SOUTH AFRICA: Looking for 5 star SA Safari...Ekland Safaris...?

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by SoFlaNative, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. SoFlaNative

    SoFlaNative New Member

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    Ok, as a newish member on here I freely admit am as green as they get on Africa, but, I have a dream to hunt there. Hopefully maybe by next year. That brings me to my question for experienced African hunters. My lovely wife of 26 years and best friend for 30 years is not a hunter but she is interested in going to Africa. She is really interested in Sir Richard Branson's Reserve but they dont do hunting there and I do. So, I was thinking I could kill two birds with one stone. Find a 5 star hunting operation that equals the experience given at Branson's place but offers me hunting? I am pretty sure the only offerings in this type of Safari would be SA? I understand its all high fence and I have never hunted high fence but would consider it if its the only way I can include my wife and keep her happy at that comfort level. I dont pretend to be pretentious or an overly extravagant snob but I merely want my wife to experience a first class place and will find a way to make it happen. Heck, give me a tent and put me in the bush with some hot dogs and beans and I'd love it, but just tough rough for her. Anyway, I think you get the picture of what I'm looking for and why? That being said a good friend with world hunting knowledge said I should look at "Ekland Safaris" based on my wants and needs. So, anybody on here agree and have any good comments on the place? Also, how may days would give us a good experience with maybe 4-5 animals and best time of year to be there? I hunt rifle and/or bow. Thanks for any heads up! PS-Any other outfitters at this level as well, many thanks....Eric.
     
  2. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    I cant comment on them other than to say it looks 5 star on the website and the day rates certainly reflect 5 star (very high). lots of things for the Wife to do right there at the lodge and the trophy fees dont seem too bad though.
     
  3. Wolverine67

    Wolverine67 AH Fanatic

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    Agree with Diamondhitch, they sure look like top notch.
    There are several top notch outfitters in SA with 5 star lodges.
    Please consider Wintershoek Johnny Viviers safari. Especially their Thuru lodge. There you got it all. 5 star lodge with pool, jacuzzi, massage, spa and gourmet dinners. High fenced, yes, but around 25000 acre hunting ground.
     
  4. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Boy, I wish I was there today. Instead I had sweat, more sweat, back pain, hard work, and Kraft Dinner. LOL Sign me up!!!
     
  5. mudslinger

    mudslinger AH Veteran

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    If you want to bowhunt with a bowhunting outfit only and what I would consider 5 star in my eyes, (hot-tub, but no pool) and trophy animals to boot, I would also recommend African Arrow Safaris. Harry's girlfriend also owns a tour business out of J'oberg and can set up virtually anything your wife wants to do. I have been twice with my wife and are returning in Sept. We had another wife go in 2010 and she is returning with us in Sept. this is a family run business with a limited # of hunters per 10 day hunt and you are served by the family and treated like kings. You feel as if you are leaving family when you leave.
     
  6. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Of course.

    Good experience, if you want to hunt and relax doing it. You take a week to ten days. If the animals you are after are rarer and scattered then you can use up a few weeks trophy hunting. (Look at the stats on a survey question here on AH about length of first safari)

    There are 5 star outfits in may countries not just RSA. Tanzania, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
    I have not looked at Ekland but can tell you they are not the only one in that class.

    White Elephant in KZN comes to mind. You can hunt close by on multiple properties.

    Good luck with your planning.
     
  7. Fritz Rabe

    Fritz Rabe AH Veteran

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    The owner of Ekland is my big Spanish friend and client for many years. The place is truly a Garden of Eden. All of the Big-6 roam free there. Yes, it is fenced but on +-37 000 acres not even the purest of them all can complain because you can hunt Ekland for a week and never even see a fence if you fly in. You will see one if you drive in and that will only be when you enter and exit the main gate.

    The is a huge variety of game and both rifle and bow will give you great joy. The hunting is superb but not easy. For your wife there will be lots on offer. Almost anything that you can afford can be arranged.

    I was responsible for the protection of their Black and White Rhino population that is free roaming during this time where Rhino poaching is so high. The owner brought me in after they lost their 6th Rhino. After two years I have set a team that was very successful and they have not had one single attempt yet.

    I can promise you that anyone that tells you that the place is not wild have never been there. I have hunted fenced and open concessions my whole life and know what it is all about.

    If you can afford it, do it. You will not be disappointed. You can contact the owner - Yawan Kayali - and tell him that what I said. You will see that the do not leave a stone unturned to give you the hunt of a lifetime.
     
  8. SoFlaNative

    SoFlaNative New Member

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    Gentlemen, thank you for the quick reply's and thank you Fritz for your direct experience on the place. It does sound like a very nice place for the wife as well as lots of ground for me, which I like. I feel 30K plus acres is what I would feel better with being fenced. I love big ground and ranches, even here in the US on the places I hunt. The day rate is higher than other outfitters, which seems to reflect the owners quality investments on the property which I understand, but the trophy fees seem in line with other quality outfitters in SA? So bottom line it seems like you get what you pay for in terms of quality amenities which I must have for the wife first and foremost, with quality hunting for me as well. I agree that a minimum of 7 days is required for an African experience and would rather do 10 days but worry that might be too long for the wife just sitting around reading, or by the pool for 10 days while I'm out hunting all day? Maybe they could arrange other outings for her along with other wives in camp I assume? Safety off property would be my concern with me not there? Lastly, I might ry to attend the Dallas convention to meet them first hand, along with other outfitters, but would like to nail down my other costs to get a budget. What else and who else should I consider for: Trip planning, trip insurance, Dip-Pack, trophy care and shipping, (into south Florida) and any other costs I'm missing? I would really like to get a deposit down at the show to force my hand and make this happen, even if its a year or two out. Many thanks for the welcome and info....E.
     
  9. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Instead of planning your touring at the beginning and end of your hunt, break things up for her by hunting a few days the tour for a day or 2 the back to hunting. That should keep her quite happy for a longer period. I actually dont think that you will have a problem with her being bored, take her hunting with you and if she doesnt like walking just tour from the truck and stalk after spotting an animal, this will be just like a photo safari for her and all the wives I have heard of have loved it (mine included until she decided to start shooting stuff too).
     
  10. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    SoFlaNative, first of all, welcome to our forum!

    I don t know Mr Kayali, but we have the same taxidermist, who has hunted Ekland and is an experienced Africa hunter. According to him, it is the best hunting farm in RSA, so I would safely say it is one of the best.
     
  11. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Welcome to AH! I think you have picked a great outfitter! No need to over think your decision on this one. All you have to do is figure out how much you want to spend on taxidermy and side trips for sight seeing.
     
  12. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I don't think you'll have to worry about her getting bored as has been said take her with you hunting let her be the Camera person make her part of the hunt she doesn't have to shoot. On our first trip to South Africa with Huntershill Safaris the wife was a little worried but after 3 days there she wanted to sell the Farm here in Alabama and move there, by letting her be the camera person it becomes a photo safari as well so while she's snapping pictures of Rhino your watching the brush for Kudu. You two have fun. Send me a PM and the wife and I will meet up with you in Dallas.
     
  13. mudslinger

    mudslinger AH Veteran

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    Eric, if you have not put any money down or you are going to wait until maybe the Dallas Safari show to meet and possibly put down money for a hunt, please stop by African Arrow Safaris booth to visit with Harry and Diedre about the opportunities with them. I can give you 2 women that will vouch for them as non hunters and many more that will vouch for the personal service and trophy animals avaliable. 100,000 acres of concessions with one concession of 42,000 acres. Taxi cost for dip and ship for 7 animals with all capes, backhides and horns ran $1000. Shipping is done by volume and the shipping was $1200 for my crate. Brokerage clearance and shipping to my taxi was right at $700. Hope this helps. I would definitley look at 10 days as even with that time, it passes quick. If you would like a brochure and price list of African Arrow Safaris, let me know, I have them here and can mail one for you. Doug
     
  14. CapeHunter

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  15. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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  16. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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  17. SoFlaNative

    SoFlaNative New Member

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    Thanks again for the advice guys.

    Seems like I'm am looking at a $25K+/- African Safari based on a ten day trip at Ekland, soup to nuts all in? Thats airfare from US, flights or drive to camp and back, 10 days 1 on 1 for one hunter and 1 guest, 5 to 7 plains game animals, dip/pack/crate/ship back to US and maybe US Taxidermy work on my animals? I might have missed something but I think I am close on that budget for that quality level of a 5 star SA Safari for me and the wife. I think thats doable for a "Trip of a Lifetime" on my bucket list and will keep that in mind and may attend the next Dallas show to put a nail in it with a deposit even though I dont think I can hunt until August 2015. I talked to the owner of Ekland and was glad to hear he is also a bow hunter and has some nice ground blinds set up. As you can see i have plenty of time to think this over and choose a final location but I seem to like all I see at Ekland and what I hear about it on here and my other sources. Lastly, although not included in the budget above, I may want a nice African rifle before the trip. My largest rifle now is a Browning 300WSM camo/stainless Mountain Stalker I use for Elk trips out west but I may want a real African looking, woodgrain gun in .375. The Browning is a good gun for hiking mountains with tight trees but think too light with a dancing barrel for longer plains game shots? Also, being in Florida its hard to get a range longer than 100 yards to shoot long practice shots as well. I think a heavier gun would help me? I picked up a Kimber Caprivi the other day and it was sweet. It looked like it belonged in Africa. And I know you dont need a .375 for plains game but everyone seems to think I'll be hooked after my first rip and will go back so why not have one gun to do it all and be done with it. Anyway, plenty of time to look at that as well and lots to plan for but that seems like just as much fun as well! Thanks again for the info on this great forum. E.
     
  18. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I don't think your figures will be off by much. I really depends on the animals you hunt or how many you take? Either way a animal here or there will not break the bank unless it's super unique animal like cape buffalo, sable, or roan. I think a 375 H&H in a Kimber is OK choice. It's not that much more than a 300 Win Mag and if you like big guns and practise you should be fine.
     
  19. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    I just ran the #s assuming the following bag Kudu, Gemsbok, Blue Wildebeest, Impala, Blesbok, Warthog, Duiker. On a 10 day hunt, all in, Flights for 2, 10days 1x1 and 10 days observer at their midrange lodge, VAT, Trophy fees, dip/ship/pack, Taxidermy at a good quality taxi who does alot of African yet has competitive rates and the total came out to about $28,000. Price on an average (not 5 star lodge) would drop the total to $23,000. All in from your door to trophies (shoulder mounts) on your wall.
     
  20. SoFlaNative

    SoFlaNative New Member

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    Pretty close to what I thought? I think then a quality high end 10 trip for the wife and I should fall between $25-28K, a doable "Once in a Lifetime trip" also another reason to pick a high end outfitter/PH to get the most bang for the buck if you may only get one chance? Thanks Diamond and I think i would want the following as a good selection of African Plains game for my trophy room: Super tall Kudu, Zebra (as rug) Nayala or Gemsbok, Warthog and Impala. My dad always told me enough is a feast :) Thanks again...E
     

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