Cape Buffalo advice
Now, here's a horse I'm sure is rather ripe, though I have to ask: what would you recommend, for a budget Cape Buffalo hunt. I have no illusions of book bulls, or even one to make it onto the outfitter's website. I'm quite simply a young guy looking to hunt a decent buffalo, at a manageable price. So far, I've been talking over a 10k "all-in" 7 day hunt in Zimbabwe. I like Zimbabwe, and would be very happy to hunt there. Recently, I found another similar hunt for a touch less. I find myself wading through internet pages with little true direction on the matter, and perhaps even over-focusing on Zimbabwe when other well priced opportunities may exist elsewhere.
Hard numbers matter of course, so I should lay it out. I have a flat out max budget of 13,000US for everything, and airfare from Canada to SA is running at $1200 presently for my preferred departure dates (April 2010), as I understand it, $600 would be a safe guess on airfare to Bulawayo from SA, tips and unforseens will use the rest. At this point, with a 10,000 all in hunt including transport to the camp, I've eaten up my entire max budget. I'm looking to ship the skull back to Canada as well, and I understand I should anticipate $1000-1500 in this regard, and this pushes me further out of the comfort zone. Now, I'll likely find a way to do it, and keep my marriage. However, I have great aspirations of shaving that cost down to $10,000US or less all in, including my airfare to Africa, etc. A lofty goal, I'm aware, however if I manage to sort it I'd be booking tomorrow. I'd like to spend a true week, 7 days hunting, and I can jump at short notice opportunities for the mostpart due to my reasonably accomodating work schedule.
I'm aware this is a lot of point-by-point, but as you can tell, a little real direction beyond searches and page browsing would do me quite a lot of good. I'd actually much prefer a rougher hunt, and I'm no stranger to the world's backwaters, with 33 countries worth and years to date. French works for me, so I've also been looking further north, the CAR for instance. However travel technicalities and airfare skyrocket upon trying to reach such destinations, with firearms, I've learned. This is to be a last hoorah for some time so to speak, before my wife and I start a family and life gets "heavier" for awhile (that is until the kids grow, and can come as well).
I've looked at heavily budgetting my hunt by going after plains game, Wildebeest and Warthog would be of prinicipal interest in such cases, and I really like the financial point of such a hunt. Though I must admit, I'm not attracted by the drowning out of fenceless hunts by the plethora of ranch hunts I find when wading through the listing, and it pushes me back to my real aspiration, the Cape Buff. In a perfect world, I'd spend 7-10 days on the ground, take a nice bull and a nice Warthog and do some wing shooting. Perhaps even throw a line in the water somewhere a couple evenings if there's a chance. Any advice on how to realize these dreams, I'd be quite appreciative of. Cheers and thanks folks.
As an aside, curiously enough I live in the range of the North American wild Wood Bison (Buffalo), and you can bet I'm applying for my tag every year. For some time I thought when I sucessfully completed my self-guided home Bison hunt, this would sate my desire to go after Cape Buffalo. Well, I haven't won my Bison tag yet, but I can already tell that I'll need to pack my .375 and fly east to Africa. I suppose I'm after both.
Well, I just got off the phone with Ray Atkinson, sounds like a good bet for me would be to wait until July and grab a late offering special. All depends if it'll be anything like last year, oddly, I find myself hoping the economy doesn't turn up, too much.
Please take a look at my website and drop me an email. We offer classic buffalo hunts in our concession on the shores of Lake Kariba ( Northern Zim ). I do have some buffalo packages available for 2010. Look forward to hearing from you.
Hello Ardent and welcome to the forum. I have to agree with Ray on this one. I don't buy hunts until all of the shows are over. Many of the outfitters will start dropping prices if they do not pick up the bookings they need at the shows. But you do need to be ready to book because these discounted hunts often go very fast. Buffalo hunts are very popular so I would be prepared to book quickly on a hunt that meets your budget. I would spend my time now on checking references and such on the outfitters that I am considering hunting with. Last year was a buyers market, it will be interesting to see how prices are this year. Good hunting, Jim
write to me on email@example.com
Thanks for the info and advice guys, I'm finding this to be an extremely helpful forum, a lot better than what I've become used to for online hunting forums.
I suppose I should also mention I'm able to leave on as little as a few weeks notice, due to a flexible work schedule. So I'll hold my saved up hunt funds and watch for a deal, I like the suggestion of doing my homework on various outfitters and have been talking to the on the ones I like for later this year when booking time comes. I've dropped the idea of booking now, as I have mentioned above, the budget is critical for me and the last thing I wish to do is spend everything I've saved. While being better healed would be quite nice, especially since I'd already know where I'm going, I'm just not there yet and will have to cross my fingers and wait it out.
While this could be a whole new forum topic, make sure to allow enough time for all of the Gun permits to go through, i.e. SAPS forms etc.
Welcome to the Forum. A lot of useful information and tips from a lot of experienced hunters available here. Thought I would pass on a conversation I have with Terry Wagner of Worldwide Hunting this past Saturday. We were talking buffalo hunting and Terry told me that he has a few cull Cape Buffalo hunts coming up that, as I understood, will be in the $7000 range. These are not Trophy hunts, but they need to remove some surplus buffalo from their conservancy in Zimbabwe. Possibly this could fit your requirements.
If you would like to talk to him about it:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or his Website: www.wagnerworldwidehunting.com
Check it out
Thank you to everyone, I found my hunt, within my budget, thanks to the help and messages I received here. Will be hunting this April.
Angus, Glad you found exactly what you were looking for. Can you tell us where you will be heading in April and what is on the agenda? Don't forget to share your hunt with us when you get back... as you know, we all enjoy hearing about Africa and it keeps the rest of us going. All the best on your hunt and bring back an exceptional Buff behind a thrilling pursuit!
I am curious as well. Who did you end up booking with?
Terry Wagner, as per a suggestion here, set me up with something semi-custom and perfect for what I'm after.
The Cape Buffalo hunts available in Zimbabwe are a great hunt. The management bulls are old bulls with good length and hard bosses they have spread between 33-36". They are a 10 day hunt with the trophy fee included $7,000 total.
There is $200 tax on the daily rate and a $200 airport transfer fee. Plains game is available for the trophy fee.
The area is located 3 1/2 hours south of Bulawayo and is part of the 480,000 acre bubiana conservancy. Mjingwe is 30,000 acres and open into the conservancy with the buffalo on 18,000 acres. Hunting of the buffalo is done on foot.
We also have trophy bulls available. They are 10 days @ $900.00 per day with a troophy fee of $2500.00 and they usually average well over 40" in spread. The largest taken in 2009 was 44 1/2".
Please take a look at my website, you will more information as well as pictures of our lodge and recent trophy taken.
I will add another incentive to this great deal. Anyone who books a hunt for 10 days or more I will allow a non-hunter to accompany them at no charge. The normal non-hunter daily rate is $175.00 per day. This is for all dangerous game and plains game safaris for the 2010 and 2011 season.
This is a savings of at least $1750.00
In addition to that the non-hunter can shoot plains game for the trophy fee.
Check out our website.
Not to sound cute or anything, but if the "non-hunter" starts shooting plains game, doesn't that make him a second hunter in camp? I might be interested in this deal if I could get some clarification.
We have an abundance of plains game and find the non-hunters frequently want to do some hunting after they arrive. So as a result we have allowed the non-hunters to shoot plains game for the trophy fee.
We are also using this as a incentive to get hunters to bring along a spouse, son, daughter or friend. We have a fantastic lodge and fantastic hunting opportunities and would like to get as much exposure and as many people as we can to experience it.
We also offer what we call "Group Hunts". For groups of hunters or non-hunters numbering a minumum of 4 and maximum of 6 the daily rate will be $1000.00 per day. If there are 6 hunters the daily rate is $175.00 per person per day. If there are 4 hunters the daily rate is $250.00 per day. These are basically 2x1 hunts
Trophy animals taken will be charged the published trophy fee price.
If the hunters would like to shoot non-trophy animals which will be mainly females and at the discretion of the Professional Hunter, some males that are deemed non-trophy they can be taken for $35.00 per animal. Should the hunter wish to export any part of the animal, one third of the published trophy fee will be charged and the $35.00 will credited to this fee.
Not included are transfer fees of $200 for the group, 4% government levies on the daily rate and trophy fee.
Long timer lurker on this site..glad to have joined the campfire and meet some new folks and BS with some of the familiar "faces"!
I am taking Terry up on this hunt with a couple of buddies.
Thanks Terry for the great offer.. Cannot WAIT to get back to Zim again. It sounds like a super safari for all of us in my group is taking shape.
Welcome to AH Scotty! Glad to hear that you're joining in the conversation and will be heading to Zimbabwe with Terry. Looking forward to hearing more from you.
Check out Angus's hunt report on just returning from Zimbabwe. he had an awesome hunt and wrote a great hunt report and included pictures.