First Safari

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by sandyridge1123, May 19, 2013.

  1. sandyridge1123

    sandyridge1123 AH Member

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    Hi everyone. I am in the early stages of planning my first safari. I hope to go to either RSA or Namibia in 4 years after I retire. When planning your first hunt what is most important to you, is it the area, the species, or the outfitter? There are several good outfitters in both RSA and Namibia and I am not set on any particular animal. :confused:
     
  2. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    I would say the outfitter is the most important consideration. A bad outfitter or one that you don't get along with will put a damper on your safari no matter how good the hunting may be.

    Secondly would be the area. No matter how good the PH may be, if there aren't animals there to hunt well the old saying of not getting blood from a turnip applies.

    After that would then be the species you're after. Since it's your first time (and it won't be your last if you can at all help it), they're all new to you. After your first trip however, this will start to become more important.

    The best thing I think you can do for yourself is to attend either the DSC or SCI conventions and meet prospective outfitters personally. After you get a list, jump back on here to get the input of the AH brethren.
     
  3. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Elite

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    Welcome to the forum Sandyridge1123,

    There are many great outfits right here on Africahunting.com that will be able to give the trip that you deserve. Check the Outfitters tab at the top of the page to guide you to the directory members of this great website.
    All the best with planning your trip and don't hesitate to ask any questions around here. Majority of the members here have the experience and knowledge to show you the way.

    Take Care,

    Marius Goosen
     
  4. sandyridge1123

    sandyridge1123 AH Member

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    Thanks for the info. I would like to go to the SCI or DSC conventions but they are a long way from Michigan. I did go to the Hunting Time Expo in Grand Rapids and met some Outfitters I have put on my short list. I was in RSA in 2005 with a mission trip from my church and loved the Eastern Cape so part of me would like to go back there but part of me says to go somewhere differant such as Namibia. I think maybe I need to go twice.:)
     
  5. huntsolo101

    huntsolo101 AH Senior Member

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    Trust me when I say once turns into once a year maybe twice.
     
  6. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    I would hang around this website for a while. Listen to the outfitters and agents, read the hunt reports and commentary. After a while you will get the "feel" of different operators. Then start emailing and phone calling. You will be able to learn a LOT about different outfitters by hanging around here a bit. Welcome!
     
  7. Mtgoat

    Mtgoat AH Veteran

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    I agree with all of the advice that has been given. I will add that while you have to have a good fit with your outfitter, you also need to be aware and beware of those guys who all talk ("Good Time Charlies"). Check references and better yet check with guys on this forum. This the best hunting forum I have found.

    I learned that lesson the hard way in Alaska. I booked a hunt through a well known booking service. I ended up with an outfitter who was very unethical - but a fun guy in base camp (which he never left). I had a guide who didn't know squat and was afraid of his own shadow (or was it a bear's shadow?). Laws were broken and there was talk of committing more serious offenses. I considered myself lucky to get out of there without a ticket (guilt by association). I also learned, after the fact, that he has a terrible reputation among the other outfitters in the areas where he hunts.

    I will repeat the advice of "go to SCI". Yes, it's quite a distance to go, but you will have a ball. It is an amazing event! You can learn so much when you're there. Yes, talk with the outfitters, but also other hunters and attend some of the classes. You'll come away much better prepared to continue doing your homework for that first safari. It is a small investment that will increase your ability to make good choices in planning your safari.

    Consume every scrap of information you can get your hands on. If you haven't already done so, I'd recommend that you buy and read Craig Boddington's "African Experience". I have my Tivo set to record every program about hunting in Africa. Sure, some of the shows are terrible, but it's easy to delete them. I'm going to Namibia this year for my first safari, so I have also told it to record every program about Namibia. I want to know about the place, its history and its people, as well as everything I can about hunting there.

    My wife is going with me, so for her birthday earlier this month, my son and daughter-in-law gave her 2 travel guides about Namibia. It's a different angle on planning a trip over there, even though they are really written for greenies.

    Best of luck.
     
  8. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    Welcome to the best forum on the net-bar none!
    As has been said, check the outfitters here on this forum. You can't go wrong. READ everything on this forum, period! It's a great education. You have time to plan and learn. RSA and Namibia are your best bet for a first time hunt. Both are great places and both are different. My wife and I studied all the animals before we went the first time so we knew what we wanted and knew what it was when we saw it. You will find that planning is half the fun of the entire experience AND there is nothing like the first safari-nothing. Our first hunt was "how many animals can we bring home. Now after 5 times we immerse ourselves in the country, the trip, the people and it's history as much, if not more, than the hunting. Pick your country, pick your outfitter then figure out what you want to shoot AND plan on a couple more than you thought just in case. I planned on 8 my first time and came home with 13.
    If at all possible go to DSC. Pricing and costs what they are, get a cheap ticket on SouthWest, stay in a lower priced hotel (I've done it) walking distance from any of the selected hotels that have transportation to the convention. The daily fee is around $15 to $20 per day. You'll spend more on food at the show than the admission. The experience is well worth the trip. Plan no less than 2 days (and that is too short for the first timer), 3 is best. Talk to all the outfitters from RSA and Namibia and compare with what you learn from the guys on this forum. This is almost a must. I require all whom I help plan their first trip to go to DSC. I've done it with 6 1st timers in the last 2 years. Lastly, don't ever say it's a once in a life time trip. Many, many on this forum alone have said that and have come to eat their words, ME INCLUDED! Just accept that fact that Africa will get under your skin and you will return.
     
  9. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    As you have been to the EC and enjoyed it you have some basis from which to compare.

    It sounds like you are wanting explore.
    Both RSA and Namibia have incredible diversity of terrain and biomes to discover.

    The quickest, cheapest way to start your education is to read stories from other hunters.
    AH is a huge resource, check the local library, etc.
    Once you have done this part of the exploration you will move on to the next phase.
    You can attend shows and speak to everyone you can.

    Your preferences will start to expose themselves and your choice will become clear.
     
  10. shakari

    shakari AH Enthusiast

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    Four years is a long time in Africa.

    In that time, governments and economies can rise and fall, hunting can be introduced, banned and reintroduced again, droughts can come and go, individual species can change CITES classification, safari companies can win and lose their reputation and good name and USF&WS can make up new rules to make your life difficult for no apparent reason so even drawing up a shortlist of countries, let alone individual companies is a waste or time.

    Don't be put off though. You can still start practicing your shooting and refining loads etc and you can keep an eye on the wider view of how things are going in the world of African safaris but my advice would be not to do much more than that for now and then start focusing on countries and companies about 18 months before you hope to go on your hunt.
     
  11. Jacques.strauss

    Jacques.strauss AH Veteran

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    I agree with mr. Cliffy....! You can't go wrong with Dallas Safari Club. In 2014, the DSC Show will be from 9-12 January. You will not regret it at all!
     
  12. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Veteran

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    I would like to chime in.
    I do not mean to offend anyone of the outfitters who buy space here and I have just returned from a most fantastic hunt in South Africa. I did a ton of research before selecting them. I must admit most before getting on this site. However my time was worth it as it paid off big time.
    We(my daughter and I) hunted with Iliwa Safaris near Port Elizabeth. The operation is a father/son and the property has been in their family for 5 generations. It is huge with next to no internal fencing. All animals are born and raised on the property and they do not feed them. They are alittle different as they spot and stalk with no blinds sitting over waterholes/feed stations. But do not worry as they can work with anyone such as myself with disablities(could not walk far). They will work with you and make your hunt great. They do not shoot from a truck so the game does not run on sight.
    We went after 7 animals and are bringing home 16. Some for free. We have at least 3 that are record book animals even though we were not "hunt for book animals". We also shot others at no charge plus monkeys just for fun! Some trophy animals. They have plenty of game and only take a limited number of people at a time. You will not see other hunters and will see a ton of game. They are very selective on what they take and only take larger/older animals.
    We hunted from early morning until dark with a nice lunch while out hunting. If you want something different they will do it for you. Including outside trips. We went to the Cheeta breeding research place and it is worth going.
    These people did everything one could ask for and then some.

    One note of concern. IF you are looking for a vacation resort with 24/7 maid/butler etc with pool/spa etc then do not book here.
    If you want a super nice, clean Chalet, good food, great hunting and 6+Star service and people then this is a place to go. I traveled half way around the world to hunt(and be pampered) not to sit by a pool all day in the winter. Besides if I want to swim I have a little used pool in my backyard. If I need a massage I can go 5 min to town here and do not.
    I got a killer Waterbuck, a monster Impala and my daughter got a huge(Cape) Red Hartebeest and a bunch of other great animals.
    I do not know how to post photos on here and am a computer idiot. If someone wanted I could send some photos to them to post for me.

    If anyone is interested they can contact me about Iliwa Safaris or if you contact them mention my name and say Hi for me. I get nothing out of it but they made me feel like family and we will be staying in touch. I am actually trying to find a way to go back as they have a couple of animals I have decided I still want. Do not shoot my Eland or Hartebeest before I can get back:)
    If you contact them say Doug Thomas said HI.
     
  13. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    It's all over for you Drivenhunter :p, life will never be the same and nor should it. Glad you had a good time!
     
  14. SNIPER59

    SNIPER59 AH Veteran

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    I agree enysse...once you are bitten by that African Hunting Safari bee, it is a bad state of affairs!! All you can do is sit trying to find a way back again, and again! Until you go that first time, you are safe and immune however, but after that first experience, no salve or anti-itch cream will work...you are doomed! HAHAHA!
     
  15. sandyridge1123

    sandyridge1123 AH Member

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    Thanks for all the replies. I read all I can about hunting in RSA and Namibia. I have been lurking on here so much I feel like a stalker:) great site and people. I will have to try and make the DSC convention. Hopefully most of my children and grandchildren can go with me on the hunt. If the family comes along it will be more about experiancing Africa. I am not a trophy hunter. The hunt itself is the most inportant to me. I am a gunsmith on the side so I am building 7x57 to take as a backup gun and it will be giving to my grandson after the hunt. I have been out to the rifle range working up loads for my trusty 06. Any excuse to shoot is a good excuse.
     
  16. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Welcome to the AH Sandyridge1123! I would say its the outfitter they can make the hunt or brake the hunt. My first safari when greg met me and shook my hand and told me that this is my holiday if I had any problems I was to let him know and I knew he ment it that he would take care of it. headed back for my third hunt with greg in 7 days. Don't wait for 3 or 4 years if you don't have to you'll be kicking yourself in the butt. Years ago a friend in Alaska told me that I need to make at lease one trip to Africa even if I had to take a loan! He was right and I'm still kicking myself for not doing it before.
     
  17. Warbird782

    Warbird782 AH Veteran

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    I just returned home from my first African hunt two weeks ago. I was fortunate enough to go with a friend who has been to the same outfitter for the last 6 years. A year ago I was in the same shoes that you are in now. I was thinking Namibia or RSA. My friend talked me into going with him to Ballantyne Trophy Safaris and I sure am glad that I did. We hunted in the Eastern Cape and I was out of this world impressed. The outfitter had access to huge tracts of land and the game was plentiful. There are many good outfitters (and I'm sure bad ones) so do your homework. Call references provided by the outfitter. I would recommend going sooner rather than later. I am already planning my next adventure there. Good Luck!
     

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