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To simplify what could be a long complicated set of costs and explanations, just think of it like the hunting license and tag fees in the USA or Canada. In many countries the safari company, outfitter or PH that has leased the rights to hunt must either pay the government of the landowner a fee for each animal taken. This fee amounts to the cost of the license fee plus the markup by the seller. If the price the government wants for a Kudu is 700 bucks the safari company may mark it up 300 and sell it for 1000.00. That is only an example not actual cost. Each country, government and safari company will have a different set of values and policies.

For Example we own the property and the game so we don't pay anyone for anything we hunt. It's all ours. However we only take 24 hunters a year and only hunt for a couple months. Many of the places especially in the Eastern Cape are game stocking operations which must buy and release game. They have a minimum amount to charge for game because they must buy it for the hunters to shoot. The Eastern Cape is a "put and take" operation for many of the animals. They don't have the indiginous species common to the northern province.

The trophy fee is the starting point for which all game shot is priced. Each animal has a different profit margin. It's not a fixed percent above cost, or value. Some animals like Rhino and Sable will have a very expensive trophy fee with very little markup. They are so expensive to begin with that a high markup would put them out of reach.

Most Safari companies make more money on an animal like an impala or warthog then a Zebra or Kudu. Warthogs wander from property to property and are not managed. They cannot be managed and will over populate and leave anyplace anytime they like go to new areas. A warthog with a trophy fee of 300.00 could be a profit of 200.00! After the expenses of shooting it are considered. A Kudu sold for 1000.00 might be only a profit of 100.00,

What are the costs of the game and the value based on? Well there is a daily fee which covers the PH and the accomadations. However there is also a staff of maids, trackers, skinners, and the cost of keeping the lights on and the trucks running, and reasonable level of margin. You can find daily fees which are very low with high trophy fees, or daily fees which are high and low trophy fees. It will all work out in the end so you don't save much debating that way. The best arrangement you can have is a package of animals with the daily fee included. This way you know up front what it is exactly your paying for and what your entitled to shoot while hunting.

My operation has a package for 10 days of hunting 4500.00 bucks which includes the cost for trophy fees on five animals. Those five can be selected by you from a group of choices. This includes every expense while hunting. Including all transportation while in Africa, all meals, open bar, laundry done every day, and all staff including PH trackers and skinners. Trophy preperation for local transport and round trip ride from airport. Any additional game can be taken for the cost of the trophy fee alone with no additional cost to the hunter.

What it does not include is, Airfare(1300 bucks RT from Atlanta). Vet permits of trophies for export, shipping of trophies, tips, or incidental spending money. The cost of exporting and shipping of trophies is not included because only about 1/2 the guys are taking trophies home these days. It will be less and less as time goes on as well. The strongly increasing trend is for high quality digital photographs only. The expense of the trophy shipping and the cost of taxidermy with the associated space needed for so many large shoulder mounted trophies is quickly shrinking.

As one hunter said to me. I can hunt in Africa every other year for the cost of getting my trophies mounted from one trip. He went on to say " I'm a hunter, not a museum collector" The cost of returning with 5 animals will be an additional 1000.00 dollars, then you have 500.00 in tanning and another 2000.00 in Taxidermy. That is 3500.00 towards the next hunt! To each his own I guess. I have plenty of taxidermy but I do it myself so it's much cheaper. I also am in this business and need to have animals to show potential hunters what everything looks like. The advantage to the the trophies is the class it adds to an existing trophy room. Remember also that shipping and taxidermy will be spread out over several years. That bill will not need to be paid up front.
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