Financially ready for a Safari?

Being a Farmer I've been in debt for 40 years, but my wife and I have never had a credit card debt or loans for toys or vacations. Went on first Safari 2005 I love adventurous places and hunting them. The best thing we have going is the land payments have been going away the last few years and will be debt free in 26, every time a payment ends I get a raise that means if we can stay healthy we Safari on.
You’re not a farmer in the Pacific Northwest are you? I met a couple from up there with the last name of Bashaw back in 2014 on the way to Mozambique.
 
You’re not a farmer in the Pacific Northwest are you? I met a couple from up there with the last name of Bashaw back in 2014 on the way to Mozambique.
God bless farmers!



My wife's first cousin is a successful, independent farmer.

He might be the most savvy businessman, I've ever known.
 
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I get a lot of calls and conversations asking about safaris, generally from people that have already decided they are going to do it in the near term. In all of planning and cost threads I've read so far, nobody has yet discussed how they knew they were financially ready for a safari beyond paying for it. I thought a survey might create insights as to when a hunter is indeed "ready" based upon real-world feedback.

Based upon the feedback, I might be able to create some charts and graphs showing "when the average AH member decided they were ready".

1.) Did you have credit card, automobile, consumer debt, when you went on your first safari?
2.) Did you have a mortgage when you went on your first safari?
3.) What percentage of your annual before-tax income did you spend on your first safari?
4.) Did you finance aspects of your safari, or finance other aspects of your lifestyle to free up capital for your first safari?
5.) Were you contributing 15% of your income to retirement at the time of your first safari?
6.) Did you continue going on safaris with regularity (every 1-2 years) thereafter under a similar personal financial outlook?
7.) For repeat safari travelers, Yes or No: I will continue going on safaris regardless of the health of my current or future financial outlook.
1. NO
2. NO
3. 5-10 percent
4. NO
5. YES
6. YES
7. "Regardless" is a tough word choice. To my tolerance level of indiscriminate spending, HELL YES.

My comment - Being Financially ready for your first safari is only one aspect of it. How about your level of desire, training readiness (shooting off sticks, shot placement, etc) , travel readiness, etc... I have done many things (hell, most things), in my life before confirming I was financially ready, for better or worse. And I have had some good and bad experiences out of it, but I have had experiences. Cheers
 
^^^^ this ^^^^

Ive got a boat... but its a 10 year old 18' center console... that cost a fraction of what many of my buddies have spent on their boat...

Ive got some nice rifles.. but they cost a fraction of what many of my buddies have spent on their boom sticks and the glass on them...

Ive got a pretty nice truck... but it cost a fraction of what some of my friends have spent on their trucks...

etc.. etc.. etc...

as a result, I have done 10x international hunts over the last 6 years.. while many of my buds sit at home and question "how do you afford all those safaris?????" lol...
I’ve had multiple friends and co-workers say the same thing. One has 4 different boats, a big truck to pull them, and is a big offshore fisherman doing a bunch of tournaments. He made a comment about being rich, making more than him, and must be nice taking a week or two off at a time. I just laughed and said You bleed yours out several days each month, maintaining all your boats, fishing tournaments, and in fuel going offshore. Likened it to cutting along the tracks vs across the tracks
 
^^^^ this ^^^^

Ive got a boat... but its a 10 year old 18' center console... that cost a fraction of what many of my buddies have spent on their boat...

Ive got some nice rifles.. but they cost a fraction of what many of my buddies have spent on their boom sticks and the glass on them...

Ive got a pretty nice truck... but it cost a fraction of what some of my friends have spent on their trucks...

etc.. etc.. etc...

as a result, I have done 10x international hunts over the last 6 years.. while many of my buds sit at home and question "how do you afford all those safaris?????" lol...
Incredibly many people that I know, have exactly that type of leisure living.
Especially, the "car philosophy".
Nothing wrong with that, but their priorities define them more then they know.

Expensive car, no money for safari. Thas fine. But, this means that person is better driver then hunter. This is exactly what I usually tell them.
 
This is a very interesting thread; I've really enjoyed reading it. I would imagine most guys, especially younger are about as ready for their first safari as they are for the birth of their first kid. I don't fault guys for having lots of nice things like boats, cars, guns.....those are all physical assets that will always be worth something. Lets' face it, African Safaris are great memories, but that's about it, memories. Unless you're getting paid to hunt and write articles or be on TV, it is one of the largest non-asset expenditures one could possibly do. It depends on how much value you place on memories---for me, it's quite a lot. That being said, I have none of the expenses centered around having a family, I could care less about leaving any generational wealth to any of my blood family members, as far as I'm concerned, the book "Die with Zero", was written for me.

One thing I do find interesting about this site,..... I really wonder how many "wealthy" hunters are on here. The price of the guns that are listed and seem to sell are usually under 20k, usually way under 10k, and occasionally there is a pricey hunt opportunity listed but not all that often. Wonder if guys that are booking 100k hunts are just travelling in different circles and getting their information elsewhere. This curiosity of mine stems from the fact that I see many guys here talk about SCI, many of you seem like run of the mill fellas just like me. If that's the case who are these people that SCI is trying to appeal to with so many ads in their publications for private jet services? I mean the cost to fly in a private jet to and from Africa has got to be more in toll than any safaris most of us would ever take? And when I've been to the SCI shows, everyone is a hunter and polite and friendly for sure, but who are some of these people going to the SCI "Grammys" in sparkly coats and furs and shit?

Just some thoughts I've had over time. I know what it takes to go do the safari thing, been a mere 4 times, mostly to 'wild" africa, Zimbabwe or Moz, I see why some of the younger guys and gals on here might get frustrated and wonder if they can ever make the dream come true. My last trip was last year to Mozambique, and if the wife would have come with me I would have had 8k in just airfare, that is a ton of money to most people in today's world, pocket change for others, and not many in between. Instead of the question of "Financially ready for Safari", maybe we should be asking ourselves what are you willing to sacrifice to be able to be a safari goer?
 
I get a lot of calls and conversations asking about safaris, generally from people that have already decided they are going to do it in the near term. In all of planning and cost threads I've read so far, nobody has yet discussed how they knew they were financially ready for a safari beyond paying for it. I thought a survey might create insights as to when a hunter is indeed "ready" based upon real-world feedback.

Based upon the feedback, I might be able to create some charts and graphs showing "when the average AH member decided they were ready".

1.) Did you have credit card, automobile, consumer debt, when you went on your first safari?
2.) Did you have a mortgage when you went on your first safari?
3.) What percentage of your annual before-tax income did you spend on your first safari?
4.) Did you finance aspects of your safari, or finance other aspects of your lifestyle to free up capital for your first safari?
5.) Were you contributing 15% of your income to retirement at the time of your first safari?
6.) Did you continue going on safaris with regularity (every 1-2 years) thereafter under a similar personal financial outlook?
7.) For repeat safari travelers, Yes or No: I will continue going on safaris regardless of the health of my current or future financial outlook.

1-No

2-No

3-5%

4-No

5-Yes >15%

6-Yes

7-No
 
Like mdwest, I live pretty cheaply, in order to afford me the ability to hunt & fish in places that make some of my friends think that I'm a multi-millionaire.


I have never bought a brand new new vehicle...

I did buy a new boat in 1997 (a 1996 model that I got for a great discount on because of it's age and the fact that I was a licensed Captain and fishing guide, so there was some type of "pro" discount) and I could write it off as a legitimate business expense.


I have several nice rifles with nice optics, but I bide my time and look for really good deals.


Three weeks ago, I found a Savage Axis with a Zeiss Conquest for $225.
(I will be keeping the scope!)



I might even keep the Axis as a "truck gun".
Thats what makes me laugh, is people thinking you have to be rich to hunt Africa.
 
I’ll take the fifth amendment on answering these questions.

But, having just returned from my 3rd costly safari in 13 months, I’ve gotta take a break and recover from self induced poverty. Heck, my next hunt, in Zambia, won’t be until October of next year!
 
being financially ready for a safari is a relative equation...

there is a huge difference in the cost, planning, and time needed to be invested depending on what we're talking about... someone interested in dipping their toe in the water and seeing what hunting in South Africa or Namibia with a basic $3500 PG hunt is a very different thing than someone going all in on their first outing with a $15K budget for trophy fees with the intent of pursuing a large bag of animals..

the average middle class American can pretty easily afford a basic PG hunt without having to be too concerned about the finances.. Ive shown numerous guys how they can spend a week with their wife in South Africa chasing PG for the same cost as spending a week with their wife at Disney...

If the typical middle class American can afford a trip to Disney every few years without breaking the bank.. they can also afford a trip to South Africa (or Namibia)... the problem isnt cost.. the problem is education and awareness... they all THINK that Safari is only for fat cat, uber wealthy people with more money than sense.. they dont know or understand that they dont NEED to plan or save any differently for a hunt in Africa than they would need to plan or save for a week in Cabo or Cancun or the Bahamas (as long as they are willing to keep things basic and simple)..

Being financially responsible should be a priority no matter what your hobbies/habits are.. Most shouldnt need to change anything or place greater priority on savings, being debt free, etc than they are already doing prior to considering a hunt in Africa..

Its just a matter of figuring out what it is you want to do with your time and where it is you want to spend your discretionary income... do you want do sun your buns on the beaches of Aruba and drink fruity cocktails with umbrellas in them this year? or do you want to hang out with a cartoon mouse and spend $50 a meal for hotdogs and other park food while riding roller coasters and watching the Lion King production? or do you want to chase an impala, a warthog, and a blue wildebeest for a week?

when you start to add up all of the associated costs.. all three trips end up +/- within a couple of thousand dollars of each other depending on how important things like the quality of the hotel room(s), quality of meals, etc you want..

For those that have more discretionary income, they might be able to plan a larger hunt, or a hunt with more expensive animals, etc.. but thats not different than those with more discretionary income planning a week on the beach in bora bora instead of a week on the beach in Cozumel..

A safari is accessible by just about anyone... there are plenty of working class guys here on AH alone that provide proof/evidence of that.. while some might not be able to afford to do a leopard hunt every 24 months.. just about everyone other than the lowest paid day laborer types can do a basic PG hunt every 12-36 months without much adjustment to the way they live their day to day lives..
Well said mdwest!
 
I will add to this topic.
My last car lasted for 18 years. It died of natural causes.

Although not crucial for my financing of safari, it certainly contributed to my savings. My next car was suzuki suv, 2nd hand, fairly new 17.000 km, when bought, 40% down from the price of the same, new car at dealers shop. Certainly it helps for safari financing, when compared to buying brand new car, on a loan.

All going well, i just need to buy one more car, when going to retirement. 3 cars in a lifetime. Enough.
 
Not one respondent painted the picture: "It was my dream, i mortgaged the house, quit my job, ran off to the bush".

Obviously the statistical samples are still too small to be meaningful, but they are leading to a conclusion that safaris are not a "rich man's game" but rather they are a "planners game".

From recalling many responses to Deals that are posted periodically..... I find it surprising that there are not any responses from the crowd that relies upon winning the lottery? "Wow what a great deal on a dream hunt! I went right out and bought my lottery tickets. Will be booking that hunt just as soon as I win!"


Or is the lack of such responses simply because they never win? Hmmmmm.
You guys are raining on my parade! I've been going back and forth on which was the better plan! I already quit my job, so I'm halfway there on the 1st method....

As another that's still in the planning phase of safari #1, some of the questions aren't applicable. Haven't had a mortgage or debt for more than a decade, and don't like paying interest, so financing a trip is not likely. Not sure what % will be spent, as that's a variable yet to be determined. No longer contributing to retirement funding, but haven't had a need to include any of those funds to maintain my active recluse, err, retiree lifestyle so far.
Being an active diver, finding a way to redirect finite resources is one of the challenges. I've found a way to reduce the cost of diving; I got my brother to move to Bonaire so I don't have to pay for a resort there, lol. Not sure if that's an option for Africa.
I doubt one trip will scratch the itch as a bunch of you enablers have indicated, certainly didn't for diving, so I'm working through a long term plan to enable that. My son knows my plan is to spend his inheritance before I'm gone, so it's my duty to keep that promise to him; multiple safaris should make it easier.
 
1.) No, payoff credit card monthly
2.) Yes
3.) 10%
4.) No
5.) Yes
6.) No. Although finances were similar, other trips took priority. 2011, 2016 (Did New Zealand that year too) hoping to go in 2025. More personal decision on trips with friends vs. financial ability.
7.) No. I am now retired (2018) and I view my finances differently than before retirement. A dollar too much spent now, cannot be made back. However, we can financially do a safari, but again it is travel with family and friends vs. my desire to go to Africa regularly.

As an aside, we paid off the mortgage and were completely debt free when I retired. A key step I wanted to achieve. We have in the past 12 months taken on financing for a tow vehicle and travel trailer. Those payments don't impact our ability to go on safari, but the time allocation now becomes a key component of the decision.
 
I got my brother to move to Bonaire so I don't have to pay for a resort there, lol. Not sure if that's an option for Africa.
Well, do you have another brother? A brother in law perhaps? Preferably a wealthy and gulible one;)
 
I get a lot of calls and conversations asking about safaris, generally from people that have already decided they are going to do it in the near term. In all of planning and cost threads I've read so far, nobody has yet discussed how they knew they were financially ready for a safari beyond paying for it. I thought a survey might create insights as to when a hunter is indeed "ready" based upon real-world feedback.

Based upon the feedback, I might be able to create some charts and graphs showing "when the average AH member decided they were ready".

1.) Did you have credit card, automobile, consumer debt, when you went on your first safari?
2.) Did you have a mortgage when you went on your first safari?
3.) What percentage of your annual before-tax income did you spend on your first safari?
4.) Did you finance aspects of your safari, or finance other aspects of your lifestyle to free up capital for your first safari?
5.) Were you contributing 15% of your income to retirement at the time of your first safari?
6.) Did you continue going on safaris with regularity (every 1-2 years) thereafter under a similar personal financial outlook?
7.) For repeat safari travelers, Yes or No: I will continue going on safaris regardless of the health of my current or future financial outlook.
1. No
2. No not on primary residence. But did have a mortgage on a lake cottage.
3. Not enough to feel it.
4. No
5. Not answerable. Self employed without any pension but with a considerable asset base. Maxing out IRA funds but that is insignificant in big picture, and through a financial advisor as useful as a real estate agent. (He's been fired, and not hiring another)
6. Yes
7. No. I cannot see it happening, but if it did I cannot be that financially irresponsible.
 
1.) Did you have credit card, automobile, consumer debt, when you went on your first safari?
No
2.) Did you have a mortgage when you went on your first safari?
No
3.) What percentage of your annual before-tax income did you spend on your first safari?
25% but worked a ton of overtime to defray the cost
4.) Did you finance aspects of your safari, or finance other aspects of your lifestyle to free up capital for your first safari?
No
5.) Were you contributing 15% of your income to retirement at the time of your first safari?
Yes
6.) Did you continue going on safaris with regularity (every 1-2 years) thereafter under a similar personal financial outlook?
4 years
7.) For repeat safari travelers, Yes or No: I will continue going on safaris regardless of the health of my current or future financial outlook.
Yes, but the frequency will be determined by physical and financial health
 
My comment - Being Financially ready for your first safari is only one aspect of it. How about your level of desire, training readiness (shooting off sticks, shot placement, etc) , travel readiness, etc...
I only agree partially with this. Desire will be there or not.. but spend any time on this site and if your desire isn't peaked I don't think you have to worry about the rest. Just move on;)

Training readiness will come together quickly if you have strong desire and especially if you book a trip! So I disagree on this one. If you want to go and be prepared, this will be covered automatically.

Travel readiness can be a problem if you have little kids. Perhaps job related and have to get time off but with some planning that should be doable. If you have health related travel restrictions, of course you are going to have to work through that.

More power to the young people who are making it work to go hunt Africa.... However it seems to mostly be a middle age to older person thing by the time one is really "ready".
 
Well, do you have another brother? A brother in law perhaps? Preferably a wealthy and gulible one;)
I do, but he's the oldest, most responsible of my siblings (my Mom keeps telling me that's a real positive). I do have a wealthy Uncle; I think he even likes me. :E Hmmm:
 
Financially ready for safari? Relevant question.

Wheels up in 42 days - Bongo and forest sitatunga, Cameroon. Starting to get excited!

Happy hunting to all, TheGrayRider a/k/a Tom.
 

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