SOUTH AFRICA: Has anyone ever hunted or know anyone who hunted with African Sky Hunting Safaris?

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by ILCAPO, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. ILCAPO

    ILCAPO AH Veteran

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    Hi all,

    I'm new to AfricaHunting.com and am using the forum as part of my research into planning for a hunt in Africa. This would be my first outside the USA.

    The outfit I'm inquiring about has a website at: African Sky Hunting Safaris

    The website is very professional and has the most complete information on hunting in Africa I've seen of any outfitter. I also read nothing but praises for them, including hearing from the brother of an old girlfriend who went two years ago. He had a very successful hunt and it turns out his PH was the very guy I've been in correpondance with through email!

    I have no question they're a top notch outfitter. It's just that as I've continued my research, I've found them to be considerably more expensive than any of the others thus far. The daily rate is at least $50 more per day and most of the trophy fees are more, most by hundreds of dollars.

    For instance, here are a rew trophy fee comparisons between ASH and HVSafaris:

    Gemsbok: ASH $1495 vs. HVS $1100
    Eland: ASH $2480 vs. HVS $2000
    Ostrich: ASH $990 vs. HVS $350
    Springbok: ASH $495 vs. HVS $350
    Blue Wildebeest: ASH $1070 vs. HVS $975

    I've found the same kind of thing with other outfitters. By the time you add up four to six animals, we're talking a lot more money.

    I'm wondering what accounts for this variance. Are the hunts really that much better through ASH than the other places or is it simply they have a good following and can afford to charge more without loosing business?

    I'm not a cheapskate, but I'm not wealthy either. I really want to hunt Africa, but any such trip is going to take several years to save up for. I'm finding I could hunt six or seven animals in other outfitters for the price of four through this outfitter. So, I'm just curious.

    I'd really love to get feedback from someone who has hunted Africanskyhunting AND another outfitter, and to see how they compare.

    Thanks! :)
  2. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I looked at the website and can honestly say the only trophy fee that is truly fair is the grey rhebuck, other than that, I thought it was very pricey...and that is my two cents, there are so many good guys on this site....you should state what animals you are looking for and I can give you a direction toward someone else for a comparison. Keep in mind package hunts are usually cheaper.

    I'm a blue collar worker and there are plenty of other people on here, that are too. We save, plan and hunt.
  3. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Yes, agree. The daily rates are not too bad, but the trophy fees are quite high, some outlandish, others less so but certainly not hard to beat. You have to add up all the costs of these trips and see what its going to cost if you get everything on your list and maybe one or two more.
  4. huntsolo101

    huntsolo101 AH Senior Member

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    I am by no means a expert. My dad has hunted south Africa with the cheap daily rate and price list outfitter. They drove around from place to place trying to shoot animals that couldn't be found or where just immature. If the outfitter has no mature animals then price doesn't really matter. I luckily learned from my fathers experience. I have hunted Africa 2 times soon to be three in may. I have learned to call the references of people that hunted the year before and ask what the game and their experience was like. The dip and pack is a great place for the outfitter to charge you more than they should to make up for the cheap price on the list. Vat tax may be on the higher daily rate and in the little disclaimer on the other cheaper outfitter. Add 14% to a 400.00 dollar daily rate and you are at 456.00. Another place is how much they charge to pick you up from the airport and drop you back off. The outfitter I hunt with includes that in his daily rate. I have seen some outfitters that charge 200 to 400 for the service. I have always brought my wife. I pay 150 a day for her.(plus vat) Some places charge much more. Like I said I am no expert but I love Africa and cant wait to go back. This site is a huge help for someone like yourself deciding on where to go on a safari. I didn't look into the outfitter you had posted. Call his references. All the best
  5. RickB

    RickB AH Fanatic

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    I have a theory that I really haven't tested but it sounds logical to me. I got my hunt from an sci dinner for $1000. That included 2 hunters 2 non-hunters and 5 animals.(2 Impala 2 Blesbuck,and a warthog.) That alone is a great price. We are adding about $6000 more in 5 animals. Enysse pointed out to me that my extra animals where a bit higher than other places and he is right. Example my Gemsbuck is $1635. I started looking and saw them for 1100 and around that price. My daily rates are $320? If I remember. Others are $280. My theory is that my PH donates a lot to SCI. Most all 100% donations so he has to make up his $$ somewhere. Animals is the only place. If I go there and bought no animals he would only make $ on my tips. So maybe some of your places donate hunts? I don't know? Just my 2cents.
  6. kuduman

    kuduman AH Veteran

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    sometimes you get what you pay for. on my first safari, we went with an outfitter that was one of the cheapeast in r.s.a. although we had a great safari, we got what we payed for. nothing extravagent, but addequate. on hunting with a different outfitter, you see the difference.
  7. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Its one of the reasons that I have hunted with someone different every time I have gone to Africa. If you hunt with the same guy every time, how do you know if its really any good? Of course if one enjoys what he has thats fine, but he cannot very well consider himself particularly knowledgeable unless he has something to compare it to.
  8. ILCAPO

    ILCAPO AH Veteran

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    Thanks. The one thing I noted on the ASH site, they note that some other outfitters have great prices, but then hit you with this and that. They advertise what you see is what you get.... no hidden costs. Their rates include everything including pick up and drop off at the airport and everything in between. They have a list of those things not covered, which are preparing and shipping of the hides/trophies and such, which is to be expected. Appreciate the feedback.
  9. ILCAPO

    ILCAPO AH Veteran

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    Thanks. One thing is for sure, I want a dual purpose trip. That is a hunting safari and a photographic safari in the national park. My wife isn't a hunter but she also wants to go to Africa.

    As for the animals I'd like to hunt, I'm open to ideas, but have the following in mind on my short list: Gemsbok (Oryx), Impala, Wildebeest, Warthog, Springbok, Kudu, Blesbok. I'd love to go for cape buffalo or lion, but could in no way afford the trophy fees. Unless I win the lottery, that's a pipe dream.

    They offer packages too, but when I break it all down, it doesn't appear to provide any discount. I took a couple of them, looked up the individual trophy fees on the animals listed, then calculated the numbers of days versus the daily rate and came out with the "package" price, almost to the penny. They advertise they can put together about any kind of package you want. Yeah, I guess so, if there's no discounting to it.

    Again, I think it's clear it's a good outfitting. My former girlfriend's brother had nothing but praise for his whole experience. It's just they're a bit on the high side.
  10. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Here is a guy that I have hunted with a few years ago, Farm Gravenstein / Panorama Guest and Hunting farm , I calculated the cost of 8 day hunt with your animals...comparing apples to apples. Your guy comes up to $9905 and my guy $5690. Now Namibia doesn't have the best impala....everything else on your list my place has in decent numbers.

    I saw a great deal on this website for a nyala, kudu, eland and bushbuck and 10 days for under $7000 by Bushwack. Hartview Hunting Safari had a hell of a deal last week on this website. Marious from KMG Hunting Safaris had a awesome deal too....I think I could go on and on....
  11. ILCAPO

    ILCAPO AH Veteran

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    Thanks much! Appreciate the leads. Like I said, I'm not in any position to go this year. I will have to budget for such a trip and any way you slice it, it's going to take some lead time; at least 2012 if not 2013. I'm thinking the latter. A hunting adventure is NOT high on my wife's list of dream vacations, yet there's no way I'm going to Africa without her. She does want to go, she's just more interested in sightseeing, such as a photo safari in one of the national parks, a trip to the cape, seeing Victoria Falls, etc.

    I'm not ready to book, I'm just trying to figure out what realistically such a vacation is going to cost us and then plan our savings accordingly.
  12. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I can understand your situation, I know my wife feels the same way about a vacation....but she knows I'm a hunting fool too. I know I'd like to see Victoria Falls, Etosha Nationall Park and Krueger National Park. It's always hard to balance family and hunting.
  13. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    ILCAPO

    The PH you have selected appears to run a fine ship in looking at his website.

    Have you thought of checking out Zimbabwe or Namibia and going with a PH close to Victoria Falls. This would help in reducing your total safari expenditures...

    "such as a photo safari in one of the national parks, a trip to the cape, seeing Victoria Falls, etc." Like Victoria Falls, Etosha Nationall Park and Krueger National Park. I would look at doing one side excursion a safari, as these side track will take a few days to do them justice...just my 2 cents...

    It just seems to me that if you hunt in South Africa and then travel to Zimbabwe to see the falls you will need rifle permits or a place to store your gun or guns while sight-seeing in national parks. That could be an issue that will take advanced planning on your part.
  14. ILCAPO

    ILCAPO AH Veteran

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    Africaskyhunting offers the combined package, with a six day hunt for four animals and then three days on safari in Kruger National Park. They said they can do other custom packages. My understanding is the rifles can remain with them at their facility the whole time. Regarding getting up to the falls, I realize that's quite a distance and in another country, so it might have to wait for another trip. Not sure. Because we also want to see the cape. A friend went to South Africa in the mid-90s and I still remember the incredible pictures he had from the trip. The most breathtaking were from the Cape. He said it was awesome too, just realizing that you're at the end of the world, as far south as you can go on land before hitting antartica.

    As for ASH, they have the best overall website of any outfitter I've seen. Very complete, with an amazing amount of information. Then again, they appear to be the most expensive too. Their daily rates are higher than everyone else, but the real cost is in their trophy fees. They're quite a bit more than everyone else. If I was loaded, I wouldn't look any further. But while I make a decent income, a trip like this adds up real quickly, and one which incorporates other things for my wife as well as a hunt for myself is going to take some planning.

    Unfortunately, the one friend I have who would be interested in an Africa hunt -- thrilled more like it -- is utterly without financial means of doing so. And a few friends who could pull it off aren't showing any interest. My one friend that went to South Africa in the 90s said while he liked it very much, he has other parts of the world he'd rather to go first before returning, and he's not really a hunter either.
  15. Bushbuck

    Bushbuck AH Enthusiast

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    ILCAPO, If you go to Victoria falls and also want to see the Cape, Take a look at the Blue Train. I want to take that run from up there to the Cape one day on that train.
  16. ILCAPO

    ILCAPO AH Veteran

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    BTW, I looked into that Hartzview place and it looks very nice. I like the accomodations and the trophy fees are definately better. The fees at Gravenstein Farm are a whole other level lower, making a hunt there far cheaper. But that's also what I heard about South Africa. It's more expensive to hunt than the other countries.

    That said, while Gravenstein Farm might be a good second trip, I think after looking over the photos of the facilities and reading about the offerings, I'm more interested in making my first African hunt in South Africa. Hartzview is much farther away from the port of entry, involving a lot more travel to get to, so my wife might not want go there. Not sure though. It definately looks nice at any rate. Will have to check charter flight costs to their local airstrip.

    I'm finding this whole idea more and more appealing. I think once I hunt Africa I'm going to be hooked. I'm noticing that two hunter w/one PH hunts offer some good discounts. Think I'm going to want to find a hunting partner to hook up with for any subsequent hunt!
  17. ILCAPO

    ILCAPO AH Veteran

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    BTW all, I think I figured out why AfricanSky costs more. Looking more closely on the various sites, it appears some of those with better prices offer hunting on their own lands. AfricanSky is an outfitter and tour operator operating out of Pretoria, and conducts hunts on a variety of concessions throughout South Africa. I kind of figured that might account for the difference! They apparently must pay a fee to the land owners where we're hunting on, and they add a fee of their own on top of that. Well, that certainly explains the additional cost. Kind of figured that was the case.

    And oh, by the way, Bushbuck, that blue train looks awesome! But it appears to run only from Pretoria to Cape Town. I don't see any runs up to Victoria Falls.
  18. seattlesetters

    seattlesetters AH Senior Member

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    Not really a theory, just common deduction and simple math: If your PH is offering "low-cost" hunts and "making it up on the backend with increased trophy fees," I'd say he really isn't "donating" anything and is merely pulling a bait & switch and selling hunts at normal prices and passing them off as "donations."

    Who do you hunt with?
  19. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    You are catching on very fast! You are doing the research and getting good advice, something I didn't get years ago. And Hartzview Hunting Safaris is a first class operation. You will get awesome pictures too. Some outfitters are terrible at taking pictures and it takes a lot of coaching. You go to most galleries on their webpages and find who takes the best pictures....somewhat....but it's also nice to have a partner along. I could never get anyone to come along too. Nobody wants to spend money to hunt today, for the most part.
  20. ILCAPO

    ILCAPO AH Veteran

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    Understand that! The economy sucks, dollar is dropping in value vis-a-vis foreign currencies. Then we have an administration and fed bank which is saying spending and printing money as fast as we can with nothing to back it will not have a detrimental effect on its value in the future. That simply doesn't pass any logic test, and we're already starting to see the negative consequences of it in commodity prices. I have my masters in international business/economics, and I am offended by these people who think we're all no-nothings who can be easily duped by propaganda. (Unfortunately, many voters fall into that category.) We've gone from bad to worse in leadership, and the fact is many people are simply too scared to spend, even if they are doing okay due to a fear of the future. I can't blame them.

    We actually have the money to make a trip now, BUT.... it would kill our savings and leave us nothing in the reserves. I'm fiscally conservative, my Italian wife is even more so. We simply will not spend ourselves down to the bone. We really DO want to make a trip to Africa -- her for the sightseeing me for the hunt AND sightseeing. So, we're working the problem now, and seeing how much we need to set aside each month.

    That said, my wife is a penny-pincher and she's balking at the price. But I'm trying to salve her with all sort of neat photos, like from Victoria Falls and the Cape. : )

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