Planning Future Buffalo Hunt

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Custom, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. Custom

    Custom GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Well, they say the African virus gets in your blood and I must now agree. My son and I returned from our first safari in May and I can't get Africa out of my head. I am planning ahead, probably to 2015, and looking to go back for buffalo and maybe some plains animals I didn't take this last time. We had a fantastic time with our last outfitter, and will give them strong consideration for this next trip. We hunted the Zululand Black Rhino Reserve, which is a 60,000 acre cooperative formed by 17 land owners with no interior fences. I had never hunted a fenced property before, but I must say they never came into play in that situation. Planning ahead, though, I am interested in exploring the alternatives. I have watched Boddington's videos on buffalo, which I believe are mostly free range hunts and many of which occur in Zimbabwe, and am interested in exploring that opportunity. So, I am interested in information from those of you that have hunted both:

    1. How different is the hunting experience?
    2. How different is cost of a buffalo hunt between RSA and Zim?
    3. Are charters required to get to camps in places like the Zambezi valley? If so, how expensive are they?
    4. Safety in Zim vs. RSA?

    Probably some questions I haven't thought of, so feel free to dispense any advise you have. Thanks in advance!
  2. Custom

    Custom GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    May not have been clear - our first safari was to the RSA.
  3. Upepo

    Upepo AH Member

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    good luck - I wish you well. I know some hunters who stalked buffalo in Zim and they lost a friend doing it. this is "real hunting" for real men, and I have the greatest respect for those who take on "nyati". He is a tough enemy :) I'm not trying to put you off - just be realistic and weigh your risks. Make sure that first shot will be a very good one.

    If you do Zim - for goodness sake don't miss Vic Falls. it's a great, great wonder to see.

    cheers,
    Upepo
  4. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    You will be backed up by a PH whenever buff hunting so no worries there. Yes buffalo are tough animals but usually succumb quickly to a well placed shot from a suitable rifle. Do clients ever get banged up by buffalo, yes but its rare. You have a better chance of getting hit by a cab at home! You may very well have to charter in to the hunting area in the Valley. It can be very expensive so check it out. Trophy fees for Zim buff are usually much less than in RSA but daily rates may be more, it depends on the outfitter and area. Safety in either country requires due diligence on your part, but again, you wont be wandering around by yourself so its not that big a deal. I have hunted both countries and never felt in danger. I got my buff in Tanzania and Botswana under different bush conditions than Zim might have but the animal is the same. One of mine took 3 total .375 bullets from me and the PH, the other fell to one neck shot at 140 yards, you never can tell. Go and have fun, it aint gonna last forever.:cool:
  5. shakari

    shakari AH Enthusiast

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    There's always an element of danger when hunting dangerous game which is why it's called dangerous game...... and you can take it even further by saying there's an element of danger when hunting plains game because those horns on their head aren't there as a fashion statement. bushbuck can be especially dangerous but that's all part of the game and the quality and experience of the PH is a big factor in all aspects of the hunt but especially the aspect of keeping you safe.

    FWIW, I hunted (an awful lot of) buff for something like 33 years and because of the way I was trained, I probably only had a handful or maybe a little more than a handful of charges in all that time (and never failed to stop the charges) so my advice on that aspect would be to pick a good company & PH rather than the cheapest and not to sweat on it.

    The other advice I'd offer is not to commit to anything just yet. 2015 is a long way away in Africa terms and in that time anything can happen.

    Govts can fall and rise again. Hunting can be banned or limited and reintroduced & droughts can come and go etc. etc. etc. As a good example of that: Mozambique has offered some good but usually tough hunting in recent years but RENAMO are now kicking off in the north and some safari companies are moving their operations out of Mozambique and shifting them elsewhere. It might turn out to be a storm in a teacup but equally, it could escalate and by 2015, the country could be back to civil war and only time will tell which will happen.

    you need to do nothing more than just keep an eye on the situation just now and only start your proper research in about the Sept/Oct of the year preceding the year you want to hunt.

    As a rule of thumb, RSA buff hunts tend to be expensive when compared to somewhere like Zim and Tanzanian hunts tend to be more expensive than Zim but each experience and product is different...... not necessarily better or worse but different.
  6. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Shakari spot on I would say, we have not had any issues in Moz though from our side..................

    Very true with regards to Africa as a whole no doubt... and great advice, this would include South Africa, Zimbabwe, Moz and any other African country for that matter.;....

    Good research is of cardinal importance, and will possibly be the largest contributing factor to your safaris success and making the hunt of your dreams become a reality.

    Buffalo are awesome to hunt and most probably the best bang for your buck dangerous game safari in Africa.

    My best always
  7. shakari

    shakari AH Enthusiast

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    Jaco

    My guess is the RENAMO thing will fade away but needless to say, one can never be sure that far ahead & as buff hunts don't need to be booked so far ahead there's no need to do so.

    I agree about buff hunting...... it's one of the most exciting hunts available & I never tired of them at all. :)
  8. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Very true, no need to squeeze something before it's ripe my grand father always said...

    My best always
  9. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    ..now what could be more fun than hunting Buffalo and playing hide-and-seek with the bandido's at the same time..? :biggrin2:
  10. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Yeah got that right Doc will need you expertise on the Bandido strategies and movement though.... :) :) :):sharpshooter::sharpshooter::angrymob::angrymob::master::angrymob::master: :sharpshooter:
  11. Custom

    Custom GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Great information so far. Thanks. Good advice, Shakiri, on booking. I don't intend to book anything this early, just starting my due diligence to first decide where I want to go, and then start looking at outfitters.
  12. Buff-Buster

    Buff-Buster GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Hey Custom...All great advice so far. Just gotta add my 2 cents...

    1. How different is the hunting experience?
    Very subjective and I can only speak for me. Probably the only buffalo I would hunt in SA would be those that traverse in and out of Kruger Park. There are limited areas that this is possible and they are very expensive. The chance for a huge bull are pretty good. Most other buffalo in SA have been brought in to the individual ranches for hunting and most are behind high fence. I know, so is all the other game. Not knocking it, just for me personnally, I want to hunt buffalo where they are the main diet of wild lions. While I don't mind hunting plains game in SA, I'd rather hunt buffalo in Zim or Moz.

    2. How different is cost of a buffalo hunt between RSA and Zim?
    As Jaco and Shakari stated typically, the buffalo in SA are more expensive. Example: SA - Daily rate $600 per day x 7 days + $12,000 trophy fee = $16,200. Zimbabwe - Daily rate $1100 per day x 7 days + $3,000 trophy fee = $10,700. You will have some additional flight cost getting to Zim (Joberg to Harare or Bulawayo), but most areas can be driven to without a charter. These are just approx numbers. There are deals to be had on occasion.

    3. Are charters required to get to camps in places like the Zambezi valley? If so, how expensive are they?
    Most camps can be reached by vehicle. What you have to figure is what is your time worth? Typical charter flights are probably between $1,500 and $2500. A lot of variables depending on the size of plane mainly. This cost can be split between anyone in your group or there is a chance to split with groups coming or going. Just remember that if you drive, there are costs there also. This can cost your PH two days if he has to leave camp to come get you and alot of diesel. Driving will typically cost you half as much on a DG hunt than flying. There are always exceptions, Matetsi, Bubye, SAVE, etc...these are close enough to Vic falls and/or Bulawayo to not require a charter.

    4. Safety in Zim vs. RSA?

    You will have no problems in either country. Major difference will be road blocks and lower quality roads in Zim. No big deal.

    For me, the experience hunting buffalo is everything. Tracking for miles, bumping and dodging elephant along the way, hunting the same heard as a pride of lions at the same time, etc.... Not knocking hunting buffalo in SA, just stating "different strokes for different folks". Either way you go will be a fantastic experience.
  13. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    The experience will be the big difference.
    You will have to evaluate that one for yourself.



    For my entertainment I decided to do some comparison about RSA being expensive vs ZIM. (TZ is assumed to be very pricey )
    THIS IS NOT EXHAUSTIVE RESEARCH.

    I took three BUFFALO offers on AH from RSA
    All large Bulls promised.
    7 days 12,000
    5 days 10,000
    7 days 12,500

    From one reputable ZIM outfitters website:
    Two hunts available both 10 days

    The cheaper alternative:
    10,950 day rates
    5000 trophy fee
    1000 truck transfer
    600 trophy prep
    100 MARS
    219 TAX
    200 TAX
    450 Flight to ZIM from RSA
    150 for Over night in RSA

    TOTAL 18,669

    The cheaper alternative:
    12, 500 day rates
    5000 trophy fee
    6380 charter transfer
    600 trophy prep
    100 MARS
    250 TAX
    200 TAX
    450 Flight to ZIM from RSA
    150 for Over night in RSA

    TOTAL 26,080

    I have no doubt that you can find a cheaper hunt. DISCOUNTS, CANCELLATIONS.
    These are posted rates.
    But, the math does not lie.
  14. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    True Brickburn those .SA prices are really low......regardless there are great buff hunts to be had in SA and one can also experience all the other big game such as elle, lion, rhinoceros which only a handfull other countries have.

    Mozambique also has some good buff areas and IMO is overall a very under rated dangerous game destination for whatever reason i do not know....

    This is confusing i know but you have started in time, it will become clear as soon as you meet the outfitter which attends to your personal wants and needs and who you can see yourself sharing a camp fire with for 10 - 14 days.

    As mentioned earlier you will have a great safari no matter which country you pick

    My best always

    My best always
  15. shakari

    shakari AH Enthusiast

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    RSA buff prices seem to have dropped in recent years (perhaps due to falling demand?) but they do rather lack the feeling of hunting in a true wilderness area such as would be found on Tanzania or Mozambique etc but that might not necessarily be a bad thing for some clients.

    You should also consider the countries with emerging hunting industries such as Uganda which is a VERY unusual hunting experience. Game populations are generally much lower than in the other countries mentioned but despite that, the entire experience (as opposed to just the hunting experience) is stunningly impressive and the scenery simply breathtaking. That said, it's not a hunt for the faint hearted or those who expect things to work to any kind of a timetable.
  16. Upepo

    Upepo AH Member

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    "That said, it's not a hunt for the faint hearted or those who expect things to work to any kind of a timetable. "

    HAHAHAHA!!!
    My dearly beloved East Africa :)

    Upepo
  17. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I'm not the expert that many of these gentlemen truly are, but here is my two cents.

    I have my first buffalo hunt booked for next August in Zimbabwe. I'm going with a cousin that I have hunted with my entire life, and he has already taken a Buff in Zim. Here is what it boiled down to both of us. We wanted to experience as close to old Africa as we could. No fences, not even on a large area, and lots of predators. I want a chance to see lions and leopards, and even of I don't I will know that they are there. And the elephants will be there too.

    For me, that alone is worth the price of admission. I want the hunt. If I take a trophy that will truly be a bonus. Of course I'd like to take a monster bull, but if I take an average representative bull that will be the best buff in the world, because he is mine.
  18. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Do those RSA prices reflect the daily rates and are they all inclusive as the others? The trophy fee alone often equals the prices you show for RSA.
  19. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hi Ses if that 10,000 5 day one is mine it is all in 5 hunting days 7 total from pick up at airport to drop off at airport. and I think he forgot about the import fee for his rifle in Zim payable at the airport on arrival and departure.
  20. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Bob, I'm talking about the top three he listed from RSA, not the Zim hunts below.

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