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African Hunting Tips:

  • Use a booking agent that has actually been to the place he or she intends to send you. Also, be certain that they are a full-time professional agent, not someone who books "on the side" or as a way to hunt for free. The T. Jeffrey Safari Company fills the bill in both cases.
  • Tell us exactly what your expectations are in terms of trophy quality for each animal that is important to you. It is our job to be certain that you will have the opportunity to take an animal of that quality. Not every place in Africa is great for every species. Even if a species is listed in a brochure it doesn't mean that they will always have the size animal you expect. Be specific.
  • Don't go "over gunned." Anything from a .270 to a .300 Magnum will suffice for African plains game. Bring a rifle that you like to shoot, and practice with it out to 200 yards. If you can consistently hit a 10 inch circle at 200 yards you are ready. Remember that shots can be from 20 - 250 yards, so practice.
  • If you are going to be pursuing any of Africa's larger animals or dangerous game use a .375 H&H caliber rifle or larger. Make sure you practice with it. If you are recoil sensitive get a rifle with a muzzle brake and a mercury recoil reducer. There is no sense in hunting with a rifle that you are more afraid of than the game you are going to pursue.
  • Speaking of guns; please let us deal with the paperwork required to get your rifle(s) in to South Africa. It's not bad if you do it all correctly, but it can be a nightmare if you do it yourself and screw it up. Not only will you be delayed but so will everyone else in line behind you.
  • In Namibia bringing guns in and out is easier than going to Canada. One sheet of paper, quick serial number inspection and you are in. Same on the way out.
  • Be certain to disclose any food allergies, or strong preferences that you have. The folks in Africa want you to be comfortable, they want to spoil you. Let them. Keep in mind that the hunting areas in Africa are usually many miles from the nearest store, so they need to plan meals ahead of time.
  • Bring along good quality hunting boots that are already broken in. Don't risk ruining your hunt by getting a bunch of blisters from those new boots you just had to buy two days before your trip.
  • Be sure to disclose any physical limitations that you may have to your agent. A good agent will have a variety of options to suit your physical abilities.
  • Wear darker colors than a standard tan or khaki. Dark greens, and browns are best. The lighter tan colors tend to reflect light more which spooks game.
  • Wear sun block, get the strongest stuff you can find. The African sun can be absolutely brutal. Something with a rating of SPF30 or higher is best.
  • Bring bug repellant. The bugs in South Africa and Namibia are very tolerable in most parts, however anytime you are near the swamps or during the rainy season, they can be a lot worse. I like 100% Deet but if you can't find it something over 25% Deet will suffice. There are many areas in Africa where the bugs are downright oppressive and can even be dangerous (carrying malaria) so bring the bug stuff!
  • Speaking of malaria, many places in Africa are areas where malaria is prevalent. Most of South Africa and Namibia are not areas of concern. However if you are traveling to other places in Africa such as Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, and others you should talk to your doctor about taking the malaria prophylaxis drug Larium or possibly one of the other anti-malaria drugs on the market.
  • Bring a jacket. Even though the weather can be very mild during the hunting season in the daytime, it can be downright cold at night and in the early morning. It can be especially cold when you are sitting in the high seat of a safari car driving along at 30MPH.
  • Many safari operators have phones in the lodge you will be staying in, or in their private home. If you want to stay in touch with your family during the hunt (I know you don't want to talk to your office), set up a long distance phone card BEFORE you leave the US. You can get cards that charge as low as .15 cents a minute to call Africa from the US. The best way to handle this is to email home and tell them what time to call you with the phone card. Most of these cards do not charge the same amount to call from Africa to the US.
  • Don't lend your new skinning knife to a local skinner, unless you want it sharpened on a rock.
  • Don't tip the camp or lodge staff directly. Make sure to check with the PH first. Many of them prefer to tip on payday. This is a custom that you would be wise to observe. It is ok to tell your skinner or tracker that you gave the PH something for them and to tell them how much, but do not tip directly unless you are specifically told that it is ok to do so.
  • Let us book your airline reservations if at all possible. We have arrangements with companies that specialize in travel to Africa. Especially if you have "intra Africa" travel on airlines. This can become complicated and we have done it before. Let us handle it. Why take on an unneeded hassle?
  • Bring a good camera. The whole trip is about taking pictures. Don't skimp when purchasing a camera. Buy a good "point and shoot" camera that won't be difficult to carry around with you in the bush. Take pictures of everything, the terrain, the staff, the food even your sleeping area. When you get home you will be happy you did. Even though your spouse or your mother will get sick of looking at your pictures, your hunting buddies will never get sick of them!
  • Spend your last night in Africa in a fancy hotel if at all possible. It is a great way to unwind and get organized before the long flight home.