The Long Road To Africa

gcbailey

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Greetings! As a new member of AH forums and first time Africa hunter, I wanted to share my journey from start to finish. There are three reasons for my desire to do so. First, I hope that as I share my plans, thoughts, and experiences, those of you who are more seasoned will chime in and ensure I am on the right path by providing me with feedback and recommendations. Second, I hope that other new hunters to Africa will learn from my successes and mistakes so they may have an even more enjoyable hunt. Finally, this will be way for me to create a journal of sorts, so I can capture every detail of my experience. This report will be written in three parts:

PART 1: Planning. In Part 1, I will discuss how I fell in love with the idea of hunting in Africa, how and why I chose the firearms for the trip, why I chose the particular game animals, and how and why I chose my PH.

PART 2: Preparation. In the second part, I will provide my full packing list. Many of you who have travelled to Africa will have some great pointers in this section and I openly welcome your comments, whether good, bad, or indifferent.

PART 3: Hunt Report / Reflections. In the third and final part, I will provide hunt photos, hopefully video of the hunt, what went wrong, what went right, what I would change, and what I will always cherish. I imagine I will also have some reflection on the hunt and what it meant, being this is a hunt of a lifetime for me.

My hunt is not for another 6 months so I will say this now, well in advance. I like quality representations of game species and will be more than happy just hunting game. Should I be fortunate enough to hunt a record animal, that is certainly an unexpected bonus, but even so, I may choose to leave that for the next hunter who is looking for a true trophy. I say all that so when I return and people begin with the “it’s horns only have a curl and a half” or “I passed up six buff bigger than that,” I can quell any argument that accuses me of trying to justify my less than record size game. I am NOT going to Africa looking for record book worthy game and I am saying it now, before my soles even touch the sands of Africa.
 

Hookboy88

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Looking forward to it. And I honestly don’t think anyone ( at least on here) will say anything about the inches any of your animals score. I went to Africa with the mindset you have about not caring anything about what my animals scored. However my PH worked his butt off for me and I would have to go back and look at my notes, but from memory it seems I came back with 4 Gold Medal animals if I wanted to register them etc. which I don’t. My favorite hunt and the one I think most about was not a record book animal. But was a hunt for a Red Hartebeest. They were tough to hunt and I was very happy when I was finally successful. Can’t wait to hear your report!
 

gcbailey

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PART 1: Planning.

Introduction​

I was raised on a farm in Southeast Georgia. My friends joke that when I was born, my mom issued me a gun. Guns have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. In my childhood, I was fortunate to have been raised by a dad who hunted and his passion for upland hunting runs deep in my veins. As a kid, I had free reign to explore the woods around our property, hunting and honing my shooting. Even today, there is nothing better to me than walking through pines, quail hunting with a good English Pointer or Setter. I am a Major in the U.S. Army Field Artillery and by no means a wealthy man. Mama says I am a blue collar worker with champagne tastes. I suppose she is right, but if there is a lesson here, I want it to be that anyone can hunt in Africa if that is their dream. It will take time, sacrifice, and patience (a LOT of patience), but it can be done.

I suppose my interest in Africa first came from my dad. He read numerous books on Africa and as he related some of the stories he had read to me as a young boy, they sounded dangerous and exciting. When I was a restless twenty-two year old, a guest pastor, Dr. James Baird, provided the sermon “A Man for All Seasons.” His sermon was the story of Dr. David Livingstone and it captured me. It’s the one sermon I have never forgotten and I often play it for my son on Sunday mornings on our way to church. Dr. Baird must have preached his sermon in a few places (it was an excellent sermon, so why not?). It can be read or heard here. I recommend listening to the audio as Dr. Baird puts great vocal inflection in his story: First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi | » A Man For All Seasons (fpcjackson.org).

After his sermon, the Africa bug bit me hard. I began to read everything I could get my hands on regarding Africa; authors such as Dr. David Livingstone, Henry Morton Stanley, Theodore Roosevelt, Peter Capstick, Robert Ruark, Stewart Edward White, Edouard Foa, Craig Boddington, Clive Phillips-Wolley, Arthur H. Neumann, Jim Corbett, LTC James Patterson, and many others began to fill my bookshelves.

The Outfit​

Hunting in Africa has been my dream for a very long time. I could have gone on a plains game hunt by now; I could have taken modern firearms that cost much less than the vintage ones I currently have, booked a flight, and been on my way. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but it wasn’t for me. I wanted to do a traditional safari- fedora, jacket, and all. I’ve seen too many photos and watched Out of Africa and The Ghost and The Darkness one too many times. I want to hunt with vintage rifles wearing vintage type clothes. I swore off camo for most of my hunting years ago anyway. After wearing camouflage every day for my job, I really don’t want to wear it again to go hunting. It may seem absurd to some, but I am past the age of caring what people think about my dress, so I’m going to evoke some Stewart Granger and be on my way!
Stewart Granger.jpg


The Rifles​

I was stationed in Indiana in 2015. While there, I would visit Joe Montgomery, owner of 500 Guns. I used to love driving to his shop on a rainy Saturday and would spend hours looking at his lions and cape buffalo mounts and hearing his hunting stories. His store bore that scent of leather, gun oil, and canvas. It was the perfect venue to romanticize about all things Africa. Joe and I talked about various hunting books and he learned I especially liked Jim Corbett for his direct, no nonsense approach to hunting tigers. As it so happened, Joe had a handsome John Rigby and Co. rifle in .275 that had been built in 1927. I really wanted the same battery of firearms as the great Jim Corbett used and after some consideration, decided to buy the Rigby. Only a few months later, Joe again showed me another rifle he knew I would fawn over. “You already have the .275, you can finish your Corbett collection with this.” He pulled out a 1900 WJ Jeffery in 450/400. I was swooning. After we worked out the details for a layaway plan, I made incremental payments to Joe. Before I knew it, I had the Jim Corbett ensemble!
WJ Jeffery 450-400.jpg

WJ Jeffery 2.jpg

275 Rigby.jpg

Rigby Accessories.jpg

Rigby Full.jpg
 
Last edited:

thi9elsp

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Thanks for part 1. Looking forward to each part as it moves along. Have you hunted anything yet with the two rifles or will Africa be their first time in the field for you?
 

Paul Raley

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You have some beautiful rifles gcbailey , I am envious . Your feelings about old classic rifles and hunting Africa I suppose is the same as many members of the AH forum .
I hope you end up having a great hunting trip to Africa and that it is everything you expect it to be .
Regards
Paul
 

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gcbailey, you've certainly started your "nostalgic" hunt off right with the acquisition of two "honest to John" hunting rifles.
 

gcbailey

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You have some beautiful rifles gcbailey , I am envious . Your feelings about old classic rifles and hunting Africa I suppose is the same as many members of the AH forum .
I hope you end up having a great hunting trip to Africa and that it is everything you expect it to be .
Regards
Paul
Thank you Paul! It was a looong road getting there, but it's coming together! I will be sure to give a hunt report once it's all said and done.
 

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Great guns, congrats !
 

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PART 1: Planning.

Introduction​

I was raised on a farm in Southeast Georgia. My friends joke that when I was born, my mom issued me a gun. Guns have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. In my childhood, I was fortunate to have been raised by a dad who hunted and his passion for upland hunting runs deep in my veins. As a kid, I had free reign to explore the woods around our property, hunting and honing my shooting. Even today, there is nothing better to me than walking through pines, quail hunting with a good English Pointer or Setter. I am a Major in the U.S. Army Field Artillery and by no means a wealthy man. Mama says I am a blue collar worker with champagne tastes. I suppose she is right, but if there is a lesson here, I want it to be that anyone can hunt in Africa if that is their dream. It will take time, sacrifice, and patience (a LOT of patience), but it can be done.

I suppose my interest in Africa first came from my dad. He read numerous books on Africa and as he related some of the stories he had read to me as a young boy, they sounded dangerous and exciting. When I was a restless twenty-two year old, a guest pastor, Dr. James Baird, provided the sermon “A Man for All Seasons.” His sermon was the story of Dr. David Livingstone and it captured me. It’s the one sermon I have never forgotten and I often play it for my son on Sunday mornings on our way to church. Dr. Baird must have preached his sermon in a few places (it was an excellent sermon, so why not?). It can be read or heard here. I recommend listening to the audio as Dr. Baird puts great vocal inflection in his story: First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi | » A Man For All Seasons (fpcjackson.org).

After his sermon, the Africa bug bit me hard. I began to read everything I could get my hands on regarding Africa; authors such as Dr. David Livingstone, Henry Morton Stanley, Theodore Roosevelt, Peter Capstick, Robert Ruark, Stewart Edward White, Edouard Foa, Craig Boddington, Clive Phillips-Wolley, Arthur H. Neumann, Jim Corbett, LTC James Patterson, and many others began to fill my bookshelves.

The Outfit​

Hunting in Africa has been my dream for a very long time. I could have gone on a plains game hunt by now; I could have taken modern firearms that cost much less than the vintage ones I currently have, booked a flight, and been on my way. And there’s nothing wrong with that, but it wasn’t for me. I wanted to do a traditional safari- fedora, jacket, and all. I’ve seen too many photos and watched Out of Africa and The Ghost and The Darkness one too many times. I want to hunt with vintage rifles wearing vintage type clothes. I swore off camo for most of my hunting years ago anyway. After wearing camouflage every day for my job, I really don’t want to wear it again to go hunting. It may seem absurd to some, but I am past the age of caring what people think about my dress, so I’m going to evoke some Stewart Granger and be on my way!
View attachment 451636

The Rifles​

I was stationed in Indiana in 2015. While there, I would visit Joe Montgomery, owner of 500 Guns. I used to love driving to his shop on a rainy Saturday and would spend hours looking at his lions and cape buffalo mounts and hearing his hunting stories. His store bore that scent of leather, gun oil, and canvas. It was the perfect venue to romanticize about all things Africa. Joe and I talked about various hunting books and he learned I especially liked Jim Corbett for his direct, no nonsense approach to hunting tigers. As it so happened, Joe had a handsome John Rigby and Co. rifle in .275 that had been built in 1927. I really wanted the same battery of firearms as the great Jim Corbett used and after some consideration, decided to buy the Rigby. Only a few months later, Joe again showed me another rifle he knew I would fawn over. “You already have the .275, you can finish your Corbett collection with this.” He pulled out a 1900 WJ Jeffery in 450/400. I was swooning. After we worked out the details for a layaway plan, I made incremental payments to Joe. Before I knew it, I had the Jim Corbett ensemble!
View attachment 451637
View attachment 451639
View attachment 451640
View attachment 451641
View attachment 451642

Gun wise you are sorted ....both very nice rifles....and I like how you aren't interested in the tape measure, but the overall hunt experience... :D Beers:
 

gcbailey

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Thanks for part 1. Looking forward to each part as it moves along. Have you hunted anything yet with the two rifles or will Africa be their first time in the field for you?
Hello! Unfortunately, I have not hunted with either rifle yet. I didn't want Africa to be my first time hunting with them, but I just haven't been able to take them out on a hunt. I have practiced with them, but bench shooting is easy when my adrenaline isn't pumping and the target isn't moving.
 

C.W. Richter

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Nice rigs. Enjoy!
1644357521744.png
While the road is actually short, it's the ocean that's long...
 

Berettaco

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Beautiful rifles and outstanding caliber choices - couldn’t ask for better. I look forward to hearing about your trip
 

TXhunter65

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Looking forward to more. The sermon was wonderful, I will share with my son (age 12) as well.
 

TXhunter65

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Thank you for your service as well.
 

gcbailey

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Looking forward to more. The sermon was wonderful, I will share with my son (age 12) as well.
I'm glad you enjoyed it! I have shared that sermon with many people and even some who are non-religious have enjoyed it as well.
 

Paul Raley

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Thank you Paul! It was a looong road getting there, but it's coming together! I will be sure to give a hunt report once it's all said and done.
If I may ask where are you planning on going for your hunt and what species you planning on hunting ?
 

gcbailey

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If I may ask where are you planning on going for your hunt and what species you planning on hunting ?
I’ll be hunting mid June-mid July. On the list are lion, darted rhino, Cape buffalo, zebra, impala, and kudu. If all goes well (financially and hunt wise) I may add a baboon and gemsbok.
 

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