SOUTH AFRICA: NB Safaris In SA - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (Hunt Report)

Chago

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I honestly have less respect for the outfitter after his own posts and not the OP review. Of course the review made him look bad. But to come on here and simply say generic statements like "the devil is in the details" and that the OP had high expectations etc. Without actually answering to why they couldn't get a gemsbok, why he had to use one taxidermist, why the taxidermy is so poor. And honestly, a trophy is in the story and the hunt. But the story doesn't cost more. "trophy" specimen do. You shot a lot of very young animals that are not "trophy" so I hope you did not pay trophy rates. If it's a cull hunt no big deal a lot of guys love those. I'm just saying if it wasn't a cull hunt this guide hosed you on pricing and trophy quality too.

Neil won't respond because he knows he can't. The website should have a record keeping system for guides. And of course you can't ban them after one bad review. But if they start seeing a trend. Ban them and don't allow them to sponsor. At the end of the day. This website is found by every single Africa hunting noob. Exactly how I found it. And they need education on these crooks.
 

Neil Barnard

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Thanks for the report. Easy to draw some conclusions being there is a bit of nepotism present on the taxidermy side....

Sorry you had to go the big but dont let it detract from your next
@Neil Barnard the images of the trophies still show many defects and you see full images of the slippage and work on the OP's post linked above.
It's best to offer any additional information right away in a thread like this.

For starters from personal experience, my taxidermist in RSA paid to have a mount shipped back and redone because of much smaller issues than seen here.

Can you comment on the relationship between you, the intermediary, and then the actual taxidermist? Did you also not offer to help find a different taxidermist as the OP stated by limiting to 3 days?
TTundra,
Thank you for your above input. The problem here is as follows:
We were still communicating regarding the problems. I had suggested that he lays a official complaint with PHASA and that I would adhere to their decision. He had requested money and I was not willing to just pay without settling properly. The one moment he would be happy and the next his was disagreeable on the same subject. His agent who is reacting here is also a long time client and has had great safaris over the years. He tipped the last hunt well and all was in order. This client also tipped my staff well and all was in order when he left, as a matter of fact it was all good until he demanded money and I suggested we settle it with a 3rd party(PHASA). The deal I gave them was cheap and good? Here is more to this story then meets the eye. The Taxidermy did there best, Trophies were prepared in the best way possible... sometimes skins at different times of the year react differently. But I was willing to settle with the client with a outcome determined by PHASA(South African Professional Hunters association) and they (him and his agent...) jumped on it..?
NB Safaris and African Expressions Taxidermy has many happy clients. This one is outspoken and they have an agenda... The truth will still surface. Have the popcorn ready.
 

Neil Barnard

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Hallo Chago,

I respect your opinion. I did not want to get in a spitting match and this is why I did not go into the details... I had suggested to this client; that we have a 3rd party settle this. (PHASA) the Professional Hunters association of South Africa. He choose to bad mouth me before we could settle.
Hope you have a great day.
I honestly have less respect for the outfitter after his own posts and not the OP review. Of course the review made him look bad. But to come on here and simply say generic statements like "the devil is in the details" and that the OP had high expectations etc. Without actually answering to why they couldn't get a gemsbok, why he had to use one taxidermist, why the taxidermy is so poor. And honestly, a trophy is in the story and the hunt. But the story doesn't cost more. "trophy" specimen do. You shot a lot of very young animals that are not "trophy" so I hope you did not pay trophy rates. If it's a cull hunt no big deal a lot of guys love those. I'm just saying if it wasn't a cull hunt this guide hosed you on pricing and trophy quality too.

Neil won't respond because he knows he can't. The website should have a record keeping system for guides. And of course you can't ban them after one bad review. But if they start seeing a trend. Ban them and don't allow them to sponsor. At the end of the day. This website is found by every single Africa hunting noob. Exactly how I found it. And they need education on these crooks.
 

Neil Barnard

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@Neil Barnard The taxidermy pics you posted are taken in the most favorable light ( in this case rather lack of) but it still doesn’t address the slippage issues which most probably resulted from poor care during the skinning salting phase. That is your area of responsibility, As for the quality of the taxidermy I will not comment being a taxidermist myself.
There are bigger issues here at play than the feild care. The area booked, the accommodations, the lack of cooperation in finding a dip/ pack company, the apparently reasonable request to cover replacement capes for the two mounts most in question. I’m not sure what the OP proposed as to replacement costs but a kudu cape in the US will run $450-500 and waterbuck about the same.
Since you have waded into the conversation with good cause I understand, it is your reputation at stake, please address all the issues. I shall reserve my opinion until all sides have been heard
Respectfully a future Africa hunter
Hi Buck Wild,
I had suggested to this client before he took up bad mouthing me that he gives an official complaint in at PHASA (Professional Hunters association of South Africa). I will go with their determination any time.
Does this sound good?
 

Chago

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Hallo Chago,

I respect your opinion. I did not want to get in a spitting match and this is why I did not go into the details... I had suggested to this client; that we have a 3rd party settle this. (PHASA) the Professional Hunters association of South Africa. He choose to bad mouth me before we could settle.
Hope you have a great day.

Can you explain why every thread your name is brought up. That same day people join the forum and leave a positive review. Then never post again ? Or should I ask the PHASA?

I searched 4 different threads including this one that had the same thing happen. :whistle:
 

Neil Barnard

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Is there a reason you quoted my comment with no reply? Seems you're a very very new member here and it's quite convenient you ended up in this thread. Tell me, how did you end up here in the first
I did not know this is an old boys club? Why would a client with a good opinion not be allowed t0 answer? Why the aggression towards him?
 
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leslie hetrick

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even I passed up 38" kudu,s and as I said I,m no trophy hunter, but my hunting pardner likes bigger animals, a 56" kudu he took in RSA

DSCN2098 (2).JPG
 
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Neil Barnard

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Can you explain why every thread your name is brought up. That same day people join the forum and leave a positive review. Then never post again ? Or should I ask the PHASA?

I searched 4 different threads including this one that had the same
Chago, I can only think that my clients do not really keep them selves busy with such forums in general. If someone picks up a negative report, they share the news and people wish to say their say. All part of life, and nothing strange. I have many many happy clients and I do not think they are not allowed to share their experience on this forum because they do not in average participate normally? I am trying to understand the problem here? For the last 10 years I have had an average of over 90 hunters a year, you are bound to have a unhappy one every now and then. Some are just impossible to get happy... some are. But 99% of my clients are extremely happy and I guess they would like to share their experience. I wish no ill on no one, I wish to help. But if a client posts a negative before we are done dealing with his problem. I feel slightly cheated. That’s all.
 

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Neil, No dog in this hunt but if you would have refunded 100% of his money, it would have been covered by the business you didn't lose because of this thread. I believe you're going to learn a hard lesson about doing business in the internet age.

Edit: You are correct when you say you can't make some people happy. They are the ones you pay to go away.
 

johnnyblues

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Man what a bunch of crap. We all understand no one in the service industry can make all clients happy, it’s just a fact. The Taxidermy work from pictures is very hard to determine. Good ole photo shop does wonders. I’m sure there is much more to the story. Simple solution going forward.....book a hunt with one of the many outstanding outfits here on AH. Taxidermy well....just bring it home!
 

Neil Barnard

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Hallo Aaron,
Thank you for your massage and I am glad you shared your experience. When you requested we add a Gemsbuck in the package I clearly remember saying to you that this is not always available and to share this with the clients, we hoped to have good Gemsbok available but at the time of there hunt there just wasn’t any and with the cheap pricing there was no room for travel expenses in the budget. I will gladly look thru my past messages and see if I can find it. You requested a cheap pricing that I needed to match and I did. Nothing strange. This is the only hunt you ever sold for me. I have nothing personal against you and the comment regarding you with Rodney was a fun one with no malicious intent... it was actually meant to be a good one as we all including Rodney, love Gina and care for her. Was more a note to display our happiness with her new found love! Good for you, I hope you and Gina (my then secretary) find happiness and joy in your futures together!!!
In Jeff’s mail he states many good things to. He talks about all that he enjoyed and had good times all and all. The big thing is why not except my suggestion to contact PHASA regarding his complaint? And if you have hunted Africa and seen some of the conditions from time to time the game is hunted in, you can understand it’s not always perfect. You have many good mounts from us? Or has your opinion changed?

I know Jeff personally. I also know Neil personally.

I am the one that got Jeff this hunt in the first place.

Now with that said, I have hunted at NB a few times over the last however many years and with my knowledge and experiences in this department I will add that Jeff is truthful. I've talked with him over the phone numerous times about this.

Make a long story short I will contribute to this thread with an experience I had last year on my hunt with NB safaris.

Last year I hunted and was very successful in taking reedbuck, bushbuck, civet, badger, genet, serval, jackal, and my boy shot impala, monkey, duiker and springbok.

Now quickly I'll add that I have imported numerous animals from South Africa and Namibia, including lions and leopard. So I am pretty dang educated in the whole process.

So when I mentioned that I wanted some of my animals mounted through Karen (Neil's ex wife, aka African expressions broker) in which burns taxidermy is the actual shop..

So I mention that I want some mounted there and the rest, mainly my cats, to be dip and packed to be mounted by my taxidermist in the states, Phil Soucey.

Mind you this was after I had already left the country. Anyway.. I'm then told by Neil and/or Karen that I can't do that because I cannot ship a finished product with dip and pack.

Now... I know this to be complete BS because I have in fact actually done it before. Hahahah. Well as Jeff explains how he was treated and fed ridiculous excuses, they did the same to me. So after arguing the fact on that and me even showing them the regulations written out, they still made me out to be the idiot and then told me "that they recommend I just dip and pack it all." Well yeah... obviously! So that's what I did.

With that all done then a new problem arose... my cats being frozen whole apparently... because the taxidermist (burns) recommends he does the skinning. And since they weren't skinned yet, Neil was actually trying to charge me for skinning the animals! After a battle of what has been included in a contract hunt, I was able to get my cats skinned at no charge "cause he so graciously "paid" to have them skinned... uh huh...

Anyway... since Neil likes to put personal business out there, I'd expect him to do so here. We shall wait...
aron
 
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Dawg2019

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I have read the claims by Gator and felt the need to comment, specifically in regards to the Gemsbok. I recently hunted with the NB Safaris, my trip was in Feb of this year. Months before our hunt we were asked to generate a “wish list” of animals that we wanted to pursue. On my list was a Gemsbok, I did indicate that this was my #1 animal for the trip, both to Neil in SA and Luke the liaison here in the USA. I was told that I had the option to travel to the Kalahari or hunt on the local preserves in the Limpopo for this, due to time constraints I opted to stay local. Although this did take 2 stalks on different days, (got busted by some Sable on the first) I was able to take a fantastic animal that I couldn’t be happier with.



As mentioned by Gator the accommodations were top notch. Nice big lodge for gathering, eating and celebrating the days kills. Private what we in Georgia would call “cabins” with full bathroom. Clean refreshing swimming pool for cooling off in the afternoon.



All of the staff/personnel went above and beyond to make our stay very memorable. Rooms were cleaned daily, Laundry washed daily as well. The food was out of this world, they even made exceptions for my wife who isn’t the biggest fan of tomatoes, onions etc… PH, Harry was great, very knowledgeable about the flora and fauna in the region and entertained us as well. I still keep in touch with him on a regular basis, sending pictures of family, sharing pictures of trail cameras and such.



As for the price, I felt it was competitive. I did a lot of shopping around and compared numerous price lists, some animals were higher while others were lower. All in all I think it was about right, the difference that I noticed was the number of animal encounters and the level/grade of the trophies taken. I have always believed that you get what you pay for, and I got some outstanding animals. I have friends/family who have used other outfitters and paid less for smaller younger trophies.



Would I go back? You bet. My friend and I have already booked our next hunt and can’t wait to return for more fellowship with our SA friends and hopefully bring home a buffalo this time.
 

Neil Barnard

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Hi Aaron, I am not always good at the computer stuff my friend, I had just not hit the right buttons. But did send you a reply to the other comment.
Hope you have a great Sunday!
 

Neil Barnard

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Neil, No dog in this hunt but if you would have refunded 100% of his money, it would have been covered by the business you didn't lose because of this thread. I believe you're going to learn a hard lesson about doing business in the internet age.

Edit: You are correct when you say you can't make some people happy. They are the ones you pay to go away.
Hogpatrol, thank you for the words. I just cringe when thinking I need to pay someone to go away... so sad our world has gone to that... hope you have a great day!
 

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More smoke and mirrors from Neil Barnard.

It likely goes without saying, but I have NOTHING to gain from this post. I only want other to know what I experienced to help them make a decision when booking a hunt. Neil on the other hand has a LOT to gain by trying to discredit me or make me out as a liar - or even just “hard to please”.

You can see in my other thread (hair slip or normal characteristic) that I kept the outfitter’s name out of it while we were still communicating about the mounts. It wasn’t until AFTER I threw in the towel, cut my losses and moved on that I posted who the PH was. I then posted this review. Why in the heck would I post that stuff if I was still in communication and trying to reach a solution with Neil?

I had been emailing Neil about this for weeks and he never once tried to offer a solution or even admit that there may be an issue with hides until AFTER I sent my final email, where this was said:

“It’s pretty clear that you have no interest in owning up to the TRUTH about the condition of hides, nor do you have any interest in satisfying clients. This is also evident in the fact that you told my Dad in reference the embarrassing condition of his kudu hide “Bob, that is a bit excessive... I will check with George and get your field photo. Expect a reply regarding details shortly.” and still haven’t replied to him 16 days later. So, I’m moving on and doing to the only thing I can, share my experience with others.

Since you clearly feel there’s no issue with the mounts and think that they “look stunning”, I challenge you to personally defend their quality in a public forum where I’ve posted the information to get outside opinions. Roughly 2,400 people have seen this thread, and you’ll see by the overwhelming responses about the quality of the hides that most opinions align with my original concerns.

https://www.africahunting.com/threads/hair-slippage-or-normal-characteristic.52697/

So, not until after I threw in the towel and he became aware of the hair slippage thread did he play the role of reasonable business man and agree to the small refund I requested, IF, PHASA agreed there was an issue.

And since it was asked - I was quoted $350 per hide for the Kudu and waterbuck, so I requested $700 plus $50 to cover shipping.

As I’ve stated in writing to him, I’m moving on. I’m no longer requesting anything, so this post isn’t even motivated by the prospect of getting any money back.

It’s also comical that Neil continues to cherry pick comments to respond to, that seems to be his business model as he continually did that with my emails, all the way to the end.
 

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@Dawg2019 being that this is your first day and you had a good hunt, please do post your own hunt report so we can read it. You can understand why legacy members find it unusual or shall we say 'comical?' when 'new' members pop up for a day or two when posts such as this arrive...

@Neil Barnard thank you for your post. However, in regards to the taxidermy, would you be happy with that work and hang it in your lodge? If I saw them in that condition I would not opt to use that taxidermist. I would suggest going forward and as stated by @Hogpatrol you need to take care of that up front to save business. Those mounts done by the taxidermist and bromer of your request have too many flaws to not correct. That should be absolutely remedied right away by you, the broker, and taxidermist. As I stated, my taxidermist in RSA paid 100% for a ship back, rework, and te ship, all goes covered. Guess what, they will get business again as they truly took care of their customer and my outfitter was involved in the whole process.
 

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Can all but guarantee you that he has lost well over the $750 you asked to be supplemented for the capes/shipping due to this single thread.
Unwillingness to budge, without a doubt shall come back around for a quick nip in the arse in the long run.
 

Neil Barnard

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Hi Jeff, I have not stopped communicating and it is never in my nature to walk away from a problem. I will gladly deal with the problems at hand if they need dealing with. I just feel that making a report on a subject that we could have handled by using PHASA as our 3rd party would have been the best way to go. I had even suggested I come and have a personal look at your Trophies in January and determine what is best. You did not take me up on this and just jumped onto bad mouthing me? I am also looking into your fathers problem. It has been 16days since I replied to him because I have been investigating. He was cc’d in on all our communications and I am sure he could see I wasn’t running away.

The clients that hunted in the same week as you did, have also stated that they received their trophies in great order! All very happy with them...

What I think your missing here is that I feel unfairly treated. Let’s handle it according to a procedure. Lay a complaint with PHASA. They investigate, I will personally come visit your house in January and we can settle the right way. Jumping to bad mouthing I think is less productive?
More smoke and mirrors from Neil Barnard.

It likely goes without saying, but I have NOTHING to gain from this post. I only want other to know what I experienced to help them make a decision when booking a hunt. Neil on the other hand has a LOT to gain by trying to discredit me or make me out as a liar - or even just “hard to please”.

You can see in my other thread (hair slip or normal characteristic) that I kept the outfitter’s name out of it while we were still communicating about the mounts. It wasn’t until AFTER I threw in the towel, cut my losses and moved on that I posted who the PH was. I then posted this review. Why in the heck would I post that stuff if I was still in communication and trying to reach a solution with Neil?

I had been emailing Neil about this for weeks and he never once tried to offer a solution or even admit that there may be an issue with hides until AFTER I sent my final email, where this was said:

“It’s pretty clear that you have no interest in owning up to the TRUTH about the condition of hides, nor do you have any interest in satisfying clients. This is also evident in the fact that you told my Dad in reference the embarrassing condition of his kudu hide “Bob, that is a bit excessive... I will check with George and get your field photo. Expect a reply regarding details shortly.” and still haven’t replied to him 16 days later. So, I’m moving on and doing to the only thing I can, share my experience with others.

Since you clearly feel there’s no issue with the mounts and think that they “look stunning”, I challenge you to personally defend their quality in a public forum where I’ve posted the information to get outside opinions. Roughly 2,400 people have seen this thread, and you’ll see by the overwhelming responses about the quality of the hides that most opinions align with my original concerns.

https://www.africahunting.com/threads/hair-slippage-or-normal-characteristic.52697/

So, not until after I threw in the towel and he became aware of the hair slippage thread did he play the role of reasonable business man and agree to the small refund I requested, IF, PHASA agreed there was an issue.

And since it was asked - I was quoted $350 per hide for the Kudu and waterbuck, so I requested $700 plus $50 to cover shipping.

As I’ve stated in writing to him, I’m moving on. I’m no longer requesting anything, so this post isn’t even motivated by the prospect of getting any money back.

It’s also comical that Neil continues to cherry pick comments to respond to, that seems to be his business model as he continually did that with my emails, all the way to the end.
 

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