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Reviews of Luke Samaras Safaris

Luke Samaras Safaris

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Not bad; could have been better... Star OnStar OnStar OnStar OffStar Off - 06/29/2010 15:23:45
Wanderer from Daytona Beach, FL, USA
This was a combination 21-day full bag for one hunter and a ten day buffalo and PG for the other. Upon arrival in camp, we soon learned that we had not been expected, and that another pair of clients were supposedly arriving, so the communication between the office in Dar and the camp was poor. The PH's were of high quality, with certain exceptions, as noted. Game was very, very scarce, due to the fact that we were hunting the worst drought in memory. White bearded wildebeest were essentially non-existant, as were shootable warthog. Buffalo were scarce and thousands upon thousands of head of Maasai cattle had been driven into the area. Water was at a premium and the PH's were hauling in water for the buffalo, to the sometimes consternation of the local Maasai chief, who wanted it all for his cows. I was the guest of a wealthy friend, hunting a ten-day buff. Things went well until the camp manager pumped me for information on my friend's net worth, and, like a fool, I gave him a ballpark figure. From that time onward, politics dominated, as the camp manager attempted to wrest control and planning for the trip from me, who had spent months in the planning stage, to himself. He was also my PH and a self-described animal lover. I had taken a bad fall at the very beginning of the trip at the Serena Lodge at Ngorongoro, which, I discovered later, caused a serious concussion. The doctor who patched me up in Arusha did not diagnose this, however, and it caused me untold problems in proper decision making and shooting during hte first two days of the hunt. I ended up taking a great old dugga boy after a classic stalk in the thick thorn of Kitiangare. That was a hunt of a lifetime. Ten to twenty yard shots were all that presented themselves. My PH was an excellent trophy judge, but he also leaned on me very hard to forego taking my second buffalo I had on license and, knowing that he would have been against the hunt should it have been undertaken, I agreed. Against my host's advice, I might add. I will regret that decision for the remainder of my life. I also discovered to my chagrin that two animals promised by my stateside outfitter baboon and bushpig, did not appear on my license. So there was serious letdown in my expectations. I won't say my safari was ruined, because the buffalo hunt was superior. But camp politics, engendered by the camp manager, put me in the position of having to defend my host. It cast a pall over my hunt. My host, however enjoyed himself tremendously. Finally, the showers were definitely below par. The camp staff couldn't do enough for us, The trackers and game scouts were absolutely sterling, and the food was very good. Table service was first rate. Would I book with Samaras again? Given what I experienced on that July/August 2009 hunt, I would not. I will give them an oveerall rating of three stars.