Questions and answers

Posted by Admin

 

Any problems hunting in Zimbabwe nowadays?

None whatsoever…especially when hunting in the northwestern part of the country…Bulawayo to Victoria Falls. Your outfitter may have problems getting fuel, and flour, but they are easily attainable across the boarder in Zambia or Botswana…and you’ll never notice.

Any problems hunting in Tanzania nowadays?

Although Tanzania is a very poor country there are no political issues to deal with and is very safe. Bear in mind however that stealing it seems, is a way of life…so protect your stuff.

What are safari accommodations like in Zimbabwe?

Most Zim camps are “permanent” camps…basically thatch over stone. Eating areas are generally open air. Camps are electrified (line or generator)…but with 250 volt current with a funny looking plug. You’ll need an international adapter like the ones available through LL Bean for around $40. There is a wattage maximum on these units so pay attention to your hair dryer’s requirements. Water at these camps is from bore-holes (wells) and is potable. All camps have shower facilities. Food and drink is excellent but check w/ your outfitter as some spirits are not available all the time.

What are safari accommodations like in Tanzania?

These are classic East African tented camps. They are very comfortable w/ off-ground bedding and showers. Most have generators but you’ll need to check w/ your outfitters as to what type…or just bring your universal adapter. Bottled water or tanks of potable water are the norm.

What kind of shots or medicine will I need to take before I travel and while I am there?

Your doctor and The National Center for Infectious Diseases (CDC) is the best source of current information. Of course, all visitors to Africa are at risk for malaria and should take one of the following drugs: atovaquone/proguanil, doxycycline, mefloquine, or primaquine (in special circumstances). We have always taken mefloquine w/ no adverse reactions. Basically you take one pill a week beginning a couple of weeks prior to travel, continuing while you are in-country and then for 2 or 3 weeks after returning.

What kind of clothes will I need to bring?

The answer to that question depends upon what time of year your safari takes place. You can pretty much get a handle on the weather by checking weather reports online in the area you intend to safari or by talking with your outfitter. Remember you are in the southern hemisphere so seasons are reversed…our summer is their winter and so on. For instance, if you intend to safari in Zimbabwe in June…that is the month of their Winter Solstice. Temperatures can range from below freezing to the mid-eighties…so, layering is the answer. Do not bring camouflage…earth tones are best, greens, browns, tans…any material that is quiet. As far as shoes…they should be quiet and comfortable. Baseball hats and soft wide-brim hats go through the bush more easily and more quietly than stiff wide brimmed hats. Hint: do not bring more that 3 changes of safari clothing as all camps have laundry service.

How can I find the best outfitter for me?

That’s a tough one… You can work the sports shows like SCI and hope you’re a great judge of character. You can get with a reputable booking agent and hope the match is good. Or, you can rely on word of mouth from friends or people like Barb and myself who are not trying to make a living but just help people like ourselves realize their dreams.

What are the costs involved in going on Safari?

That also is a simple question with a complicated answer. First of all there is travel…That’ll cost you at a minimum of $1500 per roundtrip. And that’s just commercial airfare and does not include private aircraft transportation in and out of the more remote areas if needed. Second there is the cost of the hunt. Day rates can range from $500 to $2000 per day depending on whom you are hunting with, what you are hunting and where. Observer fees range between $100 and $250 per day. Generally the day rates involving dangerous game are higher. Figure on an average of $700 per day. Trophy costs also. For instance, a cape buffalo in Zimbabwe may cost $2500, in Tanzania $1000, in South Africa $4000. Trophy preparation and shipment will average $1500 and then there’s taxidermy, but we won’t go into that other than to say that you need to establish a good relationship with you taxidermist and work out the type of trophy preparation that fits both your desires and pocketbook.

What do you eat while on safari?

Most outfitters are interested in how to make you comfortable. If the answer is, certain foods, they will do their best to accommodate you. However, Africa being what it is, it is not always possible to get everything you want. If you have an eclectic palate, you’re in good shape. Barb and I love to eat game when on safari and we’ve never had a bad meal. In general it’s all red meat save for the occasional Bream or Francolin, but very low in fat, very healthy and very good. Vegetables are usually available either fresh or canned, sometimes fruits, often fresh bread is the norm, eggs, bacon, chicken and always beer. If you have special requirements, your outfitter will do his best to make sure get whatever you need.

My wife has never hunted with me but I’d like her to go…what’s the answer?

I can’t tell you how many wives who have never hunted with their husband, but have gone to Africa, have turned into enthusiastic converts. Most will not let their husbands go to Africa without them now. A safari is so much more that hunting. The experience can be life altering, the scenery, the culture, the markets and shopping, the socialization around the dinner table and campfire are at least equal to the hunting experience. Our advice is to get your partner to go with you…she will never regret it. One thing you might try is to get her to go to an SCI convention in Reno or Las Vegas with you. Most wives come away giddy with anticipation…nearly guaranteed.

What do you mean by customs broker?

When trophies come through customs, they must be retrieved by a customs broker (if you are not there in person). They in turn ship to the final export destination…your taxidermist (unless you have swine). Check w/ your taxidermist…have him make you up some plasticized cards w/ his address on one side and the broker he uses on the other. We then tie wrap these to each trophy article, horns, cape, etc.

How many rounds of ammo do you suggest we bring on safari?

You can’t bring too much but you will have to pay some duty when you come through Customs. You are limited to a max of 10kg. The reason I say you can’t bring too much is in the event you have a scope problem. You usually don’t need a lot of heavy ammo, especially if you have iron sights. Figure on 10 rounds per heavy game animal you expect to harvest. Then bring up the maximum (weight-wise) for your light rifle. We’ve had clients shoot less than 10 rounds on a 7 day full bag safari and some that shot a 100 rds.

Do we need to have all of your permits in hand when we come into country?

No, just your visa or you can stand in line and get one when you arrive in Dar or Arusha. Your handler/expeditor will have all your paperwork coming through customs and will accompany you to your hotel. If he asks you for money for customs for your ammo it is legitimate. It is proper to tip your expeditor and driver when he delivers you to your hotel. He will also be the one who picks you up and delivers you to your charter flight. Make sure you are on the same page as to pick-up and delivery times.