question for the outfitters

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by dobber, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. dobber

    dobber AH Veteran

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    There so many different options, so many different choices and frankly its confusing, but could be because I may not be that bright lol

    I have a couple of options already and am not done looking, i need to do more things to make sure my non hunting wife has a great trip and then trying to sort out what kind of animals i want to take. Some web sites have daily prices for a hunt, some for a week, then deals on a certain kind of hunt, but then there is a price list for animals.
    Since i don't plan on the hunt till 2015 i figure i have some time to do some homework, i appreciate the people who have sent me information so far, and this is in no way an attempt at price shopping/bidding war, but just trying to understand my options
    We aren't well to do, and i want to make sure i don't leave myself short, or have any surprise costs that i didn't think about.
    Cost of flight = easy to figure out
    cost of hunt = once outfitter is picked then that should be simple enough to sort through
    cost of tips= great threat in the forum to decipher that
    cost of taxidermy/dipping = the great unknown

    cost of making sure my wife has a good time so she doesn't hold it against me for the rest of our time together = priceless

    any help or advice would be greatly welcome, and i also know i could avoid all of this by using an agent, but as i mentioned i might not be that bright
  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Although I am not an outfitter I'll reply.

    You picked up on a huge unknown.
    Look into it with energy and make choices BEFORE you leave home what you are thinking of taking home.

    The big question is:

    What does your wife like?


    There are some spouses that:
    come along on the hunt for a nice walk and to see game up close
    take game drives
    go to the mall
    hang out and read
    go to the spa
    go to the beach
    go on winery tours
    go for boat rides to game view
    go fishing
    shark diving
    casino
    township tours
    curio markets
    lion, cheetah, etc "petting zoos"
    Penguins
    lighthouses
    Parks
    etc. etc.
  3. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

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    dobber-

    Most any of the outfitters or agents here can make sure YOUR hunt is everything YOU want it to be, but, they all need more info on what your wife's needs are or would be, in order to guide you the correct way. Brick is very correct in his post.

    I have found with all the folks I have helped in the last 6 years on their first safaris the wives have all enjoyed it way more than even the most skeptical of them expected. One lady in particular was very wary of "going to Africa" and had no idea what she was going to do there, what the accommodations were going to be, what the food was going to be, etc. She had such a good time riding in the hunting truck and taking pictures for 10 days that she went back again with her husband 3 years later. She was catered to by the camp staff (as almost every outfitter does anyway) every day and she was never at a loss as to what to do. Unless your wife thinks the Waldorf-Astoria and black tie dinners with the USA Ambassador is roughing it, she's going to have a great time.

    For your peace of mind find someone who has been there a few times that is willing to guide you in finding an outfitter YOU like and can talk with your wife and find out what she needs and reassure her she will enjoy it.

    If you can make it to the Dallas Safari Club show the first week in Jan my wife and I are doing our seminar again on Saturday afternoon, "Africa-What's Stopping You" where ALL your questions can be answered for both of you. You would also gain years of experience in a couple of days just by talking with the outfitters at this show.

    If I can answer any of your questions, just ask. You can even PM me if you desire. Remember, planning is half the fun of the safari and nothing, absolutely nothing, can compare to your first African safari.
  4. Uncompahgre

    Uncompahgre AH Member

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    On my last safari my wife went along. I knew she would get real bored sitting in the truck for her safety while I chased buffalo. When I booked the safari I had also arranged a tour of the country for her though my PH. To make her feel safe and comfortable we invited her best girlfriend to go along. They had a great time on the tour and I had peace of mind that they were safe and well taken care of. We then joined back up together the last couple days of the safari. I had a great time hunting and my wife is now looking forward to our next safari. This safari took place in Namibia and in my opinion is the safest country in Africa. I was in the Caprivi and she toured all over Namibia. I will admit that there are some African countries I would not contemplate doing this.
  5. Paw Print

    Paw Print SPONSOR AH Fanatic

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    Agree with Brickburn and Cliffy,you will need to give information on what your wife enjoys,and that together with the species you want to hunt will determine your location,most outfitters will be able to organise and tailor make a package round this.As for taxidermy cost,outfitters ussually have a preferred taxisdermist who can inform you of pricing long before your safari.
    Enjoy your planning,it should not be to much of a headache.
  6. Tootabi Hunting Safaris

    Tootabi Hunting Safaris AH Enthusiast

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    Hi Dobber

    This is rather a tricky question if not enough information is supplied. However I can understand that not knowing what there is to do in South Africa and not knowing with which outfitter you are going. Cliffy and Brickburn basically touched the most important aspects ass well as Pieter from Paw Print. Outfitters would be able to tailor a package to the hunters/clients needs as there is so much one can do. Another important aspect to consider is what your wife would like to do and what interests she has. This would be the best indicator, to then tailor something for her she would enjoy and talk about for years after the safari.

    Best of luck with this planning, I know you will make good and informed decisions from all comments on AH to make your safari a memorable one.

    Kind regards,
  7. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Elite

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    Dobber,
    Happy wife= happy life
    I think the first step would be to choose accommodation that is little bit on the higher scale of comfort. More than just your average camp that many hunters would be happy with. If your wife is comfortable and swept off her feet, you'll be on the right path. A bit of Luxury does not have to come with a higher price tag.
    Quality outfits will have activities to choose from to keep the wife busy. SPA treatments, shopping, sight seeing, game drives are all activities that we offer to the non-hunters.
    As you mentioned,
    Cost of flight = easy to figure out
    cost of hunt = this you will discuss with your outfitter and he will give you a hunt contract that stipulates what goes for what.
    cost of tips= A tip is a sign of gratitude to the quality of the service that you received. Your outfitter will be able to point you in the correct direction.
    cost of taxidermy/dipping = Like Brickburn said, figure out what you want to have done, if anything at all. Most outfits can give you a Taxidermy price list on the guy from their area.

    All the best in your planning and remember, when it doubt, turn to AH! ;)

    Take Care,
    Marius Goosen
  8. Mtgoat

    Mtgoat AH Veteran

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    Once you know an inkling of what you might want to mount, a quick phone call to a taxidermist can answer the question about the cost of taxidermy. Be sure to pick one that has plenty of experience with African game.

    My rule of thumb is that Total Cost = 2X Cost of Hunt. It's not perfect. Certainly doesn't work for big ticket hunts (e.g., elephant, rhino, wild lion, etc.), but it will get you in the ballpark for more "normal" hunts.
  9. Adrian

    Adrian BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Senior Member

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    I too am making plans for 2015 and will be visiting Namibia.

    I will be travelling with my family which consists of a non hunting spouse and a daughter who will be 12 at time of travel.

    What I have done so far is visit the NAPHA website and look at the members listed there and visit their websites if they have one. When looking at the websites you can get a feel for what they offer.
    Some are basic but to the point, easy to navigate, list what they offer and what they don't with minimal fuss and no unnecessary bull.
    Some are very 'busy' with a huge amount of information and can be tricky to find your way around but also quite fun and they generally contain everything about everything.
    Others are very minimalistic and offer very little by way of information, too arty farty for my liking.

    You can get a good feel of what you're comfortable with and what you're not by this simple and fun task.
    List the sites and outfitters that appeal to you and get yourself a shortlist.

    Then, when your wife has time, sit down with her and go through the sites, don't do it when she's busy or preoccupied.

    Find out her reaction to your shortlist, which places she likes, which she doesn't, look through activities she can indulge in when you're off hunting and make your short list shorter by this process of elimination.

    You never know, she might actually want to come with you hunting for the experience of having feet on the ground in the bush.

    When you've gotten your list to a few 'best' outfitters, start emailing them, tell them what you want, what you expect and mention your wife, her requirements etc and await responses.

    I am also in the bracket of not well to do and I will be working to earn my hunting trip and have asked all outfitters contacted thus far to provide me with an all in package price, what is included, what isn't and then I can narrow it down from there yet again.

    Any outfitters who can't do this get crossed off the list. Any outfitters who can't be bothered to reply get crossed off the list. Any that are obviously overcharging because they don't want my business get crossed off my list. (Plainly obvious because they charge double to everyone else.)

    You will end up with a select few. This is the hardest part because you can only pick one and I hate saying 'no thanks' to people who have gone out of their way to answering my questions and being so helpful.

    You list of outfitters will throw up a few surprises too.

    I have found that one outfitter who has received rave reviews here hasn't bothered to answer my email after three weeks despite an 'out of office' reply acknowledging receipt of my initial contact.

    My preferred outfitter and the place I had secretly set my heart on visiting made some half hearted replies, didn't answer my request for a hunting quote and has since ignored my last email asking again for a quote.

    One outfitter saw fit to charge $18,500 for a four animal plains game hunt with a few days sightseeing where no others have quoted more than $9990 for the same deal.

    One outfitter replied to my message and neglected to add any prices so I emailed again to which I got an apology for leaving the quote off and a promise the quote will be sent by return. I got four more emails all with links to youtube videos, online brochures for their outfit but no quote. I asked again and have been ignored.

    Other places are dead helpful and friendly, wanting to please you and you can get a good impression of them by the way they respond to you and what they can do for you. In fact several places have offered my daughter to stay for free and hunt a non trophy animal.

    Make sure you and your wife are both 100% happy with what you're doing and the choices you both make.
  10. Mtgoat

    Mtgoat AH Veteran

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    Adrain,
    If you can manage it, go to SCI (or DSC) and talk with people. Talk with hunters as well as outfitters. When you have your short list be sure to check references - ask them hard questions. What they don't say can be as important as what they tell you. Ask about them on hunting forums (this one and others). Search the forums for posts about them. Google them and see what comes up, etc., etc.
  11. Adrian

    Adrian BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Senior Member

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    Hi Rick,

    Unfortunately I live in the U.K. and we don't get shows like you mention. We do have the CLA Game Fair and a few other such events but nothing on the scale of the SCI or DSC.
    Although some hunters travel to Africa from the U.K. every year, nothing like the numbers that visit from America. Just look at the small English contingent here.
  12. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Great methodical process for selection.

    Seems a bit odd that you would get no reply at all.
  13. Mtgoat

    Mtgoat AH Veteran

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    I know the outfitter - let's just say that it's a minor "character flaw" for an otherwise great operation.
  14. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    direct flights to vegas with BA from gatwick and heathrow and virgin from heathrow, you could be at sci in feb ;)
  15. Adrian

    Adrian BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Senior Member

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    PM sent.

    That was just one of them Rick.

    And there goes my airfare to Namibia! ;)
  16. dobber

    dobber AH Veteran

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    appreciate all the feedback, I did read everything, but had to read the shark diving a few times wondering who would win that fight
    When I start the short list of outfitters I will make sure that she is happy with whatever they offer, we are but simple folk who don't need the fancy luxuries, but being fed and having porcelain to sit on without worry of spiders and snakes would about cover it for her. I think I have her convinced she needs to tag along and take pictures of the great white hunter in action, but at first when I mentioned that she wanted to see pictures of this hunter

    The taxidermy costs are good to know, how much for dipping and packaging for shipping, think I might have to do more Euro mounts to help offset the cost of everything else, and if I set this hunt up correctly I would still be able to make the fly in moose hunt

    cheers
  17. gi jane

    gi jane BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Man, I must have been off asleep or in LaLa land the years all of the good husbands were distributed. You fellows have lucky ladies!! That's not easy for me to admit by the way..:bonk:
  18. Adrian

    Adrian BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Senior Member

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    It's not quite that simple Jane. Most of us just want a cheap photographer.

    Or someone to tell us which bag our clean undies are in.......... ;)
  19. gi jane

    gi jane BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Hahaha!! Good one!!

    How funny because I am a photographer, I think that's the main reason my dad wanted me to accompany me him on his buff hunt. It wasn't easy taking pics when tracking a buffalo however. It was pretty scary at times. I think I let him down a bit.
  20. LeopardsValleySafaris

    LeopardsValleySafaris AH Senior Member

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    Try again.try phoning and leave a message.

    I had a problem with e-mails going to junk mail :eek:

    That doesn't help, luckily the hunter was a past client and friend. He phoned me or I wouldn't have known!
    Regards Dave

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