Where to Start???

Hilarion Bibicoff

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So I want to plan my first African Safari and have no idea where to start??? I believe I want to hunt South Africa, but how does one really decide which country, PG, outfitter ect?

Side Note: I'm planning an anniversary hunt in 5 years for my wife and I, just getting a head start and enjoying the "dreaming part."

I've hunted all over North America chasing deer, elk, moose, mountain goat, bear, and picking the areas were easy because you just go where the animals live! But in Africa, it seems (for the most part, specifically PG and Cape Buffalo) all the animals are everywhere.

I've been reading your site day and night (really enjoying it by the way) and honestly, I feel like i'm just running in circles. I know this is going to be very opinionated on "where to hunt" but I can already tell this is going to be a heck of a lot harder to figure out than what i've been doing so far in my hunting career.

Again, this is a ton of fun reading and planning (in my head) and i'm only 32 y/o and will hopefully make plenty of trips over to Africa because all of your stories make me want to go wherever you experienced guys go.

Am I the only one that starts out like this?
 

Shootist43

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Welcome to AH. I live in Grosse Ile MI. and have been to Africa twice. Not that it makes me an expert on the subject but I'm retired and more than willing to talk to you. Send me a PM if you are interested, we can exchange phone numbers and go from there.
 

KMG Hunting Safaris

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Welcome to AH. We have done from engagement hunts, anniversary hunts and hunts that turned out to be conception hunts:D
On a serious note, please dont hesitate to send me an email or a personal message right here on AH, and it will be my pleasure discuss the possibilities with you.

Take Care,
Marius Goosen
 

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Hilarion Bibicoff

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Welcome to AH. I live in Grosse Ile MI. and have been to Africa twice. Not that it makes me an expert on the subject but I'm retired and more than willing to talk to you. Send me a PM if you are interested, we can exchange phone numbers and go from there.

Thanks, I appreciate that, especially from a fellow Michigander.
 

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Welcome. Take your time and read some offers and hunt reports. It will start to sort itself out.
 

mark-hunter

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So I want to plan my first African Safari and have no idea where to start??? I believe I want to hunt South Africa, but how does one really decide which country, PG, outfitter ect?

Welcome to the forum!
How does one choose the country to hunt, there is no really perfect answer. The choice is very much individual.
It also depends on you budget, on your research and on your vision on what you want to hunt.

There are more economic countries, and there are expensive countries. But expensive countries have their unique specialities, so they are atractive as well

My first reccomendation is to read as much as possible wherever possible about African safari.

This forum is one of best sources.
Books are another.

Because it is most updated modern author I suggest Boddington, Craig and his following titles:
"Safari Experience", "Safari rifles II" - this is must read.

Followed by:
"Tracks across Africa", "Where Lions Roar", "From mount Kenya to Cape" and "From cape to kasserine".
There are other great authors, but I think only Boddigton covered - everything, and every country, and almost all the species.

In those books he described modern african safari, all over Africa, and it will give you good picture what to hunt and where.
he described plains game hunts, DG hunts, tiny ten, big 5, everything, modern and updated.

Generally, if you do not have wish to start with very specific species like Lord Derby Eland, or mountain Nyala, or zebra-duiker and if you would be happy with general plains game safari, probably the first choice will be:

- Namibia, or South Africa. Cca 50 species of animals, and most economical prices.

- Then for DG (dangerous game hunts) apart from these two countries next country to consider is Zimbabwe, or Mosambique, with ever present offersa dn deals in RSA and Namibia as well, etc..

- and until you reach that point, you will have very clear picture where to go next.

Am I the only one that starts out like this?

Many started like this. You are on good way!
 

Hilarion Bibicoff

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Welcome to the forum!
How does one choose the country to hunt, there is no really perfect answer. The choice is very much individual.
It also depends on you budget, on your research and on your vision on what you want to hunt.

There are more economic countries, and there are expensive countries. But expensive countries have their unique specialities, so they are atractive as well

My first reccomendation is to read as much as possible wherever possible about African safari.

This forum is one of best sources.
Books are another.

Because it is most updated modern author I suggest Boddington, Craig and his following titles:
"Safari Experience", "Safari rifles II" - this is must read.

Followed by:
"Tracks across Africa", "Where Lions Roar", "From mount Kenya to Cape" and "From cape to kasserine".
There are other great authors, but I think only Boddigton covered - everything, and every country, and almost all the species.

In those books he described modern african safari, all over Africa, and it will give you good picture what to hunt and where.
he described plains game hunts, DG hunts, tiny ten, big 5, everything, modern and updated.

Generally, if you do not have wish to start with very specific species like Lord Derby Eland, or mountain Nyala, or zebra-duiker and if you would be happy with general plains game safari, probably the first choice will be:

- Namibia, or South Africa. Cca 50 species of animals, and most economical prices.

- Then for DG (dangerous game hunts) apart from these two countries next country to consider is Zimbabwe, or Mosambique, with ever present offersa dn deals in RSA and Namibia as well, etc..

- and until you reach that point, you will have very clear picture where to go next.



Many started like this. You are on good way!


Thanks for the reply. I already read "tracks across africa" and "where lions roar" but that was purely accident. I'll definitely got on the others.
 

Von Gruff

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Welcome to our place @Hilarion Bibicoff and the information highway to the hunt's of your dreams
 

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So I want to plan my first African Safari and have no idea where to start??? I believe I want to hunt South Africa, but how does one really decide which country, PG, outfitter ect?

Side Note: I'm planning an anniversary hunt in 5 years for my wife and I, just getting a head start and enjoying the "dreaming part."

I've hunted all over North America chasing deer, elk, moose, mountain goat, bear, and picking the areas were easy because you just go where the animals live! But in Africa, it seems (for the most part, specifically PG and Cape Buffalo) all the animals are everywhere.

I've been reading your site day and night (really enjoying it by the way) and honestly, I feel like i'm just running in circles. I know this is going to be very opinionated on "where to hunt" but I can already tell this is going to be a heck of a lot harder to figure out than what i've been doing so far in my hunting career.

Again, this is a ton of fun reading and planning (in my head) and i'm only 32 y/o and will hopefully make plenty of trips over to Africa because all of your stories make me want to go wherever you experienced guys go.

Am I the only one that starts out like this?

You're not the only one, we've all been where you're at. I will start with one misconception that you seem to have in that NOT all the animals are everywhere. There are a fair number of species that can only be found in certain places. Of the animals that you do find in multiple locations, there can be a fair discrepancy in trophy quality from one part of the country to another (or from one country to another).

A PG hunt to South Africa does seem to be a favorite for first timers, with Namibia being right along side with it. Primarily this seems to be due to pricing and relative ease in getting to Johannesburg. And there's nothing wrong with that. It gives the first timer a chance to see how this all works at a lesser cost compared to other destinations.

My advice to first timers is to read, read some more, take a nap then repeat as much as you can. At some point in that process you start to become aware of the subtle differences in locales, outfitters, etc.

As this happens start to ask yourself what you really want out of your hunt? A few questions to consider as you start the process:

1) Make a list of the animals you most want? Remember, not all animals can be found in all locations.

2) Do you want top trophy quality or are you satisfied with average quality just so long as you get your animals?

3) Do you absolutely want free range or is a fenced property ok? If fenced is okay, how large is the property?

4) Do you want to hunt on a single property, or is some travel in the mornings to hunt multiple properties acceptable?

5) You mentioned an anniversary hunt, so what kind of requirements do you think your wife has in respect to lodging, food and perhaps non-hunting related activities?


If you can swing it, there's the opportunity to meet lots of outfitters in Dallas at the DSC convention, or at the SCI convention in Reno. If you come to DSC, you would also have the opportunity to meet up with a whole bunch of us at our annual party we'll be having on Friday evening.
 

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You've already started by checking things out here.
I first started while chatting with a boat captain a few years before I took the leap. He'd been on a couple plains games hunts. Anyway, assuming you have to think about money like most of us do the one great piece of advise he had was whatever you're hunting, double the cost of the hunt to get a decent figure for what it will cost overall with airfare, taxidermy, etc. Honestly, that may be low depending on your taxidermy wishes. So a bit more never hurt. Then time budget. How long can you be gone from work and home?
Now, what do you really want to hunt? I have been on three trips, two to Namibia and one to the East Cape of South Africa. In each case I had a couple species I really wanted and then some I'd like to, knowing things can change. Kudu is probably numero uno for most people the first hunt and they are thankfully all over southern Africa. Namibia is great for a lot of plains game, but if you really want a bushbuck, blesbok, or nyala Namibia is out of the mix with the exception of of couple places. Blue wildebeest is all over the place but black wildebeest is more localized. It's been introduced throughout Namibia and of course it's native South Africa, but more central and southern portions of the country, not so much in Limpopo from my searching. And If buffalo or other dangerous game is big on the list it all depends what kind of hunt you're after. So make budgets and a list of must hunts and start looking and chatting.

Good luck, good hunting!
 
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Welcome to AH, @PHOENIX PHIL has given you excellent advice !
 

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Welcome to the forum! Everyone has given you excellent info! Best of luck on your first Africa adventure!
 

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Great advice so far, only thing I would add is decide if you want to hunt high-fence (with varying sizes of enclosures) or free-range hunts. Also, meeting the outfitters in person is more important especially for your first time and for your wife. A good fit and personality is important. Enjoy the process!
 

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Welcome to AH. Note that the planning and research is really a big part of the fun.
 

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Welcome! Great advice given by all. Planning is the fun part. Gather all you can before making a decision. Text and talk with them after you start narrowing down your list. You will know when you have found the right one.
 

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Ok here’s my advice: try to pick 3 animals that you are really interested in first of all. Attend DSC or SCI and meet some outfitters and PH’s there. Personality and chemistry can be as important as other aspects of the hunt. Get some books from Safari Press like Safari Guide II.
Have fun planning!
Philip
 

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