Sitka Gear
Lodging in Joberg, arrows for Giraffe
International
Contributors to this thread:
daberry 03-Apr-23
Bake 03-Apr-23
t-roy 03-Apr-23
Robear 03-Apr-23
Pocoloco 03-Apr-23
Dale06 03-Apr-23
standswittaknife 03-Apr-23
Buckdeer 03-Apr-23
Fuzz 03-Apr-23
Pete In Fairbanks 03-Apr-23
RK 03-Apr-23
RK 03-Apr-23
MQQSE 03-Apr-23
wildwilderness 03-Apr-23
Potro 03-Apr-23
StickFlicker 04-Apr-23
RK 04-Apr-23
RK 04-Apr-23
StickFlicker 04-Apr-23
RK 04-Apr-23
Firehuntfish 05-Apr-23
Buffalo1 05-Apr-23
jjs 05-Apr-23
Ken Moody Safaris 05-Apr-23
MA-PAdeerslayer 05-Apr-23
Ken Moody Safaris 05-Apr-23
g5smoke21 07-Apr-23
bowhunt 07-Apr-23
Bow4em 11-Apr-23
bburen 12-Apr-23
StickFlicker 13-Apr-23
Buffalo1 13-Apr-23
Ambush 15-Apr-23
RK 15-Apr-23
Firehuntfish 16-Apr-23
Chief 419 16-Apr-23
StickFlicker 16-Apr-23
RK 16-Apr-23
MQQSE 16-Apr-23
Firehuntfish 17-Apr-23
BowmanMD 22-Apr-23
Ken Moody Safaris 22-Apr-23
LWood 15-Jul-23
Gus 15-Jul-23
From: daberry
03-Apr-23
Recommendation for lodging in Joburg on arrival to RSA.

Arrow recommendation for giraffe

From: Bake
03-Apr-23
Can’t help with giraffe. They wanted me to use heavy arrows when I chased one, but I didn’t kill one with a bow

As far as lodging, I’m currently sitting at Africa Sky and would recommend.

From: t-roy
03-Apr-23
Afton House in Joberg. Be sure and eat a steak when you’re there.

From: Robear
03-Apr-23
Another vote for Afton House. Thousands of traveling hunters have overnighted there. They run a tight ship. I didn’t shoot a giraffe, but did a buffalo. I used a weighted Gold Tip with a 210 gr Steel Force broadhead. Total arrow weight was 920 gr. It worked well. I would say it would have also worked on giraffe.

From: Pocoloco
03-Apr-23
For giraffe its best to use a cape bufalo set up. 800-1000 grain total arrow weight and 75-80 lbs draw weight. Iron Will or German Kinetics broadheads. Shot placement frontal high into the chest.

03-Apr-23
As mentioned.

Afton Safari lodge. Very reasonable

African Sky guest house. More upscale with a full restaurant on site. Both do meet and greet at airport. And will help with rifle permits and airport rifle desk.

Intercontinental airport hotel. On the the airport property. Walk across the street and small parking lot to check in The Least bag handling and travel logistics, loading, unloading luggage. But more pricy

From: Dale06
03-Apr-23
Depends where your PH will meet you. If he’s picking you up at the airport, stay there at the intercontinental. If not, the Afton house is good. I’ve used both. You didn’t ask, but I liked having a meet/greet service. They meet you as you get off the plane and help get your luggage and bows and guns etc and get you through customs very fast. I do not remember the cost but seems like $125 or so.

03-Apr-23
Stayed at the Afton house and couldn't recommend more. Was easy, safe, and they met you as soon as you come out of terminal with a big sign (and a big dude "Mr. Z or something like that". The accommodations and food were great. Also the meet in greet is worth the upgrade.

From: Buckdeer
03-Apr-23
I thought usually your guide took care of where you stayed in Joberg,they did for us.The guest house was one of the few places I felt safe in Joberg while traveling with my daughter.

From: Fuzz
03-Apr-23
Another vote Afton Safari lodge. Elize runs a tight ship and will have a driver waiting for you at the airport.

03-Apr-23
I've used Afton House each time I have come through Jo-berg (more than a dozen times...!) I've never been disappointed with any of their services. Pete

From: RK
03-Apr-23

From: RK
03-Apr-23
Anton is the only one I ever used. We used it for all our overnight clients with never a complaint

From: MQQSE
03-Apr-23
If connecting I stay on site at City Lodge. I’ll be back again in a few weeks with an evening arrival and morning departure. It’s literally a five minute walk and connects to the terminal.

03-Apr-23
I stayed at City lodge in the airport for an overnight then connected the next morning. Very easy to not have to coordinate pick up and drop offs.

From: Potro
03-Apr-23
Afton House or Africa Sky Guess Both are nice and give you great service I got my Giraffe with the same set up that I used for buffalo. 72 lbs, 545 grain arrow and 200 grains broad heads

From: StickFlicker
04-Apr-23
I stayed at Afton House with the previous owner and it was great. But I'll be the odd man out here and say that my last experience with the current owner was unacceptable and he will never get my business again. Canceling his services while we were in flight with no chance to make other arrangements was highly unprofessional and inexcusable.

From: RK
04-Apr-23
Stick. Why did he do that?

From: RK
04-Apr-23

From: StickFlicker
04-Apr-23
He didn't like that I asked questions when I was trying to make sure I understood the process.

From: RK
04-Apr-23
K

From: Firehuntfish
05-Apr-23
Accommodations: For convenience and value, the City Lodge that is adjacent to the OR Tambo Airport. If you want upscale accommodations, the Intercontinental is also on site of the airport but will be much more expensive.

The Afton Safari lodge is an SA institution for traveling hunters. I have stayed there personally a dozen times over the years and have had only great experiences. Another great choice is the Africa Sky which is a bit more upscale than the Afton.

Set-up for your giraffe: I would recommend the same set-up as I would for a Cape buffalo. You will need a heavy arrow (800gr plus) with a significant FOC and a heavy-duty, steel 2-blade, broadhead design... Giraffe are heavily boned and have a hide thicker than a Cape buffalo on the shoulder, and many PHs prefer that you take a frontal shot between the shoulder blades if possible. Good luck on your safari!

From: Buffalo1
05-Apr-23
Afton House or African Sky. Both are very nice.

I’ve heard nice things about City Lodge- never stayed there.

From: jjs
05-Apr-23
Have a good friend that is a taxidermist, he went and helped another taxidermist do a full mount giraffe, it was probably one of his most interesting mounting job that he has been involved with over 37 yrs, a warehouse had to be rented to get the mount completed and then a fat bed trailer to ship it, no it couldn't be stood up for the over pass height requirements, wouldn't be good to have the head getting wrack-off, this was a costly mount.

05-Apr-23
Afton Safari Lodge is the official guesthouse of Ken Moody Safaris so I highly recommend them. Richard and Elize run a nice place. Expect a few new meal choices as my company chef, Chef John, has been at Afton training Wisdom and Christina a few sessions last year and will be there next week training them further. My wife and I will be there Tuesday as we’re kicking off our season next week.

Africa Sky is also excellent and the food there superb. If you’re a hunter, you’ll likely enjoy Afton better but you can’t go wrong with either guesthouse.

We don’t shoot many giraffe, maybe 6-8 each season but they are difficult with a bow. I cannot add to the equipment advice already provided here but will say the frontal shot has proven the best option with archery tackle for us.

05-Apr-23
How does one get an 18’ tall animal going 2-3000lbs out of the bush? That’s gotta be quite the task….

05-Apr-23
Flatbed trailer, cape on the spot, or load onto the back of a cruiser…yes, they can fit.

From: g5smoke21
07-Apr-23
Afton was great when we hunted SA

From: bowhunt
07-Apr-23
I went to Africa Sky in 2019 when I got to Africa, and on the way home. My buddy and I were very happy with the accommodations, food, and the people there.

We were actually shocked how nice it was and how good the steak dinner we had was.

From: Bow4em
11-Apr-23
I stayed at afton last July and was a very nice place and food was great no complaints! Highly recommend

From: bburen
12-Apr-23
I just booked Afton for this summer!

From: StickFlicker
13-Apr-23
For those that are choosing to book with Afton, good luck to you. I hope they choose to honor their agreement and pick you up. If you are going to Africa for the first time, why take the risk of them deciding whether to pick you up or not? City Lodge is right at the airport, charges a much lower fee, and has an 8.4 out of 10 rating from more than 1,000 reviewers on hotels.com. There's a lot less to go wrong when you just get off the plane and walk to your hotel than there is relying on someone that may or may not be there when you arrive halfway around the world. There are lots of things that can go wrong on such a trip. Why add to them? I'm sure that many people have had no issues with them. But based on the lack of professionalism that has been shown to me in emails from the owner of Afton, who also owns AHG (Trophy) Shipping, I won't be using their services going forward. Although others have also shared their negative opinions of him with me, if they fear posting publically I won't speak for anyone else's experience but my own.

From: Buffalo1
13-Apr-23
WOW!- These are surprising comments to hear about Afton House.

From: Ambush
15-Apr-23
Hmmm. Just found out an hour ago that I'll be going to SA in early October. Stayed at Afton House in 2010 and was planning to do the same this time.

From: RK
15-Apr-23
Ambush. So you should do the same thing and stay there

It's still a first rate place to stay. Stickflingers comments are valuable but go little to reduce the great job Afton house does

Slip up happen in customer service. One try's to avoid them at all costs

From: Firehuntfish
16-Apr-23
StickFlicker,

Can you share some detail as to the exact circumstances involved in your negative experience with the Afton that I can pass on to Richard? Everyone is certainly entitled to share their own personal experiences about any business good or bad.. Negative reviews are sometimes deserved and often useful to help to resolve future issues. However, I have also found that most negative reviews of well-established and historically reputable businesses are isolated instances, or instances with extenuating circumstances.

It's just that what you are describing is just about the exact opposite of the vast majority of what I have heard and personally experienced over many years of staying at the Afton and recommending their services to my clients. I have been recommending the Afton for over 16 years going back when Annaliese owned it, and now with Richard these last few years since he took over. Richard put a bunch of money into the place and did a great job in my opinion with the much needed renovations along with new staff and services.

The Afton also always has a designated staff member permanently stationed at OR Tambo (usually Mr. X) who coordinates guest meet & greet and ground transfers. So, I am not doubting you, but I am wondering how it is possible that there was no one to greet you at the airport for pick-up? Again, I am only asking for a more detailed explanation to try and resolve any future issues for my clients as well as any members on here considering their overnight options in Jo' burg. Thanks..

From: Chief 419
16-Apr-23
This must have been an isolated incident. Thousands of hunters have stayed there and this is the first negative comment I’ve seen. Jo’berg’s airport is typical of Africa, disorganized chaos. It’s possible Afton was there and you missed meeting up with them. Usually there are other hunters arriving on the flight with you that are staying at Afton.

From: StickFlicker
16-Apr-23
My only intention in posting on this thread was to let my fellow Bowsiters know that not all of his clients have had a happy experience. Everyone deserves to know about any good and bad experiences, particularly the average guys that aren't booking through a big outfitter or broker, before making such an important choice. If it was my desire to wage war on his company, I would have come on Bowsite and other forums back when this happened and trashed him. I hadn't said a word until this thread began asking for recommendations. I merely felt like the O.P. had the right to know the good and the bad, not just glowing recommendations from those that are in this industry and have a longstanding business relationship with Afton. My experience is not going to change your mind if you have a long-time relationship with him, and that is fine. That wasn't and isn't my intent. Almost all that have posted on this thread, saying how great he is, are safari booking agents that have a very close if not contractual relationship with him, and I don't doubt that he gives YOU and your clients exceptional service and maybe even price breaks. Being a person that was not booked through one of his high-volume, regular-customer, booking agents yielded different results for me, and the people that were traveling with me. All I tried to do was to give new travelers to Africa a fully rounded view of an average hunter's experience. I was not trying to declare war on their company.

Dan and Randy, you don't seem to have actually read what I wrote. There was no confusion, no "missed" connections. He chose to cancel my meet & greet and sent me an email while I was in flight telling me he was canceling it with no notice and no chance for me to make other arrangements before my arrival. He did this because he completely misconstrued and overreacted to the questions I asked when finalizing the booking. Very briefly, I had originally contacted two companies to compare pricing and services before I sent an email to Afton confirming that I wished to book the service through them. The other company, a very large and informed company that also runs numerous airport lounges at JNB, then emailed to tell me that meet & greets were not currently being allowed in that airport due to Covid protocols (this was in 2021). So, I just sent an email to Richard to verify that he could still offer it even after I was given other information from a company (that should be very well informed on the subject). In that email, I also mentioned that "it would be great" if our bows could also be intercepted at the luggage terminal before they are taken to the police station (to save more time, because the bow cases look like gun cases). Richard (incorrectly) told me that bow cases don't go to the police station, which I knew from my previous trips was false. However, the only reason I even added that comment was because, on my previous trip to Tambo in 2019, the meet & greet service did in fact get our bow cases for us before they went to the police station. It didn't seem to be that difficult. In any event, I didn't tell him I required that service. I didn't tell him I demanded that service. I didn't even tell him that I expected that service. I just said, "it would be great if it were possible." NUMEROUS times during our emails I had said that the only service I really wanted, care about, or needed was to skip to the front of the customs line. That was it. That's all I wanted, needed, or even expected. His response to that email, that I sent before boarding our flight, was to send me an email while we were in flight saying that I was "challenging them by getting different opinions, and that I did not trust their word". I don't think that a last-minute verification, based on the information given to me by a very large company that should know the airport rules, was "not trusting their word". He also went over the top in his cancelation email telling me that I was expecting them to "get into the workings of the baggage handling services of Africa's major International Airport to intercept our checked baggage". I also don't feel that was a fair representation of my comment that "it would be great" if the luggage could be intercepted. As I said previously, this had been done for us by the previous service, so I knew it could be done and just thought I'd throw it into the email that it would be great if that were possible. If it wasn't, no big deal. If his company isn't as capable as the previous service, and can't do that, that would have been absolutely fine, and frankly, was what I would have expected. However, I have since gone through that airport twice on my own without a meet & greet service and both times I managed to intercept our bow cases before they went to the police station all by myself. So, it must not be as monumental a task as he makes it out to be, but that's a separate subject.

You also seem to have missed that I said in my previous posts that Richard has been sending me a string of aggressive emails since I posted my first (fairly generic and bland) post in this thread, and I certainly DON'T need anyone going to him to act as an intermediary and infuriating him more. As I said in the earlier post, we have been in communication, and I don't need any more help in that regard but thank you for offering to do so.

He does not seem to feel that I had the right to let my friends on Bowsite know of my bad experience and has made that QUITE CLEAR to me via email by telling me that it is cowardly. He also seemingly threatened me by telling me he has his own forums (I assume for retaliation toward me). I suggested to him from the beginning that he could just simply apologize for any misunderstandings and we'd just forget about all of this and go on our way, but that is not the direction he has chosen to take this. In my opinion, his GREAT OVERREACTION in both canceling his service in the first place and even more so now by his overreacting to this post have all been very unwarranted and concerning.

So, please do not go to him on my behalf. Just let this thread die. I just want out! You do what you want. I don't need any more emails from him. I officially change my opinion. He's a great guy, and I highly recommend that all of you use his services!

From: RK
16-Apr-23
Great response stickflicker. Rest of the story is always better than the original effort

Thanks

From: MQQSE
16-Apr-23
I like City Lodge. :)

From: Firehuntfish
17-Apr-23
StickFlicker, First of all, thanks for taking the time to provide more insightful details regarding your experience. Those types of details go a long way in providing the necessary credibility when folks read negative reviews and comments posted on the net which in my experiences are very prevalent, but also very short on details in most instances..

As far as my missing something in what you originally posted, I based my reply to you from your exact words here: "For those that are choosing to book with Afton, good luck to you. I hope they choose to honor their agreement and pick you up. If you are going to Africa for the first time, why take the risk of them deciding whether to pick you up or not?"

From this comment it sounded as if they just didn't show up for your meet & greet. Your detailed, follow-up comments clarify what actually happened, which certainly puts the circumstances in a different perspective..

Lastly, I am not a booking agent and I do not receive any special favors or pricing from Richard or anyone else. I do have a long-standing relationship with the Afton along with a few other guest houses and meet & greet services that I recommend to my safari clients.. I asked for you to provide more detail not for the intention of doubting your story, but to have a better understanding of what transpired so I might be able to provide better advice and recommendations in the future.. If your complaint is legitimate, I want to know so I can possibly avoid the same circumstances from occurring with my guests.

As far as contacting Richard, I have no intention of intervening on your behalf, and I would never do so unless it was at your request.. I am sincerely sorry that you had a bad experience with them, and I do agree that from your description of events, Richard's reactions seemed inappropriate and unprofessional... Unfortunately, this sounds to me like a communication issue that often happens when corresponding strictly by email that could have been avoided altogether.

From: BowmanMD
22-Apr-23
We just stayed at Afton on our way to Ken Moody safari’s and had a great experience. Good clean rooms, safe neighborhood, good food, and they even drove us to church before heading out to the bush! Definitely worth it. We aren’t staying there on our way back through due to flight schedules but Elize offered to help with anything we needed.

22-Apr-23
Two sides to every story. You’ve heard one side here. Best to let this pass and continue with our day. Cheers.

From: LWood
15-Jul-23
I stayed Africa Sky two weeks ago. Highly recommend.

From: Gus
15-Jul-23
My family and I stayed at Africa Sky and we all would highly recommend them. Dinner and breakfast were excellent as well. One of my kids has a food allergy which they accommodated for us. Nice place run by nice people.

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