Your thoughts on my ideal safari...

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Tomsbass, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. Tomsbass

    Tomsbass New Member

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    I'm seriously considering a trip to Africa, but like a lot of people, I know that it may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. So I really want to make sure that I do all the things I have dreamed of doing on the continent while there, since I may never make it back. After scouring the web for information, I am afraid that my menu of activities may put me well over budget. So I am debating whether to skip some of the aspects of my "ideal" safari, and just go experience Africa, even if it's not perfect - or whether to wait a few more years until maybe I can afford to do it my way. I know there are no right or wrong answers and that ultimately it is my decision. But I would love to hear the thoughts of those of you who have been to Africa multiple times and tried different things, as to which way you would lean if you were in my situation.

    My "ideal" safari would go something like this: 4-5 days of plains game hunting with target species of red hartebeest, impala, and springbok. 2 days of wingshooting, either for francolin over dogs or for sandgrouse and doves from blinds. 2 days in the Okavango delta fishing for tigerfish and catfish. And finally, a couple of days relaxing, sightseeing (maybe a trip to Victoria Falls), and eating as much of my bushmeat as possible, since I can't take it back to the U.S.

    My preliminary research indicates that all of this would cost me around $6000-$7000 US, not counting airfare to Africa. My budget, right now, is about $4000, maybe a little over. And that would have to include dip, pack and ship.

    As for where to go in Africa, I am leaning toward Namibia for the plains game, simply because of the species that I want to hunt, and also the relative proximity to the Okavango for the fishing. But I am open to suggestion. If necessary, I could live without the side trip to Vic Falls, since that is rather out of the way (but would certainly be an awesome thing to see).

    So there you have it. Let's hear from you seasoned veterans as to what my options are and what you would do. I'll bet some of you have some good stories to tell!
     
  2. Thunder head

    Thunder head AH Enthusiast

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    With that kind of itenary the cost will be hard for us regular folks to estimate. I think your going to need more money. Best thing is to go to one of the more popular travel agents and see what kind of package they can put together.
     
  3. Tomsbass

    Tomsbass New Member

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    Thanks for your thoughts, fellas. I thought that someone might suggest to skip the wingshooting. I love to hunt birds, but I wonder whether the Afircan bird hunting is any better than what I can get here at home. Just different birds, I guess.

    When I finally go, I hope to have a few friends with me, but at this point I am just exploring my options. You're right about seeing a national park, that may be a better choice than wingshooting, unless I go with an outfitter that offers free bird hunting to plains game hunters, as a few do.

    I'm not committed to Okavango, but I want to be sure that if I go fishing, that the fishing is really good. I don't just want to say that I caught a tigerfish; I want to have some action, and a variety of species. Otherwise, I would skip that part of the trip also, and save a lot of money.

    As for mounts, I have not really decided. If I shoot a really nice impala, I would probably do a full shoulder mount. For the springbok, I might just go for the hide - it would look really cool on my wall.
    And for the hartebeest, I would probably just mount the horns on a plaque. But it will depend on how good a specimen I get, and the cost of shipping. I would really love to shoot a big kudu, but I have no place to put a trophy that large, and it would be hard to justify the trophy fee if I couldn't keep the horns. I might consider warthog, just because, as you say, they are cheap and plentiful, and fun to hunt (so I hear).

    Thanks again for your thoughts.
     
  4. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Good advice from both Dennis and TH. Nice thing about Atcheson's or one of the other booking agencies is that they are really good at tailoring to a budget. I would avoid multiple countries like the plague - particularly with your very tight time line. Lots of time can be burned transiting the various official functionaries. Namibia is a great destination, but won't provide you easy access to Botswana. Many of the Namibian outfitters are happy to set up time with a shotgun over a waterhole to even more elaborate affairs. On your timeline and budget the former is a blast and will not impact your plains game hunting very much; you will shoot numerous species. You will find more dedicated, and expensive, wing shooting operations in RSA.

    A good thought from Dennis with regard to taxidermy. Thanks to digitals we can all do wonders with photography these days. European mounts will save you thousands of dollars and look terrific - they also fit most existing homes. Framed enlargements hanging neaby show the animal and the setting. I have a cat and a kudu mounted, but everything else is a skull mount. And I would certainly create a longer game list. One trophy which only takes up floor space is a zebra rug.
     
  5. Tomsbass

    Tomsbass New Member

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    Very useful information, thanks!
     
  6. Andries

    Andries AH Member

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    Tomsbass,
    I think that we just got the kind of package that you are looking for.
    Karl Stumphe and me got a package deal for 6 days of hunting and 2 days of Tigerfishing on the Okavango river. The hunting will be out of Karl's big game camp just north of the Kaudum National park. My fishing camp is about 50km from there on the Okavango river.

    [​IMG]
    Tiger fishing at Nyiru camp on the Okavango River

    [​IMG]
    Tiger fishing at Nyiru camp on the Okavango River

    The package will include a kudu, Gemsbuck and one of the following- Steenbuck, Duiker or Warthog.
    You can also fly in or out from Vic Falls. Thats anyway closer to us than Windhoek.
    You can contact me directly at andries.ozonduno@gmail.com
    Let me know what you think.
    Andries.
     
  7. Frederik

    Frederik AH Enthusiast

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    If I could just add another thing to think about I dont think that the Tigers and wingshooting can be done in the same trip as they ahve different seasons. However you could shoot up to hundreds of rock pigeons off maize and corn fields and that will get in in time for the tiger seasons. Just an idea
     
  8. Tomsbass

    Tomsbass New Member

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    Awesome information, guys. Just what I wanted to hear. I am actually not on a really tight timeline, I would rather spend more time than less. But I also will have to weigh that against the cost of accomodations for a longer stay. At least now I have a better idea of which options make more sense, and what to avoid. I had a feeling that traveling between multiple countries might be a bad idea.

    Those are nice looking tigers, Andries. I'll drop you a line for more info.
     
  9. jaustin

    jaustin AH Veteran

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    Tombass, no matter what you decide this will be a perfect safari and like most of us it will only be the beginning. I had my second trip planned before I arrived back in the states. Be warned though, the shipping and prep costs can be a real killer. That being said, there are some great deals out there right now just keep your eyes open and check LOTS of references.
     
  10. Tomsbass

    Tomsbass New Member

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    Yes, I am concerned about the cost of shipping. That is one of the reasons that I would prefer to keep the total animal count on the low side. If I shoot an animal, I want to keep something- meat, horns, or hide. The rug idea is a good one, too. That is the main reason I am interested in springbok. I think that the hide would look really neat on the floor or on the wall, so if I shot a nice one I might not bother with the horns. And, Jaustin, you are right that whenever I go on a really good hunt or fishing trip, I can't wait to do it again. It's very addictive, unfortunatley. I wish my money multiplied as fast as my dreams!
     
  11. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Love it! I think most of us here will agree with that!
     
  12. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    One other thought on hides. If you are looking at reducing the back end costs of your hunt, I would keep the trophy and buy a tanned hide. Having your springbok tanned by a taxidermist won't be cheap. You can buy common antelope hides very inexpensively and still have your original photos and trophy in a euro mount.
     
  13. Tomsbass

    Tomsbass New Member

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    Redleg, you have some good points. I had thought about going for a female springbok and trying for a headshot - that way I wouldn't ruin the skin with the shot. But then, I have read that it is very difficult to get close enough to springbok for a head shot. Hard to beleive that tanning the hide, especially a small one, would be more expensive than mounting the horns, but nothing surprises me anymore. Good food for thought.

    Don't worry, I won't give up on the dream. It just might take another year or two. But I appreciate the encouragement. I don't want to grow old regretting the things I didn't do; I want to grow old regretting the things I did!
     

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