For Those Who Were Not Planning Safari In The 1980's, Like I Was

My first job was working in a restaurant, cleaning tables for $4 an hour. That was in 1990. The pricing is definitely relative to the time. It would have taken me 6 months work with no expenses to pay for a safari. The metrics work better today. I could never have imagined spending $100 to fill a gas tank.
I first set foot on the continent in Mombasa Kenya. In early 1980 It was all free.
A rich uncle provided everything. Unfortunately the glory days of Kenya were over by then.

I paid I think, $125 for a 3 day photo trip to a couple lodges in and out of Tsavo.

Uncle Sam gave me the first bite at the Continent. But shortly after that we were in Oman getting our ass handed to us by the desert.
the all inclusive feature of the ad is amazing. airfare, everything, no fees licenses everything for $2500 is amazing.

But except for the airfare in today’s market. in my opinion, it’s still very reasonable. 40 years from now if hunters are still able to do it, people will look back at how affordable it is today
In 1983 I was on my second tour (safari) in beautiful Beruit Lebanon, all expenses paid for by Uncle Sams Misguided Children (USMC). I was able to harvest several goats and sheep all while making sure I didn’t end up shot my own self.
It’s not ever going back to those prices that’s for sure, only going to get more expensive, and the cities more dangerous. I would say to anyone that hasn’t been, go before the chance to disappears
Day package was Sable, Kudu, Waterbuck, Bushbuck, Impala and Reedbuck for $3995. I added six days to hunt Leopard and Buffalo, that pushed it to just under $7000
As per inflation calculator, the value of this hunt today is 19,524.06 USD.
Good old days. I got all this during a single safari in 1980. Prices were very very economical compared to today ($25,000 all-inclusive, except airfare)
Magazine clipping from July, 1983 when cheap buffalo hunts were all the rage. It was short lived.

View attachment 550315
That was still a fair slab of money back then. A house in Australia was 32,000 dollars in Perth but the interest rate was 18%.
I know my wage in 82 was low when I was nursing but that changed when I went back truck driving it was 450 a week in 83 and that was bloody good money but shit you worked for it. Very few forklifts, a lot of manual loading and underpowered trucks compared to now.
Neat thread SES. Thanks for the OP.

For some dumb reason maybe 15-20 years ago I threw away all my old Safari Club Magazines. These went back to early to mid 70's. I can't remember hunting prices but before Tanzania shut down hunting around 1973, a month long full bag safari was under $10,000. There were at least two outfitters in the Selous who would line up their 100 lb's taken that year for the next years advertisements. If I recall correctly each outfitter normally had 4-6 elephants each year that met that criteria.

@Tokoloshe Safaris Somewhere here on AH are some taxidermy prices from back in the 60's and 70's. I just spent time looking and couldn't find them. Maybe someone smarter than me can help.

I have posted the following before but will do it again for comparison.

Tanzania resident hunting license at independence in 1961 cost 100TZS. Exchange rate at independence was $1/7TZS, around 1970 it was $1/14TZS. The license allowed the holder over 50 animals as I recall.

There were supplemental licenses for the following:
Elephant - 600TZS
Lion - 250TZS
Leopard - 250TZS
Sable - 100TZS
Rhino - ??? Most expensive but I don't remember a number.
There may have been other supplemental animals that I don't recall since they didn't live in our area. ie: gerenuk, lesser kudu.

3-4 elephant licenses could be bought per year. Price of ivory varied but I think the general rule was 1GBP=1LB Ivory, so an elephant with ivory in excess of 30 lbs produced a profit. There were definitely people who supplemented their income this way.

Extra buffalo license cost 10TZS each. ($1.50)

Birds were unlimited with the possible exception of Lesser Bustard.

There was a nonresident license that cost 50TZS. This license probably predated independence and may have been for Commonwealth members only. Only 10 or so animals were on this list, but it included impala, zebra, warthog and buffalo. Friends from Malawi would buy a license, go hunting with us, load up their truck with meat and return home.
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You baby boomers had it made!

I’d love to see a photo thread of the houses and hunts some of you guys had back in the day and what you paid for them.

Also consider in 1983 …. You could still manufacture and import machine guns into the USA for an additional 3 years.
Aye, the baby boomers, we had it made, NOT. Bought my first house in 1980, $77,000 with a 14% interest rate, yep easy street for us boomers...
I worked my butt off to scrape together enuf dough to make that first hunt, even as cheap as it appears to be.
This boomer gen crap is a myth!
Aye, the baby boomers, we had it made, NOT. Bought my first house in 1980, $77,000 with a 14% interest rate, yep easy street for us boomers...
I worked my butt off to scrape together enuf dough to make that first hunt, even as cheap as it appears to be.
This boomer gen crap is a myth!
Yep. I bought my first home in '82 for $85K at 14%. It started at 16% and we closed at 14 as rates were coming down. The next door neighbor's loan locked in at 16% after coming down from 18%. These were ALL negative amortization loans (FHA 245A) which are illegal now, but were the only way one with average means could buy a home back then. My loan started at 7% and when up a point each year until it reached 14%. We refinanced to 10% a few years later and thought we had died and gone to heaven. But those loans wiped out many families who could not afford the increases and they lost their homes as did another neighbor of mine. Before I bought my home, I bought a vehicle on a 18% loan. Since 2008 and up until recently, we've been living in a fantasy world of artificially low interest rates not seen since the '50s and one we will most likely never see again. When the 40 somethings I work with complain about their finances, I bring up those interest rates and you can hear a pin drop. Reality is now setting in.
Edit: Where were the bailouts then? I know, THERE WEREN'T ANY!
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In 1988, age 26, I took a 15 day hunt in the Omay area of Zimbabwe, all I can recall is it was 600.00 per day, I shot 16 animals including cape buffalo, cow elephant, leopard, but I just cannot remember any of the trophy fees. In 2000 I took a 13 day Lord Derby eland hunt for 7500.00, wow, wish I could do that for 7500.00 today, lol
In 1989 I was 20, I hunted Namibia (10 days)
2 Warthogs
Red Hartebeest
I paid for it while still living at home making minimum wage.
$2450 for the whole shebang? Not likely. Trophy fees maybe.

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