SOUTH AFRICA: 1st time hunt to RSA - Reviews for Hunting Consortium and Garry Kelly Safaris

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by Johnny7604, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. Johnny7604

    Johnny7604 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Good morning, (depending on your time zone).

    I am currently in the research/planning phase of booking my first international hunt. It has always been a dream of mine to hunt Africa and I am finally at a place in my life where I can start doing things like this on a regular basis.

    I have done some research and been in contact with The Hunting Consortium regarding a hunt with Garry Kelly Safaris in RSA (Limpopo). I have gone through the lists of anumals and decided on the species I am most interested in hunting (Greater Kudu, Gemsbok, Impala) as well as a few that would be "targets of opportunity".

    The advice I am looking for specifically is in regards to the Hunting Consortium and Garry Kelly Safaris, all the reviews I have read are positive for both but I prefer to get un-edited information directly from people who have been there done that. As well if anyone has any tips for a first timer that would be great.

    I have been hunting North American big game for over 20 years and have travelled internationally (for non-hunting reasons) but this will be my first time hunting with a guide/outfitter.

    Thank you for your time and thank you for the great website.

    P.S. If I posted this in the wrong forum my apologies.

    -John
  2. Safari Afrika

    Safari Afrika AH Enthusiast

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    John,

    Gary Kelly is one of the oldest outfits in South Africa . They are respected members of PHASA . This is our professional hunters association . I can assure you of a great hunt with them . Good luck in all your planning that lies ahead ! It should be a lot of fun .. I am sure you will get other good reviews from the Forum as well !

    Happy Hunting !!!
  3. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    As far as planning is concerned there is a safari planner and that will get you started.
    Search the archives for posts on the topics of interest.

    Happy planning.
  4. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    The best advise I could give you John, is save up a good amount of money. Then set aside 10-14 days of hunting over in Africa, don't rush the whole hunting experience. The 3 animals you mentioned, should be easy to find and fill over a 10 day hunt. You will also have time to see other animals and plan future trips! Spend time studying the animals available....and how much or how little you want to spend on taxidermy.
  5. Johnny7604

    Johnny7604 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I am currently planning on making my first trip around 8-10 days.

    The three animals I listed are my ultimate goals and if I only managed to harvest those three I would still leave Africa a happy man. As for he others I really don't have anything to go on other than what I can find kicking around on the internet. If anyone has any advice on animals I am all ears. I wouldn't mind taking a wildebeest and a warthog (how can you not love 'em with a face like that). I don't want to go too crazy on my first trip as I plan on it being the first of many.

    As for the taxidermy....I am completely and utterly ignorant of how much I should budget for this. I know that I want head/shoulder mounts for any and all of the animals I take.
  6. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Elite

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    Welcome to AH! The members here has given you solid advise as always. Ask your outfitter to supply you with the pricelist of the taxidermist that he recommends, whether you have your animals processed in SA or USA. This ay you can contact the taxidermist and get an estimate of the shipping cost. You should be able to calculate most of the expenses for your trip this way. Enjoy your hunt!

    Best Regards,
    Marius Goosen
  7. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Well, my two cents...since this is the first of probably a few trips. I would take the animals you like the first trip....but be open to hunting black wildebeest, blue wildebeest, red hartebeest, red lechwe, waterbuck, eland, bushbuck, nyala, zebra, one good steenbok, a nice common duiker, a mtn. reedbuck, common reedbucka vaal reedbuck, springbok...possibly a giraffe (they are pretty cool).

    As far as taxidermy it can pretty much almost be as little as 75% of what you pay for your hunt in costs or pretty much the same cost as the hunt. It differs then you hunt cape buffalo hunts, but the plains game hunts can be expensive taxidermy wise. You have to pay for taxidermy and shipping!

    Using the research tool on this website, can give you plenty of pictures of animals and what makes a animals immature or very mature animal or a high scoring animal.
  8. Johnny7604

    Johnny7604 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Thanks for all the replies so far. I am taking lot's of notes and starting to get a good idea of what I should be looking for.

    I am extremely excited to be able to get to RSA and want to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.
  9. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    It can get pretty addictive, the research, the planning....a lot of fun.
  10. Johnny7604

    Johnny7604 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I hear ya brother, I haven't even gone yet and I'm already hooked. The plans I am putting into this trip already include plans for the next two after that. Good thing I plan things for a living.
  11. Upton O. Good

    Upton O. Good AH Veteran

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    My first experience in South Africa, I was focused on bird hunting. Eight plains game trophies later I figured out there is a lot more to hunting big game than I anticipated. I remember passing on a gorgeous red hartebeest, my PH was subtle when he shook his head in disappointment and 20 minutes later I asked if I had made a big mistake. His response was simple: "Yep.". I also passed on a mountain reedbuck that I didn't know was not that common where I was hunting. I suggest you review photos that have been posted, figure out your budget and continue doing what you're doing. I will say one more thing: my experience in two trips to SA, if you get a shot at a common duiker, take it, you don't get many chances at the little guys. Steenbok are (at least to me) a bit easier to get shots at.

    Enjoy your planning, it's like making a list for Santa when you were a kid. Good luck.
  12. mstewart44

    mstewart44 AH Senior Member

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    You should really take in what Upton is telling you..... if the PH says shoot, pull the trigger and talk about it later. When the PH gets excited, you should too.

    If you make your first trip a 10 day safari and you go with 3 animals on your list, what are you going to do for the remaining 8 days? Because you are probably going to have those 3 animals shot in 2 days. No kidding. Africa is not like any othe place you will go hunting. You will see more game in 10 days than you will see in 5 seasons of hunting back home. Save lots of money, do a little sight seeing while you are there and make the most of it.

    And don't even think this will be your one and only trip! Go over there with that in mind because you never know if you will be able to go back as your circumstances can always change..... But if you remain healthy and reasonably employed you will start thinking about going back as soon as you get on the plane to come home.

    Good luck!! Africa is addictive.
  13. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Thats funny I remember my first safari my PH Rusty ask me what my two main animals were . I told him the Kudu and the warthog, he laughted and said that figures the most graceful and the ugliest. enjoy the planning.
  14. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I can continue this list with more animals:p
    Be open for everything.

    I turned down a great Waterbuck in 2011 and I still don't regret it as my desire for shooting one was not high enough for me to be willing to pay the trophy fee for it.
    But I also turned down a great Steenbok, and I still regret it today that I didn't shoot it and I hope I will get second chance on one this year.

    Be open minded, budget some extra money for animals you suddenly want and enjoy a great time hunting :)
  15. Johnny7604

    Johnny7604 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    My apologies, I believe I am being mis-understood. My intention is not to only hunt three animals. The three listed are the animals I really want to hunt. The rest of my list I intend to be filled with PH recommended "animals of opportunity. If the PH tells me an animal is something I should not pass on then I likely will not pass on it. That being said I don't intend on re-mortgaging my house so I can bring back the whole menu in one trip. This will be my first of a lifetime of trips if it goes well.

    Pardon the analogy but it's kind of like a strip club. Those three covergirls are the ones bringing me in the door but they are certainly not the only ones that are going to get money tucked into their g-strings.
  16. BnC 04

    BnC 04 TITANIUM SUPPORTER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Now that is an analogy I can work with...:cool:
  17. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH Fanatic

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    Africa is a lot of fun and is quite addictive. That being said I have had a budget to work with... If you do a 10 day hunt then you have plenty of time to get good quality animals. Your going to see a lot of animals and have a lot of opportunities. So relax and enjoy yourself while there. There have been a few posts about great taxidermists. Do some research as a large chunk of your budget will go to that part. Best of luck. Bruce
  18. Bos en Dal Safaris

    Bos en Dal Safaris AH Enthusiast

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    All this talking is even getting me excited to get in the bush again! Good luck with your planning Johnny and make most of your trip. With 10 days in hand you will have enough time to be selective on your 3 priority animals.

    Enjoy africa
    Best Regards
  19. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Mmm Aahhh so thats how it works when you go to one of those places, i always wondered but was too shy to ask......:blush:

    apart from that i like your plan with the animals, you will have fun not knowing what might be next ,enjoy:beer:
  20. Buff-Buster

    Buff-Buster GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    John,
    Attached is a price list from Bullseye Taxidermy in Vaalwater, SA. I, along with a lot of other members can vouch for them. (My trophies from Mozambique are being done there) This will at least give you an idea of the cost of taxidermy. It is substantially cheaper than doing at home. From Bullseye, the quality is equal to me having it done here. The shipping home of your trophies has a lot of variables, but I'm sure when you figure the cost of shipping hides and horns, US taxidermy costs and taxes, it will be much cheaper to do in Africa. I cannot vouch for any other taxidermist in SA except Bullseye as I do not have first hand knowledge of any other. Hope this helps.

    View attachment 2012 USD Bullseye Pricelist.pdf

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