Ever wonder why we dont hear much about Zambia here???

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by sestoppelman, Jun 30, 2019.

  1. The Artistry of Wildlife

    The Artistry of Wildlife SPONSOR Since 2014 AH Elite

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    ZAMBIA, Special place Lower Lupande, Luangwa Valley is like no place in Africa. 14 Safari's in lots of African Countries. Zambia IS WILD AFRICA......Lions and leopards walking across the camp. Elephants walking thru camp, Hippos at night in camp. I would say Zambia was my most wild and best of all my safari's. Herds of thousands of Buffalo. Elephants daily block the roads as you drove . Day light leopard sighting regular, Lions around lots of corners, Game NUMBERS incredible.....
     
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  2. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    As you know Scott my guy in Benin offered us a great deal on buff,roan, bushbuck and wildebeest. Trophy fees very reasonable and day rates competitive. Again as you know he had zero issues in camp this year. Myself and @LivingTheDream will book next summer if all remains stable after the next hunting season. I too looked at Zambia and agree the prices are quite high. I could never figure out why charter flights are crazy priced. I flew to NZ cheaper than what I've seen in Zambia and Zim.
     
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  3. jeff

    jeff AH Legend

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    $ 6,000 doesn't sound too bad for the Roan trophy fee but the total hunt cost of $ 30,000 - $ 40,000 seems extremely high !
     

  4. The Artistry of Wildlife

    The Artistry of Wildlife SPONSOR Since 2014 AH Elite

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    Always deals to be had you gotta find them ...Zambia was 2 weeks in country, No Charter flight all commercial flights then less than an hour drive to camp , Buffalo, Waterbuck, Puku, Warthog, Leopard, Zebra, Croc, Hippo and Hyena = 30K
     
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  5. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Correction on my post, not wildebeest, western hartebeest
     

  6. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Fanatic

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    My first buff hunt was to Zambia before it closed down for a while during the concession/gov reshuffle. It was in a large free range concession in the upper Luangwa. I had compared prices, logistics and herd/trophy health in remote free range areas in Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. At that time Tanzania was far and away much higher (too high!) while Zambia and Zim were more or less the same and much more reasonable for both PG and DG. The big draw in that area of Zambia then was leopard, lion, buff, croc, hippo, puku and some of the smalls. But many of the other larger PG I would have considered marginal at that time- unknown now.

    I don't know that anything has changed since then but maybe after the Zambia restart, operators discovered there was a high and increasing demand for hunting in the large, free range blocks that are simply not available everywhere- dunno? Maybe a harken back to and yearning for (as close as possible anyway) the old East Africa safaris of the past???

    I have both driven and used air charter to that area from Lusaka. I guarantee!! it was (is) a wild full day's hard drive with a "witching hour" restriction thrown in if passing through any of the Natl. Parks on the way as they close (at least at that time they did) all gates at 6PM. One of the wildest road trips I've ever taken in a fully loaded vehicle! Well worth it with with a unique added adventure. Whew! There was a landing strip for charters and supply planes near Chitungulu Village in the upper part of the Luangwa. I assume it is still in service but I don't know if the charters out of Lusaka are using it now or not. IIRC the road transfer wasn't cheap but less expensive than the charter. Total probably adding (at that time) about 1800 to the total cost of the trip. Not a deal breaker but one to take into account. Looking back, I wouldn't trade that hunt in Zambia nor a similar remote hunt and experience in Mozambique for anything!

    For what it's worth, the greatest density of free range Roan I've seen anywhere in Africa was in upper Tete province Mozambique. I do not know if the gov ever put them on quota or not.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
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  7. steve ahrenberg

    steve ahrenberg AH Veteran

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    That's a great story. I drove to Tondwa once from Lusaka with a young maniac PH named Terry Von Rooyen. We were in the duPlooy's old Rover. I was severely overloaded. We hit the 250 mile Mporakosa road and took all day. we broke a rear coil spring and had to rig it up by turning it over. It got us there and we hunted with it.

    I killed a Sitatunga, Roan, Blue Duiker and a Puku there. Tondo was, at that time like no other block I've hunted. It was a Garden of Eden.
     

  8. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Fanatic

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    steve ahrenberg-
    Ah ha- you indeed were there! I was in Abie duPlooy's overloaded cruiser with Abie at the wheel... and survived the trip!! We left Lusaka about 4 AM- it was pitch black. We almost head-on'd a broken down truck in the left lane on the black top maybe 10 miles outside Lusaka. Then nearly wiped out a bicycle running with no lights and no reflectors loaded with charcoal on that same more or less straight stretch of road, were on two wheels more than once on the switch backs leading down to the upper bridge crossing then got stuck in a river crossing on a two track, "short cut" road in the cane fields a ways inland after turning northwest from the Malawi border crossing near Chipata. Didn't break a spring- only a front shock bracket. Looking back on that whole trip- wouldn't trade it for the world! :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
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  9. cls

    cls AH Elite

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    Hunted buff on the luangwa in Zambia in 2017, was a hunt of a lifetime. Didn't find it all that pricey but didn't have to charter. Picked up in Lusaka, for a 6hr drive to camp, got to see some of the country that way...
     

  10. steve ahrenberg

    steve ahrenberg AH Veteran

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    Ha! I made the trip to the Kafue flats with Abie. We drove into the flats in the dark. Threw a mattress down and slept. Woke up with a thin line of pink on the horizon. Able got up and started coffee. He told me to sit on my bed, get ready to shoot.

    Had a long bipod on my rifle. As the sky became shooting light, there were Lechwe all around us. Abie told me to pick one and shoot it so we can get the hell outta here. We were headed back to Mazabuka in an hour.
     
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  11. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I go back and forth in my feeble old mind on what to do. Its hell to get old and indecisive!:rolleyes::eek: On the one hand, Zambia is a place I always wanted to go, since the days of the $2500 buffalo hunts in the 80's. But its currently a fairly spendy place to go, but is currently a very stable and comparatively safe place to go. West Africa, like Benin was a plan too, but as we have seen it has security issues to one degree or another, depending on who you talk to, but is much less expensive than Zambia for certain. It being much closer to the states and not requiring Joburg and transfers north is also attractive. I am talking with folks in Zambia and might know more tomorrow if its doable or not. Thanks for the ideas and comments guys!(y)(y):D
     
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  12. PeteG

    PeteG AH Elite

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    Tondwa is an amazing little gem of a gma.
    The road is much better now (comparatively). There is only about 130km (80mi) of dirt now to the turn into the gma. A little over 165km from Mporokoso to the lake shore and definitely a bit more navigable than in previous years.
    I use the road to get in and out to Lake Tanganyika quite regularly.
    Game numbers are looking pretty good as well in comparison to when i first started going in there 10 years ago. More common now to see Sable, Roan, Eland and all the smalls while driving around. Sitatunga need a little time to look but see them around too.
    A walk around the gma late last year we walked into an area that buff had bedded down for the night. Grass was about 10' high, was interesting getting through all that with no firearms on us...
     
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  13. PeteG

    PeteG AH Elite

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    @sestoppelman, if you'd like i can try help out a bit I'd rather help you find a good option than not come hunt here.
    Depending on which GMA you're heading to, the cost of travel will vary hugely. Drives in are not too bad and you get to see some scenery on the way that you would'nt ordinarily get the chance to.
    Some areas are 15hr drives, some are 5hrs... depends on the area and what else you're looking for.
    In any case, i'd be glad to help if in any way i can to see you hunt here.
     

  14. steve ahrenberg

    steve ahrenberg AH Veteran

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    I did my first trip there in 2005. Drove in, chartered out, directly to Nyaminga for Lion, Leopard, Buffalo...etc. Returned in 2009 IIRC for Sable, Livingstone Eland and Hartebeest. Killed a 44.5 inch sable (which was a boomer for there) and a nice Eland. Never saw a Hartebeest. Hunted with Terry both times. The road was much better in 2009 but was still all dirt.

    After the Safari we drove down to the Lake. There was an old, mostly deserted resort. Ndole Bay? It looked to have some serious potential.
     

  15. PeteG

    PeteG AH Elite

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    That first trip sounds like a magic trip!
    Hartebeest have been hit badly by poaching in the past, they are coming back though and we have seen a couple, same with waterbuck.

    That lodge is doing well now. A definite plus for a trip to tondwa would be a few days fishing on the lake. The lodge has a bunch of boats, owner runs the conservation project up in the park and wife oversees the lodge with the managers.

    Perhaps a return visit is in order? ;)
     
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  16. steve ahrenberg

    steve ahrenberg AH Veteran

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    Perhaps. I need to finish up in Tanzania next year with the Maasai species. After that, I'd love to come back to Zambia. I owe Alister a trip to go catch Vundu and see his fish farming project. Met many good folks there and consider my time in Zambia my "formative years"
     
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  17. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Deals are out there, the Luangwa is a special place!!!
     

  18. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Fanatic

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    A few remembrances for those who have been there and a glimpse for whose who haven't :)

    Baboons, big croc and eles on the Luangwa near Chanjuzi. Don't fall into the river!

    Building a vehicle bridge, sans power tools, across a slough between Chanjuzi and Fly Camp.

    Massive baobab in Nyaminga.

    Stuck at crossing northwest of Chipata.

    Croc cage at Chanjuzi built after croc grabbed Felix. (Felix survived and had a huge smile every time I ran into him around camp)

    Lioness in the long grass (with young a couple hundred yards away)- look out/keep distance! and the same true for a rank and extremely dangerous old cow ele named Charlene.... in that same general area!

    Croc and baboons Luangwa Zambia .jpg eles on Luangwa Zambia.JPG bridge cutting mopane for bridge.JPG bridge construction crew.JPG bridge finished.JPG bridge tested and passed.jpeg massive Baobab Zambia.JPG stuck in Zambia.jpg IMG_0167 2.JPG IMG_0101.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
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  19. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    At the risk of being run off, let me suggest that what this comes down to is the type of hunt you are looking for.

    If you are interested in maximizing the number of animals you can see and shoot in a day, then South Africa (and Namibia) is the place to be. By and large - not universally, but by and large - the hunting in South Africa will be vehicle "driven" (pun intended), meaning that you will typically spend more hunting time in the vehicle than on foot. This does not mean that you will be shooting from the vehicle - although in South Africa that is quite acceptable, with vehicles set up for it. At the end of the day you will return to what is usually a very nice lodge or other permanent structure. I could go into the economics of day rates and trophy fees and who owns the game and gets the trophy fees, but I will leave it at that for the moment. You can "get away from it all" in South Africa, but it isn't easy. Hunting vaal reebok on foot in the mountains of the Karoo is one example.

    If you are looking not to maximize the number of animals you can see and shoot, but rather are looking for more of what I might call an "olde tyme" African adventure, then there are places where that can be had, but they tend to be very remote, to be on state land, and often (but not always) to lack permanent structures. Examples would include forest (jungle) hunting in Cameroon - you will likely never see (much less shoot) an animal (or anything else) from the roads, but rather you will spend your days inching through thick jungle with visibility measured in feet rather than yards, in hot, humid air which does not move, surrounded by insects and other critters which want to bite you, sting you or suck your blood (or all three!). In fourteen days in the jungle I fired my rifle three times, on a grand total of two animals (I did beat a gaboon viper to death with a stick, but that's another story). The hunt was a great success. In Ethiopia to hunt mountain nyala you will need to get to high altitudes and will likely be living in temporary tents. You may drive to a hunting area, but then will have to walk, sometimes long distances, on precarious mountain trails, often in the dark, and you may well spend your day without seeing your vehicle again. I could give other examples.

    So yes, if your comparison of apples to apples is volume of animals taken at the lowest cost, then Zambia, Tanzania and other similar countries may appear to be pricing themselves out of the market. But make sure you are comparing the same things. As I've mentioned, I provided a breakdown of the costs of hunting in Benin versus South Africa, and depending on the number and type of animals you are taking, Benin may well end up being much cheaper than South Africa (because trophy fees on "expensive" game tend to by much lower in these countries.)

    You could see the more expensive countries as "paying more and getting less" but that would only be correct if the "getting" you are comparing is animals. If what you are looking for is a real wilderness adventure in a world where those are far too rare, then you may be paying more in some countries, but what you are getting is priceless.
     
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  20. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    fourfive8, thanks much for posting those pics, looks very interesting.(y)
     

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