SOUTH AFRICA: Scam Alert - Bayete Group!!!

Travis Dove

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Unfortunately, I have some bad news to share…. Last July I had an opportunity to take my family on an amazing African Safari hunt. I purchased the “Friends of NRA – Bayete Group hunt” the previous October. We were all super excited and all looked forward to a once in a lifetime hunt together. Once we made the trip over the pond into Johannesburg, we were greeted by a really cool driver and we headed north for about three hours, which took us to Kuche Safari… We had no idea what to expect or how the whole process worked. Once we were there we were treated like family. They were extremely respectful to the women of the camp which made my mom right at home!! My brothers were grinning ear to ear and my dad was almost in tears because he was so happy!! We loved it!!

The Animals there were amazing!! We saw all kinds of trophy sized animals and they were all over the place!! Coming from Colorado, I had a decent idea on how to track…. Sheeeezzz!! I had no idea!! The trackers at Kuche were absolutely, awesome!!!! Hands down I don’t know how they do it!! The PHs took extremely good care of us and the hunting lodge was perfect for our family and had all kinds of character. Koos and his team were awesome!! And South Africa was a Blast!! go there you won't regret it!! Honestly, we can’t wait to get back!!

The unfortunate part of the trip was about three months after we got back to the states. We found out that none of the money that we paid to Bayete went to pay Kuche Safari, the landowners, the PHs, staff, or anyone else it was supposed to go to!! This infuriated my entire family!! We were all sick that the people that took really good care of us, did not receive a dime for our wonderful trip! I called St. John at Bayete and asked him what was going on. From that point on he has made countless promises to take care of the situation and make sure the staff and landowners were paid and our trophy’s were not going to be held up in South Africa. This was a complete line of crap!! He has been stringing me along for 6 months now and still has not paid Kuche Safari for our stay at his amazing hunting Lodge. April 21st was the last date St. John gave me that things were going to be taken care of, and he didn’t call or anything to keep us updated. I am sure he has already spent the money and Kuche/Staff/Landowners will never get paid. And we will never get our animals.
I also know there are two other groups that will have their trophies held due to Bayete not paying…Once I tracked them down after countless hours of research and calling the wrong individuals with the same name, I was able to find out that they had no idea of the situation and that Bayete had not informed them of anything. If it wasn’t for other social media sites, I would have had no idea what was going on… Extremely poor communication from Bayete…

From what information I know, Bayete owes Kuche Safari over $38,000. That is a lot of money!! And I pretty confident that this will end up in court, and that my group and the other two groups will end up in court as well with St. John... that sounds like fun...

If you have already purchased the Bayete Group hunt I am sorry… but I would much rather be out a couple thousand dollars than 25 thousand dollars. And I sure the hell would not want to be part the mess that I currently am in…. Just call Kuche Safari direct... I assure you, they will take care of you.

Another bit of advice, if you go through Bayete be sure to take good pictures, because it is quite possible that will be the last time you see your animals. If you have purchased a Bayete Group hunt from “Friends of the NRA” or any other way, I suggest you PM me so I can give you more details on what might happen, or ways of not getting scammed, if you decide to use the Bayete Group as your outfitter...
 

gillettehunter

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I have followed the other thread on this. Sorry for your difficulties.
Bruce
 

Velo Dog

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Hello Travis Dove,

I am sorry to learn that you had collided with a “bait and switch” scheme to defraud.
In every profession, including the Safari Industry, there are always a few crooks that belong in prison.

Kind regards,
Paul.
 

buck wild

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Unfortunately a long list of similar hunters - some already posted their stories here also
 

AES

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Koos is a reasonable and good guy. I am sure you can get your trophies, particularly if you pay to Taxidermy there. Koos certainly isn't benefiting from storing your animals.
 

Travis Dove

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Absolutely agree! Koos is a stand up individual and even if it doesn't work out. We want to go back to Kuche Safari.
We just had so much fun and the game was everywhere!! And they took care of my mom so good!! I just wish Bayete and St. John handled their business the same...
 

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Koos is a reasonable and good guy. I am sure you can get your trophies, particularly if you pay to Taxidermy there. Koos certainly isn't benefiting from storing your animals.
I would be good to understand the contractual business relationship between Bayete and Kuche. If a contract exists between them with Bayete acting as a Stateside representative to supply clients, then lack of payment is a problem between the two of them. Regrettably, in many cases of non-payment, the trophies represent the last real leverage that the outfitter has. In this case, it is succeeding to some extent in that you are attempting to pressure Bayete. However, in the end, this would seem to be Kuche's problem with Bayete and not yours. He should release those trophies. I don't know whether any prep or shipment was supposedly part of your original purchase - I would assume not. I therefore also would assume that you are willing and able to arrange those shipments. Finally, if you haven't seen an attorney yet, I would suggest it. If this consultant is US based, you likely have at least the threat of legal remedies.
 

Travis Dove

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First we saw the issues come up on Facebook. We didn’t believe it at first. Because it’s Facebook... But I called St. John, he confirmed that payment for my group had not been made. Four months later he said there was another group...I then gave St John and Bayete the benefit of the doubt and some time to resolve the issue. Because I know that sometime things go south in Business, but it kept getting strung out further and further. No resolution. Believe me I am not taking this lightly, I would not slam a company that is working on a solution. I realize that these kind of posts can be damaging to a company’s reputation. But I do not intend on staying silent about this any longer. We paid Bayete a lot of money to make sure things were taken care of properly. That did not happen... and people need to be aware that they could end up in my shoes writing crappy posts on Africahunting at 6am if they go through St. John and The Bayete Group. Believe me I would much rather be writing a awesome review post with killer animal pics! than posts like this...
 

sagiguere

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New member here, just found this thread searching for info on Kuche Safaris. Why I was searching? I'm looking at a rifle for sale that comes with a cert for a "free" hunt with Kuche. 5 days 3 animals. How can I tell if it's connected with this scam?
 

BRICKBURN

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New member here, just found this thread searching for info on Kuche Safaris. Why I was searching? I'm looking at a rifle for sale that comes with a cert for a "free" hunt with Kuche. 5 days 3 animals. How can I tell if it's connected with this scam?

To help you out a bit. You need to educate yourself on what an actual "deal" is.
Look through the offers here on AH.
Look at some of the "free" hunts on AH that have been offered by sponsors. They occur here with regularity.
Compare what is on offer and compare price lists and reputations.

Good luck with your education.
 

Newboomer

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That is why I deal direct with the outfitter and not an agent. Too many middlemen are not all that upstanding and can cause problems, plus dealing direct with the outfitter there is no commission to syphon off a chunk of your hard earned cash.

A few years ago I had "won" a hunt to Argentina. Luckily, I had put no money into and soon learned that the outfit handling the hunt had gone broke and was no longer in business. Be extremely wary of these freebies. There are always many hidden strings attached.
Sagiguere, You have come to the right place. Soon you will be getting all kinds of references and suggestions from people who have been there and done that or know someone who has.
 

Kent Northcutt

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I hunted with Kuche safaris on a trip where I bought a rifle on gunbroker. I got the free hunt for three animals for buying the rifle. It was a great experience and definitely not a scam. Koos and his team were great and I had a fine time hunting with them.
 

AES

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New member here, just found this thread searching for info on Kuche Safaris. Why I was searching? I'm looking at a rifle for sale that comes with a cert for a "free" hunt with Kuche. 5 days 3 animals. How can I tell if it's connected with this scam?

Kuche is stand up. You won't have any issues.
 

Newboomer

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You can feel safe dealing with any of the sponsors here on AH. They have some awesome deals and are straight shooters.
 

375Fox

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New member here, just found this thread searching for info on Kuche Safaris. Why I was searching? I'm looking at a rifle for sale that comes with a cert for a "free" hunt with Kuche. 5 days 3 animals. How can I tell if it's connected with this scam?
You should email Kuche safaris directly and ask. However, my advice for planning a hunt would be to decide what/where/how you want to hunt then find an outfitter to take you on the hunt you want at a reasonable price rather than go on a “free” hunt where you will be told what/how/where you will hunt to take advantage of the “free” deal then end up spending more money than you planned to get what you actually wanted from hunt. Most everyone will enjoy their first hunt, but once you have a few hunts and can compare, there are major differences between ok and great hunts.
 

Philip Glass

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I hear this from time to time on donation hunts. It’s a shame.
Philip
 

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