How do you afford Africa?

rookhawk

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Just hearing the comments on this thread, there were some interesting data inputs.

In the 1950s there were $699 rhino hunts. Ignoring present scarcity, and ignoring the increased costs to the consumer from regulation, its actually cheaper today than ever.

Let's take that $699 rhino hunt and make it an elephant hunt instead. Exportability, CITES permits, Dip/Pack shouldn't be calculated in because those are costs carried by the consumer due to government intervention.

Let's compare:

In 1952 the elephant hunt would be as follows:

1.) $699 safari fee and licenses.
2.) Flights and ships for that adventure would have been around $1800.
3.) Two rifle safari in 1952 would have cost you $2000 for two rifles and their ammunition for dangerous game using mid-level rifles. (Sedgley, Griffin & Howe, Langerke, etc.)
4.) In addition to the custom of giving your PH your rifle at the end of the hunt, there would have been about $100 in gratuities expected.
5.) Incidental costs for clothing, footwear, and other equipment would have cost you $250.

$4849 in 1952 all-in for your 21-day elephant hunt to include sable or buffalo as well.

In today's dollars, that is $46,760 adjusting for CPI.

That is certainly more you would pay for that hunt today if you ignore exportability (government impacts on secondary behaviors). Today you'd get there in 3 days or less, rather than taking 10-20 days to arrive and depart via inefficient travel. You wouldn't be obligated/expected to give your rifle to the PH.

In 1952 the average wage in the USA was $2,799.16 per year. In 2019 the average wage in the USA is $46,800.

So the hunt in 1952 cost DOUBLE the average person's salary in the USA, that same hunt today costs LESS than one year's salary, a reduction of more than 50%.

It has been and continues to be a question of priorities in one's own budget. Some people bounce checks and state they can't afford to have a burger out for lunch, yet they spend $250 a month on cable TV. Some people say Africa is too expensive but they have new vehicles every 3 years. Some people say a $46,000 hunt is too expensive but they live in $800,000 homes while making $200,000 per year. It is about priorities.

You have to decide, do you want the muscle car, or the hunt? Do you want the fishing boat, or the hunt? Do you want cable TV every month or a hunt every 7 years?

I know a multi-millionaire that is a terrible hunter. He dabbles while claiming he's into hunting. He's never shot a buck. He refuses to spend more than $75 on an optic and $200 on a gun, or practice, or hire an outfitter, or travel for prime hunting grounds, or enter big game drawings for access to better grounds. He just sits obstinately pinching pennies bewildered at his own failures. He does have a $100,000 vintage corvette, a $1.5m home, and drives a $90,000 truck. People make choices.
 

Ridgewalker

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Lots of great info here. I think after you run through all these and pick out what your goals are and which of these options works for your family, you’ll make it to Africa.

Went on my first Africa adventure in 2016. Booked for my 4th this year when I’ll turn 72 on my return flight. I’m also booked for my 5th in 2020. I try to workout 3 days a week. I’ve still got more Africa left in me.
 

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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
You mentioned end of season..... about what time of year is that?
 

rookhawk

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You mentioned end of season..... about what time of year is that?

End of season is a rough range. A couple of facts, most quota expires on 12/31 of each year, so the tags are forfeit and the concession holder loses them at that time. Thus, at the end of the literal calendar season if they are holding tags, a penny for the tag is better than nothing generally speaking.

As to the "hunting season", that really means before people go on holiday, they do repairs, or they pack up their camps. Things start up typically in June as the winter weather provides relief from intense heat and rains. June-August is peak pricing for hunts. As you roll into September-October, things are getting hot and many operations are wrapping up for the season in places like Zimbabwe.

Of course RSA is private land, year round hunting.

And it should be mentioned, some of the affordable hunts for elephants may be going after animals that are coming out of parks and raiding crops. If that is the case, they will be in the crops most frequently in the miserably hot months of February through April. The contention there is that while the elephants are in the crops during those months, its really hot and wet. Add to that, IF the operator doesn't sell the permits during Feb-April they have 8 months more to attempt to sell that permit before it expires, generally speaking. (and if they don't, they own the tag and did not recover any of their expenses)

It all depends on what you are after. If you're looking for an economical RSA hunt, none of this really matters as they are always open for business.
 

JPbowhunter

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What's considered an average temp in the hot time of year?
 

Hogpatrol

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I hunted the Karoo in the September-October time frame once and would never hunt that season again. Why? It's birthing season. In other words, it's like hunting deer herein the states in May and June. I would advise when booking RSA hunts, where and when are two factors to consider.

Edit: Oh yeah, and the hunting stunk.
 

JPbowhunter

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I hunted the Karoo in the September-October time frame once and would never hunt that season again. Why? It's birthing season. In other words, it's like hunting deer herein the states in May and June. I would advise when booking RSA hunts, where and when are two factors to consider.

Edit: Oh yeah, and the hunting stunk.
What didn't you like about that sorry?
 

Hogpatrol

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What didn't you like about that sorry?

Higher temps than in the early calendar months and some cull animals killed were ready to give birth. Not my cup of tea. YMMV.
 

JPbowhunter

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Higher temps than in the early calendar months and some cull animals killed were ready to give birth. Not my cup of tea. YMMV.
Yeah ok, i was thinking a trophy hunt
But culling animals with fawns at foot isn't fun.
 

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I didn't read though this whole post but in response to your question I will say that it depends on how bad you want to go. I am a retired police officer with a wife house and 2 kids...I am FAR from rich but I went 4 times already.

If you want something bad enough you will walk through fire to get it.

Make it happen!!
 

rookhawk

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Just one more thought about this topic about prices for many residents of North America.

African hunts are certainly cheaper on the whole than hunting in another US State or Canadian Province.

This year, my spend attempting to hunt North American looked like this:

New Mexico - $14,000 in licenses ($11,500 returned 75 days later)
Wyoming - $1600 in licenses ($1350 returned 75 days later)
Idaho - $2600 in licenses ($2400 returned 75 days later)
Texas - $25
Wisconsin - $13
Montana - $1500 I think? (Most returned)

So this year I fronted about $20,000 attempting to hunt in the USA. I DREW ZERO tags this year. My son drew one tag. The net result is I was short $20,000 for 75 days and I've recovered about $17,000 of that money.

My son drew a New Mexico Oryx tag. With fuel, lodging, meals, guide, license, to make all of this work not only did I temporarily "loan" the government $20,000, not only did I spend over $3000 I didn't recover, but then there is another $4000 in expense.

All that screwing around and hundreds of hours of effort to try to draw tags, only to have spent a total of ~$25,000 of which I recovered less than ~$20,000.

That's to hunt "the thrifty way" in North America out of state. In Africa, your costs are your costs with no incidental fees or gotchas. You can go to Africa and all-in spend $12,000-$15,000 on a free range hunt in Namibia, Zimbabwe, or Zambia for two weeks for that kind of money. Suddenly, the $700 elk tag plus all the incidentals in the USA adding up isn't such a "Deal" after all.

I have a friend that dreams of Africa but he can't go. The price tags in his mind are just too big. Yet he spent $200 at the bar this week, ate out or ordered carry out food for a family 10x, he has $250 cable TV every month, he's at Cabelas buying plastic stuff for $100 a week. He's one of those "doesn't notice death by a thousand cuts" sort of fellows. I think that's the mindset that keeps many people away from Africa, you don't blink at spending $40,000 on stuff you don't need a $100 at a go, but even a $2000 check seems like a crazy sum of money. It's psychology working against the person more than anything. (and bad financial management)

Obviously, this doesn't apply to the lower middle class that is barely getting by, nor should people in their 20s be going to Africa because that "seed money" should be compounding interests so you can afford big things in your 30s-50s....but that's financial planning as a tangent.
 

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I made my first African hunting trip last year at age 59, I sprung for Tanzania. In my case a safari has been a lifelong dream. We saved and invested (as safely as possible) all we could afford and sometimes a little more. We started our family when we were young and our youngest will be 39 in July. I made a commitment to join the Navy at age 21 and stayed until I was able to retire, that has made a huge difference for me. I have a wonderful, hard working wife that understands and supports my hunting habits. Like Redleg, I didn't feel that I should go to Africa until I had disposable cash. Had I known then what I know now I would have done things differently. My cousin went home one day sat down in his recliner and died at age 61, that event caused my way of looking at life to change drastically. We made a decision to do the things we have been putting off without further delay. My goal now is for my bank balance and my pulse to hit zero at the same time. We have enough retirement income to get by pretty well but plan to work as long as we can and spend the extra money having fun. Family comes first for sure, I would echo the others who have suggested a financial planner. Set goals and prioritize and good things will happen!
 

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I don't want to give the impression that I'm not saving. That's where most of our money goes.

But on the other hand at my age I already know 6 people within a year either side of me from school that have died and two of my mates from class at school have had cancer.
A guy who worked for our organisation for 40 years retired start of april, one of the nicest guys you'll meet. Before May he'd had a heart attack and spent a lot of time in ICU. Thankfully on the mend now.
My uncle by the age of 21 was ranked I believe 3 or 4 in Australian bike riding, he also proposed to his childhood seeetheart around this time Three weeks later and the day after my dads birthday he was killed by a drunk driver while training on his bike.

My wife and I both value security and savings but we're also conscious of the fact that anything can happen at any time. I don't want to spend my life working hard and missing out on life along the way for a chance at enjoying it later just to have it cut short.

I'm of the view point that i should save most and spend some throughout life because I won't get another shot at it. After all, you don't pay for things with money. You pay for things with chunks of your life and time that you can never get back. If that's not a case for chasing value for money I don't know what is.

Having said that we're also not like my wife's sister that at 30 hasn't got two bob to rub together and no assets because she's incapable of saving. Ironically, she's the one heading to Africa this year!
 

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You never know what is going to happen tomorrow, you could stop for a cup of coffee and get ran over by a truck.

I have also seen people work for 30 years and are dead within 6 months. But the problem with these people were that the job was everything to them. They didn't have a hobby, the lived the job and had no idea of what to do once they had all the time in the world.

I worked hard for 35 years, however I also played hard when I had time off and don't really feel like I missed out on too much. I hunted every fall and usually had a week off for the deer and elk hunts and then time with family. It wasn't until I retired that I could actually take the time to go on these lifetime dream hunts.

Since I retired I have come up with a saying as far as work or chores around the homestead. Always put off till tomorrow what you should be doing today, and if there is no tomorrow then it isn't a problem anymore.
 

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some one already said my philosophy, WORK hard and PLAY hard!
I do side work and all of that money is saved for hunting and all the accouterments!
 

rookhawk

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I don't want to give the impression that I'm not saving. That's where most of our money goes.

But on the other hand at my age I already know 6 people within a year either side of me from school that have died and two of my mates from class at school have had cancer.
A guy who worked for our organisation for 40 years retired start of april, one of the nicest guys you'll meet. Before May he'd had a heart attack and spent a lot of time in ICU. Thankfully on the mend now.
My uncle by the age of 21 was ranked I believe 3 or 4 in Australian bike riding, he also proposed to his childhood seeetheart around this time Three weeks later and the day after my dads birthday he was killed by a drunk driver while training on his bike.

My wife and I both value security and savings but we're also conscious of the fact that anything can happen at any time. I don't want to spend my life working hard and missing out on life along the way for a chance at enjoying it later just to have it cut short.

I'm of the view point that i should save most and spend some throughout life because I won't get another shot at it. After all, you don't pay for things with money. You pay for things with chunks of your life and time that you can never get back. If that's not a case for chasing value for money I don't know what is.

Having said that we're also not like my wife's sister that at 30 hasn't got two bob to rub together and no assets because she's incapable of saving. Ironically, she's the one heading to Africa this year!

I don’t mean to make this into financial planning advice but it really is key.

Monthly recurring costs are the killer. I work like a ninja every year lowering my monthly expenses:

Do you have cable TV? Change it for Netflix, Amazon, or other.

When was the last time you evaluated your home and car insurance? Do you really need those deductibles so low? Did you get several new quotes?

What about cell? Did you shop for lower rate plans?

Did you get rid of your land line?

Do you carry any credit card debt?

Do you go to a wholesale grocer and buy in bulk?

Do you search for coupons before dining out?

Do you have valuable items you don’t want that you can eBay?

Do you dispute your property tax bill every year?

Oil change always with a coupon?


Every 30 year old I know has a $1000 more in recurring bills than necessary. With almost no pain, you can find Africa by lowering monthly costs and saving the difference for one year.

If you worry about the pennies, the dollars will take care of themselves. I did all of the above, been to Africa for fly camp safaris 4x so far.

It’s really easy to blow $12,000-$24,000 a year on recurring bills for things you don’t want, value, or need. Parlay lowered expenses into higher savings and you’ll have it all figured out in no time.
 

JPbowhunter

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I don’t mean to make this into financial planning advice but it really is key.

Monthly recurring costs are the killer. I work like a ninja every year lowering my monthly expenses:

1. Do you have cable TV? Change it for Netflix, Amazon, or other.

We have Netflix, that's it.

2. When was the last time you evaluated your home and car insurance? Do you really need those deductibles so low? Did you get several new quotes?

Wouldn't say this is regular but we do check it from time to time. Being rural lots of people won't cover us so it's limiting.


3. What about cell? Did you shop for lower rate plans?

Yeah i use a cracked screen phone with as cheap a deal as I could find! Mind you Australia has terrible coverage and rural places generally only have one carrier. I spose its what you can expect when you have a landmass the size of the lower 48 with only 20 million people though!

4. Did you get rid of your land line?

Never had one.

5. Do you carry any credit card debt?

Don't believe in credit cards.

6. Do you go to a wholesale grocer and buy in bulk?

We're pretty limited being outside a small country town but do our best.

7. Do you search for coupons before dining out?

Again, small town going out means picking between half a doze options. We rarely eat out though, usually just special occasions.

8. Do you have valuable items you don’t want that you can eBay?

Not really, I've never been a materialistic person so I don't carry or buy anything superfluous to my needs.

9. Do you dispute your property tax bill every year?

Don't believe that's applicable over here.

10. Oil change always with a coupon?

Generally do them myself! I know in cities people get coupons but here it's just a few garage shops. Next one will be at a mechanic, my ute hit 300k km (180k miles) so want to get a good check over.

Same as why we have the dearest fuel in the state, we're a long way from every big city in this state or the next so people charge what they like.
When we bought our last baby seat we saw it on sale for $450 in Melbourne, we weren't able to get it at the time though. In our only baby shop in town here the same one was $700. You'd swear I was killing her first born when I tried haggling, they know they have you by the knackers so can afford to be stubborn. Yeah we could have gone back to Melbourne but a 700km round trip was also time we didn't have.

I've been talking to my wife about this a bit lately and it made me realise I'm generally pretty good at scrimping. I think though it's really been that as soon as i finished studying we saved to move in together. Then saved for a house, then saved for a wedding, the sold our house and bought another and pay that off as quick as we can. I'm good at saving, it's just nearly all saving for the big things not the extra.

I would finish by saying our greatest expense that we could save on is internet at the home. There's quite a few smaller cheaper options, we had one once but like everyone else I know you have nothing but problems due to being so far from the cities. So the big telcos are our only option for "reliable" internet and phone reception.
My reply is within the quote
 

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