needed a plains game safari before they would consider letting me book a DG safari i made note of and crossed of my list.
then i went and talked to friends who have been to Africa and have had good and bad safaris. talked to a few PH's that live in the USA for there recommendations and went from there.
Ended up going 1 year ahead of schedule with a PH that called me that was a friend of a retired PH that i had talked to that is living in the states.
Most of what brickburn post i went through also and i came on to AH after the fact.
For me it was quite easy, a good friend of mine had hunted twice with this outfitter and recommended him.
He then introduced us at our local hunting fair, we all had dinner, and I decided I would hunt with him.
I started out with an animal I wanted to hunt (cape buffalo) and what my budget was. I emailed several well known booking agents with my parameters and requirements, many of whom post on hunting forums (here and otherwise). I picked my booking agent (Greg Brownlee of Jeff C. Neal, Inc.) based upon his response - it was thorough, honest, well constructed, and answered all my questions. Greg gave me the name of the PH he had in mind and a list of about 20 references, I called every one of them. After hearing great things, I booked the hunt. After that, all I did was anxiously wait for the hunt and send my deposit to Greg, he took care of everything else. Everything went spectacular!
I know some people like to book direct with the PH, but I can't see any downside to using the agent (the PH pays the agent, not you). The booking agent handled all my permits and such, coordinated with my travel agent, kept my family updated with my whereabouts while I was in Africa, and gave me solid advice on things like trophy expectations, dip and pack, shipping trophies, and 3rd world bribes to expect. If you haven't given a few agents some calls, you might want too.
there is now another government accredited PH/Outfitter association in South Africa.
The KZN Hunters association which is about 53 years old and has approx 2800 members has opened a section to accomodate PHs and outfitters, of which there were a lot of within their existing member base.
For info please feel free to contact myself or Siegfried Kühn firstname.lastname@example.org
KZN Hunters - Home is the website
i think brick means that any ph in the country he would hunt has to be a member of the ph association of their respective countries.
Thank Spike I have a flu and did not quite understand, it would be awesome if it was mandatory and as soon as you step out of line, then you could be better reprimanded... IMO.
Thanks for clearing that up.
My best always
Jaco I think I got it from you HA Ha! It was good meeting you guy's in Dallas!
Louis van Bergen
Sh@$"*#%£€t Louis sorry boet!!!!
My best always!
For me.... and I am no expert, it was all of the above. That was the main reason I joined this group 6 months ago. I am an ultra Type A. So I did all kinds of research, asked tons of people, tons of questions, went for years to Safari Club shows. In the end (over a couple of years), I whittled it down from 10 to 5 to 3 to 1. There were lots of great outfits, everyone is different, no one size fits all. I just booked with Jacques from Hartzview for next year. I am freakin' fired up man.
Congratulation, Brad! Have a great time, and please write us a report when you return!
I have to say that I took a completely different approach than Brickburn did to my booking of my first safari. And probably not the recommended course of action.
I went to a SCI dinner intent on starting the research for a safari and the even harder task of talking my loving wife into "letting me go" on a safari. (You will understand why I say Loving later...) We talked to a few of the outfitters and my Loving Wife was at least humoring me and letting me continue to talk. Well, then came the auction....I joked with my wife about a trip to New Zealand and she rolled her eyes:rolleyes:, my clue to shut up. For the final auction, a 7 day, 2 hunter trip to South Africa came up, and because of the auction price, I started bidding. When I finally said, "I'm out?" my LOVING WIFE, and boy do I love her! Told me to keep bidding?What else is a man supposed to do? Well, I walked out of the dinner with a trip from me and my father (late birthday present). Again, probably not the best approach.
Now that I purchased the trip, I did the research and am happy I purchased the trip. The PH has answered all of my many, many question, provided me with many references (which I checked) and the folks here on AH have provided a lot more info. I am confident that I booked a good hunt. I will let you know when I get back in July.
The only person who was mad about the trip was my 13 yo daughter. Mad because she was not going to go with us. Because she was not going, I was forbidden from taking a Zebra. The up side of her being mad about the trip is that she has informed all, that I WILL be taking her back on a daddy daughter trip to hunt Zebra. (I love my daughter!) And now, her little sister said, "if she gets to go with you on a daddy daughter trip, I get to do the same!" (I love that little girl!)
Is it a crime to plan your third trip before I even take my first???
NAH MATE THATS STANDARD PROCEDURE ;)