Hunting Buffalo in South Africa vs everywhere else

375Fox

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If you wish to continue this, I invite you to reply via private message so we may spare the rest of the forum readers the tedious back and forth. If you wish to continue to reply publically that's fine too.. I will be happy to go down the condescending name-calling route with you to the extent that the moderators have had enough of both of us. I will never capitulate until I am proven wrong by the facts.. Your call..
Feel free to follow your own advice
 

ndumo HUNTING SAFARIS

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I haven’t hunted buffalo in Caprivi but these bulls came out while we were waiting on my hippo. Caprivi isn’t wilderness like other famous areas. There are a lot of people, paved roads, tourists, cattle. There is definitely some great hunting there and I will hunt it again, but I think it retains its reputation more on being a dangerous game area in a very safe stable country compared to the other options. In my opinion, the price tag isn’t so much the trophy quality or better hunting experience as much as more people are willing to consider it and go there than other destinations. My next buffalo hunt is going to be to Zambezi valley in Zimbabwe. My first buffalo hunt was against Kruger in South Africa. We got a great buffalo, but it wasn’t a wilderness experience and I think there are better values in other countries or properly managed fenced areas.
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375Fox, although your experience is true of the Eastern floodplains of the Caprivi, it certainly are not entirely correct for the whole of the Caprivi. And yes, a lot of the Caprivi has cattle and people, but so does 90% of wild areas in other countries. Similarly, we do have areas with zero to very little cattle and people. It is really much more area dependant than you portray it above, and you should ask the outfitter that holds the concession what to expect. Areas west of the Katima Mulilo / Ngoma road, tend to have really good buffalo hunts, with little to no human/ cattle interference. Areas like most of Bwabwata, can give you an experience completely free from cattle or human interaction.
It is important to note though that 100% of the buffalo in the whole of the Caprivi, are part of an extensive population of buffalo, This, together with a stable government, is what makes them worth the higher cost compared to some of the competition.

Also, to the original question by revturbo9967, it is imperative to remember that buffalo hunting are offered in anything from a very intensive systems to true extensive systems like in our own areas in Namibia's Caprivi, and everything in between.

The highly intensive systems are normally breeding and hunting operations, where breeding of a bunch of buff cows are done on a small property, in the region of a few 100 acres, by one specific bull. The offspring are then split into one of 3 categories. New breeding stock heifers, potential breeding stock bulls, and surplus or hunting bulls. these hunting bulls are then released onto properties varying from 500 acres to a few thousand acres to be hunted, or grow a bit before they are hunted a few years down the line. 90% of the SA operations are run like this, so this is what you are likely to buy. A few operations have a small breeding group of cows and calfs on the same property that they hunt the bulls on, which makes it a bit better, but remember, they cannot produce enough mature bulls from a small herd of cows to satisfy the demand, so extra bulls are always bought in to supplement the hunting stock.

Compare this to a true extensive area, where buffalo are breeding, feeding, dying and roaming totally naturally in an ecosystem close to ideal for them. The hunting experience can never be the same. And no, I am not knocking any of the 2 systems or anything in between. It is what it is, and there is a market for all. I have hunted and guided buffalo in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania and I will continue to hunt them wherever it is suited for a specific client. But you as a client hunter should be fully aware of what you are buying.
As a side note, my 2 least favourite places to hunt buffalo are the Zambezi delta of Mozambique and the Eastern floodplains of the Caprivi. Not that I did not enjoy it as well, it is just not my personal favourite place to hunt them.
 

ndumo HUNTING SAFARIS

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@ndumo HUNTING SAFARIS , what about those areas did you not like?
It may be biased but my favourite area is Bwabwata in the Caprivi.


@ndumo HUNTING SAFARIS
Karl, which areas you do prefer for buffalo hunt?
Mark, I prefer areas where you track buffalo above areas where you just spot and stalk. Obviously wilderness areas above ranches, and areas where there is a good population of old bulls, as I believe that is what we should strive to shoot.
 

ndumo HUNTING SAFARIS

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@ndumo HUNTING SAFARIS , what about those areas did you not like?
Too open, spot and stalk mostly, oftentimes due to the effort involved to get to a herd, younger bulls are taken as you may only have a day or 2 of "swamp" hunting" before the next client needs to get in.
 

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