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#6961265 - 11/15/17 10:16 AM First African Safari Experience
traviselmore Offline
Tracker

Registered: 04/21/11
Posts: 672
Loc: Vale, NC
I return in September from my first African Safari. While I had not hunted africa prior to this (obviously) I had done tons of research on the topic and the do's and don'ts of planning your first safari. I wanted to briefly share my experience with you all in the event someone else is looking to do the same type of trip.

First let me say that while I have done a good many guided hunts, I have only an average income so any trip I do I weigh out the options heavily and look for great deals on great hunts as they come along (I know most of us can identify with this). I had read many hunt recaps of guys spending tons of cash on both the hunt, flights, dip and pack, and getting their trophies back home and while that is up to each individual, I wanted to attempt to do a "hunt of a lifetime" for the best price possible at the best place possible. As follows is a cost breakdown of my trip thus far and also a quick recap of the hunt I had...It was a great one.

After much research I selected Huntershill Safaris in the Eastern Cape of South Africa for my hunt. They are a 4 star lodge with 70 different huntable big game species on 55,000 acres of land. I booked the following package...
Kudu, Blue Wildebeest, Black Wildebeest, Red Hartebeest, and Common Springbok for five days for $3,300.
I also added two days for my hunt at $260 per day... to total $520.
Airport pickup and rifle hire were included in this price which also saved a few hundred bucks.

I booked my flight through delta. I live near Charlotte NC so I flew from Charlotte to Atlanta and Atlanta to Johannesburg Non-Stop on a 16 hour straight flight. Long but worth it compared to spending many more hours in layovers. After watching fares for a couple months I was able to get this flight for $1,325. Which could have bought been less but not on a direct flight from Atlanta to Joberg.

I booked an overnight stay at Afton Guest house in Johannesburg. Which was very nice and well worth the $125 which included a steak dinner and fantastic breakfast as well as airport pick up and drop off.

I also had to book a flight the next day from Johannesburg to East London, which is only a 1 hour flight. I was able to get a great deal on this flight because I went in the website and purchased the seat for the flight in rand rather than the dollar conversion, which saved me a great deal. The roundtrip flight was $111.

When I arrived at Huntershill I had already made up my mind that I was going to take some extra animals if given the opportunity and I had several in mind. Their trophy fees are the lowest in Africa and I had decided that I was going to take advantage of it. I added the following trophies...
Impala - $280
Blesbok - $280
Steenbok - $280
Zebra - $450
White Springbok - $450
Mountain Reedbuck -$350

I also had a couple extra days to hunt due to good success early in the hunt and wanted to try to get a bushbuck in replacement of my black wildebeest if given an opportunity. The owner allows animals of equal value to be swapped so this was an even trade.

So in all I took 11 trophy class animals in 7 days. I had a fantastic time and look forward to hopefully making a return trip for some other species in 2019.

As for the cost breakdown for anyone looking to do a trip like this, here is my current breakdown not including dip and pack, shipping, and clearing costs.

Airfare $1325 and $111
Hunting Package - 5 Trophies/ 5 Days $3300
2 Extra Hunting Days $520
Extra Animals Taken $2090
Rounds for rifle $40
Afton Guest House $125

Total so far... $7,511.

I am having my dip and pack done by Paul at Relive Taxidermy. He comes with high recommendations if you just do an internet search. His prices are also very resonable, $90 per animal for dip and pack I believe. I am also hoping to save on some shipping cost by having all my skulls capped as I plan to do shoulder mounts on all the animals, except the steenbok which will be lifesized.

I will be using coppersmith for the clearing of the trophies in Atlanta. I had considered trying to clear the animals myself but decided I would let the experts handle that. The cost should be $300-$400 for clearing.

Also I have decided to pick up my crate in Atlanta which is 3 hours from my house rather than having it shipped from Atlanta to my home ssince I have heard that those cost can be very expensive as well.

I will be sure to update on those totals when the time comes. Hopefully this has shown that though not inexpensive, Africa can be done vvery resonantly if you look around and search your options diligently.

Here are a few pictures of the trophies.












Edited by traviselmore (11/15/17 10:30 AM)
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#6961273 - 11/15/17 10:21 AM Re: First African Safari Experience [Re: traviselmore]
traviselmore Offline
Tracker

Registered: 04/21/11
Posts: 672
Loc: Vale, NC



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#6961531 - 11/15/17 01:02 PM Re: First African Safari Experience [Re: traviselmore]
Erny Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 2089
Loc: Smith County
Congrats on some fantastic trophies. You get one heck of a deal on the hunt. Now comes the problem of saving up for your next trip!

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#6961560 - 11/15/17 01:25 PM Re: First African Safari Experience [Re: traviselmore]
jnd59 Online   content
Woodsman

Registered: 09/11/10
Posts: 169
Wow. Excellent trip. I want to go for cape buffalo someday. Did you have tips included in the hunt fee or were they separate? Can you bring some of the meat home or does it go to the locals?

thanks.

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#6961573 - 11/15/17 01:34 PM Re: First African Safari Experience [Re: jnd59]
traviselmore Offline
Tracker

Registered: 04/21/11
Posts: 672
Loc: Vale, NC
Originally Posted By: jnd59
Wow. Excellent trip. I want to go for cape buffalo someday. Did you have tips included in the hunt fee or were they separate? Can you bring some of the meat home or does it go to the locals?

thanks.

I forgot to include the tips in my post above. I believe tips were around $700 which is at the hunters discretion what they give. All the meat must stay in africa. The meat went either to to local markets or to our trackers and their families while we were there.
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#6962159 - 11/15/17 09:05 PM Re: First African Safari Experience [Re: traviselmore]
Brook Trout Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 03/18/13
Posts: 88
Loc: Frisco, TX
Congratulations. I'm glad all your planning paid off and you had a successful hunt.

I appreciate the post and the details. It's good to be able to reference some actual prices.

That's a bucket list hunt for me.

Thanks again!

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#6962215 - 11/15/17 10:15 PM Re: First African Safari Experience [Re: traviselmore]
HardcoreCarnivore Offline
Tracker

Registered: 01/06/14
Posts: 681
Loc: Argyle Texas
Iím message you bud, I book for Greg for his outfit here in the us and if anyone is interested in booking this outfit get with me and Iíll get you set up!

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#6962312 - 11/15/17 11:57 PM Re: First African Safari Experience [Re: traviselmore]
Tux Man Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/10/14
Posts: 74
How much do you estimate shipping costs will be?
Great writeup!

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#6962515 - 11/16/17 08:20 AM Re: First African Safari Experience [Re: traviselmore]
EddieWalker Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/06/14
Posts: 1465
Loc: Tyler, TX
Good to hear you had a great trip. I have a couple different friends that have been there multiple times and they always had a great trip until the break up between the owners. Fortunately, they made it up to one of my friends who went back to get his animals at a significant discount. They do seem to have the very best prices.

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#6962662 - 11/16/17 09:53 AM Re: First African Safari Experience [Re: Tux Man]
traviselmore Offline
Tracker

Registered: 04/21/11
Posts: 672
Loc: Vale, NC
Originally Posted By: Tux Man
How much do you estimate shipping costs will be?
Great writeup!


I am not sure on shipping cost. I hate to give a number for fear of being off. I know for many that (dip and pack/shipping) is a main hindrance is going to hunt Africa. So I am looking forward to seeing if my ideas on skulls and the company I am using saves some money. Since I have 11 animals coming back it will defiantly be more than someone who had 5-6 animals, but I am looking at the average cost per animal. I personally am hoping for an average of $200 +/- per animal which would be the total ofall dip and pack, crating, shipping, and clearing costs divided by 11 animals.


Edited by traviselmore (11/16/17 09:54 AM)
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#6963271 - 11/16/17 07:29 PM Re: First African Safari Experience [Re: traviselmore]
Txhunter65 Offline
Tracker

Registered: 02/13/15
Posts: 731
Loc: Waxahachie, TX
I'm am having 7 trophies shipped as we speak from South Africa to DFW. Shipping by air is just under $700.

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#6963378 - 11/16/17 09:07 PM Re: First African Safari Experience [Re: traviselmore]
sparrish8 Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 01/13/13
Posts: 1480
Great time and animals, that Impala is a stud. I stayed at the Afton guest house also it was 1st class.

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#6963446 - 11/16/17 10:24 PM Re: First African Safari Experience [Re: traviselmore]
cliffie Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 08/30/10
Posts: 225
You did good. I've been 5 times, SA, Namibia and Zimbabwe. You did your planning perfect. I used to point folks in the right direction for their trip to Africa and at one time reped an outfit in Namibia. For your first trip I would give you 9.5 out of 10 (just because no one gets a 10 :-)
Delta is the only way to get there and I'm retired airline so I can go any way I want. No I didn't work for them.
There is nothing to compare to the first African safari! Period!. Your first 2 days were sensory overload I'm sure.
I bet you can still close your eyes and "listen" to the unique sounds of Africa. That will never leave you.
You never know what is around the next corner when going down the dirt road hunting.
There is no such thing as a "once in a lifetime" trip to hunt Africa, you WILL return.
In January go to Dallas and the Dallas Safari Club show. Plan at least 2 days at the show.
The company you picked is a good one. I enjoyed seeing different parts of Africa on subsequent trips. I would only recommend SA and Namibia right now. JMO. Nice write up Thanks.

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#6963522 - 11/17/17 04:18 AM Re: First African Safari Experience [Re: traviselmore]
centurionlee Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 05/16/17
Posts: 4
Incredible Hunt Thank you for the amazing breakdown of the numbers, details, and tips. Wow you are going to need some serious room for all those amazing mounts.

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#6964521 - 11/17/17 11:21 PM Re: First African Safari Experience [Re: traviselmore]
09Aggie Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 12/07/12
Posts: 49
Loc: Houston
Awesome animals. Thanks for posting the details - definitely on my bucket list.
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