What is the best country for a first time hunting safari?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by AfricaHunting.com, Oct 9, 2007.

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What is the best country for a first time hunting safari?

  1. Namibia

    105 vote(s)
    39.5%
  2. South Africa

    132 vote(s)
    49.6%
  3. Zimbabwe

    23 vote(s)
    8.6%
  4. Zambia

    6 vote(s)
    2.3%
  1. Double D

    Double D AH Senior Member

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    Bill is rite about going to South Africa after you have been hunting some of the wilder spots. I went back after hunting Mozambique and the ????? what ever you want to call it was gone and I havent been back since.

    Dick
  2. Double D

    Double D AH Senior Member

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    I guess I should add that to be fair my first two trips to Africa were to South Africa. I had a great time in every way. In fact the first year I dont remember even bumping into a fence. I shot a bunch of really nice trophies both times. Great lodges, food, PH's, pictures and memories to last for ever. But go there or Namibia first not last.

    Dick
  3. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    I certainly agree that South Africa has some huge ranches and they are not high fenced..I have/had hunts So. Africa on 200,000 acres and know of a 500,000 acre ranch both with 3 strand barbwire fencing. Today I still book on the 200,000 acre ranch.

    Much of So. Africa is high fenced and some of the high fenced ranches are certainly large enough to be fair chase such as the Seleti that is about a 100,000 acres of thick bush..Some are high fenced to keep the elephants and/or poachers out btw..

    You have to judge each location on its own merits..What I see is some folks with one hunt behind them and they believe the whole country is what their hunt was that is an assumption and a mistake on their part..

    Some of Zimbabwe is also high fenced, mostly co-ops of ranches that have gone together to form huge hunting concessions and some of them are fenced. Most of Zimbabwe is not.

    Zambia is partially fenced also as is Namibia..

    Tanzania, Botswana, Mozambique, are not fenced, at least not that I know of.

    I am not of the school that a high fence has anything to do with fair chase if the land parcel is large enough and it is a subject that is mostly the meat of the less experienced hunters, non hunters and idealist. 75,000 acres of thick African bush is an awesome hunt and you could easily get lost in it and never be found.
  4. Peter Waddelow

    Peter Waddelow New Member

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    Ian
    I hear you, but unfortunately too many stories have reached the ears of hunters afar. I am licensed PH in Zimbabwe(1992) and Tanzania(2001), I will never guide in SA for the very reason I have no passion for a fence, and unfortunately a drive in any direction from OT International has more fence than one cares to look at. N. Limpopo Prov is just boxed in.
    Sorry, when you have hunted the plains of Longido, the swamps of the Moyowosi or even the thick sands of the Matetsi/Pandamatenga forest, lots of big game, the smell of buffalo and elephant in the morning air. No way can a 1000 hectares in SA with a luxury camp compare. The best way to dispell the romance of Hemingway's "Green hills" is to take the N1 Toll road north to Warmbaths...... It just don't cut it. South Africa has some really beautifull scenery, has some wonderful people and lovely weather, but a first time to Africa it is not, unless of course the hunter has not a care for the tradition of safari and what it was, the Norfolk Hotel, Nairobi, the porters, the tented camps under big flat top accacia, the herds of a thousand Topi......etc
    no offense, but ......my point of view. Peter
  5. Spiral Horn Safaris

    Spiral Horn Safaris AH Fanatic

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    Here we go again!!:(

    Pieter

    I can surely understand your point in the mater having hunted in Zambia's Luangwa valley myself and yes it is really great to be out there.

    Pieter do you think that hunting fenced game farms is any less of a challenge than hunting big open area's now in saying this I am talking about hunting a farm of 2000 heaters +?

    You might be sadly mistaken my friend hunting plains game on a fenced property is very much a challenge talk to some clients and it will not take you long to hear that he returned without his kudu or a priority animal. Things are just as tough on a fenced game farm as it is in a open area you hunt certain species in certain habitat's example Roan you will find in the hills in Zambia's Luangwa valley or at the salt pans you put a good stalk on the animal and if fortune smiles on you the shot is taken. This is the same thing in South Africa.

    My take on the matter is simple hunt Africa it is a beautiful continent full of diversity ,hunt every specie in its native habitat should you be fortunate enough to have to money to do so. There is no best country to hunt in Africa go and experience them all their people and diversity. Never judge a book by its cover you might find it a lot tougher than you trough.

    Cheers Louis
  6. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Louis,

    I did not read Peter's post as saying the hunting itself is less of a challenge in SA. I have shot animals in South Texas behind fences on some rather large ranches and at times the hunting could be difficult.

    I responded to this thread back in April with Tanzania as my choice. For twelve days we lived like Robert and Virginia Ruark. From our tented camp we watched elephants, buffalo, and plainsgame in the river. We listened to lions, hippo, crocs, and hyenas at night. There were no phones, no people other than the camp staff. It was like stepping back in time. And the hunting iself was not too bad.

    Nothing wrong with SA, but it looks like in essence I agree with Peter, my vote still goes to the Selous.
  7. Spiral Horn Safaris

    Spiral Horn Safaris AH Fanatic

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    Mike I agree with both you and Peter I loved waking up in the mornings next to the Luangwa it is something that well all need to experience as hunters unfortunately it does cost a lot of money and not everyone can afford to do it all the time.

    Mike I am just tired of people jugging the fact that we have fences it takes a lot of hard work to keep the place going and it would be nice if someone can say good things based on experiences from hunting in that country.

    Sorry Mike I am not picking a fight but the fence thing is just getting really old for me. Each person is entitled to his own opinion but it is only relevant if you have done it.

    You are 100% correct to say that it felt like you were traveling back in time those places are truly special and it makes one really appreciate the finer things in life.:D

    Africa as a whole weather you hunt in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, CAR or Tanzania is diverse and beautiful I will never want to travel on a different continent I love experiencing the different cultures, habitat and species it is all great just to sit back and take the moment in wherever you might find yourself at that time.

    The bottom line is each country presents a certain challenge in its self and we should accept the things we cannot change for the best and work on matters that could ruin hunting for everyone in Africa.

    Cheers Louis
  8. Dinsdale

    Dinsdale AH Senior Member

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    So what your saying is unless I spend $25,000 to hunt in Tanzania,Botswana,or Zambia.....I shouldn't bother to hunt in Africa?

    Now I have spent the equivilent of several plains game and sight seeing trips....BUT what I should have done,according to you,was just gone once.

    Hmmmm...one trip for a couple of animals,OR the three countries and 66 days I've done....

    Sorry I'm not living up to your standards...

    Dinsdale

    PS; There are unfenced,tented hunts in Namibia too...and they are affordable to just regular guy's like me.
  9. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Thankfully for all of us there are EXCELLENT hunts available in Africa for the entry level hunter that saves for a lifetime all the way up to a big five hunt in Tanzania and all along the way there are many good and some bad outfitters and areas.

    The thing that is important is that we have the opportunity to realize our dreams and experience what is possible to us as hunters at every price level.

    I do not enjoy hunters who consider themselves better because they have had more good fortune or opportunity than other hunters. I like to think that whatever African hunting experience we are fortunate enough to have, if it was a good one it is a good thing, whether it was fenced or unfenced, a first time plains game hunt or a Lion hunt. We are all the same, hunters who dream of hunting in Africa.
  10. Dinsdale

    Dinsdale AH Senior Member

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    Well said Jerome....and way more polite than what I am thinkin':eek:


    Dinsdale
  11. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    Dinsdale,

    The question was "what is the best country for a first time hunting safari?" There was nothing pertaining to cost.

    I thought Tanzania was heaven on earth, until I went to Zim.

    Having spent only 30 days in Africa on two safaris I am sorry I am not living up to your standards of 66 days.

    As far as a regular guy: high school education and a welder by trade.


    Louis,

    Without the operators in SA investing in the future, much of your country's wildlife would be decimated like huge areas in Zim. My hat is off to you and your peers for the risk you take.

    Jerome,

    I try to convince friends to hunt in Africa, whatever country, SA, Namibia, Zim. Just go with a good operator and you will never forget the experience.
  12. Dinsdale

    Dinsdale AH Senior Member

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    Also why I quoted a specific post and NOT yours.....:)

    Then if that's the case...Why start small...Full Bag Tanzania 21 days MGM lion,100 pounder,et al

    Then Namibia for the second safari,free ranging Black Rhino....

    Dinsdale
  13. michaelhh375

    michaelhh375 AH Veteran

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    "First timers"

    Fellow hunters.

    Were to go first time to Africa ( or any other foreign hunting places) ? I believe it is very important to decide country, after you decided : Budget, what period in the year, how long time can I spend in Africa, what animals do I wanna look for, your physical status, your health and your travel experience. All these questions answered and you have to start finding the correct outfitter/hunting-company. Only one way, REFERENCES. When this is done, you will have your first and for YOU correct African country.
  14. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    Canned hunts in RSA? There are a few in any country I suspect..Most of So. Africa is fenced but that does not make for a canned hunt. All hunts have boundries be it a river, Mt. Range or fence. Lots of good fenced ranches and fair chase hunts to be in So. Africa.

    I look at the size of the property and that determines if its canned hunting. I have several fenced ranches that I book for that have 100,000 or more acres under fence and its total bushveld, and you can hunt for days and not see one of the many elephant on that property..

    The choice boils down to what you are comfortable with, go with that, but leave pre concieved ideas at home.
  15. Mark H. Young

    Mark H. Young AH Senior Member

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    What is the best country for a first time hunting safari?

    I'm coming to this discussion quite late but I think this is sort of a timeless subject. I assume that lots of folks after their first safari would recommend to others to do what they did if they had a good experience which is the norm rather than the exception on most first safaris. It's like picking a car. If you really like what you've bought and had zero trouble with it why would you not recommend it to your friends. The drawack to that thinking is that you may not have picked the best country or the best value for the dollar. Note I did not say least expensive.

    Ok! So smartass tell us what you'd pick. If I wanted to keep my budget down but wanted to have that "Classic" safari experience or as near to that as possible I 'd pick a PG hunt on one of the huge Conservancies in Zimbabwe. For about the price of a good quality RSA or Namibian hunt you can hunt PG where all the Big 5 are found in abundance as well as 95% the indigenous species of the country. The game is plentiful, of excellent trophy quality and the accommodations are universal excellent.

    Zimbabwe is a very easy country to reach from RSA, customs etc is a breeze, no country offers a higher level of overall professionalism for your safari and the people are very friendly and happy to see you. There's no reason not not consider Zim.

    Mark
  16. BruceU

    BruceU New Member

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