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I personally don’t have the time or money to hunt Africa. I am wondering what the attraction is to so many people. It seems to pull people back time and time again.
Is it the weather? The locals? Or maybe it’s the game ?
For me, it just feels "right" being there. It's a real adventure, and not just the hunting.
For many, it's about the ability to harvest many animals. For a SA plains game hunt, one can harvest half a dozen or more animals for the price of a good elk or moose hunt here in the states.
I’ve been three times, once to Zimbabwe, twice to SA. Can’t explain it entirely. It’s a target rich environment for sure. There are so many species to hunt, and many more to see and not hunt. The food, the time in the evenings around the campfire with other hunters are all really great experiences. And the cost, I’m spending as much on a six day guided elk hunt three hours from my house this fall as I spent on a seven day safari where I killed six animals and could have killed more. The chances of getting “a shot” at an elk on this trip is probably 75%.
That’s why I enjoyed Africa. Your results may vary.
I enjoy hunting and Africa is just another opportunity to do just that. The worst part is getting there. Once there the only limitation to what you can hunt is the depth of your pocket. No points/draws/or sea of other hunters to deal with. Africa/NZ among other locations, are great off season hunting destinations. I still hunt Elk/Deer/Lope/bear/moose etc. here at home depending upon the draws, but enjoy hunting too much to have an offseason.
It is a hunter's paradise with the amount of wildlife & birds that you will see. To see 5 or 6 species around a waterhole at one time is an awesome experience. The weather spectacular. The culture is totally different than North America. The food is delicious. The "bang for the buck" cost cannot be topped.
Regardless of how many times you go- each trip is different and memorable in different ways.
The only downside is the trip get there, but worth it pain. The trip home is great memories.
I’ve been twice. And for me it’s the adventure of the African plain. The hunting is fun. But, the times I was deep inside Kruger Park with no one else for miles , sitting alongside the road watching a huge old bull elephant slowly amber across the savanna....., it can take you back in time to colonial Africa . I could picture Philip Percival and his Bushmen trackers !
I suggest you read a few books on old Africa or watch the African Queen with Humphrey Bogart or Out of Africa with Redford .You can then visit Africa and still find a little corner of that country that is little different today than 100 years ago.
It is still a magical place , for sure. The cradle of humanity.
Sounds like a lot of good reasons! Right on highlife!!! I never realized how passionate some people are about Africa until I discovered Bowsite. Sounds like a great adventure!
I've never been, but only because I'm not gonna fly for twenty hours. If I could be teleported, I'd be there tommorow !
"...because I'm not gonna fly for twenty hours"
Take a couple ambien and it will seem like only a couple hours!
I enjoy Africa so much, the people ,60 plus species,nice weather ,smells. Sounds, i have had 6 awesome safaris number 7 in August cant wait
The flight from Atlanta to Jo’burg is 14.5-15 hours. Leave Atlanta 10 pm or so. Have one cocktail and a meal. Take an ambien. Sleep 4-5 hours. Wake up walk around the plane a bit. Read or nap rest of flight. The flight is a pita, but worth it.
You can only get the “African experience” in Africa. I’ve only been once, for almost four weeks, and it was more than worth it! I really believe any hunter that yearns for “more” should go at least once in their life. You won’t ever regret it!!
In two weeks I'm going on my 4th trip to Africa.
At this point I have my sights on Alaska, so in a small way I understand the draw of a far off place with vast wilderness. I’ve had a small taste of western hunting the last few years and loved it. It makes it hard for me to come home and sit in a tree for W.T. feeling restricted.
I haven’t been to Africa yet, some day I will when I can no longer climb the mountains. But when ever someone mentions Africa I get this song in my head
Same reason as Forest! Africa is awesome!
I AGREE i think its funny some say africa is easy, i have had some really hard long hunts in africa and many many miles of hiking, last year 10 days i shot two species, but my buddy shot six stars just lined up for him,
I never had much interest in Africa, but I am watching Tom Miranda's Dark Continent DVD and it is growing on me.
I got a taste of it once, and loved it. I didn't even shoot that much, just a wildebeest and impala. I never even got the heads back yet, got screwed on the deal. But I loved it and would go back if my situation was different. I wanted to go for kudu and warthog, but didn't have the time. It was a hunt I won in a raffle, and it was restricted to what I got. As far as this goes...Mnhunter... don't just: "It makes it hard for me to come home and sit in a tree for W.T. feeling restricted." Get down out of the tree and learn how to spot/stalk, stillhunt, and track in snow. It is far more rewarding, fun and varied. You will NOT be bored.
I went for the adventure and vacation took my wife and my daughter it's been 14 days kill 9 animals for about 6 grand includes airfare
Sounds like a great trip trapper! I did change my style of hunting last year, I hunted on the ground in natural cover and arrowed 2 deer under 15 yds. I hunted new public land spots all off the ground also. To throw another twist in it I recently got a recurve and love it!! I agree switching things up is rewarding
Ghost, those are some post card looking pictures! Especially the last one;)
I never had that much interest in watching African hunts until I was booked to go for the first time, and then it all seemed different all of a sudden. It just FEELS different when you're there, and I love everything about being there. I love taking photos and video of the various birds, wildlife and all things African, in addition to the bowhunting. The fact that in my home state tags are so many years apart plays a big role in why I continue to go back as often as I can. In my home state I haven't drawn an antelope or elk tag in more than five years (and I didn't draw again this year), and of the tags I have drawn in the last few years: sheep and bison took me more than 30 years to draw as a resident, my last resident deer tag took 15 bonus points to draw, and my spring turkey tag this year took 15 points to draw. If I'm forced to hunt as a non-resident in other places just for the opportunity to hunt anything at all, I might as well spend just a little bit more and get to hunt dozens of species and see 10 times the game I would ever see hunting at home!
Africa is incredible. And I’ve only been once, for less than 10 days. My wife and I went in 2016 for our 10 year anniversary. We hunted 6 days in the eastern cape on a 350,000 acre conservancy. Then we did 4 days in Cape Town.
Peter Capstick’s books captivated me when I was 12 years old or so. I was hooked since then. Only took me 24 years to get there. Chapstick, Roark, Boddington, Hunter, etc. always made me dream of it.
I just read Buzz Charlton’s new book, and I wanna go back.
In 6 days I killed 4 animals with a bow, and 7 animals with a rifle. It’s a target rich environment. There are animals everywhere. Baboons crossing the road. Vervet monkeys on the porch of the hut. We’d head up to the top of the mountain above main camp, and we’d see common and mountain reedbuck, blesbok, hartebeest, zebra, black wildebeest, warthogs, Vaal rhebuck, etc. Just a lot of fun
On one rifle stalk in the high country, we had a dozen cape kudu, 3 reedbuck, and 3 impala rams all browsing around this mountain rim within 100 yards of each other.
It has to be experienced.
"take a couple ambien and it will seem like two hours"
I guess I was too brief. I hate flying, I hate airports, and I despise TSA, so flying is something I have done, not something I will do..........:-)
Sorry to hear that the hate of flying triumphs your ability to enjoy something so wonderful as a hunter. Having spent a few months time visiting and hunting there on several trips starting back in 1974; a lot has changed but it is still amazing for any hunter to experience. Most of us are also naturalists at heart and there is not another place on the planet where you can look out into a vista the view literally tens of thousands of game animals on the hoof for as far as your eye can see. A sea of moving black specks; that’s what I recall vividly. This was in the Serengeti not the Kruger NP but the abundance of wildlife and the incredible ecosystems which have evolved is a natural draw for anyone who loves the wild. Hunting there with a bow is as natural and primordial as it gets. Somehow when you are there hunting you just know this is a most natural fit. And it should be somehow familiar as we all had our originating ancestral humans hunting those same ecosystems. As said before, once you are there and experience it fully you will know why most hunters treasure their times in Africa and return again and again. Each hunting trip can be a whole new adventure focused on a different set of species or a particular animal. The variety of awesome species to hunt and observe keeps it exciting every time. Plus as Stickflinger states for those of us unable to draw as residents this option is certainly viable. I feel a bit sad that many hunters will never get to experience Africa. The question becomes why did I wait so long to do this??
I loved Africa...I plan to be there again if I live long enough. At a minimum my retirement gift to myself will be another trip to Africa. The west has a hold on me for now, but when I can no longer hike mountains it will be Africa again.
Which countries are the best for hunting? I hear about SA and Zimbabwe. I've heard a lot of the others are devoid of wildlife due to 3rd world conditions or safety concerns. Is it fenced or free range? I'm not sure how I feel about shooting a bunch of stuff I won't be eating ect. I know it is what it is and the critters don't go to waste , but it's just a thing with me. Still, I have always thought it would be a great trip.
Seeing different countrysides, the way people over there live, the fantastic meats that you get to eat (Eland is my favorite), and the hospitality of the people. I picked out certain animals that I wanted to bring back and have mounted. They really are beautiful and I get to enjoy them for the rest of my life. I enjoyed the first trip with my wife in Namibia so much that I took my son to South Africa the next year. We both have the memories to share and we still talk about it 10 years later. Yes, I would like to go back and harvest a Sable and Waterbuck with my bow.
" I hate flying, I hate airports, and I despise TSA, so flying is something I have done, not something I will do..........:-)"
You can still go the old fashioned way, go on a ship! it may take you a month to get there, but cargo/freighter ships still do take passengers along. That would make a great trip like the old days. Teddy Roosevelt did it right, after POTUS take a year long Safari with the fam, sponsored by the Smithsonian
Deflatem, to your questions. Most of the hunting in Africa is high fence. There is some that’s not fenced. In southern Zimbabwe, I hunted high fence. It was 32,000 acres. That’s roughly ten miles by five miles, and there was no cross fences. Out side that fence there was little game. In that area, I suspect that game outside that fence is snared, shot or taken by any means for its meat. In South Africa, I hunted multiple properties and was told the smallest was 9000 acres, that’s roughly three by five miles. It’s not like you are pushing the animals into a fenced corner and killing them Most bowhunting is over water holes, often man made. Some places also bait animals. That’s the way much of the bow hunting in Africa is done. Some people like it, some don’t. I’ve yet to meet the person that has hunted there, complain about hunting methods. The people that don’t like that kind of hunting h ave not experienced it.
I am leaving on June 25 again. I believe it will be by 21st time. I usually hunt there over July 4th. Reasons why I love it... 1. Big game hunting in the off season 2. Affordable 3. Fun 4. Great friends, food, wine, and campfires. 5. Excellent tattoo artist 6. Cape Town 7. Bird life is amazing 8. You never know what you will see next. 9. Photos 10. Spot and stalk, waterholes, calling, bait, all effective 11. Choose your weapon, recurve, longbow, compound, gun. All fun! 12. Wingshooting for waterfowl, guinea fowl, francolin 13. Fishing 14. Different cultures 15. It gets in your blood.
I am already booked for next year. Life is short. I have never met anyone who has went once that did not want to go twice.
Flights are temporary....memories are forever...
Flights are temporary....memories are forever... That says it all! The adventure is real! There are many places that are not fenced, Braeside safaris in SA is 100,000 acres of low fence in the eastern cape! Tell Greg Keiith sent ya! On my first safari, we arrived at our destination after 2 days of traveling (yeah, it sucked but was well worth it) The above Young PH Greg and I set out the first evening with a couple hours of light left to look for gemsbok, 40 minutes later we were within 80 yards of several of the first wild gemsbok I had ever seen! As we were making a plan on them I all of a sudden heard African drums in the distance!!! I looked at my PH and he had no reaction! I thought I was hearing things!!! I asked him if he could hear the drums and he said yes, the local village was about 1/2 mile away and it was Saturday night and they were having a party!!! Needless to say I was hooked! You will see things there that you wont see anywhere else! Here is a REAL Butcher shop, the cows are in a pen in the back and the head pile out front is fresh!
I think I have an idea of why so many guys find it so enjoyable, but I just have zero desire to go.
If you have zero desire to go, don’t. Nothing wrong with that.
As a life long hunter whose dream has always been to bowhunt the world, all I can say is that the African experience is beyond measure. If you like to hunt and enjoy adventure then Africa should be on your bucket list. My third hunting trip to Africa will take place this spring. Cheers !
There are many reasons to hunt Africa. New experiences, different cultures, variety of animals, number of shot opportunities, great lodging, a true vacation, ability to really get away from it all, the history... the list goes on. Everyone has different reasons.
I've made 11 trips to Africa. The last was about 5 years ago. I will go back, but am focusing on other western hunts for a few years, including sheep, elk, etc. As I am still working, I have limits to my vacation. An African trip is fundamentally two full weeks, with 12 days of hunting, That is probably three different hunts for me in the west.
Hunting in Africa has opened my eyes to other destinations as well. From Europe to South America, there are great hunting destinations around the world. Africa is probably the best bang for the buck, but there are lots of great hunting destinations.
I intend to keep visiting as many different states, regions, and countries as my time and funds will allow.
Cause there is no other place to have a run-n gun slingin brass chasing a bloodied buff...and a place you can get stomped by the Biggest of the Big Five
Once you go, you will know... It can not be explained. I have only been once (all I can afford) But I will be back.
In the history or the world, there has never been an easier time to travel long distances, then right now. Take advantage of modern air travel, relatively affordable tickets and game-rich adventurous places! I've been five times, looking forward to my next one.
picture: Etosha, Namibia