How do you afford Africa?

Discussion in 'Before & After the Hunt' started by JPbowhunter, May 16, 2019.

  1. JPbowhunter

    JPbowhunter AH Fanatic

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    G'day all,

    Like many I want to get to africa to hunt after developing a love from books and stories read over the year.

    I read lots of hunting books as a kid (never had interest in kids books) but one book my dad bought me when I was maybe 13 that had all types of africa hunting in it struck me. I loved it thoroughly but despite the big five, mrs grey lechwe, sitatunga, bongo and all the other great animals i read of I fell especially in love with LDE. Now a hunt for them is probably the same as my annual salary but their more common cousin down south is something I've dreamt of for years as a substitute.

    I'm 28, married with a 10 month old hopefully more to come, a mortgage for our house on 2 acres outside a small town and a loan from my university days (almost got it paid off!).

    I've never been one to bathe in the limelight so I've never had a birthday party in my life. My wife (then girlfriend) tried to organise a 21st party years ago. I refused and instead did a hunting trip and managed to shoot at the time my pb fallow, beautiful white buck (around 225DS for fellow aussie hunters). That was a worthwhile birthday celebration to me. My next goal is to do a special hunt for my 30th birthday 2021.

    My choice is between a buffalo hunt in NT, diy hunt in the states or an African hunt. I couldn't afford a buffalo hunt in NT plain and simple, I'm just getting into the points game this year so doubt I'll have enough points to draw a good rifle mule deer unit in USA so that leaves Africa for an eland foot hunt.

    I know there are fellas on here who have big budgets and I'm grateful to read their hunting stories but I'm interested in hearing from the guys in similar situations to me on how they afford africa

    Do guys in a position like me take on a second job, budget differently on some things, forcibly take money out each pay, something else?

    Appreciate any advice.

    Cheers

    Jack
     
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  2. mrpoindexter

    mrpoindexter AH Fanatic

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    There are deals to be had if you look hard enough. Sites like this allow one to vet the credibility of outfitters so that a deal does not turn into a nightmare.

    I have seen starter/package deals in Africa for under $3k. While not chump change, it is certainly in the realm of affordable for those who save up for it. That does not include taxidermy or airfare or tips, but airfare can be paid for with frequent flier miles if you get a credit card that slowly builds miles when you shop online. Taxidermy can be far less expensive if you opt for Euro mounts.

    I was not planning on booking a hunt at the last SCI show I attended, but when I saw a sable hunt all in for $2950, I went out to my car and got my checkbook. That was 6 days, all inclusive. Hell, my hunting bow cost more than that.

    Also, to shave off some costs, if I am traveling for work and am out of the country, I see if I can tack on a hunt where the travel costs will be greatly reduced by cutting the distance to just a short hop from where I am to Joberg or another hunting destination. My last hunt was in Abu Dhabi when I was already in Dubai for work, so the travel was about $100 additional and I didn't lose any time on the trip over or back as they were sunk days for work. I go there once per year and found that it is only about $600 round trip from Dubai to Joberg so I expect to tack on trips to RSA often in the future if I can fit them in.

    Mostly though, I think one can find reasonable hunts if you are just looking for the experience and you can get most of the same experience of hunting a kudu by hunting a blesbok or getting a blue wildebeest instead of a Cape buffalo.
     

  3. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Absolutely true!
    I have done this once and may do it again!
     
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  4. JPbowhunter

    JPbowhunter AH Fanatic

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    I completely agree, for me that's the reason for hunting common eland instead of LDE.
     

  5. buckmarkhunter

    buckmarkhunter AH Veteran

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    I was in SA a little over a week ago. I was in camp with another couple hunters they save $150 a month and go to Africa every 5 yrs. If you think about it that way that will give you 9k for flight, trip and all the fixings. If you save more you can hunt more or go sooner. Like anything in life if you really want it it worth waiting for. Best of luck.
     
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  6. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I have found that a man can go long periods of time not spending money on frivolous things such as food, clothing and gifts for the wife. That money is much better spent on large caliber rifles, optics and ammo. Instead of 18 year old scotch, buy 12! Does the wife really need a nice car when a bicycle with a cart behind it will haul all the groceries home just fine? Bring the bride to your barber, mine costs 12 bucks, the honey badger spends 200 every 2 months or so! That’s 1200 per year or airfare to Joberg! Cancel your dish or cable, this is a savings of 1200/yr! But how will my family stay entertained you may ask? Simple, they can listen and lightly critique your varmint calling practice in the evening! I have already saved you enough money for a good PG hunt in RSA, the rest of the ideas are up to you!
    Certainly I am joking! Set your goal, book your trip and work your butt off, you will be there before you know it!
    Cheers,
    Cody
     

  7. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I think I read on AH that the average age of the first time hunter in Africa (from the US) is something like 61. Saving to make it happen for most of us is the key.
     
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  8. K-man

    K-man AH Elite

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    I posted years ago about how I did my first trip. I quit the donut/starbucks every morning, saved the $7 per day, $35 per week, $1800 per year. My first trip was an auction hunt, cost $3500 including taxidermy. My later trips cost more, but it got me started. You just have to have discipline and a plan as with most financial decisions.
     
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  9. 3S Safaris

    3S Safaris SPONSOR Since 2017 AH Enthusiast

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    Also you are able to book your airfare 270 days in advance with most airlines which allows another 270 days to add to your savings and not drop the whole load at once.
     
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  10. Northwest9

    Northwest9 AH Senior Member

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    for an aussie, its a damn sight cheaper than any other international hunting.

    you can do unguided in NZ for less than Africa, but its very hit and miss, if youve never been there before, and know of plenty of blokes who've spent heaps going back multiple times unguided, to still be empty handed. NZ guided is crazy exe for something so close

    otherwise, Europe or US hunting is astronomical compared to Africa.

    I did Namibia last year, 8 days, 7 animals, flights, taxidermy, everything, for the same cost as my 2020 canada black bear hunt will end up costing all inclusive.

    switch to elk/brown bear/moose etc, they are unaffordable, sheep are laughable

    Africa offers excellent value for money hunting, at least for us Aussies. I run a small garage business that makes enough to get me a cheapish hunt about every 2 years. after my Canadian trip, ill be heading back to Africa again

    Even Water Buff or decent Rusa here in Aus is more expensive than a week in Africa
     

  11. JPbowhunter

    JPbowhunter AH Fanatic

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    Definitely mate,

    Done NZ diy a few times, tahr ballot and just hiring a car or chopper and heading into the hills.

    Diy mule deer and black bear is high on the list. Don't think bear will be near as hard to draw but would rather wait until I can hunt muley too. Not the size of those canadian bruins though mind you! Keen to hear that hunt report!

    I hear you on the local stuff, i can't come at a buff hunt for $6-10k when the government at the same time effectively pays to have them culled. Rusa is the last of the 6 deer for me to get but again, not for what they ask, it's as you say 4 or 5 nz trips or a trip to Africa.

    The killer I've noticed in Africa is the USD pricing converted to AUD. But aside from that I see it as good value. Worst case scenario I'll head to nz for sika or cham but I'd really like to do something different.
     

  12. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Some great ideas have been posted. I'll suggest that a "hobby" that pays may also help. I cut gemstones. I buy the rough crystals and turn them into beautiful gems ready to set in jewelry. Lots of hobbies can turn a profit. Find one you like.
    Perhaps a small lawn care business on the side? Many will pay good money to have their lawn cut properly every week.
    Their are several things that you can do.
    1) cut costs on existing purchases. In the US you can buy generic instead of brand name and save 10%. Buy items used often in bulk to reduce the per item price. Most of us can shave 10% doing things like this.
    2) When you get ready look for a bargain. Cancellation hunts and auction hunts can be 20-40% less than normal. End of season hunts the same. Compare outfitters. There are some deals to be had in RSA if you look. Less hunters going there so there is a bit of competition for hunters. Research the crap out of it and when a deal comes along jump on it.
    3) As I mentioned above pick up extra $$ from odd jobs or hobbies. When you pay your schooling off make that same payment into a safari account. Work 8 hrs of overtime every 2 weeks and add that to your safari account. Look at ways to earn a little extra.
    Those come to mind for me. Others will add more.
    Bruce
     

  13. Northwest9

    Northwest9 AH Senior Member

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    i have still to get Chital, Rusa and a decent Hoggie, only shot a spiker in the blond bay ballot once.

    Chital might happen, rusa wont

    as for africa, try Osombahe-nord, they specialise in aussie hunters, and have an AUD list that matches the USD list, but not converted. heaps cheaper, and great hunting

    I want to get back to NZ for a chamois, and maybe a better tahr than i have, but didnt get a spot in the tahr ballot this year, and not sure where to find chamois. dont want to fly there, hire a car, get choppered in etc, to a spot that DOC has shot the shit out of, or the locals hammer
     

  14. Adam Stevens

    Adam Stevens AH Veteran

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    Let’s see,
    -same age give or take a year CHECK
    -an 18mth baby and second on the way CHECK
    -mortgage CHECK
    - no school loans. Luckily went trades
    - dream of Africa CHECK CHECK CHECK


    How I was able to do it.
    - been driving the same diesel truck for 10 years. It’s paid off long ago. Been a tank and owes me nothing now. New vehicles and payments eat ALOT of money up.
    - I did start saving but we built a house and I thought I’d have a good buffer. Ended up having enough for day rates before I left.
    - used my avion visa points to book flight. YVR to Harare 2000$ savings.
    - slight career change, much more overtime which has helped a lot.
    - just Wifi internet. No cable or home phone.

    So in the end, I did the hunt I dreamt of for over 13 years. I still have the magazine from 2006 which stoked the fire to hunt the Zambezi Valley for Cape buffalo. In thick cover. In close. Proper.

    Not saying it’s the right way to do it, but I threw the rest of the money on my Line of Credit loan. I had heard this advice from another fellow who’s hunted Africa multiple times. He said it’s much quicker and easier to pay something off then it is to save up for. He said why wait a few years to save and then go. Go now and pay off. I know the interest is the killer here but for me. After going in September, I had some crazy overtime over the winter. And happy to say I paid everything off and have a clean slate again.

    Thinking about my next African trip already. I dream of LDE same as you but I know that is not in the cards. Even I know my limits.

    Thinking about concentrating on dry land hippo, eland, bushbuck somewhere Zim most likely, I want to save up for an Ele bull as we can import them still but the wife is an elephant lover. Not been an easy road convincing her. If I would of known before marriage, I would of had it written down hahahaha
     

  15. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Excellent advice and I have offered essentially the same to others before. Start saving now! Save what you can afford. $50, $100 or $150 a month. Open a new savings account. Tell the wife and family no gifts just contributions to the hunt fund! Instead of going out to eat and having three drinks at dinner....buy a couple of steaks at the store and cook at home while drinking your own stock. Now put the money you saved for dinner and the baby sitter in the fund. Not every night out occasion just some of them. @JPbowhunter you will be surprised how fast that savings account grows. The best dreams come true are those you work, save and plan for.
     

  16. Chukar

    Chukar SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Coming from a fiscal conservative, here are my thoughts...

    Take care of your family first. Pay off your debts first. Those hang over you like a noose. The first thing that I would do would be to pay off the student loan. You don't disclose loan rates, but if you are close to finishing that up, I would do it. Accelerate payments, less owed. I don't know your tax situation in Australia, but sometime here in 'murica it might be tax advantaged to keep a mortgage payment for tax purposes.

    Kids are expensive.

    Stop the multiple lines of thinking. You have already given up on NT buffalo. The North America tag game is to me unreliable. DIY? Might be cheap, but you will probably have no advance scouting as you would have limited time and no awareness of the area. I wouldn't do it unless you had access to a person/land owner who could help you out with scouting and guidance. I wouldn't put any money in that fund unless there was a solid partnership. Also include airfare to Africa vs. USA in the final tally. In my simple thoughts, an African trip is the best money to put money on.

    Is a second job possible? How much will that impact your family life? Wife willing for you to be away to fund your hunting trip? Budget differently? What are you and the wife and kid and possible future kids be willing to do without you so you can be out hunting and everyone's still happy and safe?

    You state that you don't dote on birthdays but then you state that you want to do a special hunt for your 30th birthday. Request a donation for hunting funds for a future African hunt. Put the donations in an interest bearing account dedicated to your trip if that meets your family's financial needs at the time.

    You are relatively young. Get your financial house in order first. Provide for your family and future family. Hunting and personal other personal preferences come second.

    You are pretty young, and you are thinking right from what I can read.

    Steve
     

  17. CM McKenzie

    CM McKenzie AH Member

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    I'm in a very similar boat as yours. I'm a few years older, but I recently decided it was time to book a trip. I think the biggest thing for me was deciding what was important to me.

    I had always put it on a back burner as a someday thing. I have a mortgage, vehicle payments, and a young family. There is always something you should pay for instead.

    About a year ago I responded to an unattended death of an old man. He had an abundance of media about hunting Africa. Once I spoke with his family they advised me it was his dream to hunt Africa, but never went.

    That was my turning point. I became determined I would go. I had made a several year plan, in a matter of a couple of months I had saved enough to book a trip. So I booked, and made a commitment. After that, I either had to save enough money, or forfeit my deposit. So, in a matter of a few more months; I had enough to pay for the trip. With a little more determination, a few months later I had enough for the plane tickets. Now I am in a situation where I have booked to far out, and it's just a waiting game.

    What it boils down to is how much you want it. If you would rather have the nicer truck with the leather seats, then that is what you will have. If you want to hunt Africa, that is what you will do.
     

  18. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Elite

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    With your next raise at work, say it is 2%, immediately put .5 or 1% if possible into a savings account. This way you still see your raise in your paycheck and you didn't notice that you are starting to save for your dreams.

    Get a credit card with airlines miles. I have gone to Africa 3 times, only had to pay for 1 leg 1 time...all the rest business class with miles. Can get more trips in if you fly economy but I travel for work so the points add up quick.

    Get 4 or 5 outfitters you like and want to hunt with, watch their website, deals and offers, auctions and show schedule as well as reach out to get on a cancellation/specials list you never know what might turn up. Eventually something will.

    This last bit of advice is controversial so I do it at your own discretion. Dont focus so much on getting the perfect amount saved. If you have to delay paying off your student loans, or delay paying off a car so be it. Not saying default, dont do that, but don't put extra on the principle. You will remember Africa long after you forgotten about that debt. Something will always come up and stuff will also change. I have seen too many people saying I wish I had, or I always wanted to, or someday...and then cancer, car accident, random act of misfortune and it's all over. Enjoy it and write a report when you get back!
     
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  19. WAB

    WAB AH Fanatic

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    Well, honestly at your age I couldn’t afford it. I went on my first safari at 52.
     

  20. BWH

    BWH AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Congratulations & welcome.

    First, make a plan.... this won’t happen tomorrow, nor will you pay for it today.... set a timeline & budget. Start working towards that. Example:
    Hunt - $5000
    Travel - $2500
    Taxidermie- $2500
    Hunt - September 2021
    Start vetting outfits now.
    Sign contracts 12-18 months out w/ deposit.
    Buy plane tickets 3-10 months out
    30-60 days prior- pay for a balance
    Months after hunt you start paying for shipping.
    Maybe a year later the Taxidermie.

    You see this is not a one & done event. From
    Start to finish, the paying/preparing for & the hanging of animals on the wall May be 5 years. Don’t rush it. Let it happen.
     
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