After the booking stage of your hunt we begin the preparation stage of your safari. This is where we work with you to make sure you are ready to go and have all the necessary documents, licenses, travel arrangements, etc.
- Client Profile Questionaire. Immediately after booking our office will send you a client profile and safari questionnaire. This is filled out by you and sent back to us, and is used to obtain your hunting licenses, schedule your travel arrangements, plan your hunting itinerary, etc. It also contains other valuable information about yourself such as specific dietary requests, health conditions, special circumstances or needs. Once again, the more we know about you the better we can prepare for your safari.
- Trip Cancellation/Travel Protection Insurance. We strongly recommend each and every one of our clients purchase trip cancellation and travel protection insurance. These safaris are generally very expensive, and in the unfortunate circumstance you are not able to travel it is nice knowing that some security is available.
- Booking your travel arrangements. While we are not a regular travel agency, we do work with professionals who specialize in African travel. We will communicate with both you and these professionals to insure the travel arrangements are ideal for your trip.
- Obtaining special permits. Certain species in certain countries may require a special import permit to be able to bring the animal back to your home country. The rules and regulations vary from place to place, but we know what is and what is not necessary and will advise you accordingly.
- Equipment and recommended packing list. Several months prior to your departure date we will send you detailed package containing a recommended packing list specific to the area you will be hunting. The list will contain information rifle and bullet recommendations, clothing, footwear, optics, toiletries, medicines, and more.
Understanding Safari Terminology
There are several words, terms and phrases which you will come across when planning an African hunt, and the following might give you a bit clarification. Not all of the following will apply to any one specific trip, but having a general understanding better equip you to learn more about the safari you are considering.
PH- the most important ingredient to any successful hunt- the Professional Hunter.
Daily Rate- this is the per day hunting fee that usually includes the services of the professional hunter, trackers, skinners and camp staff, accommodation, meals and beverages..
Trophy Fees- most safaris in Africa today have a two tiered cost basis. The first is the daily rate which is paid prior to the first day of the safari. At the end of the safari you will be required to pay a per animal trophy fee for any game killed or wounded.
Package hunt- this is where the daily rate and a predetermined list of trophy game fees are combined and paid prior to the safari.
Observer Rate- this is the per day fee for any non hunter in your party
1×1 Basis- the hunt is conducted with one client and one professional hunter
2×1 Basis- the hunt is conducted with two clients and one professional hunter
Government Fees- this is often included in the daily rate, but in certain countries like Zambia, Tanzania or the central African countries it can be separated from daily rate and listed as an additional fee. These are usually the fees that the governments from said countries charge as access fees, taxes, hunting rights, etc.
Quota- most safari areas in Africa have either a government imposed or safari outfitter imposed quota of game available in a specific area on a per year basis. These quotas are strict conservation tools set up to maintain healthy game and habitat conditions, and they help insure trophy quality.
Concession Fees- similar to government fees, but may include a set amount which is earmarked for certain projects within a specific hunting area like anti-poaching, community development, habitat improvement, etc.
Conservation Fees- similar to concession fees in many aspects these fees are charged by several of the outfitters in Africa today but are earmarked specifically for animal and habitat improvement.
Charter Fees- due to the remoteness of many of the prime hunting areas in Africa it is often necessary to charter a small private plane to access the area. Charter fees in Africa are generally quite expensive due to equipment and fuel, but are necessary to avoid the valuable loss of time compared to a vehicle transfer.
Hunting License Fee- a hunting license is generally bought by the professional hunter or safari outfitter in your name prior to your arrival. The price varies from country to country.
Trophy License Fee- a few of the countries in Africa require you to buy a specific license for each animal that you want to hunt. The trophy fee license gives you the governments permission to hunt that animal, and a trophy fee is paid at the end of the safari if the species is taken. Most license fees are non-refundable.
Dipping/Packing/Shipping- at the conclusion of your hunt you will be invoiced for dipping and packing fees. These are usually billed by the safari outfitter, but are payable to a third party that will collect your trophies from the outfitter, perform the necessary requirements to export the trophies, handle the paperwork, package and crate the trophies, and then deliver them to an official exporter. The exporter then bills you for the international shipping of your trophies from that country to your home country.
Concession Areas- these areas are generally property of the government and consist of vast uninhabited tracts usually bordering a national park or preserve. Concessions range in size from 100,000 acres to in excess of million acres. They abound in dangerous game and herds of plains game, as dictated by their proximity to the parks and reserves. These areas produce the best quality Lion, Cape Buffalo, Elephant and excellent Leopard as well. Strict guidelines for hunting and quotas are enforced.
Private Land Ranches & Conservancies- These areas quite large (20,000 to 120,000 acres), and aside from South Africa, are primarily unfenced. They offer the best plains game hunting, and without a doubt produce the best leopard in Africa. Several of the private landowners in some of the southern African countries have pooled their properties together into huge tracts, some as big as a million acres, and the Conservancy was born. Using strict quotas and regulations some of these conservancies such as the Save Conservancy in Zimbabwe have healthy populations of all of the Big Five and can offer superb safaris for everything from a short 7 day plains game hunt to full collection safaris.
Communal & Tribal Trust Lands- A comparison to these types of areas would be the huge Native Indian Reservations in the United States. Roughly 30 years ago some of the African governments began programs that would directly benefit their indigenous people. The result was the Campfire and similar programs that are instrumental in showing the local communities that preservation and proper management of wildlife has a true dollar value. Funds derived from sport hunting are poured into the native economy to build schools, provide income for lost crops and improve the quality of life for both the locals and the wildlife. These areas have excellent big game hunting especially for elephant and buffalo at a reasonable price.