Recommendations for Buffalo hunt

John Rachow

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Hi folks,

Long time lurker on this site, but new member. I look forward to interacting here.

I posted this on another forum that you probably recognize, but thought I would join and post here, too. One can never get enough input in an effort to make a wise decision.

I’m looking for recommendations on an outfitter / PH for a 2018 cape buffalo hunt. I’ve done one African PG hunt in RSA in 2003. It was a fantastic experience!! I’ve dreamed of getting back, but life has always seemed to get in the way. This would probably be my one and only “bucket list” DG hunt, so I can’t afford to screw it up. I’ve sent out RFQ’s to over 20 outfitters, many of whom are members here. I’m not a rich man by any means, but based on initial responses from my inquiries, I believe I can afford a mid-range, 7-day hunt (maybe I’m being naive). I doubt that I could afford to harvest additional plains game, but it would be nice to be in an area where I am able to see a number of them on a daily basis. I’ve scoured the last 3 – 4 years of AH posts, Hunting Reports and Deals and Offers for ideas and have learned quite a bit. I have a few names in my head, but I thought I’d open the topic and see what you guys might recommend and why. I’d also like to hear about folks that you would steer clear of and why. I understand that you may not want to share a negative experience in an open forum, so I welcome and encourage PM’s, if you prefer. In my search, I’d like to leave no stone unturned. My criteria –

Pricing of about $15k all in, less air travel and shipping of trophy
An honest outfitter and hardworking, trustworthy PH
I’ve done RSA, so I’d like to hunt a different country, probably Zim or Moz
Must be unfenced and free range
Traditional spot spoor and stalk
Simple, yet safe accommodations
Would probably prefer rifle rental

I know there are sometimes discounted hunts by good operators later in the season. It’s certainly one option. I’m just not sure I could make arrangements that quickly (I’m still working).

Any and all responses would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

John
 

tinie kok

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John welcome to the site . There are a lot of good operators here .
Try Lindon Stanton in Zimbabwe
 

rookhawk

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John,

I don't mean to jump on you for your first post so please don't take my typing as harsh.

I think you've made a few mis-steps. First, 20 RFQs is not appropriate and you really took up a lot of people's time. 2 bids, perhaps 3 is normal for most businesses.

2nd, your price target is unlikely for Zim or any no-fence, wild hunt. Third, a 7 day hunt isn't enough time in most locations. You really need 14 days, at least 10.

Lastly, if you have a great PH that you love and trust, use him. Most good PHs can go where you want to go if they have strong credentials. My PH is in Zim and he can do Zim, Moz and RSA. I trust him so I can work with him on a budget that is fair. He makes no more on a $325 a day RSA hunt as he does on a $1200 fly camp in the Zambezi, only costs change, not his margins.

So now that you've got 20 quotes for all different things, how will you pick thup winner? If via price your lowest bidders will be fraudsters and honest landowners with high fences in RSA. Not easy to differentiate without references.

Constructive suggestion: pick a good PH you like. Go for a ten day hunt in the Bubye or Save conservancy in Zim for a bull and cow or a non-trophy and cow. It should run you just under $20k for daily rate and trophy fees. That's as fast, as sure thing, as legit, and as wild Africa as you will get with really high odds.

Again, sorry if I seem blunt, this is friendlier over a beer. I don't mean to sound like I'm lecturing.
 

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Welcome John.

You have already seen many of the suggestions I would give.

Good luck with your research.
 

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PHOENIX PHIL

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@John Rachow,

If $15K is your budget for the hunt itself. This doesn't include transportation or taxidermy as it seems from your post, I think you could do this in Zim. There were late season specials here for around $10K as I recall.

Bottom line is outside of getting auction hunts at the conventions which can be risky and no guarantee, the best way to save money on such a hunt is to catch late season and/or cancellation hunts. If you have the money in hand already or will soon and you can be flexible with your schedule, I think you can get this done with that budget.
 

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Welcome John. You can absolutely do the hunt you want to do in some areas of South Afruca. I have used Pawprint Safaris twice and going back this summer for the third time with them. Good luck on finding the outfitter you like.
 

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If you can go last minute, I'd would sit here and watch for the deals that start to pop up near the end of the season, you can get a real steal! I think you've spent enough time on here to know which outfitters reputations speak for themselves!

Good luck with the plans:)
 

Edward Wright

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Try Lilanga safaris , Tarek Jansen can offer you a hunt to fit your budget in RSA , he posts here, just ask around
 

victorw

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I'm sure Marius of KMG Safaris could help you. In the past I've seen some good buffalo offers from him his outfit. Has a great reputation.

JP Kleinhans also had some deals in Mozambigue. You can look him up - JP Kleinhans Safaris.
 

375 Ruger Fan

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John, welcome! I did a 10 day cape buffalo hunt in the Bubye Valley Conservancy in Zim in 2015 with John Sharp (http://www.john-sharp-safaris.com/ ). Had a great time, was on buffaloes every single day, but never got a shot off. Great experience, but in the end, it was a very expensive PG hunt (~$20-25k). Like Rookhawk mentioned in an earlier reply, a 7 day buff hunt is too short. A 10 day hunt should be the minimum, if you are hunting wide open areas.

Budget concerns are a real fact for all of us and a more economical buff hunt can be had in South Africa. I have been considering this option. A friend and coworker of mine found a hunt here on AH for about $10k. However, when you throw in flights, taxidermist, shipping, a few other PG, you soon get to the $15k+ range. This hunt was on a smaller property, about 4,000 acres, so it isn't something I'd be interested in. There are outifitters in RSA that have larger properties that make it a real hunt and yet the prices are reasonable. Striking a balance between a real hunt and a price within a budget is the challenge.

Dave
 

10generation

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Dave, very curious about your BVC hunt. I've been there as well. Tons of game.

Curious why you did not get a shot? John has a good reputation, bit of a character, but been a PH for a long time.

I was on a plains game hunt in the BVC and have thought about going back to get a buff, very surprised you could not get an opportunity and would be great to better understand what happened? Thanks
 

KMG Hunting Safaris

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I'm sure Marius of KMG Safaris could help you. In the past I've seen some good buffalo offers from him his outfit. Has a great reputation.

Thank you Victor.
I have open areas in South Africa available for Cape Buffalo as well.
 

375 Ruger Fan

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Dave, very curious about your BVC hunt. I've been there as well. Tons of game.

Curious why you did not get a shot? John has a good reputation, bit of a character, but been a PH for a long time.

I was on a plains game hunt in the BVC and have thought about going back to get a buff, very surprised you could not get an opportunity and would be great to better understand what happened? Thanks

10genration: The short answer is, "That's hunting." Either on John Sharp's website or the website for the BVC, the annual success rates for each year and species is published. As I recall, buff is typically 90+% success rate each year. For 2015, I was the other 10%. As I mentioned, we were on buffs every single day.

The first 4-5 days, we typically hunted buff in the morning only and PG in the afternoon. The thought being if you wounded a buff late in the day, it's no fun tracking after dark. I was hunting in late May so there was still a lot of leaves on the trees/bush. I'd hunt later in the year if I go back, say Aug or Sept. I could sense the urgency escalating around day 6 as we took our lunch with us for a couple of days and stayed in the field all day (taking a nap mid day after lunch). We hunted hard and were looking strictly for buff.

We'd leave camp at day light and stop at watering holes and look for tracks of small bachelor herds leaving the area and going into the wind. We then start tracking them. When the buffs got a few hundred yards into the bush, it seems if they crossed a trail they would then stay on the trail. The trails meandered and the buffs would from time to time make a big circle. Long story short, we'd get winded by them and they would take off. Several times we'd watch the birds (oxpeckers) and they would lead us back to the buff. A few times, we almost stepped on bedded down buff. We'd get to within 10-20 yards of them bedded in tall grass, and off they'd go. I did get on the sticks a few times and was trying to determine if we had a shooter and waiting for a clear and/or decent shot. We were in dense brush and I remember having a good view of the buffs ear and it was flicking around at no more than 40 yards. Within seconds, the buffs would spook and take off. Scenes like this happened over and over.

The BVC is over 800,000 acres and each camp is allocated about 100,000. However, when I hunted, there was 2 or 3 vacant camps so we could hunt those areas. We covered a lot of ground and I have no complaints with either John Sharp or the BVC. John was stellar to hunt with and the BVC is a very special place to hunt. John's lead tracker, Isaac, came up to me the day I was departing and was genuinely remorseful as if he personally failed. He told me to come back again and he'd make it right. I truly believe he meant it.
 

10generation

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Thanks for the detailed response. Makes perfect sense, I was on a 10 day plains game and had the same thing happen with Eland, got lucky on the very last afternoon. Great place.
 

Royal27

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Like Rookhawk mentioned in an earlier reply, a 7 day buff hunt is too short. A 10 day hunt should be the minimum, if you are hunting wide open areas.

Totally agree with this for the wild places. Buff in my avatar was taken on day eight of a 12 day hunt in Zim. Hunting purely for buff, although took some PG as opportunity arose before the buff.

If I had done a seven day hunt I would have come home with an impala and a grysbok.
 

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I replied to your thread on another site with my .02 cents. Here are some pics we took of a old non-trophy that we saw. In my case we where on the sticks several times daily before finding the right trophy bull and killed him on the third evening. My brother and I spent 8 more days hunting plains game and had a ball. Another person in camp hunted hard for 10 days before connecting on his bull and he had booked 15 days. Spend as much time as you can.
DSCN2242.JPG
DSCN2243.JPG
DSCN2245.JPG




Pics of my Bull
DSCN2100.JPG
DSCN2121.JPG
 

khharris

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Jamie Wilson with Luambeze Safaris would be a great option. Had an absolute blast hunting with him and the area was just sooo wild. Lion and Leo everywhere (had 8 on bait at once) and plenty of Dagga bulls to track. Really really enjoyed my hunt with him and would be happy to get you in touch.

JP Kleinhans would also be a great option. Direct message me if you need his contact info.
 

Jamie Wilson

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Jamie Wilson with Luambeze Safaris would be a great option. Had an absolute blast hunting with him and the area was just sooo wild. Lion and Leo everywhere (had 8 on bait at once) and plenty of Dagga bulls to track. Really really enjoyed my hunt with him and would be happy to get you in touch.

JP Kleinhans would also be a great option. Direct message me if you need his contact info.

Thanks Harris family!
 

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