Planning First Safari

mark-hunter

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My brother and dad will likely be going on this safari, and my dad seems to be a bit worried about hidden costs, vaccinations, and violence in SA

I have been on two safaris so far, and in terms of hidden costs, i can say that only shipping and taxidermy is almost impossible to plan.
Even now, I can not say.
I speak mainly on dip and pack system of trophy shipping.
For example, you have 5 euro scull mounts, 3 capes for shoulder mounts, and two skins.
What will be the volume and weight, nobody can tell you with certainty.
So that part in my view is variabile, although you can ask, and you can get an approximate values based of experience (from oufitter or local taxidermy)

- Finally - finished taxidermy is fixed price for planning. All you need is to ask for prices or quotes in advance.
- Tipping, you have to check before with your outfitter.
Majority of all costs will be covered by contract, and costs not covered will be stated in advance. And also you may ask.

Also in some cases. opposite of hidden costs, you may be lucky to be given some free of charge hunts, for example some warthog or smaller antelope for leopard bait, or similar. So it can go the oppsoite way, as well.

For vaccinations - if area is malaria free, do not worry. Ask your outfitter for advise. Tetanus vacc. is reccomnded.

For security and safety:
Apart from being hunter, I have seen many countries of the World.
There are more safe, or less safe, or even dangerous countries in the world.

For more, or less safe (average) countries there are places you simply do not visit. And your outfitter or PH will not take you there. I do not see how you can get in a dangerous neighborhood, simply by accident or by getting lost.

Dangerous countries, I will describe as countries in most cases involved in some kind of war, insurgency, civil unrests, armed conflict where escalation, and situation of local opposing forces can not be predicted, etc. And there you just do not go.

For SA and Namibia, it is simply - do not worry!

PS: I am speaking of extremely hunters friendly countries with high touristic stadards, Namibia and SA for cost planning.
I am not saying anything of other countries frequently visitied for hunting. There have been some reports on the forum on this subject.
 
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cls

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Lots of good advice here, enjoy the planning it will just get you even more stoked to get to Africa.
 

steve ahrenberg

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Hi Owen, there's some solid advice posted. I would add, don't limit your choices to only outfitters that advertise here or on other forum. You are significantly limiting your hunting universe by doing so. For every outfitter that posts on forums, I'll bet there are 5 that don't.

I would recommend the use of a credible booking agent. They have the contacts, the relationships and are far easier to speak with to discuss the many questions and details you will have. Many of the outfitters are out hunting or entertaining other clients and may not have time or opportunity to speak with you when you need. I'm sure the advertisers here don't like me posting this but keep it in mind.

Regards,

Steve
 

Ryan

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I'm getting into this a bit late in the game but I'll throw in my two cents. I've been to Namibia twice, near Etosha NP, and recently the East Cape of South Africa. For the species you mention I used a 30-06 in Namibia and a 300 WM and 308 South Africa without an issue so the 300 Weatherby will work splendidly. Most shots were in the 100-150 range, a couple below and one just above 200. I have a 3-9 scope on my 30-06 and kept it at 3 or 4 for most of those shots. The longer one I may have adjusted up a bit. Yours will work on the low end. Of course your suggestion for the 375 would also work well. Vaccination in Namibia and South Africa are nothing out of the norm. My vaccination card is fairly full anyway going through the military. Chat with a doctor and check out the CDC website. After my latest hunt I drove for nine days all over the cape of South Africa and I can say that crime and violence down there isn't horrible. Nor was Namibia. Always a possibility, but not a given. Honestly I can say that all over the world. Keep your eyes open and use common sense and you'll be fine. I totally agree with the statement about taxidermy. It is a major part of the expenses, look into it now for both a feel for cost and for what type of work you want done.
Lots of good outfits on here, also good ones not on here since my hunts in Namibia were not with anyone here. I won't argue with that. It never hurts to go to a Sportmans show and chat with the outfitters first hand, you learn a lot.
 

Joe P

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I took just about everything on my first safari with a 300 Weatherby Magnum, 180gr Swift A-frames. So I could have even gone with a heavier bullet but the 180s shot well. If you can shoot well with your current rifle then really consider sticking with it. Not to say you shouldn't go with a 375. Without a doubt you can hunt anything you want over there with a 375, it is a fantastic round, but your 300 Wtrby mag will take any plains game you want and hit them plenty hard. My point is, save your money so you can get to Africa and hunt ASAP, don't put it off or take less game on your hunt because you think you need a 375.

Also, FWIW, I used a VX5 HD 2-12x42 and loved it. Shot from 40 yrds (on the run) to 300 yrds. Excellent scope.
 

barbells.and.arrows

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As far as the safety & shots aspect, I'm the type of person who dislikes large crowds, and large cities, and I basically don't go anywhere without a handgun of some sort. That being said, I never felt unsafe in RSA, granted we didn't spend any extra time in the cities there. The places we did everyone was extremely polite, and I felt as if the locals saw people in camo and just knew to not be a bother to them because that is where their income comes from. I also felt as if our PH knew where to go and where to avoid, which I'm guessing they all do. We took rounds of antibiotics with us, mainly due to the fact my husband and I both have terrible allergies, and we are both prone to sinus infections. We didn't need them, and I left them with the PH when we left.
 

Bos en Dal SAFARIS

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Some solid advise you recieved by now. You can pm or email me should you want any additional information about our areas we hunt.

My personal best
 

Charles de Ribeau

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Owen,
Lots of good advice in this thread.

I will offer this personal advice about taxidermy. Go slow. You are relatively young and you are going to have to carry those mounts around with you for most of the rest of your life. Unless you have something that is really special for you, do Euro mounts. They take a lot less wall space; fit better in a room with normal (8' ceilings) and you don't have to worry (at least not much) about bugs or sun fade destroying them. Shoulder mounts take a lot of space - both top to bottom and how far they extend out from the wall. I speak from experience since my trophy room is full. There are animals I'd like to hunt and have mounted (like an NZ tahr), but it's not an option unless I get rid of something that I already have.

Before I went on my first safari, I was like your father. I had a long list of reasons why hunting in Africa was a bad idea (disease, crime, corruption, snakes, dangerous game, and on and on). I **knew** it was a bad idea and definitely not for me. However, the second time I went to the SCI convention, I stopped and chatted with Craig Boddington (a fine gentleman). I don't know what came over me, but as I turned to leave, I asked him "Where would you recommend for a first time safari?" Six months later, I was hunting in Namibia. :) I've now been twice and always in malaria free and yellow fever free zones and I've only seen one snake (late season hunt when they were just starting to come out). I've been back. I've hunted dangerous game, plains game, leopard bait and meat for camp. In addition to Namibia, I also hunted in RSA. I never felt unsafe in any way.

A great primer on African hunting is "African Experience: A Guide to Modern Safaris" by Craig Boddington.

BTW - I was told by my PH to never have taxidermy done in Africa.
 

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Hello All,

It was nice to meet some of you on the welcomes page. I am hoping to gain some more information from all of you about planning for my first safari in general. Not to make a catch-all post, but I am very ignorant on most of the topics of hunting SA.

I was astounded by some of the prices one could go on a decent free range all inclusive safari for. They truly seem to be less expensive than a Western elk hunt here in the states. I still need to check for some of the forum sponsors, but a few package plains game outfitters seem to be Richard Holmes Safaris, and Tollies Safaris, both located in South Africa.

I will likely be shooting for a May 2020 or 2021 safari, as I am a college student now with big hopes of hunting some of these beautiful animals.

I would like to harvest a kudu or gemsbok, a blue wildebeest, and then any other species that you guys and gals highly recommend for a first time safari. (Gazelle, springbok, zebra)

I own and use a 300 Weatherby currently for big game hunting in the states, I am very comfortable using this rifle, but fear with its 4.5-14x40 Leupold scope it will have too much magnification on the low end. What would you all say about a Winchester Model 70, or CZ 550 in 375 H&H with a 2-12 Leupold VX6, or something of this nature? I realize the caliber may be excessive for plains game, but I feel that I would have plenty of time to shoot the 375 well, and practice off of sticks before my hunt. Plus I really want a 375!

My brother and dad will likely be going on this safari, and my dad seems to be a bit worried about hidden costs, vaccinations, and violence in SA. Can any of you give me any advice regarding these matters, or anything else to put me in the right direction for my first Safari?

All information will be very much appreciated. Thank you,

Alex
Use your Weatherby if you like it. For PG that scope will be great. No vaccinations for the most part and you can’t be afraid of Africa it is an amazing place! Remember when you are on a hunt the people will take care of you from beginning to end.
Happy planning!
Philip
 

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Nice “meeting” you Rick. I made my first trip to S. Africa this year through Kuche Safaris. We had an incredible time. What outfitter do you use? Neal
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