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Updated: Jun 6, 2019

As hunters, we often search for places that will take us deep into the unknown. We look for experiences rarely witnessed by others, we seek uncharted adventure and yearn for wild places.

Africa is a travel destination filled with adventure, culture and a diversity of exotic wildlife that is second to none. As a hunting destination there really is no limit to the exploits you can enjoy.

Africa is a travel destination filled with adventure, culture and a diversity of exotic wildlife that is second to none. As a hunting destination there really is no limit to the exploits you can enjoy.

In the past there has been a misconception that an African safari is only for the wealthy. Yes, there are some very expensive safaris on offer but Africa can be one of the greatest bargains in the hunting world considering what you can get for your hard earned money.

The more affordable safaris are generally experienced on private property in South Africa & Namibia. The hunts are usually closer to civilization with more permanent lodges and are a little bit easier to access, maintain and supply. The infrastructure in both of these countries are more likened to Australia which makes road travel much more pleasant than that of some of the other African countries.

South Africa, a perfect destination for short plains game safaris, has the largest safari industry in the whole of Africa and is home to an enormous variety of game. In comparison, Namibia is a more arid country with a similar system of private-land hunting although the Caprivi Strip is a remote & wild place in the north. Properties in Namibia average slightly larger than in South Africa, but the game is less varied. These two countries are most commonly visited by people experiencing Africa for the first or second time or by people looking for great bang for their buck.

If a truly wild encounter is cherished and if there is a desire to hear the sound of lions roaring while stalking then a remote area safari will be required. The wild lions are found primarily in the remote safari areas but not all of them, as are elephant and the large herds of buffalo. These hunts tend to be more expensive for a few reasons. They are often difficult to access which makes building & maintaining camp, year round anti-poaching efforts and bringing in supplies so much harder. Often, the only way to access these camps is by charter flights. This type of safari is extremely rewarding but hunting permits can be limited.

Then there are specialized hunts for species like bongo & Lord Derby's eland in CAR, mountain nyala in Ethiopia, and sitatunga & lechwe in Zambia that will be conducted in areas seldom visited by westerners. Lesser kudu and fringe-eared oryx can be hunted in Tanzania which rivals South Africa as a destination with a wide variety of game, however, to hunt all of the areas will take a lot of charter flights and isn't really practical or cost effective to do in one trip.  A premium will be paid to experience a safari in these remote areas.

The first step when researching a safari is deciding what experience is desired, then decide the targeted species which, in turn, will determine the preference of country. For plains game most first-time hunters will put the greater kudu at the top of their list. They are plentiful in South Africa & Namibia but are also scattered throughout other countries. For large herds of buffalo Mozambique is a good place to look and Zambia is home to huge sable.

Airfares are cheaper than ever and at the right time return flights from Sydney to Johannesburg cost as little as $1400, on special you can even get them for around $1100.

Most African safaris are conducted on the basis of a daily rate plus trophy fees. Daily rates for plains-game safaris vary from outfitter to outfitter and buffalo day rates tend to be slightly higher than plains game hunts. It's quite simple to figure out the minimum cost of the safari, multiply the daily rate by the amount of days required to determine the amount paid prior to arrival.

The daily rate will most likely include road transfers, accommodation, meals, alcohol in moderation, skinners, trackers, professional hunter, maids, chef, use of safari vehicle, daily laundry, etc. but make sure you check what is included with the outfitters you are researching.

Most outfitters use a "pay as you go" system with trophy fees charged only for game actually taken (or wounded and lost). The trophy fees will be known prior to booking and if you don't want to pay the fee for a certain animal, then don't shoot. The trophy fees will be required prior to departure. In some areas you will need to decide in advance which animals you desire due to quota and permit availability.

Generally, if a package is booked, the entire amount will be paid prior to arrival as the rates will be discounted. Most often than not if an animal on the list isn't taken by the hunters choice then the full trophy fee won't be refunded.

Finding an outfitter

isn't as hard as it sounds, finding the right outfitter can be a little more difficult. The most important starting point is to check references. Get all prices in writing, ask about camps or lodging and game numbers in hunting areas. Don't forget to make sure that there are good numbers of mature animals in the species you desire. Booking agents are always a good option because they are only a phone call away if you have any questions. There is always an option to share the safari experience with a hunting buddy or a larger group. There are some great benefits to having a friend tag along, just make sure the person tagging along is a compatible, easy going kind of person that you have hunted with before. Another option is to share the camp or lodge with another hunter but hunt alone with a single a PH. That way you can catch up around the camp fire of an evening to swap stories of the day’s adventures without the stress of wondering when the other hunter is going to get his animals.

Africa is a gorgeous continent that needs to be experienced to be believed, the hunting is unforgettable and her beauty is something to behold!!


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