Hunting Cape Buffalo Qs

Hank2211

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You've said that this is your first buffalo, so I expect you are looking for a great trophy. I've hunted buffalo in South Africa and Zimbabwe a number of times (as well as other places for other types of buffalo).

You can be "guaranteed" a certain size of buffalo in many places in South Africa, since you will almost certainly be hunting behind high fences. The properties may well be big enough to give you a free range experience, but it helps that the PH will know what sizes he has and where they tend to hang out. You can ask for a traditional tracking hunt, but it's not quite the same thing as an unfenced hunt. In "wild" areas you can get an equally nice trophy, but it's hunting, so you may not find the bruiser you may be looking for in the time you have. Clearly, @Red Leg did find such a bruiser!

As to costs, I think most here have it right. Depending on what else you want, Zimbabwe or South Africa will be the cheapest, followed by places such as Mozambique and then on to Zambia, Caprivi and Tanzania. Make sure you compare both day rates and trophy fees though. South Africa tends to have much lower day rates and higher trophy fees for buffalo, while other places have higher day rates (and make you book a minimum number of days), but lower trophy fees, so you need to look at the entire package. If you want to add on other game, as you almost certainly will, then the lower trophy fees quickly make up for the higher day rates and some of these other places can end up being quite competitive. I would also suggest that - and this is no more than my opinion - hunting in unfenced areas has a much "wilder" feel to it, which is what I look for.

Buffalo hunting can be addictive. The key, in my view, is to get the nice trophy, mount it, and then hunt for old, broken horned or "scrum cap" dugga boys. The hunt is as good if not better than many trophy hunts (these old guys don't get that way by being careless), at a fraction of the price of a trophy hunt. In fact, a scrum cap can be harder to find and require a lot more effort in many cases than a trophy buffalo.

Good luck!
 

WAB

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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.

I’ve hunted buffalo in the Upper Luangwa in Zambia, Mahimba in Mozambique, Klaserie (a Kruger reserve) in RSA, northern Botswana, the Save in Zim and Dande (Zambezi Valley) in Zim. I enjoyed them all. From my limited experience, the best intersection of quality and cost is the Zambezi valley in Zim. However, for me quality is about a traditional tracking hunt in a true wilderness environment for a mature, hard bossed bull. I’d rather shoot a broken down old bull like this than a 45” monster on a game ranch. Nothing against the game ranch, it’s just not me, I want to hunt in the wilderness and I want to cover miles doing it. PM me if you want specific contacts.
 

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You've said that this is your first buffalo, so I expect you are looking for a great trophy. I've hunted buffalo in South Africa and Zimbabwe a number of times (as well as other places for other types of buffalo).

You can be "guaranteed" a certain size of buffalo in many places in South Africa, since you will almost certainly be hunting behind high fences. The properties may well be big enough to give you a free range experience, but it helps that the PH will know what sizes he has and where they tend to hang out. You can ask for a traditional tracking hunt, but it's not quite the same thing as an unfenced hunt. In "wild" areas you can get an equally nice trophy, but it's hunting, so you may not find the bruiser you may be looking for in the time you have. Clearly, @Red Leg did find such a bruiser!

As to costs, I think most here have it right. Depending on what else you want, Zimbabwe or South Africa will be the cheapest, followed by places such as Mozambique and then on to Zambia, Caprivi and Tanzania. Make sure you compare both day rates and trophy fees though. South Africa tends to have much lower day rates and higher trophy fees for buffalo, while other places have higher day rates (and make you book a minimum number of days), but lower trophy fees, so you need to look at the entire package. If you want to add on other game, as you almost certainly will, then the lower trophy fees quickly make up for the higher day rates and some of these other places can end up being quite competitive. I would also suggest that - and this is no more than my opinion - hunting in unfenced areas has a much "wilder" feel to it, which is what I look for.

Buffalo hunting can be addictive. The key, in my view, is to get the nice trophy, mount it, and then hunt for old, broken horned or "scrum cap" dugga boys. The hunt is as good if not better than many trophy hunts (these old guys don't get that way by being careless), at a fraction of the price of a trophy hunt. In fact, a scrum cap can be harder to find and require a lot more effort in many cases than a trophy buffalo.

Good luck!
Thanks, Hank. Truly helpful insight. I know some of the high-fenced areas can be the size of a small American state, but it's not my favorite kind of hunt. I've done it twice before, and the animals were wild, but the cape buff is different to me. I do want a big, old dagga boy. It may sound silly but a cape buff head hangs in the entry hallway at TR's Sagamore Hill. I'm going to measure the horns (hope I don't get arrested) and try to find one bigger or as big. It's important to me that we hunt in the wild places.
 

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I’ve hunted buffalo in the Upper Luangwa in Zambia, Mahimba in Mozambique, Klaserie (a Kruger reserve) in RSA, northern Botswana, the Save in Zim and Dande (Zambezi Valley) in Zim. I enjoyed them all. From my limited experience, the best intersection of quality and cost is the Zambezi valley in Zim. However, for me quality is about a traditional tracking hunt in a true wilderness environment for a mature, hard bossed bull. I’d rather shoot a broken down old bull like this than a 45” monster on a game ranch. Nothing against the game ranch, it’s just not me, I want to hunt in the wilderness and I want to cover miles doing it. PM me if you want specific contacts.
Thank you, Sir. PM to follow.
 
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Jamy Traut Hunting Safaris

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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.
Hi Rimbaud,

A buffalo hunt sure is a exciting one to plan, you will have a great time in Namibia.
Dirk de Bod is a great guy, sure you had a good hunt with him.

We hunt buffalo in Caprivi, and also in Waterberg Plateau Park.
You are welcome to email us at info@jamyhunt.com if you would like more information of the different areas.

Kind Regards,
Kirsten Lotter
 

Leopard Legend Hunting Safaris

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Hallo Please contact me via email to discuss the Buffalo hunt in the Caprivi, hunted there alot with clients.
info@leopardlegend.com
Lwyk
 

Paul Miller

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I met Leo van Rooyan at the Houston Safari Club show in 2015 through a friend that had hunted with him. I told Leo I wanted a Cape buffalo and I wanted a real hunt. Nothing canned. I told him I would accept a smaller animal or no animal for the hunt.
Leo’s response was, Ok, we’re going to Mozambique. Get in shape.
He was right. We hunted with the Haldane Brother’s Zambezi Delta Safaris.
We hunted the teak forests tracking a.couple of herds, one on hands and knees to within 20 yards until a brush buck busted us then we went to the coastal swamp where I finally got my bull, a nice old 35 inches.
Go for the hunt. The mount is going to end up in a relatve’s dumpster some day. You carry the hunt with you for the rest of your life and maybe for you children and grandchildren if you tell a good story! Good luck!
 

Tanks

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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.

While RSA is great for PG, it is high fenced game farm hunting very similar to deer, elk or exotic farms in the USA.

For DG I'd go elsewhere. Yes, for someone wanting to finish the Big Five there might not be another option for rhino, but for Cape Buffalo there are other places that provide the full hunting experience.
 

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While RSA is great for PG, it is high fenced game farm hunting very similar to deer, elk or exotic farms in the USA.

For DG I'd go elsewhere. Yes, for someone wanting to finish the Big Five there might not be another option for rhino, but for Cape Buffalo there are other places that provide the full hunting experience.

The exception to this would be the Kruger reserves. They are large private reserves open to Kruger Park. Research Klaserie and Timbavati as examples.

I do agree with Tanks, my preference is the truly wild areas of Zim, Botswana or Zambia. Tanzania is a dream that I have not been able to afford. However, Nathan offered a deal on here recently that brought it down into the same zip code as the others. If that offer is available the next time I’m shopping, I will jump on it.
 

JKO HUNTING SAFARIS

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While RSA is great for PG, it is high fenced game farm hunting very similar to deer, elk or exotic farms in the USA.

For DG I'd go elsewhere. Yes, for someone wanting to finish the Big Five there might not be another option for rhino, but for Cape Buffalo there are other places that provide the full hunting experience.


I certainly agree with you that a buffalo hunt in Zim, Moz or any other country other than SA offer a client the full experience sir. I have hunted in most of these countries myself and this is why I feel that I have to defend South Africa here a little. Yes 99% of SA is high fenced but there is definitely a few places one can hunt in South Africa that is just as hard if not harder to get your buff down than some wild areas. If you hunt large and proper areas that has significant numbers of buffalo both bulls and cows. I have had hunts in SA that has been just as good of a hunt as you would anywhere else and the clients did not even see a fence while hunting their buff a couple of days. I understand it is not for everyone and unfortunately a proper buffalo hunt in a proper area in South Africa is just as high in price as any other buff hunt in Zim, Moz or Namibia.

All my best,

Jacques
 

Tanks

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I certainly agree with you that a buffalo hunt in Zim, Moz or any other country other than SA offer a client the full experience.

...Yes 99% of SA is high fenced but there is definitely a few places one can hunt in South Africa that is just as hard if not harder to get your buff down than some wild areas.

... I understand it is not for everyone and unfortunately a proper buffalo hunt in a proper area in South Africa is just as high in price as any other buff hunt in Zim, Moz or Namibia.

There are always exceptions to the rule. The question is whether if they truly are exceptions though. Going somewhere else for buffalo more or less guarantees it is a free range hunt. Big difference between an undeveloped 500,000 acre hunting concession vs a very large game farm.

Though I must admit both are still guided hunts with outcome almost guaranteed for buffalo. Cats a different story, a friend of mine spent 30+ days in a blind over the course of multiple trips before he bagged his Leopard. Another friend got his lion on day 2 and leopard on day 5 of a 21 days hunt.
 

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There are always exceptions to the rule. The question is whether if they truly are exceptions though. Going somewhere else for buffalo more or less guarantees it is a free range hunt. Big difference between an undeveloped 500,000 acre hunting concession vs a very large game farm.

Though I must admit both are still guided hunts with outcome almost guaranteed for buffalo. Cats a different story, a friend of mine spent 30+ days in a blind over the course of multiple trips before he bagged his Leopard. Another friend got his lion on day 2 and leopard on day 5 of a 21 days hunt.


I agree with you sir and if you are a die heart "free range only" hunter South Africa is not for you but for people that has one shot in hunting and harvesting their trophy buffalo and some plains game, a proper area in South Africa will offer them just a good of a hunt than any of the wild areas. They will harvest their trophy buffalo as where in a poorly selected wild area they might not even see a buff in 10 days, it has happened before... It goes both ways in the end in my opinion, I just wanted to state that there is very good areas in South Africa that you can still have a great buffalo hunt in.

On cats I completely agree with you, I have a dear friend that has spent over 53 nights hunting leopard and still do not have one... He hunted all over already, hunted out of blinds with dogs any way you can possibly hunt leopard and still do not have one.... Then I have another friend that shot his leopard on his first night being in the blind 20 minutes...
 

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