Five Star or Self Help Safari ?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by MarcelV, May 5, 2012.

  1. MarcelV

    MarcelV AH Senior Member

    May 2, 2011
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    SA Hunters, PHASA
    A while back i watched a behind the scenes video of a crew filming a hunting show,
    while watching this behind the scenes i realized that hunters are the same no matter where they are from...
    These guys rented a cabin not 5 Star all self help with the basic necessities and the had fun, BBQ sitting
    around a camp fire having a ball of a time without waiters & staff trying to please them...

    This got me thinking :)

    Over the years specifically South Africa based hunting for international guests became in my opinion
    more in the line of hunting hotels rather than lodges, or at least my perception what a hunting camp should
    be like...

    As a South African hunter i kinda believe when on a hunt i should tough it out a bit, prepare my own food and just
    live like a Hunter.. not shave for the time out there and just be a man, not worry about the creature comforts in life..

    Now this is my question to this forum, is hunting specifically South Africa becoming a bit to fancy :)

    Don't you guys just want to get out there and tough it out, prepare your own food, live like you want and just tough
    it out a bit, walk and stalk hunt, and be as close to nature as you can..

    for me i believe added to the experience it also brings saving, if outfits did not need to maintain these camps with
    all the comforts of home, staff running around making sure everything is in place it could make hunting more affordable as well..

    What is your thoughts on this ?

  2. Wolverine67

    Wolverine67 AH Fanatic

    Feb 18, 2011
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    Norway, Sweden, Poland, South Africa
    Yes, that though has striked me several times. At home I am used to live a bit primitive when hunting.
    I would gladly go on a walk and stalk, sleeping outdoor, sitting by a campfire in the evenings. Try to take a nice kudu by foot. No luxury lodge, no vehicle, carrying my needs in my backpack. Just me, maybe a friend and the ph. Just enjoy the outdoor.

  3. spike.t

    spike.t SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

    Sep 12, 2010
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    zambia, tanzania, zimbabwe, hungary, france, england
    i think there is room for both. some people would like going back to basics, but a lot of people like the "being looked after option", as this hunting trip is also their holiday, and comes with a considerable financial outlay by the time everything is factored in. on the other side you would also be depriving a large amount of camp/lodge staff of probably the only chance of employment they have. this deprives the pro hunters of a positive argument by saying we are creating jobs and an income in these countries for people that otherwise wouldnt have any.

  4. timbear

    timbear AH Enthusiast

    Mar 17, 2011
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    Fair enough, but I would like to have a choice. Personally, I would much prefer to "go bush". When hunting in NZ, I went in with a back pack, either tenting or sleeping in rough huts, and carried my game out, and I loved it! And let's be honest: I don't hunt to create jobs, I hunt to hunt. If I can go to Africa twice roughing it (or stay twice as long, hunting more animals) or once in luxury, I know what I would choose.
    Last edited: May 5, 2012

  5. Cliffy

    Cliffy AH Elite

    Sep 7, 2009
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    Hunted Zim, RSA (2), Namib(2), going again, Calif, Oregon, Arizona, Texas, Virginia, Idaho, South Dakota, Montana, Nevada, MO
    There is a company in Namibia I believe that does backpack and hunt trips. Don't know how well they are doing BUT let's GET REAL. The animals won't survive without value to the locals period. We support that value with fully catered hunts. Think about the history, 21 to 30 day tented camps with 30 or 40 native packers in old East Africa. All the comforts of home including bath tubs carried on heads. Today's safari business is only a reflection of that history. Many more people who are able to pay for this "African Experience" want the comforts afforded by good operations. For me, I've done the walk in, sit on a damp log and eat a can of beans off the fire bit. It was fun in it's time but no more. That's why we have First Class on airlines. People want the service. Secondly, I'm willing to bet not too many PHs would be willing to sleep on the ground and eat out of a can and you have to have a PH with you. Today's outfitters work their asses off trying to give the best service in the world in a 3rd world country sometimes a 100 miles from "civilization". They do a marvelous job even when things go wrong. I don't think there is 1 outfitter in a hundred in this country that can do the job the African guys do. I have marveled at their abilities 5 times now and that is why I'm going back for trip six as soon as I can save enough for even a 5 or 7 day hunt.



    Aug 5, 2010
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    Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Canada, USA, Mexico
    Remember, It is a holiday too.

    I can BS about hunting beside a campfire or inside on a nice leather couch. I enjoy both.

    There was an offer in Mozambique to have you sleep in a bag on the ground and go for an endless walk, like the "good old days". It ends up costing you just as much money because of the guys opportunity cost.
    How else is the guy to make the desired income level in the time he has to sell?

    Even though the costs are higher, I'll bet the margin would be a "little bit better" for a lodge hunt than on a sleeping bag hunt.
    If it were your business, where would you invest your time?

    There is already a huge range of services available in Southern Africa.
    From catering levels I can not personally conceive of, to farm "bunk houses" and as Marius has, the no frills "Ruff It Lodge"; A frame building with a Wood stove in it.
    For those who want less frills, look a little harder. They are out there.
    You are not going to get the same cost as outfitting yourself. The outfitter is still trying to make a living. :)

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