Thanks everyone, I value everyone's opinion here. You gentleman are seasoned African hunter's and since I am not a newbie to hunting to say the least I am new to Africa. I have pretty much settled on 2 outfits. KMG who I spoke with this morning and he was very nice, and Induna Safaris who I have not spoken with yet. There have been several testimonials on KMG here so I believe they are a GOOD operation. If any one has hunted with them please PM me with your experience I would love to hear from you. I am still waiting to speak to Induna but have spoken to references which were very good. Again anyone who has hunted with Induna please PM me. Interestingly KMG does not charge you for arrival and departure fee which is good leaves me more money to shoot say...a springbok!
You mention the arrival and depart fee days. That is one of those things that annoy me, some do it, others dont. I understand it to some degree and I know that time is money for everyone, but it still kind of bugs me. The outfits I have hunted with did not charge for those days, it being accepted that its part of the outfitters responsibility to get the hunter to and from the airport. Bear in mind however that one does not usually hunt on those days either. If one did hunt or shoot on the arrival or departure day, then sure you would expect to pay for that day like any other hunt day. Sometimes if the trip is long, say by car, then many will charge a flat fee to make that trip to camp. This is understandable as in the case of an all day drive like I had in Namibia. The thing to do is weigh all the options together with several different outfitters and see what looks best per trophy fees, daily rates and the things just mentioned, all added up. Check references, though personally I think they are of limited value especially if you dont know what questions to ask, but obviously if everyone you call has negative things to say, better keep looking. Dont obsess about the fences. Its a fact of life in most of southern Africa, the unfenced places farther north are much more expensive by and large. KMG has a great reputation on here and he offers different levels of amenities from rustic to deluxe to fit different appetites for comfort. Good luck!
Johnny, given your aversion to high fences it would certainly be worth your while to give Chris at CT-safaris a call. I have hunted 2x with him and specifically targeted all locally indigenous species wild and fence free. I also just got an email from a member on here who just hunted with Chris that shared these values and chose Chris for that reason (among others). The "imports" that are not native to the area you are hunting are available on large high fence properties to fill in the gaps in your trophy list, as has been said you forget about the fences when you seldom see them.
Check out my hunt reports on here and you will have an idea of just how much free range hunting can actually be done in SA.
African Hunting Outfitter of distinction offering safaris in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique - www.ct-safaris.com
Johnny, I believe you will be very happy with KMG, Maurius has been very helpful to me, and I can assure you, he will be my next
I would suggest Iliwa Safaris. Great people, fantastic service, great animals all raised on the very large property(24,000+ acers) with just about no internal fences and very good prices. They own the land and have excellent equipment. They shoot old, mature animals and allow the younger ones to grow.
Anyone interested can PM me. If you contact them tell them Doug and Kelli said hi. They can be a little slow on returning emails but do not worry they are very good.
We were there in May for a fantastic hunt. They now have a facebook page if you are so inclined. There are photos on it showing what you can get. Not just the few odd special animals.
I went with Ballantyne Trophy Safaris in the Eastern Cape. We saw tons of game and were successful on good trophies. One thing to keep an eye on is the hidden or side fees that many outfitters will charge you. Does it cost extra if you want a beer or whiskey with coke after dinner? What about transfer fees from the airport? I paid the fee for my hunt package, the extra animals that I took, and tips.
I forgot to add that management animals are included with each hunt package. I was able to shoot 4 animals beyond my trophies.
If you are wanting to bowhunt, African Arrow Safaris in the Limpopo would be my recommendation. Hunted with them 3 times and the trophy quality of his animals are second to none. Harry also has opened a rifle outfit called African Bullet Safaris, totally separate concessions. His family owns the 14,000 acres the main lodge is on and his grandfather owns the adjoining 15,000 acres. His bowhunting concession total right at 100,000 acres. Do a search on here and you can see the animals I have taken with him while bowhunting. If I go to Africa, it will be with African Arrow Safaris. 2 of us killed 17 animals in 2008, 4 of us killed 28 animals in 2010 and I am not sure how many we killed in Sept 2012, be we all brought back 4 huge lionesses, all spot and stalk bow killed beasts.