Contributors to this thread:
If you have been to Africa
I have never been interested in Africa BUT I have a mid 40s son that is. 1-I'm looking for "average costs" of roundtrip airfare (Chicago is 120 miles from us) 2-Plains game only 3-5 critters) 3-I'm OLD & 60#65#s is my limit but I do have heavy arrows (nearing 600 grns total weight). I've pretty much done everything with a Bow I have wanted & trophy hunter is not in my resume. Anyway, I know I could look this stuff up but looking for input on what a total round trip & hunt would entail in cost from someone who has been (any helpful suggestions). I would not bring any capes ect back. My camera would take lots of photos. My son would probably or maybe Euros.. Like I said, critters like Warthog, Wildebeest & similar (3-5 animals). Thanks to anyone who responds. 2023, July would be the possible target time. I mean, I would be 81 & nearing 82. One last adventure with my bowhunting son.
I use google flights to find cheap flights, unless you are able to use airline miles.
A 5-6 day trip with a few plains game should set you back about $4-5k per hunter. If you are going and not shooting, you can cut your fee down to about $1500 for the observer fee. There are some buddy hunts that give a bunch of animals with a choice of A or B several times. One option is to find one of those and ask if your son can shoot your animals and he will get both animals for each category.
Generally speaking, getting a first time to Africa deal from an outfitter would be your best bet. You can get those at an SCI or DSC event or you can check out a website about africa hunting and find them. My recommendation is to stick with outfitters that specialize in or at a minimum handle a lot of bow hunters. Rifle only or rifle primary outfitters might not have ideal blinds for bow hunters. Ask for a PH that is a bow hunter. If they don't have one, there is a good sign for you...
Flight prices have defiantly gone up. I just booked a flight to NZ for next April and it was double pre covid. Take out a travel rewards card now, bank points with it and get a good bonus to help cover the flight cost.
If your not interested in trophy animals to bring home, another option is to do a cull animal hunt.
Email any of the African outfitter sponsors on here and I'm sure you will be sent a few price lists. I wouldn't hesitate to hunt with any of them. I hunted with Limcroma and had a great hunt.
I’ve been three times, once to Zimbabwe and twice to SA. In Zim we went with Rosslyn safari, in SA, Limcroma. I went in 2012, 13 and 14. From Minneapolis the airfare I believe was about $2300, that was coach comfort, or something like that. I think we arrived about 5 pm local time. I hired Afton House to meet us, get our luggage, get through customs and take us to their lodge for the night. I believe that was about $150, including a nice steak dinner. I would not forgo an “arrival service”; as after a 15 hour flight, the last thing I wanted was long lines, customs hassles, etc. They cut through all of that. Our safari outfitter picked us up the next morning and drove us several hours to camp. Daily cost for plaines game runs about $350 per day, and includes all meals, laundry, drinks, and professional hunter. All animals have a trophy fee. Plaines game like warthog and impala were $400-500, zebra and wildebeest were about $1000, kudu and gemsbok were around $1500, but large kudu were higher. Most plaines game fall into the range just described, except sable runs $6-10,000. I do not recall what I tipped. I do not recall the cost of getting trophies dipped and packed and shipped home. I really enjoyed my safaris. The hunting (shooting) was great and the diversity of animals and birds you see is amazing. I say “shooting” above because virtually all of our safaris are high fence and animals are arrowed by water sources or bait. You mentioned your bow draw weight.in my opinion, 60 pounds with a good coc broad head is all you need for plaines game. Oh, lots of people end up shooting more game than they planned. I did.
The 2023 SCI convention is in Nashville Great place to kick some tires and check out the auctions.
I agree with what was stated above, with the exception that the price of sable has plummeted. I got my sable, 42", for $2950 including 5 days hunting and accommodations. That was a hunt I promised my wife I wasn't looking to book a hunt and, well, I wasn't looking but when an opportunity arises...
I also highly recommend Afton Safari Lodge in Joberg if you are arriving in the late afternoon.
I just went on my 7th trip and paid 1200 on united round trip from newark. If you fly coach and book ahead should be able to find airfare for under 2000. I would tell you to think about namibia for your trip great bow hunting and plenty of animals. I can get you more info if you want but you can do a 10 day hunt with 5 animals for around 5000 plus airfare. if your not bringing anything back that would be all 5000 plus airfare.
The 2023 SCI convention is in Nashville Great place to kick some tires and check out the auctions.
I wouldn’t consider anything less than 10 days. Daily fess just aren’t that expensive. Might as well get the most out of your airfare. Travel costs the same I’d you stay 3 days or 30.
You can always keep costs down by not shooting animals. But even then it’s cheaper to shoot what you want (within reason) than to go back after stuff or regret not making the most of it while you were there.
I would think 10 days 5ish animals $5-6k would get it done. Maybe even less if you shop around.
Thanks for all the input. I've got a few names to check out now & Nashville isn't that far away.. Road trip maybe. Thanks again.
Buffalo1 shoots about the same poundage and gets his critters in Africa. Maybe he will chime in.
Dale06 was spot on with his info. Shipping trophies back to the US is neither cheap or quick. I have hunted Namibia twice. Last hunt took 2 bull kudu, gemsbok, wart hog, and jackal with 56# longbow and heavy carbon shafts with single bevel broadheads. Complete pass through. Hunted with Gert Coetzee of UIB bow hunting. Pit blinds set up for 15 yard shots.
No Mercy's Link
thanks everyone.. I will be checking things out..
Matlabas Game Hunters was an amazing place to hunt and they cater to archery only on one of their main hunting areas. As stated above, crating, dipping and shipping of trophies has gone up immensely. Just be aware of that. I also would highly advise a minimum of 10 days of hunting.
some keys on shipping and that part of the trip. Dont ever just use the outfiitter or who he tells you. Same with who you pick to mount or do dip/pack dont just use who they say to use for shipping. I have never paid what most guys did or will because I do my own work on finding who to use. Maybe the place they tell you will be the one to use maybe not just let them know you will be getting your own quotes besides the one they give you some up there bills to make money on top of the place doing the work.
You can usually find a package of 4-6 animals for about $4,500-$5,000 each at many places if you stay away from the more premium-priced animals (which Kudu has now become). The packages in that range would likely include animals like wildebeest, zebra, impala, blesbok, gemsbok, warthog, and other pronghorn to cow elk-sized animals. These packages often cover 7-8 days of hunting. As was mentioned earlier, I would pay for the few extra days so that you had 10 actual hunting days for a bow hunt. South Africa is usually the most reasonably priced country and has the widest species selection. Namibia will require an additional flight and has fewer species. Airfare had come way down over the past two years, but it has really shot up since oil prices began rising along with more demand for travel. Still, I still think you could probably find airfare for under $2,000 in 2023 if you book far enough in advance, perhaps even $1,500 or less. I just did a quick search on Delta from Ohare to JNB from June 29-July 10 next year and it was $1,430. Tipping is roughly 10% of the hunt cost, but each safari company may have slightly different tipping guidelines and you can find a lot of discussion about it if you search on the internet. Bowhunters (particularly those that plan to hunt from hides at water sources), normally prefer the months of June-September because it is their dry season and mid-winter, so the weather is nice.
Don't know the answer but..., you look great for that age!
I went in 2010 and did a lot of research. I learned that a top notch outfit cost very little more than a mediocre one. Some animals are cheaper in one place than another, some more. Seemed to average out about the same for comparable trophy quality on a typical plains game hunt.
Beware thinking you're going to buy a package for $4,500 and your done. I narrowed done my search to three outfits. I asked them all the same question. Basically, how much will it cost me, all in, by the time my hides and heads are landed back in Canada. Just through exposure to it and talking to many repeat clients, they have a good idea, but nobody wants to scare clients off by saying that big number. I told them I'm not scared of the cost, I just like to know and plan. One outfitter told me to expect my hunt to be $15,000 by the time the last check was wrote. He was within a couple hundred bucks. That was on a hunt, that added up by days and selected animals, listed under $8,000 (including my wife as observer)
I pre booked enough in trophy fees to earn a free impala and wart hog. I killed ten animals in eight days. Took the ninth day off to sit for baboons with my wife and the tenth day we went to a game park. We also took a couple more weeks to go to Zimbabwe (never again) then Chobe National Park, (well worth it!) A couple days in Jo-berg rounded it out for us.
My one real regret was not getting a bushbuck. To me, the most beautiful of them all.
You never talk to anyone that has regretted going and most would love to go again.
We went in 2015, I too had never been on my bucket list. My son was the driving force on our trip. He had enticed his grandpa and older brother to commit. How could I say no? It turned out to be a great experience, 3 generations on safari in South Africa. 10 days I will cherish till my last dying breath. The 6 things I learned. 1. When your outfitter says bring 3 sets of clothes (including wearing hunting clothes on the flight), they mean it. 4 is too many. Your weapon and a carry-on bag are all that is needed. 2. A cheap watch and cheap boots (or any other trinket) is a good thing to leave behind to tip the tracker, he will appreciate it (not he PH though), 10% -15% for the PH will suffice. 3. Don't get caught up on the adding extra animals beforehand. You can add them once in country, usually at a reduced price. The outfitters all know once your there they can sell you extra opportunities. I added on (from a standard 4 plains game plan) to 5 and farther negotiated all my upgrades long before our scheduled hunt, I don't believe it was necessary. Once there I ended up taking an extra animal as it was, and at an extremely affordable price. Prior to leaving I had no interest in a Blue Wildebeest, and I didn't take one either, once home I knew that was a mistake, nothing screams Africa like a Wildebeest. I had mistakenly upgraded to a Gemsbok. I could have easily have just added the Oryx once there and probably cheaper than the listed price. 4. My outfitter wasn't the least concerned with me leaving his lodge owning him cash. He said mail it when I was back home, which I did. He said he had allowed a hunter earlier to leave owning him $22,000., so my entourages $1200. was nothing. His reasoning was "A true sportsman isn't going to fly across the world, then to cheat an outfitter". 5. Seriously consider buying international phone coverage for that month, you'll be glad you did. I didn't and it was a huge error. (But that's another story in itself). 6. Cash is king, leave the check book at home. A check is too much of a hassle for them to cash, (their words, not mine). As I remember it, the cost of my 2015 safari with Africa Hunt Lodge (Ewald Ras) with Delta's bulkhead seating ($2300.) was $8500.00. (6 critters) That does not include "Shipping and Dipping". When I left the Limpopo region I felt as though I was leaving behind my best friend. The connection I/we made with our PH's and outfitter was real and will last a lifetime, even if I never return. We are in regular contact all these years later, seldom a birthday passes by without wishes going both ways. Throw caution to the wind, grap that brass ring, you will be glad you did.
Iowa Rut Nut's Link
Here is an excellent booking agent for bowhunters. I personally hunted Chattaronga in South Africa. Great people and PH is a bowhunter. It had excellent sable, Cape buffalo and tons of big eland. Not very many kudu at the time. Namibia is known for big gemsbok.
Ahhh....Africa...The gift that keeps on giving!
I'll be heading back in 3 weeks for the 2nd time. I had said the 1st would be my last. Not because it wasn't an awesome experience( it was!!) but because there's other trips I'd like to take. That was only 3 yrs ago and here I am... making preparations for a return.
Like others have said, make sure you book with an outfitter that specializes in bow hunting!!
My 1st trip was with Ken Moody and exceeded all expectations. My non-hunting wife also had a great time and will be going back with me as well. Airfare this time was about half the cost at $2400 total for both of us. The cost of taxidermy/shipping was the humdinger. I have no regrets getting the nyala shoulder mount, zebra shield mount, and 4 euro mounts of wildebeest and impala. But I did have some sticker shock from the shipping cost, which had doubled due to covid just as my mounts were done at the taxi.
I'll be returning to hunt with Ken to take on Cape buffalo. Hopefully also tag a warthog that eluded me the first go-round.
You will have no regrets making the trip!
Great thread. Good points on the "extra costs" ambush
And forgot to add: definitely save and have tanned there, all your back skins. I didn't know or even think about this until about half way through. Great throws or wall hangings! I had the back skins, a jackel and zebra flat tanned there and it was cheap and cheap to ship with the rest.
Good Luck Fuzz. Your in good hands. Ken will get you in front of a good bull. Very exciting. Keep us posted.
I went to SA with Ken Moody twice for plains game. Fantastic experiences both times. Plan on shooting/budgeting more animals than your original plan. Believe me, the diversity and sheer amount of different animals & birds was absolutely mind blowing . I think your bow setup is completely adequate. Choose your broadhead carefully, it does the killing.
Best of luck on the buff Fuzz... shoot straight.