The Right Accessories for an African Hunt

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Bsto270, Aug 16, 2016.

  1. Bsto270

    Bsto270 AH Enthusiast

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    Good Afternoon All,

    Well it finally hit me the other day that I am less than a year out from my wife and I heading to the Eastern Cape. We have been slowly accumulating some new clothes, practicing our shooting (particularly off of sticks) and getting other travel arrangements in place.

    One area I wanted to ask everyone about was accessories for a day in the field in Africa. I have heard some suggestions about taking such things as leather gloves, knee pads, whether or not you should bring a knife (I always do when hunting otherwise so this seems logical) , a daypack, etc. Now 11 months or so seems like a long while but the older I get the more I notice time speeding up on me. Any suggestions on things that help make the hunt more enjoyable, things I could do without, necessities, and so forth would be greatly appreciated. I love having access to a source like AH with so many members with such diverse experience. It really helps sift through the myths and get down to the nitty gritty on subjects like this. Thanks in advance for any help and advise. With most of my hunting time being focused on Whitetail in my home state, this is definitely going to be a new experience.
     

  2. Eventually_Africa_Again

    Eventually_Africa_Again AH Enthusiast

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    Hi there! I'm in the same boat as yourself and will also be leaving for my first Africa trip in 1 year (so I suppose not quite the same boat but darn close!) and I have been talking my outfits ears off (@Lianga Safaris) asking things like this! One thing that came up is a good set of binoculars. They said that something in the 12x50 range would be just right as the 10x46 might not offer enough clarity/range for what we are going after. They also said not to get the giant ones, make sure they are a set that you can be comfortable carrying around all day. I was told a decent price range would be about 100-200 and that over that wouldn't be necessary. Hope this helps!
     

  3. spike.t

    spike.t AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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    what are you hunting to need 12x50......? and i presume the price range is $100 to $200 usd ? if so you arent going to get any binos that are even half decent, and thats probably being polite.....

    just looking on here and the minimum i can see that i would consider using are $400 + and thats in the sale , and they are "only" 10 x42

    http://www.opticsplanet.com/binbymagn-10-12.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2016

  4. sheephunterab

    sheephunterab AH Fanatic

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    Hahaha...funny on the binos. I'd suggest an 8-32 pair would do the job perfectly but I'd look at adding a zero to the price range. Safari gaiters are a must and I'd suggest a small flashlight or headlamp. I always like to have a knife. I always take a small backpack but rarely use it but a fanny pack can be very handy. Take a cartridge holder for your belt as well. Some pre-moistened cleaning cloths for optics are a must too.
     
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  5. Code4

    Code4 AH Fanatic

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    Forget the knife. The skinners do it all and that is part of the African experience.
    Knee pads only if you hunt hard on foot in open areas.
    Up to 85% of game in RSA is shot from a truck so you have to make a real effort sometimes to 'get off' if you want to ..... or go for a lot longer than 7 days.
    Binos. Light, light, light. Even when in a truck. 8x32's are fine. Pay for optic quality not magnification. You get what you pay for despite diminishing returns in quality as the price goes up.
    Game viewing, yes go bigger and take a pair that will fit on a tripod. Try holding heavy binos for 5-10-30 minutes without a tripod.
    Make sure the tripod fits your 'good' (big) camera.
    A small pocket camera is the best thing you can take. Far better than a phone.
    Dust proof bag for clothing, camera gear etc while out in the truck.
    I hunt best in old clothes I use around the garden at home but layered clothing is a good bet. I take up to three different jackets with me. It is bloody cold in the mornings and you can be down to a shirt at 10am and back to a jacket after dark.
    Unless you are familiar with the area, long sleeves and trousers are a sensible protective measure.
    Wear in your boots and buy top quality socks.
    A hat that won't blow off in the truck but protect you from sun burn.
     
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  6. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    85% shot from a truck - I apparently have never hunted those places. In my trips over (and admittedly, only part of one in RSA), I think I have taken a single springbuck (only way to see him) and a couple of bait warthogs from a truck. Everything else has been off my hind legs or, rarely, from my butt. And most of that tended to be a long way from where we left the truck.
     
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  7. oldhoward

    oldhoward AH Senior Member

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    Hi, These are some items I found useful in the East Cape: small backpack, a sharp knife like a pocket knife, a bright led flashlight and extra batteries, Ziess lens cleaners, rain coat, binoculars I used were large but worked because they fit in the backpack Nikon 1ox to 22x zoom , clothing which you can layer, pair of shorts, boots and sneakers, I used the sneakers to hunt in also, a hat, a hoodie works well, hunting socks with a liner sock. I didn't use gloves, or a really heavy jacket, or extra personal products. Laundry is usually done daily, you don't need fresh clothes every day. The evenings and morning can be cold. I live in a hot climate,100 degrees and 40 degrees was cold to me, I guess it depends when you go. A light weight gun case to use in the truck. An emergency medical kit I didn't use but I had one just in case.
     
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  8. Eventually_Africa_Again

    Eventually_Africa_Again AH Enthusiast

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    Hey there! The ones that we are looking at here here.
    http://www.sportsmanswarehouse.com/...il/Vortex-Binoculars/prod9999012643/cat125959

    I noticed the Vortexes specifically are around $500 on the site you linked but out here they are around $250 and those are the ones we think we will be going with, though if we found a good set of Bushnell I certainly wouldn't say no!

    One of the main points that was made concerning the binos was that you don't want to take anything too expensive because Africa is...well...Africa heh. We are doing this entire hunt on the cheap side (not by choice but by financial situation) so we are happy with this. I've personally gone to the store and handled the binoculars that I listed, as well as others that were higher and lower in price. Frankly while the higher priced ones did have a very, very small increase it certainly wasn't worth the doubling or tripling price to us! It's all about balance for our hunt and I'm sure we will do fine.

    Anyway the OP asked for advice on little things to look into and I stand by binos being on that list! Hope it helps!
     
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  9. sheephunterab

    sheephunterab AH Fanatic

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    It's nice to know we are part of the 15%. Hunted four different camps in SA and never fired a shot from the truck or a blind
     

  10. MT Griz

    MT Griz AH Veteran

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    Here is a list I made and used a few years back. Adjust it as you see fit (or not). This was used for Zimbabwe in 2010 and Namibia in 2012. The Zimbabwe trip included Buffalo. I have never shot an animal "off the truck". Not that there is anything wrong with that.......


    GOING ON SAFARI CHECKLIST


    Miscellaneous
    1) Sunglasses (co)
    2) Binoculars (co)
    3) Insect Repellent (ck)
    4) Camera/charger/batteries (co)
    5) Memory cards (co)
    6) Cell Phone (co)
    7) Sewing Kit (ck)
    8) Pen and paper (co)
    9) Ear plugs (co)
    10) Power adaptor plug (co)

    Documents
    1) Airline Tickets (co)
    2) Passport/Visa (co)
    3) Copies of docs. (co)
    4) US $ (co)
    5) Customs registration of firearms 4457 (co)
    6) Taxidermist shipping address/tags (co)

    Drugs
    1) Prescription meds (co)
    2) Anti-Malarial tablets (co)
    3) Aspirin or similar (co)
    4) Antiseptic cream (ck)
    5) Anti-diarrhea pills (co)

    Clothes
    1) 1 pair hunting boots (w)
    2) 1 pr shoes for camp (ck)
    3) 2 prs of pants (m)
    4) 4 prs under shorts (m)
    5) 3 shirts (long sleeves) (m)
    6) 1 light jacket (co)
    7) 4/4 prs socks cotton/wool (m)
    8) 2 Hats (m)
    9) Gloves (co)
    10) Leather Belt (ck)
    11) Safari vest (ck)
    12) Gaiters (ck)
    13) 2 T-shirts (m)
    14) 2 prs shorts (m)
    15) Rain jacket (ck)

    Firearms & Stuff
    1) 30-‘06 for small game (gc)
    2) .375 H&H for larger game (gc)
    3) Lockable ammo box (ck)
    4) Ammo in factory box(s) (ck)
    5) Hard gun case for traveling (gc)
    6) 2 Soft gun cases for vehicle (ck)
    7) Gun cleaning equipment (ck)
    8) Ammo carrying pouch(s) (ck)
    9) Good Scope(s) (gc)
    10) Range Finder (ck)
    11) Shooting sticks (ck)

    Toiletry
    1) Toothbrush / Dental floss (co)
    2) Toothpaste (m)
    3) Contact solution/mirror (m)
    4) Shaving Kit (m)
    5) Shampoo (m)
    6) Deodorant (co)
    7) Small scissors (ck)
    8) Chapstick (co)
    9) Skin Lotion (ck)
    10) Eye drops (m)

    Handy Items
    1) Flashlight with batteries (ck)
    2) Knife/multi-tool (ck)
    3) Duct Tape (ck)
    4) Books/Magazines (co)
    5) Reading Glasses (co)
    6) Plastic zip-lock bags (m)
    7) Sunscreen lotion (ck)
    8) Extra glasses or contacts (co)
    9) Candy for trackers (ck)

    Recommended Advice
    1) Heavy Rifle – 40 rounds ammo mix of solid and soft (ck)
    2) Medium Rifle –40 rounds ammo all soft (ck)
    3) Day bag or small pack (ck)
    4) Physical Condition – Blisters and sore muscles can eliminate many days of pleasure. You should be in good shape before the safari
    5) Most Important – This is a hunting trip, not a shooting trip.

    So, go and have some fun, and do not get disappointed if something does not go as planned, this is Africa!

    All this goes in one gun case, one soft duffel, and one carry-on bag.

    co….carry on
    ck….checked luggage
    m….mix
    gc…..gun case
    w….wear
     
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  11. Bsto270

    Bsto270 AH Enthusiast

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    This is all good stuff thank you. I am hoping to do as little shooting off the truck as humanly possible so I am guessing I should discuss that at length with my outfitter. As far as temp, we are going late July. I am from PA, cold winters and wet and cold fall days are something I am quite used to. Hunting in 80 degrees or more would be a real change
     

  12. Bsto270

    Bsto270 AH Enthusiast

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    Excellent list thank you
     

  13. greyfox

    greyfox AH Fanatic

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    Small flashlight for when you drop something after dark !!
    Slippers/bedroom shoes - the floors are COLD when you get up at 2 am from jet lag or nature...
    Summer here (north of the equator) is winter there and it does get cold.

    Tweezers and magnifying glass - get the pesky tiny thorns out so you don't get up at 2 am.

    I got VERY sick one day (missed a whole day of hunting) PH took me to the Pharmacy. Everything I needed was there and it was on the way. If you take alcohol, peroxide and antibiotic cream, leave it with the camp when you leave - they'll appreciate it; so will the next client.

    Lastly, extra knit cap and gloves - I left mine with the tracker because he was riding in the back and it was cold - he really appreciated it.

    Binos - May as well weigh in. I took 2 pair (for a reason) 6X Leupolds and 8X Minots (I believe) Traded the 8X with tracker for a terrible of made-in-Japan OLD Leupolds. Sent the Leupolds back when I got home - got a brand new set of 10X which will go on my next trip.
    I prefer 8X - you're not going to out spot the PH - it's their home turf - but while everyone else was glassing north, I'd scan glass east to west - and yes, I did spot a few but only because we were looking in different directions.

    Lastly, don't forget things for the staff, ask your PH. Maybe cigarettes or candy or something.
     
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  14. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Back to the binos. You don't have to pay an arm and a leg to get decent binos, but you do have to pay something. I think I know what you mean when you say Africa is . . . Well . . .Africa, but I actually don't agree. If there ever was a place for the best binos you can afford, Africa is it. I have always hunted with a pair of Leica's, and I've always seen my PH's with everything from Leupold to Zeiss and Swarovski.

    I've never had a problem with theft in a camp, and I've hunted in a fair number, in dfferent countries (with one exception: an American hunter who stole my copy of The Perfect Shot mini). If you're worried about airport baggage handlers, carry them with you or put them in your gun case.

    Don't buy cheaper than you otherwise would just because you're going to Africa.
     
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  15. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Another good thread.

    http://www.africahunting.com/threads/what-to-take-in-the-field.21775/#post-179266

    Not to argue with Hermann, but 12x sure seems big for field binos... 10x is the max I can stay steady with, especially with one hand, and you can see a long way with good glass. Spend some money, buy once, and be done. A $1000 gets you a nice pair, but $100?

    I actually have 2 set of binos, 8x and 10x. The 8x I use anywhere that it's thick and up close with relative short distance. The 10x I use for an area like the EC, or out west here in the states.
     
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  16. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Always, always, always bring a general purpose antibiotic. Most doctors are pretty good about prescribing one for folks headed to anywhere in Africa. Been banging around the Third World all my adult professional life and a seven-day course of cypro / ampicillin or something similar has been close to a life-saver for me several times. Dysentery and/or food poisoning can ruin a hunt (makes travelers' diarrhea seem like mild indigestion). Less than sanitary cooks have been passing both along for thousands of years.
     

  17. sheephunterab

    sheephunterab AH Fanatic

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    Some great advice here and a course of Dukoral before you leave will even lessen your chances of a stomach bug. It's been a lifesaver for me!
     
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  18. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I
    I echo the comments about Cipro - a great general purpose antibiotic, which works for the runs as well as lots of other things.

    If you have an accounting doctor, you might also ask for a course of Doxycycline and Levofoxacin. These were prescribed for me in South Africa after I came down with tick bite fever, and I have taken my own supply ever since. Don't need that again.

    If your trip is short, you won't get the symptoms until you get back home, so not necessary - you can send your spouse out to get what you need, while you're shaking and shivering in bed!
     
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  19. rinehart0050

    rinehart0050 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Accessories will definitely depend on what you're hunting and where.

    We just got back from our safari and definitely found that we brought way too many accessories. We hunted in South Africa, Kalahari and Limpopo- in flat areas and up in the mountains. Here's the list, including what we did and didn't use:

    Binos: Vortex Talon 10x42 (worked great, no complaints. I definitely recommend investing more rather than less in binos. My dad brought along some 12x50 binos that I did not like. I found they were difficult to keep stable and that the field of view was not adequate. Good 10x42s should be more than enough- its also what all my PHs used- they had fancy Leica Geovids with built in range finders though).

    ***Of note: Stuff I didn't use at all:
    -my own shooting sticks (Primos Gen 2 Tripod). I actually liked my PH's 2-stick set up better. It was easier to adjust the height on the fly.
    -Vortex Rangefinder (All the PHs seemed to have Leica Geovids with built-in range finders)
    -my knife

    Camera Equipment:
    -I recommend a good camera bag to keep all your camera stuff together. When out stalking, whoever in our group wasn't hunting would carry the camera/gopro.

    -You could bring a small bag to put your clothing layers in, but we just tossed them in the cab of our truck.

    Also, I did not use gaiters. I wore pants, over my boots, so there was no need. If you plan on wearing shorts, its a different story.
     
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  20. thriller

    thriller AH Fanatic

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    Don't forget the pith helmet its esential for the pictures!
     

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