ETHIOPIA: Northern Operations Africa 2016

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by Hank2211, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. Hank2211

    Hank2211 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Those who have read my previous hunt reports may well have wondered how these things could be any longer. Well, wonder no more. They can become longer because I've decided to start from the beginning, before the hunt! Anyone unhappy with this development can take it up with @BRICKBURN, who gave me the idea.

    Some of you might recall (from my hunt report) that in April of this year I returned from a hunt for nocturnal species in the Limpopo region of South Africa. That was not the “real” hunt for 2016 (that’s my story). The actual, "real" hunt for 2016 was always going to be a hunt for Mountain Nyala, which I booked some two years ago. Departure date for that hunt is November 2, 2016. This is about that hunt.

    So, from the top. Why Mountain Nyala? Simple. I am overly goal oriented. I decided a long time ago that I was unlikely ever to hunt rhino, so the big five, as a goal, was out of the question (even though I have the other four). I have nothing against rhino - in fact, I find those I have come across in the wild so placid, generally, that I imagine shooting one would be something like shooting a cow. Now, I have only seen white rhino in the wild, and I’m (reliably, I think) informed that black rhino are an entirely different matter (reading Ron Thomson's stories about these animals makes your hair stand on end!). But black rhino hunts are few and far between, and I could have any number of safaris for the cost of one such hunt. So rhino, and the Big 5, are out.

    It took me two safaris in Zimbabwe to shoot a kudu. I was almost desperate to get one. I was excited when I finally did connect, although it happened so fast that I had no time to really enjoy the hunt. Oddly, perhaps, but that isn't what started me on a quest for the nine spiral horned antelope. As beautiful as a kudu undoubtedly is, it was a bushbuck which I shot in the Matetsi area of Zimbabwe on my third safari which got me hooked on the spiral horns. These are beautiful animals, as fierce as the kudu is timid, and I think, the more difficult of the two animals to hunt.

    One of the advantages - or disadvantages, depending on your perspective - to hunting the spiral horned antelope is that you will need to visit more countries in Africa than you would for the Big 5. Not all of those countries will be as congenial as South Africa (all things are relative!), but they will be interesting.

    So far I have picked up all of the spiral horned except some of the tough ones. I still need the Mountain Nyala, the lesser kudu and the Lord Derby eland.

    That explains the Mountain Nyala. And that also explains the destination. The only country where Mountain Nyala can be hunted is Ethiopia, and fortunately, that country also offers the lesser kudu, so I hope to kill two antelope with one . . .er, stone, as it were, on this upcoming hunt.

    This wasn't an easy decision. Ethiopia as a hunting destination leaves much to be desired, and were it not for the Mountain Nyala, I very much doubt that many people would choose to hunt there. The government knows they have something special, and they use that knowledge to squeeze the most money possible from hunters. This is done in a number of ways.

    First, the government specifies the length of the hunt. To shoot a Mountain Nyala requires that the hunt be at least 16 days, and if you add on a leopard, you increase the length of time of the safari. And then if you add on still other species in different areas, you add time. My safari is required to be 30 days, since I have added the lesser kudu, which is found in an entirely different part of the country. Secondly, they charge high trophy fees for the unique species - the Mountain Nyala itself is $15,000. Thirdly, the trophy fees are payable in advance, and are not refundable if you are unsuccessful. Fourthly, because of the advance payment requirement, you can't add animals as you go. It's the non-refundable nature of the trophy fees which I find the most egregious. As a result, though, you don't complain about a long safari. I have no intention of going home empty handed.

    Another result of this system - for good or bad - is that you know in advance what you’re looking for, and you won't deviate from that, regardless of temptation.

    My trophy list is as follows:

    Mountain Nyala: Because it's the main goal of the safari.

    Lesser kudu: Because that's the secondary main goal of the safari.

    Leopard: These are not importable into the US, but are into Canada, so I'm told they aren't hunted much. Apparently there are some big ones. My first - and only - leopard was more or less ruined when the ungrateful beast charged us, not once, but twice. After as many rounds of buckshot and bullets as it took, the skin wasn't worth using for anything other than to fix the patches on a head mount! I have promised my PH no charges this time, even though I actually found it quite exciting!

    Sommerings Gazelle: Because I've never hunted gazelle, and I don't expect to be back.

    Salt's Dik-dik: I need only a couple of species to finish the Tiny Ten (Suni and Sharpe's Grysbok). This won't help with that, but I very much enjoy hunting the little guys.

    Baboons: there are three or four types in Ethiopia, some of which are expensive (Galada: $3,000) while others (Anubis: $100) are not. I will try for the ones which are not expensive. Can't see myself starting a baboon collection anyway.

    So that's it, unless I can add a hyena. Not a lot for 30 days (by my past standards!), but should give me a reasonable chance of success. Provided I shoot straight.

    DSC00139 (1).jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2016

  2. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Elite

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    Not a lot for 30 days! That's an awesome safari! I was just thinking you were going for Mountain Nyala, then lesser Kudu and I was excited and then throw in a leopard!!! Now I have to research gazelle and dik dik. I can't wait to hear more and see some pictures.

    I found Addis Ababa airport interesting not sure if you are flying in there or not.

    Any last preparations?
     

  3. Royal27

    Royal27 AH Ambassador

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    Can't wait Hank!

    That's a pretty cool lost and what an adventure.
     
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  4. CAustin

    CAustin BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Good luck Hank! Wish I could take off that long!
     

  5. Brent in Az

    Brent in Az AH Elite

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    You seem like an analytical man, who thinks things through, and know what you want. Kudos! Sounds like a exciting hunt.
     

  6. Scott Slough

    Scott Slough AH Fanatic

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    You had me from the beginning!
     

  7. Ragman

    Ragman AH Fanatic

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    Awesome. I love your writing style, so the longer the report the better! Can't wait!
     
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  8. thi9elsp

    thi9elsp AH Fanatic

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    I"m looking forward to the forum's Christmas present - your stories of success!
     

  9. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    I'm not the only one encouraging you.
    Always the more the merrier from my perspective.
    I'll be out freezing my butt off chasing whitetails wondering how you are doing in the mountain jungle.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2016

  10. Wheels

    Wheels AH Legend

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    Sounds like a great adventure Hank.

    Hope it goes the way you want it to.

    Look forward to reading all about it.
     

  11. Hank2211

    Hank2211 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Retirement isn't an unalloyed joy, but it does have certain advantages!

    Thanks. I can always hope . . . I think the key is not to over-think things - which I can do.
     
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  12. Riksa

    Riksa AH Veteran

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    Why buy a book when we could sponsor Hank to hunt more. Good luck and we are expecting a lengthy story!
     
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  13. Hank2211

    Hank2211 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Now this is a plan I can get behind!
     
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  14. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH Elite

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    With the pre-paid, non-refundable trophy fees and the length of hunt requirements, I'd need to do a "GoFundMe" to have a hunt like this. I think reading your reports will have to do and I look forward to it.

    I'm currently reading "The Scramble for Africa" and learned that the name of the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, means "new flower". Elevation is 7500 ft, so yes it is indeed in the mountains.
     

  15. reedy0312

    reedy0312 AH Ambassador

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    Wow, mountain Nyala!!! Cant wait for the report and pics
     

  16. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Hank good luck and hope all goes your way on this trip. I think a mtn nyala is one of the best hunt you could ever do so tell the story good because I will be living this hunt through you.

    Don't they have a different kind of bushbuck up there also
     

  17. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Ambassador

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    Hope it goes great Hank and look forward to your report!
     

  18. Hank2211

    Hank2211 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Bill, they do have two interesting bushbuck species in Ethiopia. The Abyssinian Bushbuck is found in Ethiopia and Tanzania, I think. Trophy fee is $1,000 but no quota is available apparently. There is quota for Melenik's Bushbuck, which is found only in Ethiopia. But the trophy fee is $6000!!!! Another example of the government putting a huge price on something found only in Ethiopia.

    As for whether this is common, I note that Cameroon charges about $3,5oo for Bongo. Now bongo is found elsewhere so it's not a completely fair comparison, but no none (in their right mind!) would hunt CAR these days, and Congo isn't much better.

    As much as I love bushbuck, I can't justify that price to myself. Or to my wife.
     
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  19. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH Legend

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    Sounds like the start of a incredible adventure. I am looking forward to all you can tell us about it. I had thought of Mtn Nyala also, but they are out of my price range. Best of luck and shoot straight... I'll be doing my own adventure at the beginning of yours. Looks
     

  20. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    wow yeah I would not put out 6000 either for a chance at getting one. Crazy how some of the countries do things that only hurts them really in the end. Maybe you can hunt one with a camera and get some nice pics of a bushbuck
     
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