Looking For SA or Namibia Safari

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by JGRaider, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. JGRaider

    JGRaider AH Veteran

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    Myself and 2 or 3 buddies are going to try and plan a safari for June/July/August of 2013. It will either be in SA or Namibia we've decided. We would rather not hunt high fence at all, and will not hunt high fenced places of 5000 acres or less. Barbed wire cattle fences are OK. I'm told that there's really no free range hunting at all in South Africa. Is this true? I've heard that Kei River Safaris and Crusader are free range but after I was told this I'm really not sure. How about Namibia? Is there free range hunting there? Depending on what we find out, we may have to adjust our expectations a little, but we'd rather not. Thanks for the help.

    Basic plains game desired such as Kudu, Oryx, WB, Zebra, Hartebeast, Impala, Blesbok, etc. Not interested in baboons, jackals, etc.
  2. SA Hunting Outfitters

    SA Hunting Outfitters AH Senior Member

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    JG, South Africa is a huge country, and while many operations have smaller concessions where you will see a fence, there are many many many great operations that are as free range as you will get anywhere in Africa, South Africa is THEE most popular hunting destination in Africa and for good reason, we offer the most diversity in terms of plains game and terrain, its the only country in Africa that spans across the width of the Entire continent....

    My advice is to not concern yourself with the hight of fences and rather on the size of the property that the game has access to, i hunt on both Low and high fenced Areas and to be honest with you it makes zero difference to your safari, as you will not see a fence either way..

    give Richard from Hunt and Go Fish a call he is a hunting agent that visited me this year and then went on to Namibia, he will give you some un biased advice.. his email address is, richard@huntandgofish.com
    either way Africa is magical and you will not be disappointed either way, just be sure to get references from ppl that have hunted on the concessions you intend to visit.
  3. JGRaider

    JGRaider AH Veteran

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    Thank you very much Anton. I appreciate your response. With all due respect though, the height of the fences, and size of the enclosure is going to continue to be a big concern. For our $50,000 we're going to do it the way we want to if at all possible.
  4. SA Hunting Outfitters

    SA Hunting Outfitters AH Senior Member

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    i agree with you 100%, the size of the property is of utmost importance to any fair chase and ethical hunter, however at the perimeter of such land whether it be 24000 hectares, there will be a high fence.. it could take you a week of walking to reach it but it will be there.... Kruger National Park is bigger than Wales, or Israel but its perimeter is high fenced!!!! that is why i say ignore the notion of "high fenced" and focus your efforts on property sizes and trophy quality, speak to guys on this forum and ppl that have hunted in South Africa previously, they will all pretty much give you the same advice.

    you will Love Africa that is for sure!!
  5. 1ObsessedHunter

    1ObsessedHunter AH Veteran

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    This was also a concenrn of mine before I went on my safari. Let me tell you the fence should not concern you at all. The properties I hunted were huge and if you think you won't work for your trophies you're thoroughly mistaken. Also, keep in mind there are animals that escape the fence. Kudu and Eland can jump the fence. Just go with a reputable outfitter and you'll have a great time.
  6. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Since many if not most RSA and Namibian properties are fenced some way or other, one has to make up their mind to ignore them or go somewhere that doesnt have fences, but you will pay much more. The rule I made for myself is simple. If an animal I wanted was very near a fence or seemed at all hampered by the fence or trapped by it, I wont shoot. But as others have said it really isnt a problem and when I hunted fenced properties in RSA and Zim I saw lots of fences but never had to use my rule. Power line towers are another blight on the landscape but a neccessity and a reality in places.
  7. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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  8. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    JGRaider If you can at all make it come to the DSC in Jan a bunch of us will be there and we would be glad to Introduce you to all the Outfitters there that we've hunted with small and big and there will be some great deals to be had as most outfitters will have show specials to offer.
  9. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Elite

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    Could not have said it better Anton. You nailed it!
  10. CT Safaris

    CT Safaris AH Enthusiast

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    JGRaider,

    I want to start my post with an analogy:

    Now I say this with love but my wife is a bit of a "penny pincher" - always looking for the best bargain she can get.

    A couple of weeks ago we undertook the 200 mile journey to the big city to find her a SUV as replacement for hers that was destroyed by a fire here at our house a few months ago... As usual; she was looking for the best "bargain" she could find whilst I was looking for the best "deal" we could get - even if it cost more... We "hunted" for cars on the internet and literally looked at hundreds of them... And after two days of searching I said to her: "Honey, it seems you want a $30K car but you're only prepared to spend $15K!"...

    Well, we ended up buying the Jeep she liked for $20K instead of the one I thought was the best value for money for $25K...

    En route back from the dealership, 10 miles before we reached our gate the Jeep broke down. Now we're sitting with a broken Jeep on our ranch during the Christmas holidays and we need to plan on having the Jeep towed back to Johannesburg when the dealerships open up next year. This endeavour is not only going to cost us money in terms of towing costs, fuel and accommodation in Johannesburg, but we're also going to have to face the "fight" with the dealership when we get there... PLUS we're sitting with the frustration of having a vehicle that is not driveable!

    The moral of my story?

    In researching Outfitters for your hunt...

    1. DO NOT look for the best bargain you can find. Look for a reputable one that you can afford.
    2. Some of the special deals offered over here and on other forums by reputable Outfitters are excellent value for money but some of the "deals" may end up costing you more in heartache and disappointment after the fact...
    3. To set up a decent safari outfit costs money and to keep it running costs even more money. Beware of the Outfits that only offer special deals / packages...
    4. Rather make contact with a few well-established Outfitters who can provide you with references of recent and non-recent clients. Ask these clients and Outfitters the questions you want to ask, compare the answers you get from each one and and see who you can build a rapport up with.
    5. And once you've identified the Outfit that you want to hunt with, book your hunt, sign your contract and go enjoy your safari.

    With 17 years experience in the Safari Industry and having run my Outfit successfully for the past 10 years I do consider myself to be reputable so I'd be happy to provide you with current and past references and answer any questions you may have - starting off by saying that:

    1. We do not hunt any small areas
    2. Fenced hunting does not = "canned" hunting
    3. And if your quest is for the plains game species you've mentioned we have the game available in good numbers in our areas in Limpopo Province and the Eastern Cape.

    Lastly; yes - this is a sales pitch - but I hope that whoever you end up choosing you'll find the right Outfitter to not only meet but exceed your expectations of an African safari.

    Best,
  11. Safari Afrika

    Safari Afrika AH Enthusiast

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    Could not have put this any better !!!! Fences have ZERO influence !!!!!
  12. Safari Afrika

    Safari Afrika AH Enthusiast

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    100 % Chris !!!
  13. JGRaider

    JGRaider AH Veteran

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    I appreciate all the help you guys have given. Mr Bob Puckett, I am going to DSC for Friday and Saturday. I'd love to meet some of you good folks there. Mr. Troskie, I think you nailed my intentions perfectly. I'm not necessarily looking for the cheapest deal, just the best value for our $$$ I guess. The research process is very intimidating for the first timer like myself. I don't even know all the questions to ask except for the one's I've asked already. One thing I do know is that I do not want any surprises, hidden fees, etc, especially when I get there. This happened on one of my two trips to Sonora MX chasing big mule deer.

    One thing I probably need to clarify when I reference a "high fence". In Texas a high fence is pretty much game proof fence that impedes entry and exit. An 8' wire mesh fence. I choose not to hunt in one and that's what I'm referring to in Africa.

    In regards to the "value" we're seeking.......every one of our party has kids in college, which is quite expensive nowadays. We aren't opposed to finding a real steal of a deal. :)

    Thanks again for all the very helpful information, and Merry Christmas to all of you .
  14. rphguy

    rphguy AH Enthusiast

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    Merry Christmas,
    I went on my first safari, along with my son that just graduated college, this past July. We had a blast. If you want to hear about my hunt and all, search the threads or send me a PM, I'd be happy to tell you about it. Until this year I had 2 kids in college. I'm more or less middle income, not wealthy. I'm a pharmacist/preacher. I mention this because price mattered, but certainly wasn't everything.

    Some things I'd point out:
    1. as others stated the size of the concessions is important. the fence height, not so much. Obviously the animals know where the fences were and would make their escape a difference direction in order not to get hemmed in. I think mostly you don't want a canned hunt, I agree, where you pick out the animal to shoot like you'd pick out a lobster at a restaurant. You want to hunt the animal, not merely shoot it.
    2. style of hunting. Some places allowing shooting from the truck. I don't want to hunt with folks that allow it, much less do it. although, we had a night hunt calling in jackals where we shot from the truck, but much different than shooting antelopes. But, archery or rifle? spot and stalk or sit in a blind? Trekking on foot or driving to spot animals, then a 200 yard stalk?
    3. Terrain. Do you want thick or open country. flat or hilly/mountainous. Long shots or close stalks. I wanted hilly, thick, and shots within 200 yards, but preferred closer. Scenery mattered.
    4. Size of Company. Do you want to hunt with an outfit that utilizes many PHs and has a dozen hunters at one time or do you want a smaller outfit where you will basically be the only ones hunting the concession?
    5. accommodations/food. Inquire, but I think most are going to offer much better than you need or desire. But, hey, I didn't mind not suffering.
    6. Price. It is important, but not the only thing. I feel that I got value with my hunt. I have looked at many Outfitters, before and after my hunt. Many are much more expensive than others. How about the price to get to the concession? Are long drives involved that adds an extra charge? Extra flights? These add up.
    7. References. I didn't plan to call all the references the PHs gave me. My plan was to join the 24 hour Campfire and Africa Hunting a year or two in advance and see who these guys used and if they had a good experience and what the companies said about each other. I didn't want to choose a businessman that was in fierce competition with others, I wanted a gentleman, in the old sense of the word, to hunt with. Referrals provided by companies are nice, but they are anonymous. Of course, posters on the sites are sort of anonymous, but I think are more likely to give balanced info. There are a few guys that post on here that I would choose in a heartbeat with no 2nd guessing. I don't think I'd personally look any further than here or the Campfire.
    8. The animals you desire to hunt. With that said, make your list, but make sure you are allowed to change your mind when you get there. I'm glad I was able to do this. Some animals are a lot more interesting and desirable when you get close to them than just seeing them from a distance or a picture. (same is true with women, lol.)

    Well, that's my 4 cents to throw in. If you want more, you can PM me.
    Blessings, Jerry.

    btw, JGRaider, from your name, are you from Lubbock or a Texas Tech fan? My wife is from Lubbock.
  15. 1ObsessedHunter

    1ObsessedHunter AH Veteran

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    Like the saying goes, you get what you pay for. If you have to, save for another year. I'm certainly not saying to go out and find the most expensive outfitter. But, more often than not when you pay a little more you buy peace of mind. In the end the cheapest thinkgs usually become the most expensive. Good luck!
  16. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I will just add with a group of 3 or 4 you will find some deals even with the best outfits.You all take them animals you have on your list they will deal with you more then any will want to openly say here in a post.Book direct with the outfitter give them your list and pick how you guys want to hunt be it 2x1 or 1x1.I would say plain on a few animals that may not be on your list now because after seeing them in person you may just want to try for one.Get the prices on all animals offered so you have no suspries if you add one later as the hunt is going on.I found the fences did not come into play.The fence I did see had no animals near them and the animals have plenty of cover to just disappear into over there.Good luck in your search doing the same now and think of doing both nambia and SA in the same trip.
  17. RickB

    RickB AH Fanatic

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    The fences were a big deal to me as well. I knew a head of time they were going to be there. But it is a way of life there. You have to protect your investment. You may be able to find some low-no fence areas. I hunted a 10,000 acre area the first day. I was not very impressed. It was large and flat, but not much cover. The rest of the time I was there we hunted property that must have been 100,000 acres. It was fenced but the first 5 minutes on the property it was clear these animals wanted nothing to do with you. The whitetail in my back yard are more tame. And they don't like me either. Only road it seemed like we were on more than once, was the one leading into the ranch as we came and went. Another thing to consider is if you are hunting on foot or from a blind. Or will you drive till you see some animals and then stalk? There are a lot of things to consider. Some you may be set on. something you will have to think long and hard about. Good luck and have fun! This is one of the best parts of the trip!!
  18. JGRaider

    JGRaider AH Veteran

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    Thank you Jerry. TTU grad, letterman, and reside in Midland, TX.
  19. rphguy

    rphguy AH Enthusiast

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    Lana's Dad is from around Midland area. She grew up in Lubbock before she started traveling, her dad was a construction worker that moved a good bit.

    I took my son to Africa after college graduation.
    My daughter is offered a hunt for graduation of practically anything she wants. She wants to hunt mule deer. definitely. I plan to match the money spent on Matt's safari, so she will be able to hunt something else also. The next animal on her list is Cougar. lol. my daughter.

    Is there a recommendable place for her to hunt mule deer in that area? It doesn't have to be 25 spread or 180 points. But, something more than "respectable" with shots no more than about 150 yards, preferably less. She asked about a management hunt that still would be a large rack because she likes the weird racks and, if cheaper, she could do the cougar hunt.
  20. JGRaider

    JGRaider AH Veteran

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    I'm a part time guide and outfitter with my buddy here in W TX for mule deer, whitetail, antelope, and aoudad sheep. We kill some dandy mule deer, several 180"class, a 185", 3 190's, a 195", and a 200" since 2008. 100% fair chase with no feeders, food plots, or high fences. We're booked through 2015 though. Big mule deer really turn my crank, killed a 212" typical in Sonora in 2006, but I've really been wanting to experience Africa for something different, hence this thread.

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