Pre-safari planning: Location of lodge/hunting concession

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by ufg8r93, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. ufg8r93

    ufg8r93 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Maybe it's just me, but I have a strong dislike for outfitters who won't give me the lodge/concession coordinates for me to do some Google Earth scouting in my due diligence. Have had two outfitters in SA do this to me, both times using the "there are rhinos on the place, and we're worried about poachers" line. I didn't even know there were rhinos on either place until they told me!

    I think this is baloney and my best guess is they are worried they'll have to shift the hunt to a different concession and want to be able to do that without the hunter's knowledge. Am I being paranoid? Am I way off base here?
     
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  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    PM Sent.
     

  3. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    No excuses.
    If you do not feel comfortable or they are not forthcoming in a manner that you feel they should be then you can choose to hunt elsewhere.

    Many Outfitters in RSA use a variety of "concessions"/ farms to hunt on. That should not be news to anyone. Would you trust a property that "had it all" on one property?

    One issue may be competition. It takes a huge amount of effort to secure good ground and they may be shy about having that advertised to others on the net.

    I know of an Outfitter that swooped in on a concession after locals developed it and built it up. The Outfitter then hunted the large trophies off and moved on. The local hunting association was not happy! As you can imagine.

    On a related note, I just saw an Outfitter booth at the DSC convention that was using a photo of a lodge on their booth backdrop that does not even have access to hunt that property. How would the typical hunter know? I noticed though.

    I hope you can get the information that you need to get your hunt booked.
     

  4. barbells.and.arrows

    barbells.and.arrows AH Veteran

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    Everything he said!
    My advice would be looking into operators/outfitters that someone you know personally has gone with? We went with an outfitter that several people we knew had gone with at least once if not more than once. I also know where our lodge was, wasn't "close" (surrounded by) the properties we hunted.
     

  5. ufg8r93

    ufg8r93 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I agree completely with Brickburn here. I've seen pictures from lodges I slept in on another outfitter's marketing materials.

    I won't book with an outfitter that won't share the location of the concession/lodge with me in advance. I understand that in SA things can change and there are loads of concessions and loads of overlap here and there regarding access to certain game farms/concessions. Just be open and up front with your prospective clients - if you are worried about it being advertised, simply ask the prospective client not to disclose the information. I'm not naive enough to think there aren't bad actors out there that the outfitters should be concerned with - in that case, simply verify who the prospective client is before you send them the information.

    After two trips to SA and speaking with loads of folks here and elsewhere, I think I understand the SA safari business well enough. I wish outfitters were just open and honest and up-front with folks right out of the gate.
     
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  6. wesheltonj

    wesheltonj AH Elite

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    The place I hunted, on their website, has google maps, on one page. Along with the current weather at the closest location to his place.
     
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  7. MarkB

    MarkB AH Veteran

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    I had an experience the opposite. I did my due diligence on a Zim Ele, sable hunt, had many, many emails from the US Booking agent with great details on the hunt and camp. "You will love the camp in the Matetsi, sits on the bank of a dry riverbed surrounded by miombo forest. On the other side of the river is Botswana". Of course I looked at Google for the possible camp. When I arrived in Zim at Vic Falls outfitter was in Bulawayo. After meeting African company I came to find out they do not have a hunting area in Matetsi, had no ele or sable permits. A substitute PH on this site saved my hunt, was the best dam PH one could imagine, we got an awesome ele on an awesome hunt. When surprisingly he showed up in the PH's living room and I got too meet the 70 + year old US agent with a few questions he stated "too bad, your in Africa now make the most of it". My regret to this day? I should have overlooked his age and put him to sleep with pain right there.

    So what I learned, what you are told really means little, things change when in Africa and sometimes you get details and info that is nothing more than BS. Hunters really are at the mercy of the outfits. This site and its advertisers are a great wealth of verified info, one can garner much on an outfit with a few hours of research and reading. Sending PM's to those that have used your chosen outfit for verification. Responses to first round questions could be vague, even second round but once outfitter knows he is on the short list his responses better be on point. If the exact location of your hunting area is an important question that requires proper response and outfitter refuses or fails to provide after same question twice, I would RUN and move on, there are many outfitters to choose from, find one that will disclose your hunting area.

    MB
     

  8. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Your instincts are correct. They just want to book you then drive you all over RSA to find what you want. Be cautious!
     
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  9. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Also outfitters who won’t disclose their acreage and are evasive about questions like this are a red flag.
     

  10. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Just tell them not to worry, that you're going to lead the rhino poachers away from them by hunting with another outfitter. (y)
     

  11. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    I like this response!
     

  12. YancyW

    YancyW GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    I haven't had this issue, but I wouldn't deal with someone like that at all. If they don't have the ability to be completely honest about their operation, I can easily replace them with someone who can.
     
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  13. barbells.and.arrows

    barbells.and.arrows AH Veteran

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    The more I think about this the more I think it sound so bogus. Anyone with any common sense regarding the "interwebs" knows IP addresses can be tracked. Why would you admit via the internet you had rhinos, if you were worried about poachers? Rhino poaching is big money, and I would be hard pressed to think they (big money making poachers) couldn't afford someone to hack "WhatsApp/messenger/email" to figure out someone's IP address location if they really had rhinos.
    I feel like people who have rhinos and are trying to keep them safe would be hard pressed to admit it over the internet if it wasn't commonly known. Even the sharing of photos seems sketchy if you have your camera geotagging locations.
     

  14. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    @ufg8r93 , hunting in Africa is an "adventure", if you don´t want any "surprises", make sure you pick an Outfitter which has the best references, preferably from someone you know and trust who has hunted with said Outfitter.

    Another option is to search among our sponsors and read the reviews.
     
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  15. Bob Nelson 35Whelen

    Bob Nelson 35Whelen AH Enthusiast

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    ufg8r93
    Iff'n it smells bad it probably is. I checked personal references, their web site and even rang the outfit directly. The person that organized our hunt had been to the same property 5 or 6 times already and had built up a good rapport with the outfit. My family had a great time mate. If they can't do what YOU want go elsewhere. Our group couldn't get all we wanted on Haralds own 2 properties but had access to other areas that could provide ALL we wanted including a last minute giraffe.
    Don't let your heart over rule your or your partners gut feeling.
    Read other post on hunt reports it will even tell you who to keep clear of.
    Part of the fun of the hunt is the hunt for the right out fit.
    Good luck and cheers mate
    Bob Nelson
     

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