Hep, my Italian wife is a penny pinch too (lol). I go for broke and take chances, I use to be very conservative...but playing it safe can be a hazard too (lol). Most people don't understand the complexity of economics and how money is made and lost. Politicians are sales people, appealing to the masses, logic gets thrown out the window and people thrown under the bus.
For what it's worth I think saving and planning for a trip is very smart! It's what I'm doing right now. It's just the economy has been a real downer. This website brings a lot of comfort, with real hunters and people with similiar goals in mind. It gets me through the hard times too of paying debt and saving for a hunt.
It does bother me missing out on all the great hunts I see...but I'm getting better at it every day.
Some times you just have to bite the bullet and put your deposit down...
I have always scheduled two to three days for other activities when i make long distance hunting trips...Sight-seeing, fishing, shopping,just walking through the villages or towns.
If you are going to wait for someone to go hunting with you you probably will never go...
Do your research and pick one or two areas close by where you are hunting and you will see how other people survive...
Weather it is a small village on the chain or interior in Alaska or a small village in Africa you will be surprised at what you will see...
Have your wife be your camera-woman and have the hunting vehicle stop where ever she wants to take pictures...make her part of the process...
Exactly! It's amazing to me how many otherwise intelligent/educated people are bamboozled by those salesmen too! It's why we're in the mess we're in now. Then again, there are corrupt voters. That's what I experienced when I lived in the Chicago area years ago -- that's where I was born and grew up. I was a full-time cop and volunteer firefighter in my early years, and I was the lone Republican surrounded by Democrats; all union members, all more than willing to turn a blind eye to the corruption around them by the likes of Dan Rostenkowski (and others) in return for a vote for some union issue or another. I kept telling them he's crooked as the day is long and the policies our politicians had would drive us into bankruptcy! They didn't care. All they cared about was another politician supporting whatever their union demanded. NOW look at Illinois! Bankrupt, just like California! I just retired from the navy and found that cops in Chicago are now retiring on twice the pension I will get as a naval officer! A $90K retirement? Huh? I didn't know they even made that much! I looked into it and found that police pay has skyrocketed. A friend's husband is the chief of police for a town way out west, and he gets like $150K a year! For some boonyville place? The state is subsidizing these things and taxpayers are being taken to the cleaners! Now the state is in a world of hurt, financially. Businesses are bailing out, moving to other states left and right, and the state is depopulating. So, what's the response? As I'm sure you're aware, the state legislature just raised individual income taxes by 67% and income taxes on businesses at 46%! Just reach into the remaining population's pockets and rake them over the coals once again! That's one of many reasons why I like Virginia MUCH better and will never move back to Illinois. My mother and friends are still there. So, I go back. But I cannot see myself ever living there ever again. It's a perfect example to the rest of the nation of what NOT to do. Small businesses are getting killed with the taxes and regulations there.
Originally Posted by enysse
Anyway, I'm sure my wife and I will some day go to Africa. It's a very attractive proposition.
Thanks, but I don't have to go to Africa to see that. As a naval officer, I traveled all over the world. Add in the vacations to Europe and the big trip to the Soviet Union years ago while earning by degree in political science/Soviet Studies, I've seen a lot. My current count is 26 countries on four continents. I've seen poverty, believe me! Southeast Asia is full of it! Very very sad. And in many cases quite unnecessary. The cause, in many cases, is corruption.
I have learned in my life that most of the world is very much a poor and hostile place, where life is extremely tough. That's why I get really irritated when I hear people, like here in D.C., complaining about the poor, such as in southeast D.C. These "poor" are the richest poor in the world. They have housing, a phone, electricity, heat, airconditioning, usually have at least one car, etc., etc., etc. They're "poor" in comparison to the rich. But they have all the necessities of life. Many do very little or nothing for it too. If people want to see poor, they need to go to Thailand, the Phillipines, etc., and go in the back country. Whoa! Now THAT'S poor.
My wife will likely want to come out on the hunt for a day or two. She'll definately be there with the camera. But she'll likely tire of it after that. So, I'm looking for a hunt package to include some shopping for her. And then after a few days hunting, we'll do the sightseeing. The more I look, the more I'm thinking of limiting the hunt to just a few animals. I'll more than likely do a second trip in the future for other types of animals.
I think you will be alright, having a lot of traveling experience will help a lot. You are right the people in the USA are very fortunate and lucky compared to most countries. They take everything for granted, for the most part. I think most people like living in the clouds and their own dream world...it's part of the culture. And you are correct you don't want to burn your wife out hunting...that vacation won't end well. For the first trip it would be best to do a lot of sight seeing!
Yeah. I think an Impala, Warthog, and a couple other animals will do. Then sightseeing. If I can pull it off, I'll look to do a hunting/fishing trip on some future trip.
BTW, someone mentioned the "blue train." I looked it up on the internet and it's awesome, but I'm thrown by the pricing.
Under prices they have R and then numbers, like 10 535, etc. I'm assuming the "R" stands for the South African currency (the Rand, right?) But the numbers are 10 XXX, 11 XXX or 12 XXX. Are the 10, 11 and 12 designators for something or part of the price?
If the price is R 535, that's less than $100. Dirt cheap. But if it's 10,535, then we're talking almost $1,500. That is a LOT OF MONEY! I'm assuming we're talking the later. But again, the site is unclear. I can't see any information saying how long the journey takes, etc.
Are you familiar with it?
Yes the R is for Rand and that is the actual price. I know 1500+ is a bit high but it is a luxury train ride. You could spend that much on a private air charter. What the hey, its only money..lol
How long does the trip take from Pretoria to the Cape? I didn't find any such information on the site. Must be an aweful luxurious thing. Heck! The Oriental Express doesn't cost THAT much! : )
That's a dream trip my wife has in mind. The Oriental Express through Europe for a week. We're talking minimum $7,000 per person for the train. Add in airfare and hotels on each side, and any expenses during the stops in places like Prague, Vienna, cost extra. So, we're talking a good $18,000 plus, at least. OUCH!
Pretoria - Cape Town - Pretoria
The route between Pretoria and Cape Town is a 27-hour journey of 1 600 kilometres (994 miles), through some of the most diverse and spectacular scenery offered by the African sub-continent.
On the Southbound trip, the train departs from Pretoria main train sation at 8:50 and arrives in Cape Town train station at 12:00 the following day.
En route to Cape Town there is a stopover and excursion in Kimberley, where we take a step back in time to the days of the diamond rush.
On the Northbound journey, the train leaves Cape Town at 08:50 and arrives in Pretoria at 12:30, in time for high tea the following day. It stops at Matjiesfontein for an off-the-train excursion.
On arrival at Matjiesfontein guests are invited for a glass of sherry at the bar.
The Victorian buildings and original nineteenth century London lampposts impart to the traveller, the uncanny sense of entering a colonial time warp – an oasis suspended in a different age.
Check out this link and there is a detailed itinerary on the bottom.
The Blue Train A Window to the Soul of South Africa
ILCAPO, that is funny. You are already hooked!!! Once you get there it will only be a deeper set of the hook. Speaking as one who swallowed the hook many many years ago.
Originally Posted by ILCAPO
Thanks for the great information! I just looked up "Matjiesfontein" on the web. It's lovely. Someone said earlier that South Africa is like a Disneyland for adults. NO KIDDING! I know my wife would love the train ride. Sounds kind of like the Oriental Express for Africa. But you see? Now it's adding even more cost to the trip, raising expectations! LOL!
While we're at it. Has anyone been to Victoria Falls? How do you get there, by air? Looks like a long trip.
You're right. I'm hooked. I am well-traveled and fairly knowledgeable in geography and history. However, my understanding of South Africa was limited. The more I look into this, the more of a wonderland I see opening up before my eyes. Awesome. No wonder an old girlfriend of mine is in love with Africa. She was in the travel industry and as such has made many trips all over the continent. It's her favorite place. Now I understand why. She and her family have been there about a dozen times, all over from Kenya to South Africa. Only her brother has hunted there, but they love the tours and photo safaris. They're planning another trip in a couple years for the father's 80th birthday. He's been there a lot and wants to go one more time. They're planning Kenya this next trip. The brothers are planning to break off part way through the trip to do some hunting in Tanzania.
<DUH.> NOW that I've gone back to the site I've found the time table and other information I didn't see last time. I think this was the page I couldn't pull up for some reason. My system kept locking up. But now it comes up without a problem.
I've watched the video they have on the trip. Wow! Awesome. Great marketing they're doing there! : )
Thanks for the reference. I downloaded the brochure and glanced through it. Awesome. I see the train runs as far up as Victoria Falls, but that must be what they consider a "charter" run. The only scheduled runs listed are back and forth between Pretoria and Cape Town. Awesome enough, however!
It's even more expensive that the Orient Express, but I guess it's one of those once-in-a-lifetime kind of things. This is painful! There are so many things to do and see over there we cannot possibly get it done in one trip.
I am hunting with Maximum safaris. I am leaving end April. I know he does 100 percent donations to sci chapter dinners. So that says he makes no money unless someone buys animals. That explains why his animal prices are high. Now that being said maybe he does do something with sci that I am not aware of? I don't know. But so far I have paid far less than I would if I just booked a hunt with any outfitters. I have not paid my Ph any $$ yet. So he is not selling me any hunting days. Just animals...no "bait and switch" Maybe I will learn the hard way but I have done some research and fell like this was the best deal for my money.
Originally Posted by seattlesetters
You are 100 percent correct with your logic RickB, SCI gets the money from the auction to fund SCI activities...there is no further cut. And the outfitter gets clients that hopefully upgrade on the hunt, and advertise what a great hunt they had with the outfitter.
Looked up his site. Like ASH, it appears he's not a land owner but rather an outfitter who pays to hunt on other properties, which would account for the rather high trophy fees. So he can take you all over the place. Best of luck on your hunt!
Thanks!!! You all will be the first to see my pics when I get them. I am going to take alot. If I can get internet access I will post them from SA!
Maximum Safaris use our ranch from time to time as a concession if we do not have our own clients in camp. They are good guys and I am sure you will have a good trip. My brother in law is actually one of their PH's and I can find out and try to hook you up with him as he is a good PH and I know he will make sure to make your trip memorable.
I also give 100% donations at SCi Fundraisers as they will then do a little more from their side to help market our businesses. It is a chance we as outfitter take to give away a hunt like that and hoping that the clients shoot one or 2 extra animals so we can cover our expenses.
ILCAPO if you need any help or have any ideas on what to hunt please send me an e-mail and we can put together a package for you and your wife. Also look up Sun City Resort - Sun International. This is an area about 1 and a half hours drive from our ranch with a HUGE national park where you and your wife will be able to get pictures of elephant, leopard, lion etc at affordable prices. THey also offer elephant back rides and activities like that. We are very competitive with our prices but I can assure you that you will recieve nothing less than excellent service.
We can also fly you guys from Johannesburg straight to Kimberley on a commercial flight which is not too expensive. From Kimberley it is only a hour drive Norht East to Hartzhoogte.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Thanks Jacques. Will keep that in mind. One question. Can you tell me the best way to go about including a trip to Victoria Falls? I see it's quite a journey, so a flight would apparently be in order. Also, have you been there? Can you tell me what there is to see (besides the falls) and how many days one should spend there for sightseeing? Thanks.