Pre Safaris training


AH fanatic
Aug 4, 2012
Reaction score
Sweden/South Africa
Deals & offers
Hunting reports
South Africa,Zimbabwe,Sweden
Figured I would like to know about everyones pre Safaris training programs, both the shooting and physical programs if you do both.

I spend a day a week on the range normally and a month or so before a safaris I will ramp it up to 2 days a week. I dont shoot off the bench, just field positions and off hand shooting. Ranges from 25 to 300 meters. The last few weeks I will also spend some serious time in the shooting simulator. This plus the dry fire drills I do daily.

As for the physical stuff I do a 2 mile run with the "green gun" everyday, followed by sets of pull-ups,push ups,dips and the following day V-sits,hanging knee tucks and plank holds. I mix it up with a bit of time on the speed bag,reflex ball and heavy bag when the snow outside is to thick to do anything else.

The older I get the harder it seems to make time for the physical stuff, but I do hunt a lot easier when I prepared well.
What kind of dry fire exercises do you do everyday?
@brushmore I always start the same way, empty rifle eyes closed up with the rifle to my shoulder and stock on the cheek, open eyes and see if I am on the stock weld spot. After a few of these you find the weld spot pretty easy. Then I load the mag with 2-4 dummy rounds chamber one put the safety on and hold the rifle in the rest position. I pick a small spot on the wall, bring the rifle up,flick the safety off and pull the trigger the moment I feel comfortable, reload as fast as possible and fire a follow up shot, making sure to keep everything as it was durring the reload. I dont lift my head off the stock or drop the rifle from my shoulder for the reload. I then restart the procedure. I also do a left to right and right to left with the rifle trying to focus on breaking the trigger while the rifle is still being swung. It eliminates tue tendancy to stop in the swing for a moving target. At the range I also always finish with a dry fire session, the mind is a funny thing and it helps with conditioning the flinch out of my shooting(y)
over the holiday period or any other time that i am feeling a bit worried about my capabilities , i like to find a bar with the perfect height to rest my elbow on without any body bending, so i have the perfect trajectory for practicing bringing the beverage glass to my mouth. i do this with my eyes open and an empty glass for the first 2 or 3 ,then with half measures to get the feel, weight and handling capabilities of the glass. then i have the barman/reloader speed pour so i can practice rapid fire with my eyes closed and not spill a drop. :D Cool Drink::D Cool Drink::D Cool Drink: one must always remember to follow through or there is the possibility of being wounded in the chest by dangerous drops of escaping alcohol!! ;) :E Rofl::D Beers:
Good post.
They tell me that I'm in my 60's now so, I do not romp the barbells and punching bags very enthusiastically any more (but I do have both and know my way around them - waaay around them these days LOL).
However, I do walk many miles in preparation for any serious hunting trip, including many miles of stairs, plus I always make it a point to loose at least 10 pounds prior to getting on the plane.
For a full year prior to the hunt, I only shoot the rifle and load that I will be hunting with.
I never take more than one bullet weight on any safari.
I put concerted effort into training for the Leopard Blind like this.
Tried to get Guinness to sponsor the trip but they threw their lot in with Land Rover type sponsorships.
Silly of them to miss an opportunity like this.....

I'll tell you, I really wish that more people would put more effort into preparing for a hunt. I've had guys that cant hardly walk up a hill much less shoot afterward. I'm not in near the shape i was 10 to 15 years ago but I take it very seriously getting ready for a big hunt. I cant imagine spending all the time and money involved to show up and not be physically able to do it.
I think it all depends what type of hunt your going to be going on.
Chasing Ibex at 14,000 feet or Vaalies at 9500 feet? You better do some conditioning....
Leopard hunting from a blind, I prepared as noted above. :)

As well, on the shooting end, its the same. Leopard at 50 yards or Ibex at 650 yards?
Different skills required. Better be a lot of practice until you are confident.


You have gone to the heart of my current dilemma. I had my left knee "scoped" end of June after I tore it up hunting In New Zealand. I thought it would be good to go when done. Wrong. Bone on bone where the cartilage Is missing.. Arthritis and gout crystals in the joint. Then the good Dr. says I need to have a knee replacement in 10 yrs. Too young right now......
Circumstances are such that I have saved my largest sum for hunting ever, but my knee won't allow me to do the type of hunt that I want to do. So I'm stuck trying to decide whether to go or not to go to Africa this yr. bruce
So I'm stuck trying to decide whether to go or not to go to Africa this yr.
I dont think a elephant hunt is a good idea, way too much walking!
There is however leopard on bait,hyena,honey badger, bushpig and croc can all be done on bait too;)

I think it all depends what type of hunt your going to be going on.
Cant agree more Sir! Train and prepare for the hunt you booked. I have a very simple philosophy when it comes to training mentally and physically. I dont train for the 99% things go right, I train for the 1% things go wrong:)
@gizmo I hear you Sir!!! Sometimes it amazes me how much money we will spend on a hunt, but how little effort we put into getting ready for that hunt. To me its simple, if you cannot make the effort to get into some sort of shape, dont expect to nail those really big trophies, they are big for a reason, you are going to have to work pretty hard to get them.
I shoot year around and that part has never been a problem.
Physical----That is another matter. When I was younger it was no problem at all. NOW---I have had surgery on both knees and need both replaced. Some days I can hardly stand on them. I had a total left hip replacement. I had major back surgery with 6 spacers/12 screws and some other work done. The RA in my wrist/shoulders and spine is a bitch sometimes. I have been told no running, no jumping and no heavy weight lifting/carrying(over 25 pounds).
This does limit what I am able to do and the type of hunting. Gone are the days of a pack and running up and down hills at 8-10,000+ feet. I do manage to hunt.
I was concerned with my hunt in SA. It was all spot and stalk. I talked to my outfitter and they assured me it would work out well. All I can say is my hunt with Iliwas Safaris turned out much better than I could have ever imagined. Instead of a few long stalks/walks we did a larger number each day of short ones. If it was a hard walk the PH would go first to see if there was the game we wanted then he would find an easier walk to get me into position to shoot. I had a fantastic time and did not even need many pain pills.
Shot a number of SCI record book animals. Not bad for a broken down old man on a budget hunt.
I want to go back.
@Divernhunter My hat off to you Sir!! Anyone that can still hunt with all of that really loves it!! Hope I can keep going the same way!!!
Divernhunter that is great that your hunt went well. I hope you are able to go back many many times.
I shoot once a week, walk every day for an hour at least, and do some moderate weight lifting. This is my year round routine.
Today's prep work for a Leopard Blind. Hard water fishing.

-29C (thankful for the heater), 28cm of nice clear ice. 30m water.


The two dots off the point are dog sled teams that went sliding by. I had a longer walk across the ice. :)

that fishing through a little hole in a lake looks awesome bricko .
next time im canada my friend tells me shes going to take me to do just that ,
she says the fish under the ice taste terrific , and the beer is just perfect too.
I put concerted effort into training for the Leopard Blind like this.
Tried to get Guinness to sponsor the trip but they threw their lot in with Land Rover type sponsorships.
Silly of them to miss an opportunity like this.....

View attachment 35033

hope thats not your neighbors fence , your burning there ....
You actually walk out onto that ice on purpose????
I would just end up there if I started climbing that mountain in the background, lost my footing and slid all they way onto the lake.

Forum statistics

Latest member



Latest profile posts

DLSJR wrote on Will Clark's profile.
You’ve got an interesting screen name. Will the Thrill provided lots of great times for me as a lifelong Giants fan. Even though I never met him, a number of buddies either duck hunted or shared a dugout with him. He’s a great guy according to those guys. Cool screen name and if that’s your real name, it’s a great one.
in-between all the bush fire, hunting and work on the hunting area its hard to find time for fishing as well
JOHNNY30 wrote on krish's profile.
is the 505 gibbs still for sell? Thanks!
William W. wrote on Grouser's profile.
I ran across a message from you a couple of years ago while I was going through old emails. I have arranged a second bison hunt in Nebraska in September 2024, about 6-years after the first, when my supply of bison meat was exhausted. My email is [redacted].
Labman wrote on Mully's profile.
If those Schells rings fare still available, I could use them. I'm willing to pay for the shipping.