Say your say - Build the #1 first timer hunting package

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Tootabi Hunting Safaris, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. Tootabi Hunting Safaris

    Tootabi Hunting Safaris AH Enthusiast

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    Good day Everyone!

    As I'm on my quest of always giving the best possible deals to hunters, I thought it good to listen to what you guys, who most importantly are the clients and would have to be triggered by a deal have to say.

    List the things any hunter MUST do for a first time to Africa, and what animals is a "MUST" to be taken as well.

    I want each one of you to describe the "Ultimate" 7 or 10 day FIRST TIMER hunt with the following taken into consideration;
    • Species:
    • Amount of Days:
    • Thoughts on Non Hunting Excursions:
    • Deal Price Range:
    • Should you bring your family:
    • Hire Rifle or Bring Own:
    • Preferential Day Tariff for Hunter, and Observer: (Realistic please).

    Furthermore I would like to know how would you feel if the PH comes and pick you up from the airport, or a Shuttle service of the Outfitter, or the Outfitter and his family and then introduce you to the PH once at the camp.

    Looking forward to all of your positive and always helpful advice. This will help me build a package that is ideal for any hunter - out of the mouths of the hunters for the hunters.

    Let them start coming my way!

    Regards,
     
  2. Adrian

    Adrian BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Senior Member

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    Hi Loodt,

    I am in the process of organising my first trip to hunt in Africa and have been emailing outfitters in Namibia (although I doubt this makes any difference) with my requirements.

    I would like at least a seven day hunt to take a Kudu, Impala, Springbok, Gemsbok with the option of a fifth animal if time and luck are with me, this will either be a Zebra or Hartebeest.

    If time allows I would also like to visit any local 'sites of interest' whether they be villages, privately owned farms where injured/orphaned animals are reared etc or even just game drives for photographic opportunities.
    I have also asked if an all inclusive package deal can be arranged because I prefer to know what to pay, how much I need to pay and not be hit with a load of add ons at the end.

    My family (wife and daughter) will be travelling with me so have asked to their prices to be worked out too. My daughter has expressed an interest to hunt so I would like to know if her interest can be accommodated.
    I will hopefully be bringing my own rifle but the option to borrow/hire one is a useful option to fall back on.

    Because I requested an all inclusive package a daily rate doesn't really apply but my wife has been quoted at the usual daily rate for observers and in most cases, my daughter has been quoted free of charge, she will be 12 at the time of hunting and she could take a non trophy animal for the kitchen or at the PH's discretion possibly a trophy.

    Some outfitters have also mentioned the possibility of taking us for a day trip to Windhoek to do some sightseeing and shopping included in the price.

    So, to sum up, this first time African hunter wishes to have a four species hunt with the option of a fifth, all being the basic type of animals, he would like an all inclusive price for a week including accommodation, and hunting with his family and with the option of some sightseeing. As a family we are very laid back, easy to accommodate and don't expect any special treatment. We are there for the experience and for a good time. I have no expectations of trophy size and have mentioned in all my emails I hunt with a rifle, not a tape measure and wish to take the right animal, not necessarily the biggest.
     
  3. Adrian

    Adrian BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Senior Member

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    I forgot to add, I would prefer if the PH or someone who I am going to be working with came and collected from the airport, especially on a first hunt as they might ease the transit through the legalities and assist on the paperwork, where to go etc etc.
    Besides that, it's always a good way to get to know each other on the return to camp, get the formalities out the way, discuss the forthcoming hunt etc.
     
  4. Spooksar

    Spooksar AH Veteran

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    Species, Kudu, Gemsbok, Impala, Warthog and Wildebeest or Zebra. 10 day hunt. Local sights/ interests for non hunting. Price between $5500 and $6500. Bring your own rifles. As far as bring family if they want to come yes. Picked up at the airport by the outfitter.
    I have done both ways with the family. My wife is a none hunter so you need to have some thing to keep non hunters interested.
     
  5. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Loodt,

    Great idea. I'll tell you what I would look for, although you know I like to go overboard if the funds will allow me to! :) I personally prefer to see a good offer with "less" that I can then add to.


    • Species: Kudu, Nyala, Warthog, Impala, Zebra/Wildebeest
    • Amount of Days: Seven hunting days
    • Thoughts on Non Hunting Excursions: Whatever the wife wants - games drives/wildlife rehab, shopping, and local culture or schools should be options
    • Deal Price Range: $6-8K USD (if some of the non-hunter excursions were included that would be a bonus, even if the price increases. I like to know that "all-in" price)
    • Should you bring your family:
    • Hire Rifle or Bring Own: Would personally never rent, although it would be comforting to have the option in case of loss, or major malfunction...
    • Preferential Day Tariff for Hunter, and Observer: I'm more worried about the total package than the day tariffs. That being said I would consider $4-5 hundred per day, for the couple, to be better than average and might draw in the new hunter who is worried about paying for a complete package deal and then not getting his animals.

    I would be fine with a shuttle, impressed if the PH came, and stunned if the owner/outfitter came. Talk about great service!!! Being able to spend that time with the PH would probably be a plus to get the formalities out of the way. But to be clear Loodt, when I come to visit you though I fully expect you to pick me up personally!!! :)

    To sum it up, I would want to know my total price, minus airfare, going in so there would be no surprises. I could then add animals as needed, or if I wanted to. I also said seven hunting days as that would give me time to do excursions with the wife, either from the camp, or in another part of the country while I'm there.

    I hope this helps!
     
  6. dobber

    dobber AH Veteran

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    this is a tough question, or series of questions, there is a lot of information out there and as long as everything is covered with the conversations and emails about the hunt and non hunting days I think things are covered. Pricing for animals are pretty well covered with a bit of digging, costs most other things are covered as well. It has also been mentioned several times that you get a "feel" for the outfitter and know that he/she will do the right things. Others have also expressed they get the other feeling from outfitters and its been suggested to stay away. The one thing I appreciate is that the outfitters on this forum have been very helpful and never pushy in trying to sell their hunts, in fact many have given some of their competition a thumbs up.
    I would like to have the person I have been dealing with meet me at the airport, maybe with some treats lol
    Everyone builds some kind of relationship with the outfitter or PH they have made the deal with, but I also think that it would be wrong for me to expect a PH or outfitter who has other customers to drop everything for me, we all paid for the services, we should all expect the same. If the PH went out to pick up someone from the airport that means he isn't guiding someone on their hunt unless it was one of the off days where a day trip was happening.
    People are fickle, you need to set something up, under promise but over deliver - and by under promise I am not suggesting trying to sell a lack luster deal, whatever your deal, do something over and above what's expected, more so for the non hunter I would think
    cheers
     
  7. Tootabi Hunting Safaris

    Tootabi Hunting Safaris AH Enthusiast

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    Adrian, thank you so much for responding so spontaneously to the thread. What I find from the list and comments that most hunters make is that they are not really interested in smaller antelope, but rather medium to large antelope species for a first time trip. Having a good balance of hunting/sight-seeing/accommodation is important to ensure that the whole family enjoys the trip. Activities that both Mommy, Daddy and kids can enjoy together. Having a total amount that you can budget on is also essential as you then know what you lead yourself into.

    Thank you for your participation, keep an eye on the Great Hunts Section.
     
  8. Tootabi Hunting Safaris

    Tootabi Hunting Safaris AH Enthusiast

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    You have a short but good and informative response Spooksar! Thank you for it, something I should pay more attention to is definitely non-hunting activities for the non-hunters. Your suggested prices is in range and I have made a note about it!
     
  9. Tootabi Hunting Safaris

    Tootabi Hunting Safaris AH Enthusiast

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    - LOL... Happy wife, happy LIFE! I catch your drift!!! :) You know when it comes to activities for non hunters we have plenty of them, too many actually!

    This makes one think a bit further, however the package total would increase, and would then possibly scare potential interest away? Wouldn't it??

    Putting a package together with animals to be hunted is fair and quite easy to do. Something that gets tricky is when it comes to putting to-do stuff for the ladies. With all respect, they all have different interests and all I can think of is to list a few and say choose 3 out of 5 or something like that.

    I will share with you something I thought of and consider it. I know sometimes it can be difficult, because of other arrangements and commitments but 9/10 times I thought it best that both the Outfitter and PH came to meet the client and his precious family on the airport. Both the PH and the Outfitter/Owner with the family gets in the vehicle and off they go to the camp. On the trip from the airport all important stuff can be discussed and then everyone has the opportunity to get to know everyone.

    To sum it up, I would want to know my total price, minus airfare, going in so there would be no surprises. I could then add animals as needed, or if I wanted to. I also said seven hunting days as that would give me time to do excursions with the wife, either from the camp, or in another part of the country while I'm there. I will be at most meet and greets if not all!!!
     
  10. Tootabi Hunting Safaris

    Tootabi Hunting Safaris AH Enthusiast

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    I have something very special in mind, except the Jerky/Biltong I know you love!!! :p You will just have to wait and see for yourself.

    EVERYONE IS A VIP IN THE LAND OF HONEY! No matter the person's profile!

    SURPRISE, SURPIRSE!!! :) You gotta love this!

    Thanks for your response "dobber", as always you guys on AH are the best!!!
     
  11. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    It does increase the cost and it might scare people away.... I get your concerns. I guess my need to see the total price won out. Perhaps it is best though to keep that out of the package and has a known cost add-on?
     
  12. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Loodt I think you still build the package as for hunting figuring one day each for each animal on the list.Then add on 1day extra to the total days to cover you on the hunting part.Then build a list just like you do a pricelist for animals with things the ladys may like to do that they can pick from and cost for them.Then maybe have a list of things that can be done as a couple and the cost per day as a couple that can just be added to a package.
     
  13. dobber

    dobber AH Veteran

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    And this is a perfect example of under promise over deliver, knowing you will meet with the outfitter or the PH at the airport gives you a good feeling, finding out at the airport both are there is an added bonus
     
  14. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    [*]Species:
    I wanted to hunt game that was in its typical habitat. I chose trophies and the Outfitters in those geographical areas and still do.
    But for the purposes of this exercise: ( I did not hunt the EC, the first trip)

    KUDU, Gemsbok, Warthog,
    Impala, Springbok

    Eland, Nyala, Bushbuck


    [*]Deal Price Range:
    Can't help you there.

    [*]Should you bring your family:
    If the property, lodge has a quiet restful place and the ability to do game drives and other activities besides hunting (for non hunters) then bring them along.

    [*]Hire Rifle or Bring Own:
    As has been said, be able to rent. Now with more and more issues with firearms permits renting a firearm is becoming more and more attractive.

    [*]Preferential Day Tariff for Hunter, and Observer: (Realistic please).
    The hunt does not have to be Biltong rates.
    Charge me for a day hunting, not per night of accommodation. It is not a hotel.
    NO sliding scale on sizes. I see that I am done right there.

    I think this just needs to be in line with what is being offered.
    I picked up a South African term : "Value for Money". Whatever the the price, if I get this feeling I am fine.
    $600/day for a tent on a farm lawn? Not really.
    $250/day for a room in a working farm guest house. Ok.
    There are lots of places above and in between.

    After all the research I went for Day rates and trophy fees myself. I did not take comfort from a package.
    Although many do. I was also hunting for many more days than a first time hunter usually does.

    Do not "nickel and dime" me when I arrive either.
    As a social drinker I get the fact that "in moderation" has had to be added to packages. I can only imagine what some guys do. Like an all inclusive package in Mexico, sit on a beach and consume alcohol until you are incoherent.
    The Outfitter would go broke.
    If the industry standard is to include laundry and drinks, get on the boat.

    The "loss leader" stuff makes me nuts. Super low day rates but, ABC all cost you and really the math at the end of the day works out to a much higher day rate.
    I found places that were charging to Cape the trophies. Really?
    I would prefer to have the only thing added to the bill at the end of the hunt to be extra trophy fees for my failure to exercise self control.

    Transfer/Arrival/Departure Days, Fuel and time cost money. No issues. Not full hunting rates for sure.
    If I pick up a rifle and go hunting, determine if that is a hunting day.

    If you can accept credit cards all the better. I know the bank screws you. Add it to my cost. A few percent more and all I have to do is give you the number and I am done. No bank runs, no transfer fees, etc.
    I like the option.

    [*]Amount of Days:
    Loodt you answered the number of days yourself.
    If someone is coming across an ocean or continent and spending $2000 to $3000 in Airfare they should stay a while.


    [*]Thoughts on Non Hunting Excursions:
    Experience the Culture, History and Geography, not just the hotel, lodge or camp. Anything that presents the area as it is.
    You have to hit a market. Hands down, everyone wants to bring back some wood carving. Preferably of some quality.
    If you do not have BIG 5 on your hunting area, then the folks will likely want to see them in a park close by.
     
  15. Grady

    Grady AH Veteran

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    Loodt,
    Sorry for the long reply. You have a lot of good answers here from some very knowledgeable people, and I think you are taking the right approach about asking for opinions on building the first timer package. I have thought a few days and decided to throw my two cents into this one... Here you go. I think you could actually break this into two different packages Hunters Package or Family Package

    The Hunter Package (Does not include the Family):
    Species: I would offer a menu choice for 5 animals.
    Pick 2 from the following: Warthog, Impala, Spring Buck, or other smaller antelope on your property
    Pick 2 from the following: Blue Wildebeest, Black Wildebeest, Blesbuck or other similar animals on your property
    Pick 1 from the following: Zebra, Kudu, Nyala or other similar animals on your property
    Days: 7 Day hunt
    Non Hunting Excursions: As this is a Hunters Package I would offer a half day site seeing, local area
    Family: Take a look at the Family Package below, this would be for hunter, but I would offer a discounted rate if there were multiple hunters (Friends, Father/Son, Father/Daughter, Mother/Daughter, Mother/Son...)
    Hire Rifle: Since I believe most want to hunt with their own rifle, I would work with a rifle permit outfit to include the price of working the permit into the overall price of the hunt. This would really make it an All Inclusive price.

    The Family Package:
    Species: I would offer a menu choice for 5 animals.
    Pick 2 from the following: Warthog, Impala, Spring Buck, or other smaller antelope on your property
    Pick 2 from the following: Blue Wildebeest, Black Wildebeest, Blesbuck or other similar animals on your property
    Pick 1 from the following: Zebra, Kudu, Nyala or other similar animals on your property
    Days: 10 Family Hunt
    Non Hunting Excursions: Experience the Culture, History and Geography, Local Wildlife Parks, Maybe a prearranged Night Out for the Husband/Wife. I also took the approach of asking the wife what she would want. The first thing was a Spa/Shopping day meaning Spa in the morning and shopping local shops in the afternoon. Something more than the stop at the curio shops on the way to the airport. This would be something specific to the local area. As Brickburn said, Hands down, everyone wants to bring back some wood carving. If kids will attend, offer a trip to a local school, orphanage ect. THis is a great oportunity to give them so aducation that they are not expecting.
    Family: Looking at some of the offers that you have posted, I believe you have the right mix, Kids under 16 Free, Offer a Kids 3 Animal Cull Hunt at a predetermined price.
    Hire Rifle: Since I believe most want to hunt with their own rifle, I would work with a rifle permit outfit to include the price of working the permit into the overall price of the hunt. This would really make it an Aï½­ll Inclusive price.

    Included in both packages:
    Pickup and return to local airport.
    Lodging, Meals and Drinks (Soft drinks, Local Beer, Local wine and alcohol, in moderation) Keep in mind Brickburns comments about the heavy drinkers, maybe offer a stop at a local store to purchase if they want more. I personally am there to hunt, not get drunk.
    Laundry service.
    Transportation of trophies to your (suggested) taxidermy or meet the clients taxidermist at a predetermined location enroute to the airport.
    Field preparation of trophies.
    All ground transportation.
    Hunting permits.
    Service of Tracker, Skinner and a Fully Licensed Professional Hunter

    Pricing:
    I do not want to insult you nor do I want to overinflate a price, so I will refrain for offering any amounts. I am sure you know your breakeven points and what kind of profit you need to stay in business. Most hunters are willing to pay a reasonable price for a quality experience and understand that you have to make a profit to stay in business.

    The Extras:
    The little things are what keep people coming back. Giving them a hat and shirt when they arrive (this is also advertising for you when they return), having locks available if TSA decides to cut them on the way over (This happened to my father on the trip over. TSA cut the lock on his ammo box that was in the check luggage). Have a notebook with your logo on it so the hunters can keep a written journal if they choose. There has been a lot of discussion about adaptors on the fourm lately. I would have some on hand for loan for your hunters so they do not have to worry about bringing them over. Lights snacks (granola bars, chocolate bars) while you are on hunt. In general, if the outfitter/PH goes the extra distance to think about the little stuff that makes life easier, while providing a great experience, they will get the return business and word of mouth referrals that will increase business.

    Finally, communication. If you can communicate and understand the clients expectations and communicate your expectation of them (becasue it is very important also), this will save a lot of moaning and groaning later. As an expample I would expect that the clients could and had actually fired their rifle before they arrive in country, as a PH, I would expect them to be able to walk up to two miles on a stalk. I would communicate the expectation of game quality...They sould not expect to see a 70 in Kudu around every tree, but they should extect to see some in the 50 to 55 in and maybe up to 60 in range. Open communication is the final key.

    Just my thoughs.
     
  16. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    All really good ideas, kudos to everyone, a lot of things I never thought of. I would just like to add to the "everyone is a VIP" statement. one of the most memorable NON-hunting things that Mr. Renier Swartz (PH) did for me and my family was a very simple gesture but will stick with me forever. I harvested my Blesbok on his personal farm, afterwards he took us to a local eatery for a very nice meal and then to his favorite pub in Groot Marico. He didn't have to do those things, but I am damn sure happy that he did. We got to eat some of the foods the locals ate and had some Castle and Black beer. I am not a sports fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I really enjoyed sitting at the pub with him and watching the locals watch their favorite team on the TV. It was really cool. So there you have it, think outside of the box, add a personal touch to ones safari. You'll create simple but lasting memories.
     
  17. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    That is one sly PH. Taking you to the Pub so he does not miss the Rugby game and beer.
    You have to watch out for South Africans, they are one sly group.
     
  18. rnovi

    rnovi AH Veteran

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    This is really a good description overall. While I've only been on one Safari, two american guided hunts and many Texas hunts on farms, I think I've learned enough to know what I consider "an experience I'd enjoy".

    Therein is the big question, of course. What is the experience YOU are trying to work out?

    Before I get into this, let me answer your questions directly:

    Species: Two Big, Four small Critters. Total of Six. That could be Kudu & Beest/Gemsbok plus Impala, Blesbok, Warthog and Steenbok/Duiker. Just my opinion, leave enough of a reason to go back again. I personally left Eland, Zebra and Gemsbok, plus Beest (*I missed on my Blue) for my second safari (which will be in June 2014).

    Amount of Days: 7 hunting days, 10 days in country, plus two days either end for travel = 14 total days.
    Thoughts on Non Hunting Excursions: Oh yes. Local shopping malls, Tourist areas, if Capetown look up the Wine Road, beaches, fishing, animal parks (Elephant parks rock!). Go to the Falls if there are any, etc. Consider spending a day rate fare to have your PH just tote you around the city - he probably lives there and knows the places where you should go?nd more importantly the places you shouldn't.

    Deal Price Range: Airfare: $2,500 roundtrip per ticket. $8,000 for day rates & trophies. Best to add $500 per critter for taxidermy and $1300 for trophy transport to the mix.

    Should you bring your family: My wife loves to travel and has her own gun. :) Yeah, I wouldn't do Africa without her!

    Hire Rifle or Bring Own: Depends on the country and the import requirements. SA? Sure. That was easy. Other countries? maybe I'd rent.

    Preferential Day Tariff for Hunter, and Observer: (Realistic please). $300/hunter, $150 observer rates.

    Ok, more details. Having done a package deal (*because I didn't know what I wanted in the first place) I would not be averse to a package deal as a first hunt. They make life easy in terms of making decisions. On the other hand you may not get the absolute best in trophy quality - sometimes you just have to checkmark the box and take an average animal to fill out the package. Still, for my first trip I had no idea what "average" was?hey all looked awesome to me!

    Today: I'm doing my June 2014 safari as a day-rate + trophy fees and I intend to be particular about what I want to shoot and what I don't want. I want to pick up some of the critters I didn't get the first time around?ut at the same time I don't want to be limited to NOT shooting something because I already have one on the wall. For instance: I have a 42" and 44" Kudu on the wall?'m not really after Kudu this time around. But if a 50"+ Kudu walks out I'm going to hammer him!

    It's important to have a key critter you want to hunt in mind. For me: BEEST. I want the Blue, Black and Red Beests?nd I'd say of the three I want the Red Hartebeest the most. Which means I want my PH out looking for an epic Hartebeest months in advance and I've described what I want: Old, gnarly, thick bases and character. A busted tip is ok. Just make him an old warrior as this will be a euro-mount. By the same token I also want to shoot a Gemsbok but in that case I want to do a full shoulder mount - which means I want a Gemsbok with intact hide and not a lot of scarring. I might take a slightly smaller specimen if it means a much better cape.

    And also know what your "critters of opportunity" are. Warthog? Yeah, if he's better than my current wartie I'm going to put a bullet in him. And I do love me some Steen and Duiker.

    The issue for Package hunting is that you are always after something in particular. I discovered I much preferred the Stalk - the chance to walk in close, get a good look at the critter and whack him up close and personal. Or, slink away without them knowing we were there. That's great too.

    Africa is all about options and choices. I've learned I'd much rather allow Africa to present whatever she may than go with some obsessive purpose.

    Final note: I have done hunts alone (Alaska, guided) and with friends (Texas, Africa) and I'll hunt with Friends any day of the week over solo hunts.

    With maybe one exception? need a sheep. And not many of my friends are willing to go to the lengths I am to get one!
     
    LeopardsValleySafaris likes this.
  19. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

    Joined:
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    Hunted:
    Canada (AB, SK, NWT, BC) USA (NM, TX) South Africa (Limpopo, KZN, Free State, Eastern Cape, Northen Cape), Kyrgyzstan
    To me 7 days hunting +3 days touring is about the right duration for a 1st timer. Non hunting activites will of course have to vary by region but petting/handling large cat cubs and young animals in general is always a huge hit with wives, riding elephants, local culture, etc.

    Impala, Blue Wildebeest, Warthog or Springbok, Zebra or Gemsbok, Kudu. Despite epitomizing Africa, not everyone is keen on Warthog or Zebra so an alternative is appropriate.

    Definitely include an observer (wife) and a provision for kids as observers. Include the kids as a separate add on rate. If observers (wife/kids only) were each allowed to hunt 1 animal from the package it would be a big plus.

    Include free rifle hire if required or up to the current price of the Air 2000 service would be very reasonable.

    I think a reasonable price for this would be in the range of $8400 which includes $4000 for day rates (hunter and 1 observer) as well as $4400 trophy fees. + the price of excursions (park entry fees etc only, day rates for these activities are included in above price.)

    This price is so region dependant though, an EC Kudu would be cheaper than one in Limpopo for example.

    I think the Outfitter showing up at the airport is important, especially if not using someone like Air 2000. The arrival procedures can seem intimidating to a 1st timer, knowing that you have someone there to help you through any potential issues (real or imagined) is comforting.
     
  20. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

    Joined:
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    Hunted:
    Canada (AB, SK, NWT, BC) USA (NM, TX) South Africa (Limpopo, KZN, Free State, Eastern Cape, Northen Cape), Kyrgyzstan
    As Brickburn has mentioned, nickel and diming is a no no. It is one of my top pet peeves. If you want to turn me away, have a separate charge for piddly little stuff or items that are normally included in a hunt. Works every time. I just want a simple price not a math lesson.

    I also agree, hotels charge by the night. Any hunt should include the paid hunting days plus the night before. Do not try to fool us with lower "day" rates and then try to charge us for one more day than was hunted. These type of scenarios make us wonder what other fees are they trying to hide.
     

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