Looking for wild africa

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Can anyone point me in the direction of an outfitter offering a mobile safari for free range plains game? I understand that the game ranchs of South Africa offer the best trophies at the best price. I am looking for a more traditional safari experience. Quality of game is secondary for me. Any insight you guys could provide would be appreciated. Thanks!
 



bpnclark

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Just from my little experience I would say don’t look at South Africa. Most places there are fenced in. Even thou some ranches are so large you wont even be able to see the fences, it probably wont qualify as a mobile/traditional safari experience. But I had a great time and cant wait to go back to South Africa. Its probably the best and easiest way to do a PG hunt.

You might want to look at Tanzania or Zimbabwe (but the cost in Tanzania has gone up and Zimbabwe is having major problems so some might say stay away).

The PH that I hunted with takes clients to Mozambique and I’m looking into that myself. I’m just hearing bad things about the cost of airfare to get there.

Hope this helps out a little.
 

Duknutz

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Hank,
You might take a look at Namibia,had some buddies that went there and it was open hunting.JJhack will probably have a better anwser for you...Good Luck
 

Use_Enough_Gun

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Zimbabwe. Just got back from hunting Matetsi Unit #2. NO fences...about 75,000 acres. Excellent kudu, impala, eland, waterbuck, sable and at least 4 of the big 5. Absoluletly no problems traveling in/out of NW Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls).





 

Gray Ghost Safaris

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If you want truly wild; Mozambique. The camp we are hunting starting late August hasn't been hunted before. We won't cut the roads in to it until July. Excellent plains game, including herds of Sable, Hartebeest, Reedbuck and much more. This is in the northernmost section (Niassa) but we also hunt the Zambezi Delta. Next would be Tanzania; Masailand or the Selous. Then Botswana's Okavango Delta; Zimbabwe's lowveldt or Namibia. Depends upon how wild you want it, but Mozambique is as wild as it will get.
Good hunting,
GGS
 

Spring

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To find "wild” Africa you basically need to do one thing: Go where the white people haven't largely settled. The early white settlers came in from Europe in the southern end of the continent and established themselves in South Africa. They did what white folks are good at, which is to divide up the property and make it commercially viable. Fenced ranches were established and most all of the animals that could threaten cattle populations were killed or removed. If you want wild Africa, you need to go further north where such events didn't happen.
If you're looking for a "Hemmingway safari," your best choice will be Tanzania; the hunting camps can't be permanent, concessions are in the 1 million acre size, you can essentially hunt in whatever direction you'd like without worrying about hitting a property line, the game populations are natural and abundant, and of course, there are no fences.
In American terms, if you pick the right safari company, you'll be in the safari version of The Super Bowl.
 

jjhack

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Zimbabwe is a high risk environment, I pulled out in 2001 and have never gone back. Most other outfitters have done the same. Plenty of big wild free range country, but I have a philosophy that I will not arrange a hunt, or work with a country where I would not bring my wife. I would certainly not bring my wife to Zim now. Look up the US government web page on Zimbabwe, they clearly say they do not recommend Americans travel there. People still go and have no trouble, but it's brewing and will go to hell in the near future. Your call!

Tanzania is pulling random price hikes now and nobody knows what a safari will cost in 6 months, much less 1 year or more. They are having quite a bit of turmoil with the Hunting industry. Many of the consessions are sub leased to an outfitter, but owned by a middle eastern family. They can boot the outfitter at anytime. Be sure if you book a hunt it's with the guy that actually has the lease, and is not subleasing it. I know of several guys recently that have had hunts fall apart because they could not go to the original location when the family leasing the land told the outfitter managing it he could not hunt during his scheduled hunters dates.

Botswana is the apex of wild and organised hunting in Africa today. It would be my only choice for the hunt you describe. The government is good, the hunting may be the best on earth, and the number of outfitters limited to some of the best anywhere. I went to PH academy with several Botswana PH's and they were among the best outdoorsman and sportsman I've ever met. Jeff Rann is an American PH like me running a great operation there. He would be my first choice. I was in School with several PH's working for him.

Mozambique is having some Safari industry growing pains. Rather unorganised and poorly managed paperwork. Trophies stuck waiting for dip pack certification, poor quality trophy care, poor shipping and crating practices. However it may just be the place to hunt in the future. Right now..... There is some questions of how well organised they are, and how well your trip will go. Especially trophy care and shipping. There have been tons of problems with that in Moz.

RSA, aside from the massive open properties that are fenced is the most attractive for plains game. Avoid the eastern Cape put and take hunting. Namibia does not have the selection of species that RSA has, and even though they may not be fenced, the game is just as captive due to the limited water supplies. The farms that manage hunting have water and the game will not be far from that source. Even if the property is 100 square miles, the game will all be near the water holes. Fencing is not relevent there as they don't wander from the water. 100 square miles will have 90 square miles of vacant land and no game, the 10000 around the water will be game rich. So nobody needs to have a fence.

The fencing in RSA is not so much to keep the game in, it's actually very poor at that. Kudu and eland will easily jump a high fence, and many other species go right under it. Imagine maintaining 200-300 miles of fence every day! The law for the fence is to keep publicly owned wild game from getting onto private Exempt hunting lands. Most people think that the fenced lands were to "stock and hunt" just the opposite is actually the truth. Nature Conservation requires an Exempt property to be fenced to prevent the owner from shooting game moving onto his land which belonged to the public.

Lots of options to meet any requirement a hunting sportsman would want in Africa
 

NWOkla

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jjhack,

Your point about fences and water are spot on IMO. I recently returned from bowhunting in RSA and after hunting there, the fence thing doesn't bother me. The animals are killed at the water holes, not against the fences If you removed the fences, the animals would still be killed at the waterholes. Given the size of the parcels of land and the fact that 95% of the bowhunting is done over water anyway, the fence thing becomes a non-issue. I'm sure there are those who feel that any fence somhow cheapens the hunt and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but in reality, for bowhunting in RSA over water holes, I don't feel the fence makes a difference given the size of hunting properties and where the animals are typically killed.

Now stocking a fenced ranch with 60 inch Kudu before the hunters arrive is a different story. Put and take within a fence is not the same as killing naturally born animals within a fence IMO, but that is just how I see things. Again, every hunter is different.

<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (jjhack @ Jul 22 2008, 01:41 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
Zimbabwe is a high risk environment, I pulled out in 2001 and have never gone back. Most other outfitters have done the same. Plenty of big wild free range country, but I have a philosophy that I will not arrange a hunt, or work with a country where I would not bring my wife. I would certainly not bring my wife to Zim now. Look up the US government web page on Zimbabwe, they clearly say they do not recommend Americans travel there. People still go and have no trouble, but it's brewing and will go to hell in the near future. Your call!

Tanzania is pulling random price hikes now and nobody knows what a safari will cost in 6 months, much less 1 year or more. They are having quite a bit of turmoil with the Hunting industry. Many of the consessions are sub leased to an outfitter, but owned by a middle eastern family. They can boot the outfitter at anytime. Be sure if you book a hunt it's with the guy that actually has the lease, and is not subleasing it. I know of several guys recently that have had hunts fall apart because they could not go to the original location when the family leasing the land told the outfitter managing it he could not hunt during his scheduled hunters dates.

Botswana is the apex of wild and organised hunting in Africa today. It would be my only choice for the hunt you describe. The government is good, the hunting may be the best on earth, and the number of outfitters limited to some of the best anywhere. I went to PH academy with several Botswana PH's and they were among the best outdoorsman and sportsman I've ever met. Jeff Rann is an American PH like me running a great operation there. He would be my first choice. I was in School with several PH's working for him.

Mozambique is having some Safari industry growing pains. Rather unorganised and poorly managed paperwork. Trophies stuck waiting for dip pack certification, poor quality trophy care, poor shipping and crating practices. However it may just be the place to hunt in the future. Right now..... There is some questions of how well organised they are, and how well your trip will go. Especially trophy care and shipping. There have been tons of problems with that in Moz.

RSA, aside from the massive open properties that are fenced is the most attractive for plains game. Avoid the eastern Cape put and take hunting. Namibia does not have the selection of species that RSA has, and even though they may not be fenced, the game is just as captive due to the limited water supplies. The farms that manage hunting have water and the game will not be far from that source. Even if the property is 100 square miles, the game will all be near the water holes. Fencing is not relevent there as they don't wander from the water. 100 square miles will have 90 square miles of vacant land and no game, the 10000 around the water will be game rich. So nobody needs to have a fence.

The fencing in RSA is not so much to keep the game in, it's actually very poor at that. Kudu and eland will easily jump a high fence, and many other species go right under it. Imagine maintaining 200-300 miles of fence every day! The law for the fence is to keep publicly owned wild game from getting onto private Exempt hunting lands. Most people think that the fenced lands were to "stock and hunt" just the opposite is actually the truth. Nature Conservation requires an Exempt property to be fenced to prevent the owner from shooting game moving onto his land which belonged to the public.

Lots of options to meet any requirement a hunting sportsman would want in Africa[/b]
 
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Thanks for the input guys. Africa has been a dream for me for a long long time. I have got to get out there soon!
 

jclark927

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Hi All.

My family and I just returned from our first safari (plains game in RSA). If I could take everything I learned including several evening talks with our PHs in the bowma and encapsulate it, that July 22 post from jjhack would cover it all and confirm what I heard. I got a bit more of a sense of comfort with Zimbabwe (especially if entered from vic falls as mentioned in another post), but definitely in the context of a brewing situation to be watched continuously. In any event, if I was thinking of a near-term trip, I would print and keep that post as a valuable guide.

Our trip was something we had wanted to do for years and it was awesome. We will definitely go back. While some places, people and things in Africa will (always?) be fubar, I came away more convinced than ever that the hunting industry is one of the things that works --- for the land, the animals, the people. I guess i mean to say that while i have long understood and presented the science and the economics "in defense" of hunting, the trip reminded me that what we do is truly important. Kind of gotten me off my heels and back on my toes in Bay-area dinner party conversations if you get what I mean.

Anyway go for it and good luck to those of you planning trips. You will have a great time/J
 

Gray Ghost Safaris

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We were in Zim during June/July and had absolutly no problems. Lots of game and great hunting. We flew into Bulawayo. Mozambique has it's beginning problems but we're not having any problems thus far. The north is as remote as Africa has left. Camps are tented but Leopard are grunting during midday, Lion and Elephant are in good numbers. Cost, expensive when you add everything up but not as high as Tanzania or Zambia.
GGS
 


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