What First Spurred Your Interest in Africa?

Great thread!

The hunter's horn sounded early for me, I've been infatuated with guns and hunting ever since I can remember and I was fortunate to have a dad that introduced me to such a fine sport and took me a lot, every chance he had. Also around that time the local boy scout troop toured a local business man's trophy room, it's impressive by any trophy room standards but more especially so from a six year old's perspective. Then it was Ruark, Capstick and various magazine articles that fanned the flames..

From that point on I knew somehow some way I would one day hunt Africa. In my teens I set a goal, without having the means or even knowing what it'd cost, that I would hunt Africa before I'm 40 and hunt buffalo before I'm 50.. Life went on as it does, although I never forgot my goal, finished college, got a job, got married to someone who shares my interest in hunting.. Then all of a sudden November 1, 2015 I lost my dad and best hunting buddy, from that point on my life has changed. Life is way to short and none of us know how long we've got on this spinning ball. So for me there's no more wishing about doing something "one day", from now on I make a plan and make it happen.

I'm 10 years ahead of schedule, went on our fist safari to RSA in 2017 at 29 and planning on hunting my first buffalo for my 40th in 8 short years..
My father in law went , before I knew him and the trophy’s were trickling in from the taxidermist when I first met my wife. I deer hunted for years but that was all I knew or thought about. When I saw these awesome animals come in , I knew I wanted to go to Africa .
Really nothing extraordinary. Maybe Tarzan, Roosevelt’s adventures, a couple episodes of American Sportsman ??

Also maybe by default as hunting in the western US, where I grew up and live, got more and more restrictive and commercialized. Even DIY Alaska became more and more difficult. So, Africa seemed a good value for the buck plus provided nearly endless options and opportunities. And so it proved to be
Reading Outdoor Life magazine 50+ years ago with a story about kudu hunting. Seemed like an impossible step up from the gophers and jack rabbits I was used to hunting.
Robert Ruark and Teddy Roosevelt. The Old Man and the Boy was the true beginning.
In my early 20’s I read a story about Mt Kilimanjaro. I became obsessed with that mountain. Read everything I could get my hands on. Went and trekked it in 1998 at age 25. I’ve been back to the continent 5 times after that - the longest being for about 3 months when in 2006 when I made a career change.
As a kid in the 1960s, watching Marlin Perkins and his sidekick, Jim, on Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, the John Wayne movie, Hatari and the short lived TV show, Cowboy in Africa with Chuck Connors.

As an adult, I went to work in Angola for five+ years. Didn't have a lot of spare money at the time and 4 kids either in college or getting close to college, but made my first hunting safari on a cancellation PG hunt to Namibia.

Pretty much the same for me...never missed M of O Wild Kingdom’s Africa episodes and would tell my mom I was going to Africa on safari when I grew up. Have watched anything to do with African game ever since. Got the itch to finally pull the trigger on a hunt after catching a show on one of the outdoor channels a couple years ago about a several day kudu hunt that brought down a local giant with a 67” set of horns. My hunt is going to be delayed a bit but that big kudu I know is waiting out there for me and my 9.3x62 to arrive and let the chase begin.
Hemingway and then Ruark. Bought a Ruger Safari Magnum, .416 Rigby naturally, in 2016 when I realized 65 was no longer young and got my buffalo the next year in the swamps of Mozambique. Want to go back for either a sable or a kudu with a bow. Might even make it!!
Three months ago I had no interest at all really. I've hunted all my life close to home until about 10 years ago. At that time I started hunting all the states I could drive to within a day. New and different animals.
The last 3 years I've been to alaska and was actually planning a hunt on kodiak island for deer when I joined this forum.
Before the rates and dates were finalized for that trip I realized I would spend no more for a multiple animal safari than I would for possibly just 1 deer.
At this point I read here at least an hour a day, watch you tube videos daily.
Then cry myself to sleep because I still have 16 months to wait until my booked dates in RSA 2021
When a young man who was dating my daughter came into the shop and said "You know we can hunt Africa for 3 grand?" of course, he backed out, I hunted and it was more than $3K.
Back in the black and white TV era, my grandfather and i would watch Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kindom. I think I was around 5 or 6 when I first started watching it with him. He regularly said that if he ever could get to Africa its the one hunt he was willing to pay for. He also served in the US Army/Airforce during WWII. So I only did the one thing he couldn't. I miss that man.
What first sparked my interest in Africa - and making it a dream to want to travel/hunt there - was reading various books by (or about) David Livingstone, Mungo Park, Henry Morton Stanley, J.H. Patterson, Robert Ruark and Peter Hathaway Capstick. Watching the Fred Bear films also contributed in a big way!
For me it was as a young boy listening to my parent's hunting stories in India. My father shot his first leopard at 7yrs old with his father's .405 Winchester and after getting a hiding from his father for that, he progressed to deer and, inevitably, to leopard and tigers. He shot his one and only confirmed man-eater - quite by accident - early one morning with a shotgun at very close range and, a few years later, a bear that had killed a few people.

For their honeymoon, my parents went tiger hunting, during which they recalled spending the night in a grass basha while a belligerent tiger circled outside roaring so loudly, and so close by that the walls shook!! My mother also recalled her amusement when earlier that evening the tiger had roared nearby, causing such fear that one of their servants "walked on the cheeks of his butt" (as she put it) from the campfire straight into the basha!! She also related how out hunting one day in single file, she shot a cobra from the hip that was about to strike my father. With thess stories they would also not only intersperse the calls of the wildlife they encountered, but also explain or demonstrate the cultural traits and characteristics of the people in the areas they hunted.

Their photo albums were a treasure trove of hunting, trophies and of a life and time now long gone. I still have the negatives of my father sitting between his 2 pet leopards!! He also had at various times a pet elephant, tiger, hyena, python and monkey. And for each I could relate an amazing story - such as his monkey catching a burglar and ripping out chunks of flesh from his arms.
Other family stories includes my father's aunt who hunter tigers with a 470NE, but who was tragically mauled by one she thought was dead. Another is of my maternal grand mother who would give a milk bottle to their pet elephant, who would hold it in his trunk and proceed to feed it to my mother with it when she was an infant!! As I said - it's sadly of a time and life now long gone.

All these stories, set against the rich kaleidoscope of life in India, set my young mind alive to the prospect of hunting overseas!! On many occiaisons my brothers and I would embark on flights of fancy telling each other what we would hunt, where, and with what calibre. All this daydreaming just reinforced my burning desire to hunt overseas!!

As a young man, instead of buying a car, i bucked the trend and saved to go hunting overseas. I explored various opportunities to hunt India, but many of these lead down shady avenues and hushed whispers with people not willing to be identified: I did not go down those perilous pathis!! So with India crossed out, I thought I might as well go hunt deer in NZ as we had a good family friend as a contact. My brother implored me to wait as he wanted to come too - but after a year of his inactivity in extracting his digit - I told him I was impatient and that I was off!!

Following my nose, I ordered a Zimbabwean telephone directory - not easily obtained back then in 1990 (which I still have!!) and phoned up an outfitter. He was amazed that I'd taken such a direct approach, and we happily discussed fees, when, duration and what I should bring. I took my Ruger M77 .30/06 (tang safety) after PG. Incidentally I later had the pride and pleasure to watch my young daughter later use this rifle to take her 100-point NT buffalo (pic on AH).

On arrival at Vic Falls airport my PH picked me up: one suitcase, one rifle - and one very HAPPY 19yo hunter!! I had embarked on my adventure to achieve my long sought ambition!!

As I write this, that first African hunt is 3-months shy of 30yrs ago. Now, after a number of African DG and PG later, I'm STILL happily engaged in achieving my ongoing ambition - and following in the footsteps of my parents - with my daughter following close behind me with (now her!) Ruger .30/06 in her hands!!

I'm one very happy guy!! :)

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The very, very first time I remember actually thinking about me going to Africa and hunting someday was a Bowhunter magazine article by the late Dwight Schuh. I still have that article. I didn't put a lot of thought into in my 20s, but eventually started to think that yeah, I need to go someday. I told myself I wanted to make it by age 50. My interest continued to grow, via magazines and videos. Things got side-tracked just a wee bit, and now I'm set to go for the first time in under two months, age 53, with my 17 year old daughter at my side. I already find myself thinking ahead to "the next time."
I would have to blame the following people, Marlin Perkins, who I watched every Sunday evening with my father growing up . Then I went on a photo safari in Botswana where I read a tattered copy of Death in the Long Grass by Peter Capstick. I’m going on my first hunt next year.
For my wife it would be easy to answer...Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom.
She saw them holding lion cubs back in the day and that's what she wanted.
And that's what she got.
Reading Robert Ruark's Horn of the Hunter in the 60's did it for me. Much later Capstick was the final driving force that put me over the edge. I was older then, in my early 30's, good paying job and safari was really taking off. Zambia buff hunts were being offered for $2500. I ended up in Tanzania for my first hunt, never forget it.
Sounds like my story. When I was 12 and fascinated by all things hunting, my parents gave me Ruark's Use Enough Gun, I still have it. Later it was Capstick's Death in the Long Grass. Throw in any magazine article on African hunting, and the burning desire to hunt Africa was lit. Never been sorry.

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beautiful reel. do you have some room in the price? James
just posted an Buffalo and sable package on the deals page, please have look!

I'm trying to obtain an Australian Visa, but I was arrested over 10 years ago and the government is requesting a state police clearance letter and character declaration letter. Do I need to provide an FBI criminal record check as well?

This is the most difficult place I have ever tried to get into.


doing some culling today for the pot!
Should have recieved it, seems your FFL was a bit of a hassle