Taxidermist review for Kololo Taxidermy

Discussion in 'Taxidermy' started by Areaonereal, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. Areaonereal

    Areaonereal AH Enthusiast

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    Does anyone have any first hand experience with Kololo taxidermy. Going over in May. Originally was doing a dip and pack and some European mounts with shoulder mounts done in the US. After getting quotes on shipping and freight, may reconsider and have the work done in South Africa and shipped back. Are the tanning process in africa so inferior to our processes. Seems like quite a price discrepancy between here and there. Just not knowledgeable about this, so any opinions are welcome. Quote on crating and shipping and docs was over 1800 US, for four European an five flat skin capes, kudu, oryx, and small plains.
     

  2. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    The short answer is yes it is. The long answer is, it can be as good but can also be atrocious (hide destroyingly bad). The worst NA tanneries may not do great work but they seldom wreck a hide and for the most part you can be sure they are doing actual tanning, not a cheaper preservation technique and calling it tanning.

    Universal trophy services is the only one I have used that has done a north American quality tan, Im sure there are some others but since the mountability of my trophies depends on it, I will be sticking with he one that I know does things right.

    Do a search on here and you will find several threads about this subject and some horror stories as well.
     

  3. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    oops, did you mean getting the taxidermy done or just tanning?

    At the end of the day the jury is out on whether it is cheaper or not. I have seen it successfully (with bills) argued both ways for price. I think it depends on the animals contained and how well the shipper can pack them, but either way any savings/extra costs are likely to be small.

    There are some good taxis in SA but there are many hacks. Do your homework before leaving your stuff behind and you wont be disappointed but you also may not see a big savings when the big bill for the huge crate comes in.
     

  4. RichardL

    RichardL AH Enthusiast

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    Cannot comment on mentioned taxidermist . Is this the taxidermist your outfitter recommended ? If you have european and mounts it will definitely. Be cheaper to have it done in South Africa. There are many good taxidermists both ways . You have to compare apples with apples . So you cannot compare the best on one side with an avg. on the other side . I still believe it will be cheaper in SA . I am attaching a link to taxidermy we use and is in same area ! They do excellent work and have the best communication system I have seen from any company .

    Home - Trophy Solutions South Africa

    Contact them for a quote as well . You can tell them I referred you . They really have excellent work on taxidermy as well as dip and pack ! Good luck , hope someone else have better information on Kololo .

    Happy hunting !!
     

  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Louis Van bergen (Spiral Horn Safaris) recommended them for his outfit until his business started heading to his brother's taxidermy shop.


    Have you had a look at the pictures of his work on FB??
     

  6. Jordan

    Jordan SILVER SUPPORTER AH Member

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    I have been needing others opinion on the same subject. However, I am not so much concerned with cost as much as quality. I don't want to throw my money in a hole just because it's cheaper. So far, in my mind, I am thinking dip and pack there and let my taxidermist in the states that I know do the rest. I don't have to worry about the mounting job plus the huge crate and cost to ship it or damage in transport. After the hunt all you have left are great memories and your prized mounts. You will be looking at every day.
    Someone please tell me my thoughts are correct or totally off. I'm a grown man. I can take it! I'm not looking to cut corners on mounting at all. I just want mounts I can be proud of.
     

  7. RichardL

    RichardL AH Enthusiast

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    Jordan you are 100% correct !!! That trophy is your final memory of your trip of a lifetime and should be the same 20 or 30 years from now . I honestly think hunters do not put enough thought into it when they choose who should do the taxidermy . Trying to save for eg $ 2000 on a total of $ 15k or 20 k hunt will show !!! I for one have seen too many horrible mounts all over the world . Taxidermy consists of two processes . The tanning and the mounting . The mounting is an ART !!!!!! Not all of us can paint but it seems sometime people choose to become a taxidermist without having the art in their hands or employ the right people that do !!!

    IMO as important of a choice if not bigger than the Outfitter you hunt with!!!

    Happy Hunting !!!!!
     

  8. Areaonereal

    Areaonereal AH Enthusiast

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    Cost is not my priority either, but throwing money down a rat hole is not attractive either. Never been there nor done that, trying to get a opinion as to value is for taxi or dip and ship is a concern, not there for an entitlement, got enough of that here. Have 6x7 elk done in Canada, what a mess. Trying to not repeat a problem.
     

  9. Bwannabe

    Bwannabe AH Member

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    I certainly would recommend a good North American Taxidermist. Main reason is you cannot resolve anything with problem done in Africa.
    One African taxidermist well know ruined a leopard for one of my friends, piss poor crating and handling. Another African taxidermist recommended tanning a leopard in Africa, well that cat skin is totally acid rotted and falling apart as you try to handle it.

    Folks at lest in the USA, the tanning is correctly done by several good tanneries.

    You can ship your hides and horns back much more cheaply that several large grates of mounts.

    Plus in the USA you can pick and choose many more positions. The better US taxidermist can do custom mounts for very little more money.

    You made your money in America Spend the money for the mounts in America.
     

  10. RogerHeintzman

    RogerHeintzman AH Fanatic

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    Jordan,

    You are thinking correctly. Why?

    1. I have had clients get their tanning done in Africa then sent to the US. The hides were not tanned, just pickled. Hard as a rock, then they had to pay again to get the job done right by my tannery. Then he did it again, same result different taxidermist. If they are not doing the work then why should they care. Probably not many that way but it does happen.

    2. You paid hard earned money to do this hunt right, now finish it out right by doing the mounts in the US where you have control and recourse if something goes wrong. Don't just pick a taxidermist cuz he is close, cheaper, new and wants to try, pick a experienced one, look at his showroom. Every taxidermist wants to do African, if he can not do North American proper, how can he do African proper?

    3. Hunters have called when crate arrives with broken ears, nose, cracks, you name it.

    4. A hunter I meet in one camp and now friend, had his first ever safari done in Africa, 10 animals and very impressive one's at that. After the run around and 2 1/2 yrs. later they arrive at his door, NOT one of the mounts was his!!!. Needless to say, he did get a whole new hunt, flight, guaranteed mounts to his door 1 yr.

    They try to right the wrong, but how can you replace the memories, quality of animals, sights, sounds, smells from that first step on African soil? You Can't!!

    5. The list goes on as do the horror stories, just search them here on AH.

    Areaonereal,

    The $1800.00 is excessive just for dip-n-pack and shipping to the US for the little you have, if broker and in state shipping is included, it still seems high.

    I have had the shipper remake the crate/box just because I questioned their costs and size of the crate. Saved a couple hundred dollars.

    Did you ask a broker? Most have their favorite dip-n-pack/shipper they regular use and get treated well.

    I see it all the time. Big money spent on hunts then they nickel and dime the taxidermy.

    For now, go enjoy your hunting, shoot straight and post the pics and hunt on AH.


    A Dream can be relived, again and again in Africa."
     

  11. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    On my first trip in 2011 I used a local taxidermist recommended to by the outfitter I used then.
    I only got euro mounts and 2 tanned flat skins done.
    When I got them shipped home, the Kudu mount was totally crap and the skull ended in the garbage. The others are decent to look at a distance, but not up close.
    The two so called tanned flat skins were totally stiff, very dirty and full of some fatty red clay bits.
    If they had checked them at the customs, they would have confiscated them.

    When I contacted them and complained about it, they were not very helpful...
    The outfitter I used then have stopped recommending that taxidermy company because of many complaints from his hunting clients.
     

  12. ETS

    ETS AH Member

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    Good day Sir, Unfortunately I am not familiar with the mentioned Taxidermy but I would like to say that you have the right to request comparative estimates for shipping. This might even make your decision about what you want done with your trophies a bit easier. Send me a message should you be interested as I cannot provide any of my details on here. Enjoy your Safari &.......Happy Hunting!
     

  13. Steve Bosang

    Steve Bosang AH Member

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    just received our taxidermy from Kololo TAXIDERMY resulting from a hunt in May 2016..The Taxidermy was done in a quality manner and they finished their orders from us in a timely manner... however the tannery for our hydes(done elsewhere) was VERY VERY slow . This held up our order and was frustrating.I received an EXCELLENT shoulder mount KUDU and am very pleased...Other mounts included for my Co hunter also seemed high quality as we just unpacked them yesterday Mar 12 2018(Cape Buffalo, kudu sable impala and wildebeest).Frikki and Hanele are very easy to deal with and very personable.I feel that it is more reasonable to have SouthAfrican quality taxidermists do the mounting and shipping.Getting the hydes over here and THEN waiting for USA taxidermists to do the job is double wait time and you still have to import the hydes!!!! just my experience talking here..
     

  14. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Having had taxidermy done in SA I for one will never do it their again. This topic has been covered here extensively in other threads. Here is the bottom line... If the work has defects you have little recourse other than do have it fixed here, most SA taxidermists will offer to pay for it but in my opinion its not worth the effort. Second.. You will have to look at it for the rest of your life. Whatever savings you think you may have will just in time not make any sense. Bring it home!
     
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  15. jeff

    jeff AH Elite

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    Most US taxidermists want to build a on going relationship with the customer and get his work for years, many African taxidermists expect that they will never see you again.
     
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  16. Ernst Labuschagne

    Ernst Labuschagne New Member

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    First time we make use of Kololo. Delivered a few Zebra and Wildebeest skins for tannery. Can't comment on final product yet. Did not receive anything back from them after 14 months now. Only controversial emails. Very frustrating. Owner not very helpful after I called him for inquiry. They just postponed the final delivery date with every inquiry. They were fully paid for services on delivery of skins. Hope I can give more positive feedback once I received the final product
     

  17. PARA45

    PARA45 AH Fanatic

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    Like Johnnyblues, I am one of those who got totally screwed by the taxidermist in SA, and I will never do one anywhere in Africa. What Johnnyblues states is very true. Once your trophies are here, there is nothing you can do to get them fixed. The taxidermist who I used (Highveld) offer to fix my trophies, but I had to ship them back to SA and back to the US on my own dime. Which basically was not a solution to my problem. Look at this impala, and you be the judge on whether it is quality work or not. Some of the other mounts are not as atrocious as this one, but bad enough and a piss poor job at pretending to do quality work.

    IMPALA.jpg
     
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  18. ajanssen

    ajanssen New Member

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    Never ever trust your trophies to a South African taxidermist. My trophies arrived in a collapsed crate with several damaged. Worst sin was that they substituted a tiny Cape buffalo for the nice one I shot. No reply. No response. They have my money and are 9k miles away. What to do? Spread the word of the experience.
     
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  19. PARA45

    PARA45 AH Fanatic

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    The other issue that I had was with the insurance I purchased. My crate was crushed also. When I asked Highveld about my insurance, they "claimed" that my insurance was only for port to port, and not door to door. I worked as a freight forwarder, and that was a BS excuse. I know better, I know how the system works. When I asked them for a copy of the insurance certificate, one was never produced and several excuses were given by the owner of Highveld. Which led me to believe that they pocket the money, and I paid for an insurance that never existed. Get them done here.
     
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