1st Trip to Africa is booked!

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Byron Hapgood, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. Byron Hapgood

    Byron Hapgood AH Member

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    It is hard to describe how excited I am to be able to say that in 209 days I am leaving for my first trip to Africa. This site has been a blessing trying to learn about everything that goes into planning a safari. I spoke to a number of outfitters that advertise on this site or have been recommended on this site. Everyone I emailed was professional and did a good job explaining the services provided. This journey started 2 years ago when I visited the DSC show in Dallas and visited with a number of outfitters that day. I was so surprised to learn how far your money goes in South Africa. After that show I had discussions with a few different outfitters and received a few offers that I thought had great value. I just couldn't do it financially at that time. Fast forward to this year. Value seems to be getting better and better due to the exchange rate. I saw an offer on the Deals forum for a Spiral Horn hunt with Game 4 Safaris. I never imagined I could hunt all 4 spiral horn animals for 6 days and still pay less than the listed trophy fees combined for the entire trip! I have communicated with Wik for the last month and spoke to many references. This seemed like the right fit. I have worked out a package that includes my wife (non-hunter) and a day to visit the Aldo Elephant National Park. We will be visiting on our 19th Anniversary.

    I want to thank all the outfitters and PH's who took time to communicate with me. I also want to ask for any advice and recommendations anyone has on the following points.

    I have airfare secured. We will take the Delta non-stop from Atl to JNB. Overnight in JNB (no accomadations yet) then fly to PE the next morning (not booked yet). I am leaning toward using the firearms provided by Wik to avoid the hassle and cost of importing firearms. My target list is for Kudu, Bushbuck, Nyala, and Eland. I have an opportunity to exchange the Eland for Waterbuck, Impala, and springbok. Thoughts on that decision are welcome as well. Taxidermy, shipping, ect is overwhelming. I am considering maybe only having one trophy prepared and shipped back due to the expense. Thoughts?

    Thanks for any help you can provide.
     
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  2. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Congratulations! I can feel your excitement. I am looking forward to your report and hearing what it was like when you first laid eyes on any of those animals.

    Taxidermy is significant. We lowered the costs somewhat by mounting the most beautiful, but also did euro, rugs and just basic tanned skins. We have plans for the leather (bags, release strap etc) that we will get made up either there or at a later time. There is a lot you can do. Good luck and have fun!
     

  3. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Congrats on your plans.

    Budget and space will always make the decision.
    One and done might be a good solution.

    I used to hate Euro mounts. Now, they are the way to go. Less cost, less shipping, less space.
    Mounts are now restricted to something incredible +++
     
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  4. jasyblood

    jasyblood BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Congratulations....you're going to have a blast!

    If you're looking for suggestions on accommodations in JNB, I would recommend Afton Guest House. I've stayed with Afton 6-7 times and they will always have my business when I need to overnight there.
     
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  5. Ragman

    Ragman AH Elite

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    I am still in the saving phase for my second safari, but am keeping my fingers crossed to set a goal for 2018. I am still undecided on whether or not I'll take my own rifle or use the outfitters. As far as taxidermy, I would do what I did on my first trip and have the skulls Euro mounted and also have the capes shipped home. Then mount individually as funds allowed.

    The spiral horned animals are definitely my top of the wish-list animals, and I looked hard at that same package that you booked (congrats by the way)! However for some reason Eland really don't get me fired up. I like them, but they are way down the list. I would definitely exchange Eland for the Waterbuck...they are awesome. I had one in front of me at a waterhole for 10 minutes when I was in Namibia and it was killing me to not pull the trigger! I would also like a springbok more as a bonus.

    Anyway, good luck! I know you'll have a great time!
     

  6. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Byron,

    Congratulations! You will have a great hunt, no doubt.

    I'd say go with the rental rifle. Makes traveling much easier and Game4Africa has some really nice Sako rifles with Swarovski scopes. You'll have the option of with or without suppressor.

    As far as overnighting in Joburg, the easiest and least expensive option is the City Lodge (https://www.hotelscombined.co.za/Hotel/City_Lodge_OR_Tambo_Airport.htm ), located right at the airport (connected to the terminal building). Breakfast comes with the room and it's a super buffet with also cooked to order eggs, etc.

    For your flight to Port Elizabeth, your options are South African, British Air or Mango (SAA's discount airline). Might be another one or two airlines. The issue you'll run into is the baggage weight limits and allowances seem to be different. Your 50 lb bag on Delta won't work on Mango. Pack light and go on SAA would be my recommendation.

    As far as taxidermy, the least expensive way is probably to have it done in Port Elizabeth. A co-worker of mine is having 9 PG trophies done in PE with Hunters and Collectors Taxidermist and I think some will ship by year end. I can give you an update on that. BTW, I went the other way and just had them do the dip and pack and I'm currently shipping them to the tannery and taxidermist in the US.

    All the best to you,
    Dave
     
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  7. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats on booking the safari! Enjoy the planning and the anticipation!
     

  8. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I think you will have the trip of a lifetime!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     

  9. jeff

    jeff AH Legend

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    The problem is once you go you'll go again and again, a wonderful addiction!!!
     

  10. EDELWEISS

    EDELWEISS AH Enthusiast

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    You'll be planning your next safari on your flight home--trust me. Oh and the planning is at least half the fun.
     

  11. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Congrats on the hunt and welcome to the forum!
    I passed on eland my first trip and regretted it since, once you see one make your decision. Everything strikes you different on the ground, looking at the real deal. I prefer to take my own rifles, it isn't a big hassle at all in SA. I will be in the Limpopo and hopefully Namibia in 17, hope somewhere along the way to add a eland to my wall. Take what Africa gives you and enjoy the trip.
    Cheers,
    Cody
     

  12. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats Byron. You are going to have the time of your life.
     

  13. petrusg

    petrusg AH Elite

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    Thats great! Hope you are going to have a successful hunt
     

  14. abenson229

    abenson229 AH Member

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    Congratulations! I've just started the first baby steps in planning my own first trip. This site has been an eye opener...there's almost too much info to take in.
     

  15. redassnavajo

    redassnavajo AH Veteran

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    Congrats! You will have a ball. I recommend Intercontinental Hotel right across the street from terminal by convienince I have stayed at Afton and Safari Club both nice places with good people but I like the Quills restaurant at IGH (holiday inn) little nicer and you can use travel points to book and most of all no shuttle to take.
    Eland are majestic once you see a wild one in person they are amazing I passed on one on first trip and I regretted it but kinda glad I did they were bigger in SA than Namibia. Good job on the Delta flight seats are more comfortable than SAA flight (4 hours shorter too) add the springbuck and impala as they are cheap add ons. Enjoy
     

  16. Savage Hunter

    Savage Hunter AH Fanatic

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    May as well go ahead and book your second one now.:)
     
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  17. AZDAVE

    AZDAVE AH Elite

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    Congratz on your first safari, you will have a blast. I wouldn't trade out the eland, (That is one of my favorite PG hunts) just save a few extra dollars and add the Impala and Springbok. Enjoy the prep time and go have an experience of a lifetime! Then plan the next experience of a lifetime.
     

  18. peras

    peras AH Elite

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    Congratulations! Enjoy the planning.
     

  19. Savage Hunter

    Savage Hunter AH Fanatic

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    on the exchange for the Eland. A waterbuck is really cool.
    I might would take that exchange for the waterbuck, impala, and springbuck.
    Get more bangs for the buck.
    You can always get an eland on your next trip...... which will be sooner than you now imagine.

    Been twice. my waterbuck is my favorite animal I've taken and it gets the most comments from visitors in my home.
    Eland is on my list if I go back, along with warthog, impala, hartebeest, blue wilderbeest.
    My 2 animals I really want, though, are Sable and cape buffalo.

    Here is my waterbuck from field to wall.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 6, 2016
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  20. Rikus

    Rikus New Member

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    Congrats! It looks like you have put a lot of thought and planning into this trip and that's how it should be. As for your target list, according to my experience as professional hunter, the first list will be the more challenging and the one that I will go for. As for the trophies, my choice would be 2, especially if those to include Eland and Kudu.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 7, 2016

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