Africa is easier than you think……….
The very first thing however is to get you a notebook and keep it forever. Use it to make notes about everything. You may even want to make a specific list of questions to ask every prospective hunting group. Keeping a notebook will allow you to compare apples to apples.
Below is a list of questions we often get asked and as we deal with a number of outfitters across the African Continent I have decided to give you an idea of what to ask for and what information we always make sure we give to our clients.
What does the cost of the hunt include and exclude?
You don’t want any surprises. Hunts are priced differently, not to try and take advantage of anyone but different people think in different ways. For example, some hunts are priced with airport transfers included some are not. Sometimes there are multiple ways to get to camp, each with its own cost. You must know the total cost to be able to compare hunts. There are lots of things that can affect the cost. Feel free to ask for an explanation. Amenities, the remoteness of the location, staff requirements are only a few things that can make a hunt more expensive. If the hunt cost “X”, I always sum the costing conversation up by asking “If I only bring “X” dollars with me will that be enough?” One cost almost always not included is tipping. It is not necessary but almost always needed and always appreciated. Ask questions now and be prepared.
What is camp like?
Tents, thatched-roof chalets, Ensuite bathrooms? Each offers a unique experience but which is correct for
you? Most meals in the bush are 5 star, multi coursed affairs, and experience not to be missed. Others are lighter and more campfire oriented as in if the circumstances require a spike camp are. If you like wine with dinner or cocktails (sundowners is the more poetic camp term) ask about alcohol. Is it included in the hunt price, if not can you bring your own? Last but maybe most important if you have food allergies make them known early.
How do you get from the airport to camp and back?
Will your PH pick you up, will you need a separate charter flight?
What is the hunt like?
Spot and stalk? Hunting in a blind? Pick what is right for you. What do you want to hunt?
Some species are endemic, some have been introduced. Is the hunt conducted behind a high fence or
free range? Nothing wrong with either but know what you are getting into.
Rifle or bow?
Ask about any minimum caliber or draw weights. Chances are your favorite deer rifle or bow will work
just fine for plains game, but the dangerous game is a different ball game. By the way, if you want the trip to
be an excuse for a new rifle or bow feel free to ask what we suggest and we will accommodate you by
strongly suggesting you bring what you want to add to your collection.
If you want taxidermy work – discuss it.
Is trophy preparation and transport to the taxidermist included? There are many options and sometimes it is better to have the work done in Africa and shipped completed to your doorstep, other times the opposite is true. If you consider an African taxidermist ask two questions, who does your PH use, and can you visit the taxidermy shop?
Ask for a “what to take list”
This will include gear, clothing, any prescription drugs, camera, optics, anything and everything you will need.
Consider touring while you are in Africa. National parks, capitol city, local villages, animal rescues are all worth investigating.