Hunting Elephant in Botswana vs. Zimbabwe?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Tom Opre, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. Tom Opre

    Tom Opre New Member

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    Looking to book an elephant hunt next season. What are the pros and cons of hunting in Botswana vs. Zim? I know things can change yesterday, but wanted some feedback from members.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2013
  2. tap

    tap AH Enthusiast

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    I had that exact same question at sci reno. I spoke with over a dozen outfitters and they all said its the difference between a Toyota carola and a ferarri enzo.

    I was told by everyone that within 30 minutes of hunting in the area of Botswana that I am going to that I will see more elephants than I would on my entire hunt in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, or Mozambique. In addition the ivory is much larger in diameter there. The only other place to get comparable ivory is the non exportable ivory of moz. As for Botswana you will only be able to hunt pac animals after this year. They are closing down. Plus if you want to hunt a trophy bull elephant and the the season is extended one more year, which is highly unlikely, the price for a single trophy bull will be between $70,000 and $80,000.

    Since hunting is shutting down and I feel this is my last chance to hunt an elephant of this size with the kind of experience that will accompany the hunt I decided to book a September elephant hunt with Johan Calitz in Botswana this year.

    Hope this helps.
  3. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Well next year there will be no hunting for elephants unless it's on private land. This will be the last great year in Botswana.

    The hunting will continue in Zimbabwe. Don't discount an opportunity in Namibia, plenty of open space....similiar size too.
  4. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Like the guys said, next year you will be able to hunt in Zim and not likely in Bots for Elephant.
    I would also bet the price will sky rocket for any possible booking that might be left.

    Good luck.
  5. NYAMAZANA SAFARIS

    NYAMAZANA SAFARIS AH Veteran

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    Hi Tap

    You are correct in saying that Botswana offers good Elephant hunting certainly I can not compare my area to Botswana not even to some other areas in Zim. Having said that there are still some very big Bulls coming out of Zim , just this year I heard of a 90lb coming out of the south already and several last year in the high 80 and 90 lb. Anyway I know Botswana do have this potential for sure but many Bulls in the 40lb and 50lb are also coming out of Botswana as is in Zim, and you may see more trophy bulls per day as compared to Zim , but as far as numbers of Elephant are concerned being cows and bulls young and old there are vast numbers in Zimbabwe and I think that in certain concessions that you will most likely see way more Elephant in a safari time frame than you will see in Botswana certainly more than in 30 minutes.., I am talking total animals not just Bulls. Anyway you know that I am a pro Zim guy and have nothing against Botswana at all , in fact what is happening in Bots is very unfortunate and we hope that it will not snow ball into Zim . You will have a fantastic hunt with Johan for sure there are quality Elephant there and best of luck on your hunt.

    As far as Ferrari's verses Carola's that may be true in some cases. In my case one may hunt 3 times and with good luck you may average say 40lb per Bull or more that is a total of 120 > lbs , 3 different Elephant +/- 30 -36 days hunting......compared to one hunt in Botswana for one Elephant..?

    I can not compare my area to Botswana , just saying I offer a way different hunt and hopefully to some who just want to get a mature Bull as there is no way they can afford Botswana .

    Hope this will help some folks realize that Zim is still great value for your money, in the right place with the right operator and there are plenty of us in Zimbabwe.

    All best

    Wayne
  6. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    nicely put wayne :beer:
  7. Tom Opre

    Tom Opre New Member

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    Thanks Wayne. I've heard from several PH's and consultants about large bulls being taken along the southern border of Zim (assume closer to Kruger). Send me a message about your op.
  8. Karl Stumpfe

    Karl Stumpfe AH Veteran

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    Hi Tom, as Enysse said, dont discount Namibia. I will upload a few photos of recent bulls we hunted in the Caprivi, just across the river from Botswana.
    Some of the areas in Zim does produce nice bulls, especially in the region that borders Namibia and Botswana.

    All in all, I think we offer some of the most affordable hunts for a very good reprensetative bull. Last 3 years our average was over 45 lbs, and that for much less than a Botswana hunt, and about the same as a Zim hunt in a top area.

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    Caprivi Trophy Elephant Bull

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    Caprivi Trophy Elephant Bull

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    Caprivi Trophy Elephant Bull

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    Caprivi Trophy Elephant Bull

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    Management Trophy Elephant (Caprivi)

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    Kavango (Namibia) Elephant Bull

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    Management Bull Elephant

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    Caprivi Elephant

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    Caprivi Elephant

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    PAC Elephant Bull (exportable out of Namibia at 3rd of normal price)

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    Representative Elephant Bull of around 40 lbs

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    Non Export (meat) Elephant Bull

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    Caprivi Elephant Bull

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    Caprivi Elephant

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    Nov 2012 Elephant Bull in Caprivi

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    Trophies all from Nov 2012 (not all hunters present)
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2013
  9. tap

    tap AH Enthusiast

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    Please don't take my post as a fact etched in stone. I've never been on a single elephant hunt in my life. I had no desire to hunt elephant. I was simply instructed by my wife that we are going elephant hunting and my SA ph for 10 years instructed us that this is the best of the best on elephant hunts. Please be ware that he did not line up this hunt. Ivan Carter did. That means my ph did not get a commission. In addition I checked with several zim, Tanzania, and Mozambique ph's about getting a better deal from them and they all said that if money were not the issue that the Botswana elephant hunt I was looking at was the best ele hunt on the planet bar none.

    All I was merely relating was what I was told in an unbiased situation. Hopefully there are other areas that I can ele hunt in the future. It sounds like it may be an addicting experience and if so I will most likely want to return and do another hunt for a giant. If there are other areas where I can hunt a giant and have an awesome time then I will most likely be doing so granted the outcome of my hunt is favorable.

    Lastly, I did look at zim. However when one has been burned in zim 3/3 of his safaris he is likely very reluctant to play that game again. To say I don't trust Zimbabwe is an understatement. I am however returning to zim in may to do a leopard hunt and test the waters one last time. If that situation goes well Im going to go on a big safari with Martin Pieters next year. If Martin doesn't burn me then I may be returning to him for future hunts and look towards him to set up any future ele hunts. In short I am very apprehensive of zim and its something I am very cautious about.


    No offense to you guys but zim has been very unkind to me.
  10. Tom Opre

    Tom Opre New Member

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    Tap -

    I've hunted twice in Zim. For the most part pretty good trips. My wife and I will also be in Zim in May hunting with Russ Broom for leopard and buff. There are no guarantees your hunt will go without a hitch (it is hunting), but I've found hunting consultants have a lot of current information. I like to check out their info and compare to the safari ops and PH's. There seems to be a lot of misinformation out there, but most of us can figure out what areas are really producing and what areas you need to stay away. I find this site to be very informative and it's members fairly free with real information. Kudos to you all.
  11. Karl Stumpfe

    Karl Stumpfe AH Veteran

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    Tom, why dont you talk to Russ about an elephant? He has access to some decent elephant where he is hunting now. And as you propably know, he is an excellent PH, and a long time friend of mine.
  12. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Karl, Great bulls! I do think the Caprivi strip is going to gain in popularity significantly in the coming years. I think it is already happening actually....
  13. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    The Caprivi always has been a fantastic hunting destination, if you look on the map, it's in the middle of all the good areas.
  14. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Africa...are there other continents to hunt?
    I mean especially with Botswana closing on Elephants (for the most part) and Zambia DG on "hiatus" for a while. The strip is going to be a pretty popular place pretty soon.
  15. Jacques.strauss

    Jacques.strauss AH Veteran

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    One should really take Namibia into consideration when planning a big game safari, not just elephant, but buffalo too... Like Mr. Karl Stumpfe said, the Caprivi produces some really good ivory. I know of some PH's up there that average over 50 pounds per tusk through the hunting season. But its not only the Caprivi that produces good ivory in Namibia, the Bushmanland area where the Mr. Kai-Uwe Denker hunted a few hundred pounders over years. In the same area, Jofie Lamprecht took a 70-something-pounder in 2012. Even in the Damaraland area in Namibia, you can find some good elephant hunts. I think personally, Namibia is just a well kept secret when it comes to Big Game Hunting.....

    Thats only my opinion, my regards....Jacques Strauss
  16. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    I have the flip side Johan Herman (Rigby big game SAFARI'S) has an area close to Kruger.... For large Elle this is your best bet... For super Buffalo this is by far the best... I have taken with client 65x3 one 74lb (keep in mind there is a 70 lbs limit... Buff have been 47" 48,5" a 46 and never under 44"

    Try it maybe he can help. This hunt is in SA and there is only one fence on the western side (veterinary)

    My best always.
  17. Tom Opre

    Tom Opre New Member

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    Talked to Russ about hunting everything else but elephant. I'll discuss with him in May. Cheers.
  18. classicsafari

    classicsafari AH Enthusiast

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    Is this hunt usually done at night or daytime?
  19. classicsafari

    classicsafari AH Enthusiast

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    I'm quite sure Russ will be able to offer you a Elephant hunt in an area backing onto Botswana. Such areas as Matetsi, Panda Masui and Kazuma.
    The trick is to get the time of season right and with the cost saving compared to Bots, you will be able to spend some of the saving on extra days which will help for looking for the big one.
    Bots Ele hunts are around 10 days but in Zim I prefer 14 minimum.

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