SOUTH AFRICA: Has Anyone Hunted With Bayete Group?

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by Mohuntenfool, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. fourfive8

    fourfive8 AH Fanatic

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    I keep wondering why all these dramas start out with something like, “I or we “won” or had too much to drink at such and such a function and “won the bid” on a “safari” with such and such outfit. Or, we found an unbelievable “deal” or we found a safari outfit that offered negotiable fees for cash or a special “deal” in an area that hasn’t been hunted in years.....” and so on and so forth. Then sometime later the same people show up on one of the internet hunting forums asking if anyone knows anything about such and such outfit. Then hints or facts of some shady activities start to surface. Then mysteriously, brand new members start showing up singing the praises of such and such outfit on the same forums. This theme seems eerily to repeat itself over and over. There are so many not-so-subtle patterns and clues - all hiding in plain sight!
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2019

  2. ETCAK

    ETCAK New Member

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    I didn't win and I wasn't under the influence but the information I've been reading and received directly from some of the land owners who support safaris is very concerning to us. We've been looking forward to this for some time now and unfortunately we've witnessed a barrage of negative information on Bayete of late. I would very much appreciate any credible information you may have on them. Thank you....Eric, Alaska
     
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  3. KimDVM

    KimDVM New Member

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    I'm on safari with Bayete right now. I was not a member of this forum until this week. I had checked for comments months ago and all looked good. After we saw some "red flags" here on the trip I started digging some more including this forum.

    I'll write more when I get back but the summary is:
    -I'm having a great time. We are being taken care of and I am very happy that we came. We have an excellent PH.

    HOWEVER. there are several examples of disorganization and at least 2 examples of the red flags that made us wonder about their financial condition, even before we came online and found out about their payment problems. The first was the somewhat disorganized communication became more confusing about 3 weeks ago as the concierge name changed again. Then, 2 weeks ago we received an email that Bayete is using a temporary camp "while they build their new luxury camp". Finally, we were ready to hunt early one morning and waiting. We overheard that we could not go to the game farm we were scheduled at because Bayete owed the farmer money. One of their employees had to go get cash from an ATM and pay the farmer before we could go in. There is also not much hunting ground Bayete currently has contracted, although it has been enough to keep us happy.

    On the positive side, the experience they provided at the airport was excellent. A porter met us with a sign, and she took us to "Mr X" (the guy who handles rifle imports). From there we met our drivers, who were very friendly and immediately brought us in a reasonably comfortable van back to the "camp". The camp is an adequate facility. 2 people per cottage-style building, food in a central lodge. There is a swimming pool. It's not the luxury facility they advertise, but it's not that important to us. The reason it was a "red flag" is that I just don't buy that you move your clients to a temporary, downgraded place while you build some imaginary new place.

    I saw a semi-reliable source say that the NRA ceased offering the Bayete safaris at auction. If they have not stopped, I would certainly not recommend that anyone buy one right now.

    If you have already bought one I would seriously consider whether you want to go ahead with deposit and airline ticket. Maybe wait until a few weeks before your schedule and get information from locals?

    In the end an auction item is a donation. We somewhat trusted the NRA "vetting" of this safari company but I also went to an NRA banquet as I do to other charity events with the intent to donate money. What is most concerning/upsetting about the situation though is that it appears Craig (former NRA employee) had to be aware of the problems with Bayete for months while he was still employed there. I just heard that Bayete is now offering a safari with the elk foundation, where Craig now works. Craig's wife was working for Bayete as of a few weeks ago, so it doesn't seem possible to me that he is ignorant of the problems.

    It is possible another safari company will step up and offer something also; the safari providers still make money as people tend to buy the opportunity to hunt more animals once they get here.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2019
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  4. KimDVM

    KimDVM New Member

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    After I heard about some people having trophies withheld we asked some questions and are making sure the animals are being delivered to the taxidermist. We will be visiting the taxidermist Sunday before we leave the country.

    Payments to the taxidermist, whether made now or later go directly not through Bayete.
     
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  5. ETCAK

    ETCAK New Member

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    Thanks for the updates, very interested in hearing more.
     

  6. KyGriz

    KyGriz New Member

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    Hi,
    Great to hear your having a great time!!! I was there with Bayete the first of July and had a great time. The lodge you describe sounds exactly like where we stayed LOL right on the river and great morning and evening views. I loved Africa and would love to go back one day.
    I attended a Friends of NRA about two weeks ago here in Kentucky and they had changed the Africa Safari provider to a different company.
    Hope you have a safe trip and enjoy.
    Interested to hear what you have to say when you get back to the states.
    I used Highveld taxidermists and we toured their facility on the way back... impressed.... my trophies are to be ready this december.

    later.... stay safe and enjoy
    cliff
     

  7. Gunnersdad49

    Gunnersdad49 New Member

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    I shot my Kudu with them on August 22. It still hasn't made it to the taxidermist. If St John is there, would you mind asking him to return my phone calls and emails?

    Thanks!
     
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  8. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    That fact might also support some of the concerns raised about paying the operators. There is no way the land owner or safari operator is letting any trophies leave the property before they are paid.

    Not returning calls! That is someone who does not care about future business.
     

  9. ETCAK

    ETCAK New Member

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    You ever hear from St. John? He provided us with 6 references he said we could email for feedback about their operation as we plan for our May 2020 hunt; oddly enough we haven't heard from anyone I reached out to on the list.
     

  10. Gunnersdad49

    Gunnersdad49 New Member

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    I've had great communication with Brooke (pretty sure that is her name) his US representative. Still nothing from him. I didn't want to pile on, but they also forgot about us at the airport on our way in. We spent about 3 hours with the people from Hunters Permits Africa (their customer service is top notch and I would highly recommend Adele and her crew) then another hour or two at a hotel bar across the street from the airport waiting for a lift for the 3 hour drive to the lodge.

    St John is a good salesman, and a fun guy to have a beer with. I just don't think that attention to detail is his strong suit.
     

  11. KimDVM

    KimDVM New Member

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    no time for long report as I am still here having fun, including our whole group going to a non-hunting game preserve today for some great views

    But just to give an example of the lack of organization (or funds or both) . They had ran out of beer, decent wine, then whiskey so I just decided it was easier to buy some. Asked our PH to stop at the liquor store.
     
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  12. Gunnersdad49

    Gunnersdad49 New Member

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    KimDVM, Are you hunting with Frikke?
     

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