New here.. looking for some advices on a Cape Buffalo hunt for 2022

WAB

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Just a little update of where I am at this point.

Effectively, things can get very puzzling when speaking of hunting in Africa. From my limited search, I've seen prices going from one side to the other side of the spectrum. With a few in betweens.

I think I've seen too big at first. I had not figured that a Buffalo hunt in the wild would probably cost almost twice the amount of a buffalo hunt in a private fenced property in SA. And I'm not critic here, all those operators have major costs involved and their products are worthing every pennys they charge. I'm old enough to know that being an outfitter involve a lot of works, a lot of expenses and if that's true in Canada, that's surely also true in any parts of Africa.

I know I won't go to kill a buffalo on a property I can walk the entire perimeter in about 6 hours at a good pace. Every fall we hunt moose in not fenced areas 5-10 times greater than that. But I do understand that this fits a category of hunters and respond to a need. No problem with that.

I thought at first that I could be OK on a budget of around 20K cdn total (including my transport from canada to africa). But I realise that what I was dreaming of is more in the 35K cdn range. (I'm in Canada so every prices listed must be multiplicated by 1,25 to 1,40 depending of the money value..) And even if I have this cash right now, I just can't rationally spend that much money on a hunt.

At least, like clint Eastwood said in the movie "The bridges of Madison County": The old dreams were good dreams; they didn't work out but I'm glad I had them. ;)

I still have time to work all this in my head, but I'll do "once in a lifetime something special" in 2022 for sure.

Thanks a bunch to everyone who put their grain of salt in this thread. This was really interesting. I've learned a lot.

The best I could see you doing all in on a remote bush hunt is $20,000US or $27 to $28 CDN. Have you thought about putting the money aside and waiting for a cancellation hunt? You would need to be able to react quickly and know which areas you are Interested in. There are some crazy deals that come up this way.
 

fourfive8

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Yep don't give up. Keep on looking and as @WAB posted, check often for cancellation hunts. Some booking agents keep a running list of such and you could get on their list. Be ready to react quickly. Also, just to keep the blood warm and mind tuned, read some of the Africa books- Horn of the Hunter, Green Hills of Africa, and of course those by Capstick, including an excellent work on the San Culture of the Kalahari- Sands of Silence. I failed to mention one of my favorites earlier- Heat, Thirst and Ivory by Everett.

At 50 you have plenty of time if you keep yourself healthy and reasonably physically fit. Another approach is to do a PG hunt first- at a much lower cost and on free range area if you like, to get a taste of and bearing on Africa. Then begin the plan for the DG buffalo later. Concentrate on only 2-3 good PG animals to hold costs down and get a "taste" of how the system works. Go with thought of priority interest in a dozen or so species, then take 3 as opportunity is given. For PG I like: eland, oryx, kudu, blue wildebeest, red hartebeest, impala, waterbuck, springbok, reedbuck and bushbuck. Not every area has all but many will have most with good variety :)
 

WAB

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Excellent point @fourfive8! Think about a true tracking hunt for eland. The Otavi area of Namibia would be excellent. Tracking eland is so similar to buffalo and elephant hunting. You would be far less than the cost of a buffalo hunt. The area I mentioned has insanely good red hartebeest as well. Hunted properly, they are a worthy quarry.
 

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Just a little update of where I am at this point.

Effectively, things can get very puzzling when speaking of hunting in Africa. From my limited search, I've seen prices going from one side to the other side of the spectrum. With a few in betweens.

I think I've seen too big at first. I had not figured that a Buffalo hunt in the wild would probably cost almost twice the amount of a buffalo hunt in a private fenced property in SA. And I'm not critic here, all those operators have major costs involved and their products are worthing every pennys they charge. I'm old enough to know that being an outfitter involve a lot of works, a lot of expenses and if that's true in Canada, that's surely also true in any parts of Africa.

I know I won't go to kill a buffalo on a property I can walk the entire perimeter in about 6 hours at a good pace. Every fall we hunt moose in not fenced areas 5-10 times greater than that. But I do understand that this fits a category of hunters and respond to a need. No problem with that.

I thought at first that I could be OK on a budget of around 20K cdn total (including my transport from canada to africa). But I realise that what I was dreaming of is more in the 35K cdn range. (I'm in Canada so every prices listed must be multiplicated by 1,25 to 1,40 depending of the money value..) And even if I have this cash right now, I just can't rationally spend that much money on a hunt.

At least, like clint Eastwood said in the movie "The bridges of Madison County": The old dreams were good dreams; they didn't work out but I'm glad I had them. ;)

I still have time to work all this in my head, but I'll do "once in a lifetime something special" in 2022 for sure.

Thanks a bunch to everyone who put their grain of salt in this thread. This was really interesting. I've learned a lot.
Maybe consider researching a true tracking hunt for eland in Namibia as an alternative? Eland are really huge animals and can give a really great hunt. I’ve taken 5 trophy eland but haven’t yet experienced a true hard tracking hunt for one yet. My PH discussed this option for NE Namibia and the Kalahari, it’s something I really want to experience. Eland are one of the few animals I think I will never tire of hunting. It could potentially be a good and much more affordable substitute for a buffalo hunt.
 

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Excellent point @fourfive8! Think about a true tracking hunt for eland. The Otavi area of Namibia would be excellent. Tracking eland is so similar to buffalo and elephant hunting. You would be far less than the cost of a buffalo hunt. The area I mentioned has insanely good red hartebeest as well. Hunted properly, they are a worthy quarry.
We apparently had the exact same thought! But you type quicker!
 
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WAB

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We apparently had the exact same thought! But you type quicker!

LOL even a blind pig finds an acorn now and then! I tracked an eland in the Kalahari for three and a half days before taking him with a very difficult shot. It ranks with my elephant and my very best buffalo hunt. Eland hunted properly could easily become as much of an addiction as buffalo.
 

cls

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Just a little update of where I am at this point.

Effectively, things can get very puzzling when speaking of hunting in Africa. From my limited search, I've seen prices going from one side to the other side of the spectrum. With a few in betweens.

I think I've seen too big at first. I had not figured that a Buffalo hunt in the wild would probably cost almost twice the amount of a buffalo hunt in a private fenced property in SA. And I'm not critic here, all those operators have major costs involved and their products are worthing every pennys they charge. I'm old enough to know that being an outfitter involve a lot of works, a lot of expenses and if that's true in Canada, that's surely also true in any parts of Africa.

I know I won't go to kill a buffalo on a property I can walk the entire perimeter in about 6 hours at a good pace. Every fall we hunt moose in not fenced areas 5-10 times greater than that. But I do understand that this fits a category of hunters and respond to a need. No problem with that.

I thought at first that I could be OK on a budget of around 20K cdn total (including my transport from canada to africa). But I realise that what I was dreaming of is more in the 35K cdn range. (I'm in Canada so every prices listed must be multiplicated by 1,25 to 1,40 depending of the money value..) And even if I have this cash right now, I just can't rationally spend that much money on a hunt.

At least, like clint Eastwood said in the movie "The bridges of Madison County": The old dreams were good dreams; they didn't work out but I'm glad I had them. ;)

I still have time to work all this in my head, but I'll do "once in a lifetime something special" in 2022 for sure.

Thanks a bunch to everyone who put their grain of salt in this thread. This was really interesting. I've learned a lot.
Totally understand where your coming from with the value of our dollar (Canadian) but if you can travel on shorter notice watch for deals or cancellation hunts on here. That's how I managed to get a great Buffalo hunt in Zambia a couple years ago. Good luck finding what you are looking for.
 
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fourfive8

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Since we've covered the possibility of the Luangwa in Zambia a few times, I'll add this photo for fun and interest. I have seen this iconic Africa setting and location used in various periodicals and Travel Promotion publications. It just seems to say, "Africa!" However, I did not copy this from one of those sources. I took this photo a few years ago on the Luangwa. Apparently the setting and location has caught the eye of quite a few people as I've seen several published photos taken in this area, if not in this exact area of the river. It is in the southern portion of what most call the Upper Luangwa, a few miles below where the vegetation opens up adjacent to the river. Some here may very well recognize the spot- maybe the exact spot. :) BTW, usually quite a few large crocs and hippos in this stretch. This is/was? in the Lumimba and Musalangu Game Management hunt areas north of the Luambe NP and east side of the river. The North Luangwa NP is on the west side of the river. We saw several lions at different points/times lazing along the river banks and bars on the North Luangwa NP side all the way from Chanjuzi to north of Nyaminga.

I watched this group and a similar sized group of eles cross the Luangwa here, into the North Luangwa NP every couple of days. The other group had a very small calf with its mother, likely the matriarch. Twice I watched the group with the small calf cross at this spot. Each time they would stay close together with the calf in the middle. Probably as protection from the crocs. They always crossed at the same place, hauling out at a cutbank with a fairly steep slope of loose sand/soil. At the cutbank, the group would stop at the edge in the belly deep water. The calf would move to the front with its mom standing just behind. She would push the calf up the cutbank slope until it could struggle up over the lip at the top. Then the mother would climb out. Then the others would follow one by one. I watched her swat a youngster bull with her trunk one time as he tried to get in front and up the cutbank first. He stumbled back into the water to wait! :)

My time in Zambia was some of my most pleasant spent in Africa. Here in the US, back in the 80s, I worked with a ZAWA rep from Lusaka so had always wanted to visit his country.

eles Zambia.JPG
 
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PeteG

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Just a little update of where I am at this point.

Effectively, things can get very puzzling when speaking of hunting in Africa. From my limited search, I've seen prices going from one side to the other side of the spectrum. With a few in betweens.

I think I've seen too big at first. I had not figured that a Buffalo hunt in the wild would probably cost almost twice the amount of a buffalo hunt in a private fenced property in SA. And I'm not critic here, all those operators have major costs involved and their products are worthing every pennys they charge. I'm old enough to know that being an outfitter involve a lot of works, a lot of expenses and if that's true in Canada, that's surely also true in any parts of Africa.

I know I won't go to kill a buffalo on a property I can walk the entire perimeter in about 6 hours at a good pace. Every fall we hunt moose in not fenced areas 5-10 times greater than that. But I do understand that this fits a category of hunters and respond to a need. No problem with that.

I thought at first that I could be OK on a budget of around 20K cdn total (including my transport from canada to africa). But I realise that what I was dreaming of is more in the 35K cdn range. (I'm in Canada so every prices listed must be multiplicated by 1,25 to 1,40 depending of the money value..) And even if I have this cash right now, I just can't rationally spend that much money on a hunt.

At least, like clint Eastwood said in the movie "The bridges of Madison County": The old dreams were good dreams; they didn't work out but I'm glad I had them. ;)

I still have time to work all this in my head, but I'll do "once in a lifetime something special" in 2022 for sure.

Thanks a bunch to everyone who put their grain of salt in this thread. This was really interesting. I've learned a lot.
It definitely can be puzzling to figure out what you want to hunt and where you want to hunt.
its good that you have had this chance to investigate pricing and see what options are out there.
judging by your message, you seem to be leaning towards a hunt in either Zambia, zim or moz.
in Zambia you’d be able to get a buff hunt for under $20k, not including the add ons for travel and all else.

as others have said, it’s definitely worth speaking to operators and booking agents from now, be up front with them about budgets, time frame and they’ll get in touch when the right deal or package comes across their table.
good luck and enjoy the search.
 

Scott CWO

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In order to focus the search for OP, but also for my own couriosity (looking for future buffalo hunt, on very non urgent basis), who are the outfitters in Bubye valley conservancy and Save Valley conservancy?
Mokore Safaris (Duckworth family) is in the Save. Great folks.
 

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Welcome to AH and look forward to your participation! We’re here to help if we can.
 

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Since we've covered the possibility of the Luangwa in Zambia a few times, I'll add this photo for fun and interest. I have seen this iconic Africa setting and location used in various periodicals and Travel Promotion publications. It just seems to say, "Africa!" However, I did not copy this from one of those sources. I took this photo a few years ago on the Luangwa. Apparently the setting and location has caught the eye of quite a few people as I've seen several published photos taken in this area, if not in this exact area of the river. It is in the southern portion of what most call the Upper Luangwa, a few miles below where the vegetation opens up adjacent to the river. Some here may very well recognize the spot- maybe the exact spot. :) BTW, usually quite a few large crocs and hippos in this stretch. This is/was? in the Lumimba and Musalangu Game Management hunt areas north of the Luambe NP and east side of the river. The North Luangwa NP is on the west side of the river. We saw several lions at different points/times lazing along the river banks and bars on the North Luangwa NP side all the way from Chanjuzi to north of Nyaminga.

I watched this group and a similar sized group of eles cross the Luangwa here, into the North Luangwa NP every couple of days. The other group had a very small calf with its mother, likely the matriarch. Twice I watched the group with the small calf cross at this spot. Each time they would stay close together with the calf in the middle. Probably as protection from the crocs. They always crossed at the same place, hauling out at a cutbank with a fairly steep slope of loose sand/soil. At the cutbank, the group would stop at the edge in the belly deep water. The calf would move to the front with its mom standing just behind. She would push the calf up the cutbank slope until it could struggle up over the lip at the top. Then the mother would climb out. Then the others would follow one by one. I watched her swat a youngster bull with her trunk one time as he tried to get in front and up the cutbank first. He stumbled back into the water to wait! :)

My time in Zambia was some of my most pleasant spent in Africa. Here in the US, back in the 80s, I worked with a ZAWA rep from Lusaka so had always wanted to visit his country.

View attachment 384465

Great photo. That’s the Luangwa I remember!
 

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Welcome to AfricaHunting. Planning is half the fun! Enjoy the forum, it's very addicting.
 

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I agree with what some others have said, a free range eland and/or other plains game hunts in beautiful wild areas would be great and a nice warm up for later DG hunts. Another option is a buffalo hunt in SA in as close to a wild free range area as possible. I’m hunting a buffalo this September in a 17,400 ha area in zululand, SA with Garry Kelly safaris. I hunted the area twice last year and loved it. It’s a huge area of pristine bush, I’m sure a lot of animals don’t even know there is a fence around it! Was a great option for me last year when borders were closed. So good I’m going back when they are open! Could be a good option for you too.
 

tarbe

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I would recommend Zim or Zambia. Both offer excellent buffalo and plains game areas. Consider:

1) upper Luangwa valley, Zambia
2) Zambezi Valley, Zim. I loved Dande but it doesn’t have a lot of plains game. Perhaps Nyakasanga.
3) Save Conservancy, Zimbabwe. We had a wonderful hunt there.

I hear great things about the Bubye. Check with Tarbe on this one.

As to PH’s, if you are going to hunt Zim you could do no better than Len Taylor. He has relocated to Bots but will continue to hunt in Zim as well.
I am certain you will get enough opinion and recommendation in this thread to last a lifetime...and most of it is good and all of it makes perfect sense to the sender!

But only you know what your ultimate goals and aspirations are. And likely, those goals and aspirations (for this hunt) will morph with time.

I think one of the reasons so many make numerous trips is because over time, we realize we've left dreams unfulfilled. I expect the same will happen to you!

But rigorous soul-searching and research can help to ensure your hunt will be as reasonable a facsimile to your ideal hunt as possible.

@Bullthrower338 and I did what you and your buddy are planning, back in 2019. Only difference is we were both focused on Cape Buffalo. Our soul-searching and research took us to the Bubye Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe and either of us would be happy to share our experiences with you. We also did a tag-team report on the hunt, here on AH.com.

Enjoy the planning!!


Tim
 
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Welcome to AH and good luck!
 

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