Any Surprises While On Safari In Africa?

Kowas Adventure Safaris

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What were the things or aspects that surprised you the most when on safari in Africa?
Something(s) that you were not prepared for, or you did not know, or that you thought be different?
Surprises could be pleasant or unpleasant. Please share it with us.
 

TTundra

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For me, it was the notion of changing the hunt to another animal in a split second. If we spent the day hunting Zebra, we may very well be presented the opportunity to very quickly change mindset and get setup for a shot on a warthog, Impala, or any game that the PH might come out and say "woah, that is a huge "blank""

In the states, we spend all day, and then day(s) in search for 1 specific species, and I found that if you don't let go of that mentality you will pigeon hole yourself out of missing a great animal to harvest and hunt. I would also say the feeling quickly went away for me, but it was something that I thought about my first day or two.

Everyone makes their "list", but its good to also really let Africa give you what she wants to.
 

thi9elsp

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More driving than expected. More hiking than expected. Neither was bad, just didn't realize how much. How much I was in awe seeing my first Elephant, Hippo, Kudu, Impala, etc. Seeing the animals the first time really impacted me - I was in Africa. No more photos, articles, tv shows, etc.

Only saw one lioness and didn't hear lions at night nor hyenas nor jackals - disappointed that we didn't at least hear them on our first trip although we heard them on our second.
 

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I was surprised at the longer distances to shoot from. I had been told 100m, in reality my closest rifle shot was 235m. All shots were from sticks, which I had not practiced shooting from prior to going. Also unless bow hunting from a blind you need to be prepared to shoot at 70m.
 

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Was surprised at a couple of PH's that really had very little knowledge of the limitations of the bow. Would have expected they would go over that in the PH course.
 

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For me, it was the notion of changing the hunt to another animal in a split second. If we spent the day hunting Zebra, we may very well be presented the opportunity to very quickly change mindset and get setup for a shot on a warthog, Impala, or any game that the PH might come out and say "woah, that is a huge "blank""

+1


I would also add that to avoid any surprises, at least ones that are in your control, to clearly have a contract in place with the outfitter so the both of you know what is exactly agreed upon. That way you both are on the same page of what the agreed upon fees cover and/or don't cover, so they are no "surprises" at the end of the safari.
 

cpr0312

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The only surprise I got was a 6-7' cobra that came between me and my downed Wildebeast, lol! Next time I'm bringing snake chaps!

That reminds me of the surprise encounters I've had with cobras and mambas! :Nailbiting::Nailbiting::Nailbiting:
 

kgesch

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None of my experiences was negative - just different.
1. Lots of driving and glassing from high spots. I thought I'd be doing a lot more walking.
2. The sheer number of all kinds of animals.
3. I was surprised how much civilization there was - not bad, but not expected.
4. Everyone actually seemed pleased to see us (except our tracker/skinner who, I think, was hungover a lot - but did a fine job). We certainly felt welcome, like part of the family where ever we went.
5. How agonizingly addictive this trip was. I will go back.
 

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I was surprised how little I knew about South Africa. I remain pleasantly surprised about how much there is for me to learn about all the countries in that continent!
 

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I was pleasantly surprised at how many animals you often see in a day. My first trip to Africa I hunted Namibia my PH had never been on the property we hunted and stayed at. Not my most competent PH. Had me shoot a female red hartebeast..... The other fellow had more $$ and was catered to accordingly. I felt a little like the red headed step child... Not good surprises.
2nd trip my PH was 22 yrs old. He was hell bent on me filling "my list" and we took several animals that we shouldn't have. That was in spite of my having a chat with him about trophy quality before the hunt began. That was also the hunt that everyone that had the blood sausage got food poisoning including the PH's.
Last trip I was surprised at how nice the facilities were. All good surprises. Lots of great animals and competent PH's
Bruce
 

fourfive8

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How easily and quickly fell in love with Africa. How quickly I knew I had to go back after that first time. How good the food is. How well I have been treated there. How genuine the culture is. How good a good tracker really is. How really loud a lion can roar- literally rattling loose objects sitting on a table!!! What a hyena really sounds like. What it's like to stand close to a large bull elephant in the scrub. What the continent smells like. And so on. So yah... pretty much all positive. But also finding out what a really long economy coach flight is really like :)
 

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How easily and quickly fell in love with Africa. How quickly I knew I had to go back after that first time. How good the food is. How well I have been treated there. How genuine the culture is. How good a good tracker really is. How really loud a lion can roar- literally rattling loose objects sitting on a table!!! What a hyena really sounds like. What it's like to stand close to a large bull elephant in the scrub. What the continent smells like. And so on. So yah... pretty much all positive. But also finding out what a really long economy coach flight is really like :)
+ 1 you nailed it !!!
 

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How easily and quickly fell in love with Africa. How quickly I knew I had to go back after that first time. How good the food is. How well I have been treated there. How genuine the culture is. How good a good tracker really is. How really loud a lion can roar- literally rattling loose objects sitting on a table!!! What a hyena really sounds like. What it's like to stand close to a large bull elephant in the scrub. What the continent smells like. And so on. So yah... pretty much all positive. But also finding out what a really long economy coach flight is really like :)
Yup, +2.... on the hyena.. a hyena roar... never heard that on tv!
 

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Was surprised at a couple of PH's that really had very little knowledge of the limitations of the bow. Would have expected they would go over that in the PH course.
Only PH's that have hunted with Bows really understand this and there are many! so next time ask the question weather your PH is a bow hunter or not and request one who has bow hunting knowledge.
 

petrusg

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What were the things or aspects that surprised you the most when on safari in Africa?
Something(s) that you were not prepared for, or you did not know, or that you thought be different?
Surprises could be pleasant or unpleasant. Please share it with us.
This is a great thread
 

Art Lambart II

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I wasn't prepared for the tall grass covering up the front shoulder of the PG when I hunt savanna type terrain and shooting into the sun. Trying to find your cross hairs on a BWB with the sun behind him is was a very difficult task. Next time I go to Africa my scope will have a lighted recital.
 

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