1st Timer Advice Please

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Troy McLellan, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. Troy McLellan

    Troy McLellan New Member

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    Hi All,

    I am planning my first African safari and would really appreciate any tips info or advice. As a bit of a background I am predominately a bowhunter but also hunt with a rifle. I am thinking of around 7 to 10 days hunting. My goal is to take a Kudu and a Zebra any other animals would be purely a bonus. I am planning on bringing my 13 year old son with me on the trip. He does some rifle hunting but he has very little experience and he is more interested in watching and photographing animals than hunting.

    As much as I personally would like to bowhunt The whole time I accept it could probably be a bit boring for him if that was the sole focus of the trip. I am thinking a side trip to see some of the big 5 and also think if we mixed it up with some spot and stalk rifle hunting it could be a bit more exciting for him with opportunities to see more game rather than sitting in a blind??

    Any and all suggestions on how to make this trip enjoyable for both of us would be appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Troy
     
  2. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    I would agree with you that sitting quietly in a blind over a water hole might be a bit tough for the 13 year old. The experience factor however is in my opinion a non-issue. I took my 15 year old this past summer to South Africa for his save for a day of deer hunting first real hunt. Lots of practice with his .308 Win and little instruction when we got there resulted in quite a few animals on the ground.

    I wish I had also had time to take my son to Kruger National Park which my wife and I did on our first trip. Put a trip to KNP at the front of the trip and it will give you and your son time to adjust and get over the jet lag. There are a number of outfits which will pick you up and drop you back off in Jo'burg for this leg.
     
  3. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hi Troy your on the right track in the fact that your taking your 13 year old son with you that alone will be a big part of your adventure. Sharing a trip like that with you son is out of this world and one the two of you will never forget. but if he hunts even if its just rabbits include him in the hunt imagine him taking his first blesbok or steenbok Wow! tell you a story of a friend of mine that went on his first safari when we met back up at the lodge that night I ask him how his hunt had been that day, he looked at me with eyes like a full moon and a grin that would blind you and said I had the hunt of my life! I said Wow what did you get and he replyed a Baboon and 3 vervit monkeys. And as far as sight seeing it never ends for Game parks like Addo Elephant park to seeing all the game on your hunt for a 13 year old its better then a trip to a Zoo any time. If you have any questions feel free to ask or you can PM me any time. Hope you and your son have an awesome time, I know you will. Bob
     
  4. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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  5. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Elite

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    Welcome to AH, Troy!

    Best Regards,
    Marius Goosen
     
  6. Paw Print

    Paw Print SPONSOR AH Fanatic

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    Hi Troy,all the best with your planning.I agree with Phoenix Phil,try and organise it together with a Kruger park trip,lots of interesting stuff for a thirteen year old at Kruger,with wonderfull hunting close to the park.
     
  7. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    Welcome to Ah, Troy !
     
  8. Bos en Dal Safaris

    Bos en Dal Safaris SPONSOR AH Enthusiast

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    Hi Troy, it is nice that you are able to share this experiance with your son, a side trip to any of the national park will do you good especially to get some quality pics of the animals.

    Good luck with the planning! And i dont think that yo will be able to bore your son on his first safari regardless of the type of hunting you will do(bow or rifle).

    Best Regards
     
  9. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Your son being bored will not be a problem.My son at 11 years old had the time of his life.We even seen 2 of the big 5 on the ranch at hartzview we hunted.I think your list will grow as far as animals goes once your there.Even bow hunting your son will see plenty of game.If you want your son to get into hunting no better place.Great place to teach a kid as the pressure is not there at all.You blow a stalk animals moves off you just start over and will more then likely be on another animal shortly.For around a thousand dollars worth of trophy fees give or take depending on the outfit you pick your son could take an impala,springbuck and warthog.Some places will give you a deal on day rates for a young kid also which saves for some animals.I would say do the 10days if you can unless your list stays at only a few animals then 7 would be ok and spend the money you save on a shorter hunt for some animals for the boy.You need any more info or have any question feel free to PM me on here.
     
  10. gi jane

    gi jane BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Hi Troy! This is the right place to be for sure. Every question you have will be answered. As far as your son having a good time, don't fret. He will be with you, and I am pretty confident no matter what the situation he is going to be thrilled to have a father/son experience. . I could only pray that (or in my wildest dreams) my son's "father" had a minuscule fraction of your consideration, concern and responsibility you have regarding your son's well-being and happiness.
    Hence, tis why took my teenage son by myself (ph and trackers included of course) on a dangerous game hunt in Zimbabwe for my buffalo. Alone, just me and him as the clients. Best thing I ever did aside from giving birth to him. Go for it and don't worry about pleasing him, it will happen regardless. Good luck and may you have a safe and successful adventure. Your boy is very fortunate to have you.
    Jane
     
  11. gi jane

    gi jane BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Oh, by the way, regarding my boy; he took down three animals before I even had a chance to set my sights on my buff. All with one shot! Very good trophies, excellent in fact (zebra, impala and a baboon at >200 meters). I had to tell him no more animals! He had reached his quota in the first three days of our hunt. Mom (hopefully) needed a chance at a buff and kudu. Damn was he pissed at me! He sought his revenge upon me quite a few times during our time in Zim. I am only telling you because it's possible this type of situation could happen to you as well, just be ready and well-prepared.

    Janey
     
  12. Mtgoat

    Mtgoat AH Veteran

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    Troy, it should be awesome. As a starting point for getting your head around the planning, I highly recommend Craig Boddington's book "African Experience: A Guide to Modern Safaris". Also, before heading on your trip, I recommend "The Perfect Shot: Shot Placement for African Big Game" by Kevin Robinson. I'm sure that others on this site can recommend lots of other resources. (You've already found a great resource with this site.)

    Boddington recommends consuming everything that you can prior to your trip. I concur. One of the things that I did was to program my DVR to record all shows about hunting or about Africa. I ended up with a bunch of shows that didn't really fit those criteria, and some that did match but were worthless. However, I also got quite of few good to excellent programs that were quite informative and helped me be better prepared for my first safari.

    If you think that either you or your son will be shooting with a rifle, buy shooting sticks now and practice shooting on it as much as you possibly can. I recommend using a bolt action .22 for most of that practice. It is affordable to shoot and won't encourage you to start flinching. Limit your time with the big gun(s).

    A few months ago, on our way to our safari in Namibia, my wife and I met a father and son also on their way to their first safari. In this case, only the son was going to hunt and planned to do so with a bow. As luck would have it, we met them again at the end of the hunt. The son had only hunted a day or two with his bow and ended up taking everything in his package with a rifle - but he was ecstatic about whole the experience.

    Best of luck to you. Preparing for the hunt is at least half of the fun. A character in a C.S. Lewis book describes an adventure as being made up of three parts: anticipation, the actual experience, and the recounting it to others. I think that sums it up. Too often we focus just on the experience.
     
  13. joester

    joester AH Veteran

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    I'm sure your boy will have fun... IMO here are your 2 major considerations....

    1) You will likely be hunting a "ranch" in Namibia or a " farm" in South Africa...the vast majority are surroundrd by an8 ft tall fence. Be sure to check on the size of EACH proprty you hunt so that you are ok with its size limitations

    2) Some places really cater to, if not specialize in, bowhunting. You'll probably have the best fun, and luck(!) on one of these.

    good hunting!
     
  14. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Welcome to AH

    If you are worried about spending the extra bucks on your son and having him not want to hunt you may want to run it past your PH to allow him to hunt at observer rate for a couple animals. Many PHs will do this for kids/spouses and if he does like it and shoots more than a couple you can make up for it in your tip.
     
  15. Upepo

    Upepo AH Member

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    my advice. not related to hunting.
    when you arrive - spend the first couple of days having fun, shopping, and seeing a few parts of the scenery.
    get a lot of good sleep. the trip down to Africa is long and tiring.
    After you have slept ... go on your hunting trip and have a blast :)

    Upepo
     
  16. Tootabi Hunting Safaris

    Tootabi Hunting Safaris AH Enthusiast

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    Good day Troy! Welcome to AH and it is great to hear and read your questions about hunting our beautiful country, South Africa. Your son will enjoy every moment of your stay, and as BobPuckett advised even letting him take his first Blesbuck or Duiker/Warthog will mean the world for him. A thought that will be cherished with him, throughout his entire life. Doing some sight seeing on none hunting days for example look at this video of Addo Elephant National Park,



    and combining it with an hunt



    will be the ideal for both Father and Son.

    Best of luck with all your searches and hope you find the correct outfitter that would make your trip worth the visit!

    Kind regards,
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2014
  17. Adrian

    Adrian BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Senior Member

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    I've been in the same situation and asked the question about youngsters to potential outfitters.

    Many of them are happy for the opportunity to introduce a new generation of hunters to our sport and will offer a child free accommodation and a non trophy animal.
     

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