How do you afford Africa?

JimP

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I'll say something different than most on here have. I fit the mold from one of the post above. I was 61 when I went to Africa and turned 62 while there, it was a fantastic birthday.

However, you are a family man and I have no idea of your income or what you can afford but I would suggest that you need to go find a financial specialist and you and your wife go to them and have a sit down and talk about what you want to do and what it is going to take to get there. Then they should put you onto a path to get there with money in your pocket and a trip to Africa. It might not be next week, next year, or even 10 years down the road but you should have a savings/investment plan set up.

In my case I was sitting in a barbers chair when I was 27 when he asked me what I was doing with all my money. I was single, my vehicle was paid off and as long as I had beer in my belly and a couple of hamburgers a day I was happy. He showed me what it would take to make some of my future dreams come true financially. Also the company that I worked for sold US Savings Bonds. I bought one every pay check. Then when they offered a 401K I jumped onto the bandwagon and put in all that I could. In the meantime I got married (bad mistake) and a couple of years later I was out on my own again. But to make my ex happy (get her off my back) I paid her off with quite a bit of my savings. But I was in a better place.
 

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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
I'm just a nurse and have a similar background to yours: kids, mortgage etc etc. I'm not from a moneyed background, though I first hunted Africa, on my own with my then girl friend, when I was 19. The only way I've done it is to set up a savings plan and stick to it - and that'll be hard with a 10mth old to raise. But if you can pay off that Uni loan, and then kept on paying it (or a lesser amount) into a savings account, you're on your way!

Some other tips might be:
- look for end of season hunts, as they're cheaper, as PHs reduce prices to fill tag quotas.
- check out the deals offered here as some a amazing bargains.
- do a "cull hunt" as this allows you the hunt, at a very low cost, without all the later taxidermy and freight costs.

And though DG is an awesome experience, as guys have said, PG such as kudu (the grey ghost of Africa) are very wily and will give you a real challenge!! My last kudu took 5 days to take - and I only managed that in the last half hour of hunting on the last day!! He's a gorgeous trophy and to me he is IT!!

FYI I'm off for a hunt for buffalo that's under 10k - which is not bad - and can recommend Pawprint Safaris as Pieter bases his operation for such clientele.

The wildebeeste was taken in 1990, and the kudu (mentioned above) and warthog in 1993 (I still wear the hat, and my daughter took her water buffalo using this Ruger .30/06 as well!) .Forgive their quality and resolution - the originals were water damaged these are photos of those.
IMG_0628.jpg
Imported 27Apr16 219.jpeg
IMG_0636.jpg


Best of luck!
 
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JPbowhunter

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Thanks everyone for the reply, to be honest I was expecting one or two replies but I guess that's a credit to this forum with so many great folks willing to offer advice.

To address multiple replies, I guess i left a lot unsaid. I have a pretty good paying job in middle class terms, but my priority is always family first as it should. Like many my drive is to provide and protect those I'm responsible for, which is the reason i stick at this job I can't really stand!

My job though is a fixed salary position meaning no opportunity for overtime which sucks but is just the way it is.

For second job, i did a little guiding for a couple of years but gave it up purely for the reason that we wanted to start a family and wanted to prioritize my time with them. That's not to say I couldn't do something else that could work from home.

Student loans in Australia are a bit different, we aren't taxed per se, but we have indexation which is essentially a fancy word for tax and i believe follows inflation. I pay extra already as we do on the house the rate we pay the house cuts years off the loan. But for the most part education loans are from the government and are automatically paid out of your salary before you get paid.

My personal expenses aren't great, I love single malt but have been living off my bottles i built up before we had kids! Haha I'm not much of a drinker really though. When I was about 24 i started getting ill after drinking (not over indulgence related i swear!) so i can't ever have more than two or three beers in a night without bringing on a migraine that can last days. I doubt i pay more than $20-30 a month on alcohol. I brew beer but that's not a great expense.

My only ither regular and by far my biggest expense is fuel (around $5.70 per gallon for my US friends). I own my ute outright and have no pland to replace it while she's still rolling from a to b. Driving in and out of town for work, but mostly I hunt a fair bit, we have 12 month deer seasons for some species and along with bird hunting, small game and fishing I do some driving. I have cut down on that to be with my wife and son more but i find it's good for my mental health to get out regularly. Otherwise I'm a complete outdoors bloke stuck in front of a computer 5 days a week, makes me a bit crazy!

Anyway, thanks again I've got some great ideas to consider and some perspectives to look at I hadn't considered.

I greatly appreciate it, truly.
 
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Adam Stevens

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The exchange is a very tough pill to swallow. Our CAD is in the same boat with the USD. Roughly 25-30% extra.

We enjoyed parity for a few years and I should of capitalized on it. I did a couple bird shooting trips to Mexico and bought lots of hunting gear during that time.

But for all intensive purposes a 10-15k hunt. Will be 15-20k CAD or AUD. Sucks big time. I’m still dreaming of going back. All I can hope for is our oil coming back some in the next couple years or atleast be in the .8 to .9 range of the USD.

Some days I wish I was born just a few miles south Hahahah.
 

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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
I'm coming from the same place. I dreamed of Africa for a long time, but life does get in the way. And if life involves a wife and children, then they must have your absolute priority. Without knowing your specific circumstances, but with a very young family, saved money needs to go into a college and/or emergency funds. If you are saving to spend a lot of money on travel, perhaps it should be something with them? I personally believe that a hunt truly needs to be disposable income. My kids were out of college, I was firmly established in my second career, and we had a financially secure life in Northern Virginia before I booked my first hunt to Africa. I took my son, then in his mid-twenties, with me. We had a grand adventure, and nothing on the home front took second place because of that hunt.
 

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I’m in the same spot as Red Leg, family comes first. Our kids were out of college, the house was paid off, and the money was truly disposable income before I went for the first time. Perhaps I waited too long, but that’s where my priorities are.
 

sestoppelman

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Sort of reminds me of when I bought my first house after years of renting. An old duffer I worked with said to me, "I see you waited for the prices to go up!". That was 1984, one year before my first safari, in Tanzania. Good I went then, sure couldn't afford to now, and I have a lot more money now than I did in 1985! There is no easy answer to this question though. Its a matter of saving and doing without things to put that money towards the dream hunt. Easier said than done, but guys do it all the time. Good luck!
 

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Make plans and keep making plans. Life is weird and we end up in situations we never imagined! I am currently faced with challenges (blah, blah, blah) Anyways, I completed an online "Retirement Calculator" today:

20190516_174458.jpg

(n):eek::LOL:

Life being hard is not an excuse for me to break my word, so my commitments are real. But, I am trying to make sure a trickle goes into the jar marked "Africa" because I do not want to book my next hunt when I am 91!:rolleyes:

I am 51. Two weeks ago a high school friend had a stroke and passed. I know that without a plan the only story told will be about how sad it was I never made it back before I died. That's not a story that needs to be told! So, plan to make your life the best story you could imagine. If you don't finish every chapter at least you were not one of those that never tried :);)
 
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Hogpatrol

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Work 40 hours, live on 32, wisely invest the 8. Unless you've got gobs of money or married in to it, a very high paying profession, job or business, starting a family and hunting Africa can be problematic.
 

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A quick and easy saving plan would be to empty your pants pockets of loose change into a jar once a week and see how it grows.

I did that for 20 years and have over $3000 US in those jars.
 

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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
TOTALLY agree!! Guided hunting in NZ/Oz is just crazy, when you can spend the same cash to hunt Africa. Also, some African countries have different rates for citizen hunters as compared to international hunters. In Oz at least, the resident hunter is still charged the same costs as an international hunter. Therefore I prefer hunting Africa, as I get better value for the buck.
 

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You have a goal of two years from now, which is the same time frame I have planned all three of mine to southern Africa. Once I had this goal I walked into my bank and set up a second savings account not associated with my primary savings/checking I see regularly. Out of sight out of mind, for me this has been great. Then I talked with outfitters and found ones that were OK with plans two years out. Check the deals section here and chat with outfitters, I bet many would work with you. I got on the net and got a rough figure for airfare and estimated taxidermy including shipping. I prefer to go high on estimates, extra money is easier to deal with than not enough. With that figure I divided it by 52, the number of paychecks I had in two years, and set aside that amount minimum each paycheck into the separate account. Often I set aside a little more, even if it was just a couple/few dollars.
It's worked three times without a dime on credit.

Good luck, good hunting.
 

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I have spent my life working my ass off and worked my way up to making a pretty decent living where I can afford what I want, but with that has come a higher standard of living for my wife and I that I now have to maintain. I have dreamed of hunting Africa since I first read Ernest Hemingway when I was young but now that I have the means to actually go and hunt what I want, I no longer have the time to do it. I guess my biggest regret is working in a field I absolutely hate to make money instead of doing what I love and ending up trapped, too old to change my career and too financially invested to retire.
 

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Saul, sorry to hear you say that.

I don't know how old you are, but let me tell you a couple of little pieces of wisdom from my late dad, who lived life on his own terms. He raised a family as well. He used to tell me two things. "You can always find the time and money to do the things you REALLY want to do". And, "if you're not doing what you want to do now, when are you going to?" Life is short.
 

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Saul, sorry to hear you say that.

I don't know how old you are, but let me tell you a couple of little pieces of wisdom from my late dad, who lived life on his own terms. He raised a family as well. He used to tell me two things. "You can always find the time and money to do the things you REALLY want to do". And, "if you're not doing what you want to do now, when are you going to?" Life is short.
That is great advice to live by. I am 47 which is pretty young compared to the average age on this forum but too late to change careers. I always wanted to be a doctor but I did not have the commitment in college and so I ended up as a lawyer. Every day I wish I could go back and tell my younger self to actually commit to medicine so I would not end up trapped working day in and day out 70+ hours a week in a career I despise as my time and happiness are drained from me. Yes, the money is nice and I am sure a lot of people would look at my lifestyle with envy, but money is worthless when you do not have the freedom to enjoy what you love. I am getting the sinking feeling that the closest I will get to Africa will be through my guns and this forum.
 

JPbowhunter

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That is great advice to live by. I am 47 which is pretty young compared to the average age on this forum but too late to change careers. I always wanted to be a doctor but I did not have the commitment in college and so I ended up as a lawyer. Every day I wish I could go back and tell my younger self to actually commit to medicine so I would not end up trapped working day in and day out 70+ hours a week in a career I despise as my time and happiness are drained from me. Yes, the money is nice and I am sure a lot of people would look at my lifestyle with envy, but money is worthless when you do not have the freedom to enjoy what you love. I am getting the sinking feeling that the closest I will get to Africa will be through my guns and this forum.
Sorry to hear that, It's not Africa but if you're ever in my part of the world for work I'd happily take you out for a hunt.
 

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Here is my hunt savings plan scheme... I used my money that was planned for a new pickup....

It goes like this, I bought a new pickup in 2003 planned to pay it off as fast as possible, but drive it for 10 years (2013) and then buy a new one. Instead, I continued driving the old pickup and continued saving for the new one. In 2016 we went to SA with much of the "new pickup" money. In 2017 I bought the new pickup 4 years later than planned.....

It's about priorities. Some guys buy a new pickup 40-50k every 5 years. Pay that one off, buy a new one, in a never ending cycle. Not me. Pay them off, drive them, save that money and go hunting.....
 

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I was in my mid 40s and I got an assignment to work in Angola. One day, another American that I worked with asked me if I wanted to go on a cancellation hunt in Namibia. A $500 plane ticket from Luanda to Windhoek and about $2500 for the hunt. That was 2007. Since I had 4 daughters and college expenses just starting, it was several years later before I could do my second African safari. Also had a couple of weddings and that puts a serious dent into anyone's potential hunting budget. After working in Angola, I had a 3 year stint back in the US and then 6 years in Nigeria. I was able to take advantage of the shorter and cheaper travel from Lagos to RSA, Zim and Nam and did several hunts and photo safaris.
 

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There is no secret really, exchange some restaurant meals, fancy clothes, coffee shop coffee, etc. for savings each month and when you have enough for a plains game hunt - go. The real expense is realizing you simply must do it again, again, and again....;)
 

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That is great advice to live by. I am 47 which is pretty young compared to the average age on this forum but too late to change careers. I always wanted to be a doctor but I did not have the commitment in college and so I ended up as a lawyer. Every day I wish I could go back and tell my younger self to actually commit to medicine so I would not end up trapped working day in and day out 70+ hours a week in a career I despise as my time and happiness are drained from me. Yes, the money is nice and I am sure a lot of people would look at my lifestyle with envy, but money is worthless when you do not have the freedom to enjoy what you love. I am getting the sinking feeling that the closest I will get to Africa will be through my guns and this forum.
So sad to hear of your situation. When I first started as a Psych Nurse it was I interesting and challenging, but after 18yrs now in locked wards fighting and restraining the pyschotic, homicidal and psychopathic on a nightly basis - it's just plain dangerous - and I've had enough of that crap!!

But I'm not quitting, as my obligations (and always my next hunt!) won't allow me simply to resign. So I just keep on with my plans in moving into an alternative career path - and away from nursing altogether. If your job has got you to the point where it's killing you that much, perhaps you should consider doing the same as me? Saul, life's really too short to be unhappy mate.

All the best to you. (y)
 
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