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I know what it is as I was typing this. MONEY!

But is there something else? Government? travelling with guns? Bugs? snakes? Lions? What are your feelings on making the trip to the dark continent?

The money is the biggest issue. I think the cheapest hunt a guy could do would be to go for 7 days and shoot three inexpensive animals. You get the whole adventure without the massive bank crumpling expense. A hunt like this would be about 2200.00 bucks plus airfare. Airfare is gonna run about 1300.00 or so depending upon where you leave from. So 3500.00 bucks could get a decent adventure in Africa.

Where could you go in North America and be waited on, catered to and spoiled during a week long hunting trip for that much money and shoot 3 animals? In North America you would pay more then that to have the chance to shoot just one animal in a camp that would not likely be the same level of 5 star accomadations.

Open bar, Wonderful meals many of which will be of the game shot during your stay, laundry done every day, private bedrooms with hot shower. These are not some plywood shanties either. This is top of the line high end hotel like accomadations in a rustic stone lodge with a thatch roof. Heck we even have a big Swimming pool! A full time cook, maids, skinners trackers, Professional hunters and 100,000 acres to roam around with 28 species of plains game and three of the big five. Plus hyena, jackals, African lynx, and plenty of monkeys and thousands of birds.

I doubt you can price anything in North America that would compare. I know there are several black bear and deer hunts which are a bit less money but again it's for one animal and you won't be seeing a giraffe from your treestand or see zebra and rhino in the bush. The camps don't compare. I know I was a bear guide for 20 years. It's why I moved my operation to South Africa!

Hunting in beautiful sunny weather of 80 degrees every day with no bugs or snakes in the winter months. My wife said it perfeclty the first time she was there. "This is like a relaxing vacation resort where you get to go and shoot stuff"

Don't misunderstand me, it's hunting and there will be belly crawling stalks and long walks but it's so nice to get back to the lodge and sit around the fire each night and share the days events with the others who are there hunting.
 

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Ever wish to hunt Africa? What's the main r

JJ,
You are right, it is the money. I'm saving right now and am planning for a trip in 2005, hopefully. I figure by the time its all said and done (including taxidermy) I'll have something like $10K invested. You are right about taking lesser expensive animals, but I figure if I am going to Africa, I want to hunt Kudu, Gemsbok and Nyala. These are all expensive animals to shoot (as far as plainsgame is concerned). But to me it would be like coming to Alaska and not hunting moose, caribou, sheep or bears and just hunting deer or wolves. I know I could just take photos of my hunt and forget about mounts and that would save considerable money, but even though I hope to return to Africa after the first hunt, I can't guarantee that to myself. The cost of going to Africa isn't actually preventing me from going, but it is delaying it a little.

Political situations in some countries have scratched them from list of choices to go to. I doubt very seriously I'll be traveling to Zimbabwe because of the turmoil there. I understand now that things are trying to heat up in Namibia, though it isn't that hot now. I personally don't want to go and be hassled by govt thugs or renegades on a hunt. Granted, I'm sure that if something goes completely wrong, my money would be refunded, but that wouldn't be the point. It would be the time off that I took from work, the frustration and aggravation of the situation and let down of something I've waited so long for. To me, going on safari is much more than just shooting 3 or 4 (or 10) animals. It's the experience.

Another consideration is the time. Even if you do a 7 day safari, don't you have to figure a day or two on each end for travel? Most of us have families that probably aren't interested in going, so this trip is aside from our vacation time or holiday time we spend with our families. I think it's pretty typical that each of get about 2-4 weeks of vacation per year, plus holidays. Most of us (especially those of us with children) like to take a week at Christmas to spend with families, usually a few days at Thanksgiving. Summer vacation has to be included too. Many folks have traditional day or two off for hunting openers or regular seasons. So, to many, to keep the family happy, are really stretched for time.

Like I said, I have every intention of going in the next couple of years and have an African Safari savings account set up for it. My family and I have discussed this and it's been agreed upon.
 

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$$$ and Time

When I was younger I didn't have the money and now I don't have the time. I can take a week or two's leave now and then but can't predict many months out when I can get away.
 

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Ever wish to hunt Africa? What's the main r

I hear that as the bigger reason more then the money actually. Time away and the scheduling of the exact dates seem to be very complicated so often in todays world. Today it's easy to spend 30 grand on a new truck in an afternnon and then spread the payments out over 5 years. Same with a 20,000 dollar boat or a snowmachine and an ATV.

Nearly anything people want today can be purchased online in a minute or two. Some of the big items like motorhomes and boats can be purchased with "instant financing" on a saturday afternoon! However when it comes to actual time to use the things which are so easy to get that's another story.

I have a very good friend who reads these pages so he will recognise this straight away. I give him crap about it all the time so it's a "friendy joke" but applies to so many people. He bought a 35,000 dodge pickup truck to pull his 40,000 dollar fifth wheel. He also has an ATV for his hunting trips. and a big fishing boat. He owns about 20 rifles all fitted the the proper scope and about a half a dozen handguns.

He tells to me all the time: "I don't know how much money you make to go to Africa every year. I could never afford to go to Africa". His Camper is used for 2 weeks a year and a few weekends. The boat sees the water very rarely. Lots of money spent for so little time used! Well I own an 8 year old pickup truck, and have no other motor vehicles. I also only a couple hunting rifles. My priorities are much different!

It's strange to see just how many toys the average American has which end up collecting dust because the average American also has so little time to use them. I was in that typical group for a few years as well. I just started looking around at the "stuff" and one day said to myself, what the heck am I doing with all this crap! My garage is nice an roomy now, and My limited time is very wisely scheduled to get the best use of it. I hated the thought of growing old with a garage full of stuff and so few memories of actual hunting.

There is a saying I have seen many times recently that goes:
You can always borrow money but you can never borrow time. I think when I heard that the first time the light came on for me. I decided I really needed to have some life experience and not a collection of "stuff". The stuff gets old but the memories are forever
 

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Ever wish to hunt Africa? What's the main r

My son and I wanted to do an Alaskan Moose hunt. We looked things over and decided given the sheer size of the animal, time constraints and cost we wanted a guided hunt.

I contacted my hunt booking agent and he said sure, no problem and then said are you aware for the same money you can hunt 6 animals in Africa.

Long story short. (I'm good for long stories)

We booked a ten day hunt 6 animals plains game for $4250 plus $450 dip and pack. Air fare was $ 1950 from Montana. That's $6650. Big chunk of change when you look at the total. The Alaska hunts went for $7000 and up not counting air fares and air taxi. We hunted with Tollie Jordaan at Tollies African Safari's www.safari-in-africa.com

We booked 2 1/5 years in advance. We paid a modest deposit and then sent payments every now and again until we we left for the trip. We spread the payment over time to make it easier to swallow. Air fare went on my credit card, got some extra air miles for that.

You don't have to bring trophies back or you can only bring some. That will eliminate or at least reduce shipping charges. My son and I packed ours together and split the charges. We brought back 20 animals for $1600. That fee came about 4 months after we returned from Africa.

I made a deal with my Taxidermist. I can't afford to pay him the $5000+ up front that he wants to mount all eight animals I brought back. He is hanging onto everything and I am sending him money when ever I can. When he gets enough to pay for a head he is doing it up. When everything is paid for I'll go pick everything up. I am paying him full price doing this. I am letting him use my heads for display and shows until I get everything paid for. Works for me and works for him.

If you can afford to pay for everything up front and you have a number of mounts, negotiate with your taxidermist for a package deal. A lot of them will do it. One warning on Taxidermists. If you are having African game done make sure your Taxidermist has experience with African game. You don't want your Kudu looking like and Elk or your Impala looking like a white-tail.


There is a lot more to our trip than what's written here. But if you spread it out over time you can afford Africa.
 

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Questor

In my case, the money is a factor, but it's not THE factor. I just don't have an interest on going hunting with the objective of taking a collection of plains game. And none of the dangerous or big-five interests me. I'd like to go and take an impala or two, but I can do that here. Most of the other animals in Africa just don't interest me very much. Today, if I want an impala, I can go to Texas and do that, then hunt for hogs. I'd rather hunt hogs.

I've read the books and seen the videos on what African hunting is really like today. This was research because I wanted to go. But after becoming familiar with what it's really like, I lost much of my interest.

I don't know whether this is a blessing or a curse with me. What an attitute, eh?
 

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Ever wish to hunt Africa? What's the main r

Questor, Questor, Questor, my friend! I think your supressing your desires, or at least trying very hard to! You think you can write this post and it will somehow become true in your mind!

Sorry but I don't buy it! I think you secretly want to go because you visit this Africa forum. If you were truely content with Texas "planted" impala and wild hogs you would not be peeking into the world of Africa internet chat!!!!

That's Ok the first sign of recovery is admitting you have a problem! Just come clean and then we can start to help you get through this stressful time.

All joking aside,
there are hundreds of folks who hunt African game in Texas because of the logistics of travel and expense. Although I would bet I could come darn close to the same price for Africa when some species are considered. The trophy fee's in Texas for some animals are quite expensive. If you were to shoot a bunch of game the trip to the homeland of these animals gets cheaper and cheaper. Not to mention it's actually hunting of wild born indiginous species living naturally. VS farm raised wild game in Texas.

I could not bring myself to hunt Bighorn sheep and Mountain goats in Florida even for free, nor would I shoot Alligators in Idaho. It's just not hunting when you do this. It's good fun, but certainly not "hunting"
 

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Questor

I just read the above post about the moose hunters who went to Africa instead. I really respect that. But for me, I'd rather spend my money in a back country hunting trip in spectacular scenery where I live in a tent and cook on a fire and hike my legs off. One of these days I won't be able to do those things, so I'd rather rough-it now.

The conveniences and the maid service is kind of a turn-off
 

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Ever wish to hunt Africa? What's the main r

Well I would sure love to see Africa at least once before I die and maybe it will happen. Not soon for sure. Finances are such I can barely pay the bills now. Even coming out of retirement to go back to work to help get them back to a proper level. But who knows someday after that it might happen.

Yeah like one poster said most of what I want to hunt is available in TX and might be cheaper but I'd really like to experience Africa once at least. Main game I really think I'd like to take include impala, wart hog, gemsbok oryx, kudu, lechwe, wildebeast and I've long had a desire for cape buff which I'm sure will remain unfulfilled because of money. If I ever make it those are what I'll be looking for.

GB
 

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I am.

with GB as I would love to take a trip to Africa, and getting to hunt would be a bonus. One thing in my mind that might keep me from ever going, other than the cost, is the new FDA travel restrictions for blood donors. I am very committed now, :) for the past 4 years, as a blood donor, and if a trip to Africa means that I am deferred from giving for a year, or forever due to the new restrictions, then I will have to pass on Africa. Bet you haven't heard that one before, but it is true for me.
markc :)
 

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Ever wish to hunt Africa? What's the main r

mark,
You are an admirable person. I salute you. For what it is worth, my wife and I went to Mexico for vacation last year (Las Hadas), and I was deferred for one year because of that trip. My wife was given the okay by the blood mobile.

You certainly don't want to give some very sick malaria tainted blood, but I think the risk of such now (especially with Larium prescriptions or whatever that anti-African disease drug is called) is pretty low. Check with your local Red Cross and find out.
 

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Ever wish to hunt Africa? What's the main r

JJHACK:

I thought I'd raise a few eyebrows with my post of yesterday. Fact is, I was ready to go to Botswana and SAR, then I learned about the details and decided I'd rather do other things with my time. I thought I'd go on record as being the only guy alive that doesn't care if he ever sees Africa as a hunter. I would like to see Egypt and Morocco as a tourist, though.

Africa? Ho hum.

Best regards,
Questor
 

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Ever wish to hunt Africa? What's the main r

To each their own, I say. Me? Shoot, I'd like to hunt every country in Africa. I'd also like to hunt in Mongolia, China, most any of the 'stans ('cept Afghanistan - don't figure theirs too many animals alive after all that bombing). I sure would like to take a year off and do nothing but travel the world and hunt. I'd try to take all the argali's and most of the sheep, then go after the spiral horned antelope in Africa, maybe deer and stag in the highlands of Europe and be back here in Alaska before moose season starts. Yep, that's what I'd do. Can't afford nothing like that though. :(
 

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Ever wish to hunt Africa? What's the main r

Of course money is a big factor, but for me it's just as much about time as it is money. Double D - I can't imagine planning a trip 2 1/2 years in advance. Granted, I am starting on educating myself for such a trip, but I think that I could do it in 12 months or less.

The problem for me is that I'm an attorney and emergencies always come up right before the holidays, birthdays, baptisms, etc. I once had a hunting trip planned out and my opposing counsel found out. He was trying to make me settle the case for far less than my client was willing to take. He asked the Court for a postponement of the trial for "family emergency" reasons. BS - he knew that I was going hunting and wanted me to settle. Well guess what? I had to cancel my trip in order to protect my client's interests. Yes, it was the right thing to do, and I kicked my opposing counsel's butt - but I still lost the trip - and the deposits. So yea, timing is a very big issue for me.

Zachary
 

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Ever wish to hunt Africa? What's the main r

Part of the reason for the 2 1/2 years wait was to spread the cost out and part of the reason was that was how far in advance out Outfitter was booked for the dates we wanted. A partial mistake.

Suggestion Don't go to South Africa in July unless you enjoy hunting in the snow.


There is a great show coming up in February if you are looking for trip http://www.easternsportshow.com/eastern/ The Eastern sports and Outdoor Show will be held February 8-16 in Harrisburg, PA. My Outfitter will be there along with a lot of others for every kind hunting experience you can imagine.
 

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Ever wish to hunt Africa? What's the main r

JJ and twin D,
Just when is the best time of year to go, say RSA, for Kudu, Gemsbok and Nyala? A description of weather, dry and dusty, highs and lows, rain or snow, greenry or bare limbs, sure would be helpful. I really hope to get there (or somewhere in Africa) in 2005. Stupid questions, I know. But I don't really know too much about it, except its been a longtime dream of mine to get there.

YJ
 

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Ever wish to hunt Africa? What's the main r

I have written a book which you can find at Amazon.com or Barnes and Nobles. You can even get it right from me on my web site. It's called "Africa the First time". There is weather clothing and hunting information of just about everything you could want.

Best time of year is May and June in my opinion. Peak of the rut and early Winter so no bugs and few if any snakes. Temps in the mid to upper 80's and lows just above freezing. Almost zero rain and the leaves are falling big time.
 

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JJ,
Thanks for the info. Guess if I would have just looked at your website, I'd have seen the book. Sorry for not researching better. Your website is very helpful and very nicely done. The images are beautiful.
 

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Ever wish to hunt Africa? What's the main r

The images are much better in person, the sounds of the birds and Hyena. The Zebra's calling and the smell of the bush. Gotta figure a way to get a real feeling of Africa by visiting my site. Maybe I'll put some sound bites on there.
 
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