How Do Y'all Pay for these Safaris?

FallowJaeger

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I dream of going on a Hunting Safari to South Africa or Namibia. My concern is how do members of this forum pay for their trips? I believe many of you are very success in your business and careers, you have put in the work over the years to be able to afford to take hunting trips. I also see families going on Safari, I just would like to know if anyone has tips or suggestions on how to save, or make money on the side.

My wife and I both work, we have two young children. We work hard, paid off our student debts, paid cash for our cars, and our mortgage payment is very low. I can't justify to my spouse going to Africa if the house isn't paid off. She is very supportive of my hunting hobby, and she would love to go back to Africa (she has been all over for Africa for her work but is in a different role now, she doesn't travel anymore) but is concerned about how we can pay for a Safari.

I know this is a random question. Any advice or in general advice would be appreciated.
 

thriller

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Save your pennies a few at a time is about all you can do until it ads up and you can jump on a good deal when it pops up
 

Bullthrower338

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I got a divorce and BOOM, I’ve hunted internationally every year since! Then again I’m not a very rational or practical thinker either. I do things because I want to, I find no need to justify my actions to anybody, if my boss doesn’t like it, he can fire me, girl doesn’t like it, the door is over yonder, gun safe full, they will sell you another one and not blink an eye! I don’t sweat retirement, probably die working or doing something stupid in the mountains. My kids have a large insurance policy in their name so no worries there.
One day I realized that I have done everything in my life to set myself up for when I’m old and all of it went away almost overnight. I decided I’m going to enjoy what the good lord has provided on this earth while I still can, I will make a plan later on the rest.
Or I guess you could put a few grand away each year and hope you don’t get hit by a train before you have enough rat holed to enjoy it!
Carpe diem,
Cody

Disclaimer: taking either marital or financial advice from Bullthrower338 is not recommended. Not particularly good at either!
 

K-man

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Disclaimer: taking either marital or financial advice from Bullthrower338 is not recommended. Not particularly good at either!

Yes but you have more practice than most of us.....

I posted a few years ago how I paid for a safari, gave up Starbucks and donuts 5 days a week ( About$7 a day) adds up to over $1600 per year. One other item like that and you have $3k a year, 2 years and you can go on safari, another to pay for taxidermy. Or you can do a side job for extra cash and save that. Also check the donated auctions, some of them can be almost 1/2 price. You can do a lot when you have a goal and a little discipline. Good luck and tell us when you go
 
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Eric Zelanko

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Sounds like you have already started the process when you said you "dream of going on a safari." In my opinion, that's a critical first step. Many of my hunting friends have no desire to go thinking it is dangerous, expensive, or not their thing. You've obviously done a little research and have the desire to make the trip. Kudos to you.

Costs of a safari vary depending on location, animals hunted, and the particular outfitter. In my experiences, I've been able to locate places that matched my desires and budget. For more common plains game, the cost has been close to what some pay for a midwest whitetail hunt or elk hunt (not counting air fare).

I appreciate your concern of using family dollars for a hunting trip. As such, I put back dollars I earn outside my regular pay to fund hunting excursions: overtime, bonuses, side jobs, etc. I call it my "mad" money. Of course if something comes up that needs immediate attention, that money might have to be used. You'd be surprised how quickly it grows knowing its intended use.

I put off purchase of a new vehicle for years knowing the payments would hinder my ability to travel. I do oil changes, brake jobs, and other minor car repairs myself. Same goes for home repairs in general. Its all about priorities. Do I need the latest greatest tv or cell phone? No.

It might take you 1, 3, or 5 years to save enough for your safari. During that time, you'll be able to research what you want to hunt, where you want to hunt, and who you want to hunt with. You'll begin to think about what gear you'll need. You'll talk to people who have been there and seek any advice you can get. You'll practice and practice some more. Preparing for a hunt is almost as exhilarating as the hunt itself.

Good luck.
 

IdaRam

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I got a divorce and BOOM, I’ve hunted internationally every year since! Then again I’m not a very rational or practical thinker either. I do things because I want to, I find no need to justify my actions to anybody, if my boss doesn’t like it, he can fire me, girl doesn’t like it, the door is over yonder, gun safe full, they will sell you another one and not blink an eye! I don’t sweat retirement, probably die working or doing something stupid in the mountains. My kids have a large insurance policy in their name so no worries there.
One day I realized that I have done everything in my life to set myself up for when I’m old and all of it went away almost overnight. I decided I’m going to enjoy what the good lord has provided on this earth while I still can, I will make a plan later on the rest.
Or I guess you could put a few grand away each year and hope you don’t get hit by a train before you have enough rat holed to enjoy it!
Carpe diem,
Cody

Disclaimer: taking either marital or financial advice from Bullthrower338 is not recommended. Not particularly good at either!
This may be the best post of 2018
 

Mark Biggerstaff

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I am by no means well off or have a retirement account for future to live off of. At 55 yrs old and working 55-60 hour weeks at reasonable pay I decided it was time to live and enjoy life while I can. I have had some health issues and decided it was time. Luckily I am single, no kids. I have a second job teaching some classes once or twice a month for extra income for hunting. You have to make your mind up you want to go and you will find the way to finance it. I did. I went on my first safari this year for 7 days and shot 8 animals. Going back in 2019 for Buff and what ever else crosses my path I want. I set a budget to reach in June when got back I needed for second trip. I have already reached it then some. You can donit if you make your mind up. I proved that to myself. I cut here and there on other things and made it happen. So can you.
 

Hank2211

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Interesting question.

Everything in life involves trade-offs. If you save for and spend on one thing, you aren't spending on other things. At least for those of us not in the billionaire crowd.

I know that if I had had a mortgage when I started going to Africa, it would have gone something like this: save in a special account for Africa. When the money is all there, take a look at booking the hunt. Then begin to doubt the decision - because I'd compare spending the money on Africa and paying down the mortgage. And I'd pay down the mortgage, because it's the right financial decision. Then you have college for kids, if they're so inclined. Should you spend money on a trip to Africa and you or your kids borrow for student loans? Wouldn't make sense to me, so again, Africa would get postponed.

But if you go about life this way, you will prove that you can save. The time will come when your financial responsibilities will be taken care of, and you can then begin to save for Africa with an easy mind, because you aren't making interest payments to a bank - any beyond the really necessary being a complete waste of money. To each their own, but I had a hard time spending on myself for fun stuff until the basics were taken care of.

This may sound like a prescription for not going to Africa until you're an old man. But it doesn't have to be that way. The more you save, the faster your financial responsibilities will be taken care of. While you're fulfilling those responsibilities, you can always hunt locally (usually quite cheap, and you get a freezer full of meat, which saves money). And you can read, and you can plan, and you can dream. Those are often as much fun as an actual trip!

I know I derived a lot more satisfaction seeing my kids graduate college debt-free than I ever did from even my best hunts. It's all about what matters.
 

thriller

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Bold strategy even bolder to put it in writing
 

LivingTheDream

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Back to the question at hand. You sound like you are way more fiscally responsible than me. Here is how I justify it, I still have a mortgage and a small car payment, but in my life I have seen too many people say they wish they had something, or actually lose their life way too soon. Life is very short, and I will remember my first safari forever, I cannot remember when I paid off my student loans. So the tradeoff I make is this, max my 401k, make sure my living expenses dont exceed my weekly pay check, make sure the emergency fund never gets less than 4 months living expenses. After that, split 50/50 fun and investments. I still have a mortgage, but it isn't killing me, and I still have hunts to look forward to, and that keeps me motivated. I'm actually afraid some day I will complete my bucket list of hunts and become completely worthless.
 

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I have not been to Africa yet, hell I haven’t made it on my elk hunt yet either, having two children under 5 will do that to you. But, I am still doing everything possible to scrape up what dollars I can do that one day it will be. Call around and get new quotes on your car and home insurance, we’re saving $50/month that way. We cut the cord on cable and use SlingTV and Netflix and are saving $40/month there. We don’t eat out much, we cook big dinners and take leftovers to work for lunch the next day. My wife and I work in different departments for the same company so we carpool four out of our five workdays a week (our schedule is very different one day).

I can’t tell you how to save for Africa because I haven’t been able to do it yet myself. But I certainly can tell you how to save.
 

Ryan

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I'd like to report I have been selling counterfeit Girl Scout cookies for years, making a mint off of Thick Mints. Everyone wants another 10+ boxes by summer, no one notices the difference in names and if you sell them by Amazon no one ever realizes you aren't a ten year old trying to become the #1 seller in the country. But I can't.

Basically what Thriller said.

I have a separate savings account from my usual saving and checking. One I have to log in separately. Every paycheck I transfer into it for the next hunt. Rule of thumb for how much is I double whatever my next hunt is to cover airfare and most of the taxidermy then divide that by however many paychecks between now and then. Usually two years away, so 52 paychecks. I add a little extra here and there when I can. That covers extras like extra animals and such. I make sure I can safely do this, then I make sure it's the first transfer each check. I don't look at but maybe every few months to keep from being tempted to use it. It's worked three times so far.
 

FallowJaeger

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I have not been to Africa yet, hell I haven’t made it on my elk hunt yet either, having two children under 5 will do that to you. But, I am still doing everything possible to scrape up what dollars I can do that one day it will be. Call around and get new quotes on your car and home insurance, we’re saving $50/month that way. We cut the cord on cable and use SlingTV and Netflix and are saving $40/month there. We don’t eat out much, we cook big dinners and take leftovers to work for lunch the next day. My wife and I work in different departments for the same company so we carpool four out of our five workdays a week (our schedule is very different one day).

I can’t tell you how to save for Africa because I haven’t been able to do it yet myself. But I certainly can tell you how to save.

We are living the same life, I have two children under 4. We cut the cord two years ago, save almost $100 by using a Roku and basic apps. We change to the best insurance, we set to save allot this year. I eat leftovers all week. I love your advice, it's always about saving. We are good at that, just have to find a way to make more money.
 

JakeH

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We are living the same life, I have two children under 4. We cut the cord two years ago, save almost $100 by using a Roku and basic apps. We change to the best insurance, we set to save allot this year. I eat leftovers all week. I love your advice, it's always about saving. We are good at that, just have to find a way to make more money.

I think in our situation it’s just waiting out those daggum daycare costs. We’re making appropriate plans for our future, but adding $400/month back to the budget would go a long ways toward hunting something other than whitetail and black bear.
 

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My wife and I both hunt and fish together. We’ve been lucky and both had good jobs. The way we saved is maxed out 401k at work. Lived way below our means !! Took our lunches to work. Didn’t eat out much. Had nice cars and trucks but not a BMW or a King Ranch truck!! All kinds of ways to save money. As Dave Ramsey says do you need it or just want it. We still watch a 42” tv and I’m driving a 2007 truck with a Cummins it. Planning on another 10 years with it. One of my best friends had 2 strokes when he was 42! Was in great shape. Two of my best friends died this year!!!! One was 63 and the other was 61. None of us know our expiration date. 12 years ago we started our bucket list! In February will make our 4 th trip to Africa. We have tons of memories together in the last 32 years of marriage and we hope we have at least 32 more!! I’m 63 and my wife is 59. We retired 1.5 years ago and said it’s time to see the world!
 

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Like most folks not born with a trust fund, I think monetary success is a function of ability, hard work, and a bit of luck. I did not go to Africa for the first time until 2008 when I was 56 years old. I had spent 29 years in the military (which did give me the opportunity to hunt a number of interesting places on the cheap). Few leave a career in the Army (particularly in a command track) with anything but debt, though perhaps also, a good reputation for getting things done. In 2003, immediately after retiring, I joined a major defense corporation earlier than the vast majority at my rank, and the CEO gave me the opportunity to succeed or fail running one of their business units. For more than a decade, we succeeded very well indeed. In 2014 I was able to retire, and should I drop dead tonight, we owe nothing on our home. But there were a lot of bleak years where we wondered how we would pay for new curtains in the quarters we were moving into every 12 to 24 months - much less college. But we kept at it, and that work and worry was rewarded. My bride is not a hunter, but we love traveling together. Often I combine a hunt with a vacation in Europe or South America. This year we were in Spain and next year Argentina and Austria. Stay the course.
 

wesheltonj

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Well, first marry well. Short of that, save where ever you can. Don't drink coffee, cokes, etc., except at home where they are cheap. Skimp where you can. For example, I drink Johnny Walker Black instead of instead of Macallen 18 year (sure sometimes I do). Eat lunch at Subway or bring your lunch. Fly Coach instead of Business. Lots of ways to save. And save it, don't spend it.

I have a small amount left on my mortgage, 3 car loans on 3 MB's and no steady income for at least the next four years (except for my wifes' small pension) and a daughter starting college in one year, but my wife and I have managed to save a nice little nest egg, and am planning my next trip hopefully this spring/summer (looking hard at a trip available here, if I can see some reviews before DSC, I will be booking it). Yes, both my wife and I had good jobs, until for me this year and my wife who retired three years ago.

If you really want to go bad enough, bid on a DSC or SCI donated "plains game" hunt. You will get the hunt for a fraction of the price that you would otherwise pay. Most of the plains game hunt either don't sell or sell for a fraction of their value. Yes, it will be "cheap" animals but you will be going and you can also add animals.
 

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I would also look at flights. to me this is one of the biggest cost is flying over and back. Going later in the season. say end of September or first of OCT. You should save several hundred bucks. Will still be very good hunting and might run into some late season deals
 

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