Hunting Cape Buffalo Qs

Rimbaud

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Dear all - I would much appreciate any advice and insight on cape buffalo hunting. I am thinking I will hunt in Namibia's Caprivi strip, and will know more by mid-Feb more when my PH returns from Cameroon. In the interim, I'm trying to educate myself about expected costs, the experience, and best locales. Also, do other hunters negotiate rates? I've only hunted plains game in Africa, and just paid the advertised rate, but I have since heard from some friends that advertised rates are not set in stone. Thanks as always.
 

Red Leg

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Nothing is ever in stone. However, if by "my PH" you mean a friend as well as operator/guide, then I would hope he is getting you the best deal he reasonably can.

The Caprivi is special place to hunt. The buffalo in my avatar came from there, and it remains the most beautiful part of Africa I have hunted. It is essentially an extension of the Okavango delta habitat. Unfortunately, that paradise like environment, combined with limited quotas, and some very fine bulls make it a fairly expensive place to hunt a buffalo. Jamy Traut is one of the best known outfitters hunting the Caprivi (and other places in Namibia to include the Waterberg Plateau where some of the largest bulls in Africa are taken - and priced accordingly!). He fully lists his prices and they will give you a good measuring stick against what your PH proposes. https://jamyhunts.com/

I should add that I hunted my first bull with Jamy and you could not expect a better dangerous game hunting experience with anyone else.

You will likely find "all in" costs may be a little less in Mozambique and Zim.

105689-8d505fb73e96f7fe81a5a10a5f90c1f7.jpg


A better look at the Caprivi bull.
 

Rimbaud

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Nothing is ever in stone. However, if by "my PH" you mean a friend as well as operator/guide, then I would hope he is getting you the best deal he reasonably can.

The Caprivi is special place to hunt. The buffalo in my avatar came from there, and it remains the most beautiful part of Africa I have hunted. It is essentially an extension of the Okavango delta habitat. Unfortunately, that paradise like environment, combined with limited quotas, and some very fine bulls make it a fairly expensive place to hunt a buffalo. Jamy Traut is one of the best known outfitters hunting the Caprivi (and other places in Namibia to include the Waterberg Plateau where some of the largest bulls in Africa are taken - and priced accordingly!). He fully lists his prices and they will give you a good measuring stick against what your PH proposes. https://jamyhunts.com/

I should add that I hunted my first bull with Jamy and you could not expect a better dangerous game hunting experience with anyone else.

You will likely find "all in" costs may be a little less in Mozambique and Zim.
Thank you, Red Leg. I've learned a lot from your posts and appreciate your response. I hunted w Dirk de Bod in June for plains game, and will likely head back with him. It's good to have a benchmark to measure against. You took a very nice buffalo.
 

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Another one of the great guys in Africa. On my first trip, Nick Nolte and I spent several days with Dirk taking some plains game from his beautiful concession in Namibia.

Another time he and I hung out at the airport in Windhoek while waiting for Jamy's driver / assistant PH to show up.

He would be a terrific man to follow into the Caprivi.

104000-aa6ffaf7f3e8c42cbbfc2d215393c37a.jpg

Dirk and Nick when we were all a lot younger.
 

Rimbaud

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Great photo. I've heard great things about Jamy, too. We had an incredible time w Dirk. He is a great hunter, of course, and many people probably don't know that he also has a great ear for music. I'll always remember speeding down the Trans-Kalahari Highway jamming to AC/DC, and talking about family and life as if we had known each other since childhood. I cannot wait to get back to Africa.
 

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Read Africa’s Most Dangerous by Kevin Robertson. A quick reading, textbook-like treatise on hunting Syncerus Caffer Caffer.
 

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Read Africa’s Most Dangerous by Kevin Robertson. A quick reading, textbook-like treatise on hunting Syncerus Caffer Caffer.
Thank you. It's a great book. Peter Flack also put out a great read, and I've read others, too. I'm a practitioner of the 6Ps . . . Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
 

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Ok good. On page 25 it says only 15 to 20 bulls are taken annually in the Caprivi. Now I know that book was published 13 years ago. But assuming ratios are still the same, That makes Namibia the country with the lowest amount of buffalo on offer in Southern Africa. The best quality/price ratios are probably found in the Zambezi Valley or the Conservancies in Zim, Coutada 9 or the Niassa reserve in Moz. For more $$ there’s Zambia, Tanzania, and back to the Caprivi. You’ll find cheaper hints in the swampy Coutadas in Moz and in RSA.

Any particular reason you’re looking at the Caprivi?
 

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I haven’t hunted buff with Jamy but had a great PG hunt with him in ‘18. In fact, I’m going to talk to him about a buff hunt.
 

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Ok good. On page 25 it says only 15 to 20 bulls are taken annually in the Caprivi. Now I know that book was published 13 years ago. But assuming ratios are still the same, That makes Namibia the country with the lowest amount of buffalo on offer in Southern Africa. The best quality/price ratios are probably found in the Zambezi Valley or the Conservancies in Zim, Coutada 9 or the Niassa reserve in Moz. For more $$ there’s Zambia, Tanzania, and back to the Caprivi. You’ll find cheaper hints in the swampy Coutadas in Moz and in RSA.

Any particular reason you’re looking at the Caprivi?
I dont remember that stat from the book. Caprivi is on the radar largely because the PH is in Namibia, and I suspect that is where he has his concession. Thank you
 

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I spoke to multiple outfitters and PHs at DSC this year about buffalo in the Caprivi in 2021. The prices can range fairly broadly based upon the concession type: regular concession vs. national park and by trophy type: non-exportable vs. trophy. 7 - 10 days including trophy fee ranged from $14,500 - 27,500 depending on those factors. I've never negotiated rates and have been happy with my experiences in Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
 

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Dear all - I would much appreciate any advice and insight on cape buffalo hunting. I am thinking I will hunt in Namibia's Caprivi strip, and will know more by mid-Feb more when my PH returns from Cameroon. In the interim, I'm trying to educate myself about expected costs, the experience, and best locales. Also, do other hunters negotiate rates? I've only hunted plains game in Africa, and just paid the advertised rate, but I have since heard from some friends that advertised rates are not set in stone. Thanks as always.

Hi Rimbaud

As noted elsewhere, the Caprivi is a very diverse and great area to hunt buffalo if you do your homework, and prices range from around US$ 8 000 for a management hunt, to around 18k for a trophy hunt in a good conservancy, all the way up to around 28k for a hunt in the park areas. Depending on what kind of experience you want, there are basically 2 types of trophy hunts for buffalo in the region, with the far eastern side concessions (Kasika, Kabulabula, Nakabolerwa) more of a spot and stalk/ try and catch buff on the right side of the river kind of deal, with short morning and short late afternoon hunts. The more Western areas like Bamunu, Dzoti, Wuparo, Balyerwa, Sobbe, Mashi generally are better for tracking, where the 3 park areas (Bwabwata East and West, and Mahango) may offer the absolute best, but at a price.

We hold 1 park (Bwabwata East) and 2 conservancy (Sobbe and Balyerwa) hunting concessions that holds good buffalo, so can also help you.
As to price, nothing is cast in stone, but please remember, as expressed elsewhere, quotas are limited, although not as limited as stated. I guess between all these conservancies around 100 trophies and 40 to 50 management buffalo are hunted per year in the region.
 
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Philip Glass

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I hunted buffalo in Caprivi and it’s a great experience for sure. I took a bull from a herd of 500!
Dirk has a great reputation and I’m sure you will do well.
 

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A couple of suggestions: Go online and buy the DVD put out by Dallas Safari Club on Cape Buffalo hunting. It's a really good two hour video of hunting in nearly all areas of Africa for all the various types of buffalo with sections on shot placement, follow-up, rifles, ammo, etc. I recommend it.
Secondly, you might want to consider South Africa for reasonably priced buffalo hunting. Almost all hunting in SA is on private land, but the prices vary widely and usually depend on size of the animal. I took my first buffalo in the Limpopo area two years ago and I'm booked to go back in July 2021. Cape Buffalo hunting in Africa is addictive.
 

Rimbaud

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I hunted buffalo in Caprivi and it’s a great experience for sure. I took a bull from a herd of 500!
Dirk has a great reputation and I’m sure you will do well.
Thanks, Philip. Of all the places, why did you pick the Caprivi over the other areas. Enjoyed Trophy, BTW.
 

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I've not hunted in the Caprivi, but I've hunted a few DG in SA, Zim and Zambia. For what it's worth, my advice for hunting buffalo is: use a decent calibre that you know and are comfortable with, stalk in close - and most crucial of all - calmly place that first round precisely where you want it to go, and you won't have any problems.

Best of luck, and enjoy your hunt!! Don't forget to post up a report and some photos!! (y)
 

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I’ve hunted buff in five countries but have not hunted the Caprivi. It’s not for lack of desire, I just couldn’t get my head around the cost vs the alternatives. I hope you have an awesome hunt. We will all look forward to the hunt report!
 

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Do not be afraid to tell the PH you can not see, or make the shot, and listen to PH carefully.

In Zambia, we were in tall grass with a herd. A monster stepped out with others, but with the sun directly in our face, I just could not make out the big bull. I told the PH who insisted he was right there, but through the scope, even on low power all I could see were masses of black with no definition. I could have risked a shot, with my PH insisting the shot at about 25 yds, but I held off and prevented wounding or taking the wrong bull. I later got a beautiful buff, and it was a one shot broadside kill.

Another time in Tanzania we were chasing a huge bull. To this day I swear my PH said shoot. Well, he said don’t shoot as he was waiting for the big bull to clear. I shot some expensive lion bait, and learned a valuable lesson about confirming your shot. It is better to be honest with the PH about your limitations(experience, hearing, nerves, etc) than to try to fake it.
 

Rimbaud

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I’ve hunted buff in five countries but have not hunted the Caprivi. It’s not for lack of desire, I just couldn’t get my head around the cost vs the alternatives. I hope you have an awesome hunt. We will all look forward to the hunt report!
Thank you. Is the Caprivi infamous for being expensive? I'm interested in seeing the area, and the Okavango, but I'm also interested in the intersection of high-quality and value. Where have you hunted buff? I've hunted Namibia for plains game. This would be my first DG hunt. I have the books, etc., but the pages falls short of feedback from people who have been there, and done it, usually more than once.
 

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