Luxury versus not so luxury accommodations

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Bushwack, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    I have been once to a luxury camp, and three times to what Uxbidgesafaris calls "in between".

    I really don t need the luxury camp, the in between suits me fine, you have good accomodations, which are nice after a day in the field, but no waiters on the table, and you fetch your own beer from the fridge.

    I could perfectly live with the bush camp, but I don t think my wife would agree.
  2. Rob44

    Rob44 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I,m planning my trip for next year,,,for a lot of us it takes 2 years to save the 4-6k to plus airfare to go,,,there are outfitters out there KMG i believe that offers 3 kinds of accomadations with different prices to fit the budgets and needs of each hunter,,,,If I have to bust my hump for 2+ years and put up with 30 plus hours on an airplane,,,Crapping in a hole for a week is something I,m just not interested in doing,,I,m aware this is a hunt but it,s also a vacation ,,,,when I was a kid I stayed at my Aunts farm and slept on a recliner for a week,,lot of fun back then but don,t think I,d do it today JMTC
  3. bhtkevin

    bhtkevin New Member

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    I think age has to do with this. I don't go hunting to be "on vacation" I go to "hunt" and make memories. I'm in my 30s and this is the exact reason Africa has always seemed like an "old mans" destination. Shoot from the car while getting a massage and being served a martini all at the same time :) I think I found a good "in between" and going to give it a try this year. Either way its going to be a far cry from my "camp" in Texas or my last trip to Kyrgyzstan!
  4. Bushwack

    Bushwack AH Fanatic

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    Rob44 & bhtkevin

    I do understand both your points given. Yes, it makes sense, if i am saving a lot of money for a safari why not do it as a vacation and on the 'other side of the coin' i am also a hunter and don't want to do sight seeing when hunting...

    It must be an 'age' thing...
  5. mikejones

    mikejones AH Member

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    good thread , in my view if i hunt i can live under the stars but if my wife and kids join me then ill need at least 3 stars :)

    Its good if you have at least 4 stars and have some tents to accommodate the rough rider hunters :)

    regards

    Mike Jones

    Holland
  6. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    If you are in your 30s, then I guess I m an old man.

    However, I hunt from daybreak to sunset, and never shoot from the car or a blind, just walk and stalk. While martinis and massages sound great :), I never had the experience.

    When I get back to camp, I do like some comforts, although I don t need luxury !
  7. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    with respect you are talking sh-t. there are plenty of places in africa you can go and hunt where you will be comfortable but not in luxury. these tend to be places where in the off season the camps are removed and then rebuilt for the next season.they will be thatched huts or tented camps with usually ensuite shower, toilets and sink. the south african operations tend to be more luxurious due to the fact they are within relatively easy reach of all the supplies needed to build and upgrade their establishments, which they need to do as a lot run operations not solely restricted to hunting and are in a competitive market. i am obviously one of the old farts you are referring to but in the 24 or so years i have been spending time in africa i havent drunk any pussy crap like martinis, or have ever had a massage when hunting , but have slept in the bush, waded across rivers, walked through all sorts of shit for hours then back again, the same as other "old men" on here have done, and some a lot more..... what is our classification? oh and yes i have shot from the vehicle but it was on our place when we saw an injured animal we were looking for, and i didnt have time to alight from said vehicle as the animal was heading off. oh and you are on vacation even if you are hunting as you are not at work and are away from home and presumably not a ph?...:rant: mmm not sure if i feel better or not now :thinking: nah off for a :draught:
  8. bhtkevin

    bhtkevin New Member

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    Hah! You should get the meaning of the smiley face I put on there. It was a bit tongue in cheek, although I did like the wine and massages after an Argentina dove hunt. Luxury it wasnt, but comfortable for sure. To me that was a vacation, so I guess it works both ways.

    Compared to Alaska and Asia, even the "comfortable" things you mention are luxury in comparison. I crapped in a hole I dug in waist deep snow at 10k feet on my last trip... Good news is I brought some TP from home!

    I actually dont have a problem at all with luxury, its just not what I want to go to Africa for when hunting and I wish there were more backpacking type options available. If I was going with a GF/wife, I would be looking for something nicer. The only one I found (not in S Africa) was more expensive than a luxury hunt... go figure!
  9. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    If you go taking your GF and your wife man are you going to be having an expensive trip!!! :)
  10. Buff-Buster

    Buff-Buster GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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  11. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I wish there were more backpacking type options available.

    your welcome to the snow i am allergic to that amount of cold. try andy hunter at chipitanisafaris.net if you want to go for that option. saw the smiley, you just happened to be in the bad mood firing line...;):draught:
  12. Rob44

    Rob44 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I,m not looking for a Hunting Spa but given the option I like my comfort,,been a long time between Vacations at least 10 years,,I,m also in the Resturant Business and taking care of people is what I do, so at the end of a days hunt a Pool ,,Hot Tub a Cold beer and a hot meal is all I need
  13. MathewsShooterNJ

    MathewsShooterNJ New Member

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    Haha, I remember a hunt in the US in Nebraska, staying in a rickety old farmhouse. When we asked the outfitter about all of the dead flies on the windowsill he replied, "if I cleaned them up there would be just as many there tomorrow." We commented then that, "so then tomorrow there will be twice as many?"

    Needless to say, I deleted his number from my contact list.
  14. Hotfire Hunting Safaris

    Hotfire Hunting Safaris AH Veteran

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    Hey Gents, I think this is a great topic.
    Each outfitter when they started had a vision, "this is what Africa means for me" then they set out to create their outfit. For some it was a grand luxury lodge with a cigar bar and an ante chamber for the cigar bar. These are awesome and I would not hesitate to stay there if I could afford it. But sometimes in the luxury business, folk loose sight of whats the most important thing for a hunter. You know, ethics and animals.
    For others when they set out on their quest to define what Africa means to them, like myself, they chose to go the route of the self sufficient, camp style. The Bureaucrats dictate but if you meet the most basic needs, a five star lodge is not what you need. A tented camp is sufficient, provided that a certain number of environmental and hygiene standards are met, this makes sense to all.
    One of the main themes in most answers in the thread are a comfortable bed and a good hot shower (ICE COLD BEERS).
    Once these two items are met, the rest is just added extra cost. I think the critical item that defines whether a guest will like or love their accommodations while hunting is the following; SERVICE. You can stay at a zero star hole, but if the guests treatment is five star, most could tolerate a bit of discomfort. Obviously this is where the minimum standards in RSA do help and in turn can be reflected in the costs to the client.
    Another critical item to think about when setting up your camp and ablutions is "Would a Lady approve of this" if you can answer yes to that question, then you are miles ahead of the game. This also relates to CLEANLINESS (next to Godliness), which is a definite must when it comes to any establishment where people are paying to stay.
    It is not the grandiose lodge that folks remember from their hunting trip, nor the spartan style tented camp, it is one of these two scenarios (I will leave the hunting out), 1) friendliness, acceptance and overall experience or 2) unfriendliness, treated as a number and bad overall experience. Whether you went the cheaper route or the most expensive route, if you are not treated like the dignitary that all guests to our land are, then the outfitter has failed in doing the most important job, making you want to come back for more.
    Choose the operation that suits your needs best, just because Joe Soap Safaris (I hope there isn't a Joe Soap Safaris) has the highest quote for his five star lodge, doesn't mean that you will get 5 star treatment and don't think that John Doe Safaris ,is so cheap and must be for the (roughest of) men only as it is a 0 Star facility, you might be surprised at the 5 star service that his operation offers.
    If you know the outfitter to be honest and true to their word, then the choice of what you want from your hunt is in your hands.
    Thats my 2 cents (now 5 cents in Canada).
  15. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Get rid of pennies and you get super inflation. Damn!.
  16. Rob44

    Rob44 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I remember some years back I had a sweet Corporate Account Even the Kitchen was Airconditioned ,,state of the art equipment Great Staff,,,I was approached by the Owner of the company and asked if I would take one for the team,,,Leave my house and go live in some cabin in wisconsin and cook for a bunch of kids,,,,quite a shock from a 100 or so Gourmet meals on White linen to 1700 meals a day in a kitchen that was always over 100 degrees and the town,,,Christ,, 253 people I remember after my first day heading into town to have a few beers and the TV in the bar didn,t work,,,I was screwed,,,,these bumkins were talkin Pigs,,Cows,,and Corn,,and I was signed on for 12 weeks,I was F%&$@ed or so I thought,,,but the longer i was there the more I liked it,,,and I volunteered to go back to Hicksville for 8 more seasons,,,I found it was the people and the experience that made the difference ,,,and I think it will be the same with my Africa trip I,ll depend on the feedback from others on this great forum and the vibes I get from the PHs I have e-mail and phone contact with
  17. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Robb44, you'll be totally screwed after you one trip. Life will never be the same!
  18. zenbear

    zenbear AH Veteran

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    Hi All,
    Here is the issue. Plain and simple it is money. I am not poor , I own my own business and do ok.
    Yet there are times I look at offers in the hunting deals section of this website and can only roll my eyes. I end up going to shows looking for good deals . Having said that , over the years I have learned that there is a balancing act. It is between cost and services. At some point one effects the other. Over the years I have written many reviews for hunting and fishing trips(none for Africa yet) and this is a big question. Luxury is one of those words. What you may consider a frill your wife would be horrified without. I find it helpful to write down your expectations and find an outfit that comes closest. I know many hunters say they would scarifice comfort for price. I also know how many times I have been so grateful for that hot shower after a long long day. That ice cold beer taste oh so good after that perfect shot on that book animal. It is a dance and a balance that has to happen on both sides. Hunters must figure that prices are and will continue to rise and outfitters must understand that they need packages to cover many niches.

    take care-Jerry
  19. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Africa...are there other continents to hunt?
    I think Bushwack originally started this thread as a question about what you want in a camp...in other words, trying to ask the client what they expect. The answer is simple...it will always vary.

    I represent outfitters at all ends of this spectrum, both in Africa and elsewhere. It really depends on what that person is looking for, regardless of age or economic stature. Some will want to rough it and feel that they are involved in camp, others will want to be spoiled as this is a vacation away from work and the stresses of the daily grind.

    It also truly depends on the location of the hunt. A safari lodge or camp in South Africa will not be the same as one in Liberia. The same as a camp in Zimbabwe will be different than Namibia. It is difficult to compare apples to oranges.

    A vast majority of the first questions I get from clients is "could you send some pictures of the camp and some references for the outfitter". So yes, I do think the accommodations matter. They might matter because wife (or girlfriend) is coming along, they might matter because the client wants a certain "look" to the whole safari experience, whether that be wanting an authentic tented safari camp or wanting nice fixtures and beautiful lodge. It all depends on the client. Period.

    So, in other words, trying to pin down what accommodations an outfitter should offer is trying to hit a moving target. There is no "right" answer. Some will want a real authentic african safari look, others will want luxury, and others will want whatever is cheapest. Nothing wrong with any of them.

    Each safari hunter knows what he wants generally. He will have an ideal look to a property, hunting area and accommodation. While it will not be the only factor, it does play significantly into his decision.
  20. Rob44

    Rob44 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I honestly can,t wait,,I,m keeping busy gathering gear here and there,,,,as soon as it gets a little warmer up here in Minnesota I,ll working up some loads and be putting in some range time,,,and of course the dreaded exercise room,,the last thing i want to is pull a Hammie trying to out run a Cheetah

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