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lwaters's picture
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Namibia Safari

Me and my wife are thinking of planning a safari to Namibia. Is it to early to book for May of 2012? She would go as a observoir and we would like to plan side trips. I did contact one hunting farm and they did not seem to want to book this early. Could that be because nobody will know what the dollar will be worth. Also I heard something that is may be easier to get your weapons through South Africa. Has anyone else heard anything. Lenny

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Namibia Safari

Hi Lennie, I am from South Africa and will be goinig to hunt in Namibia in May 2011. Been there in 2009 as well. I cannot comment of experience taking your gun from else where, but when we went there in 2009, we as South Africans had more "trouble" with our guns at the SA border post. Entering Namibia was a breeze. Coming back we had "trouble" exporting meat at both the Namibia & SA border posts.

In your case you have no meat "worries", if I was in your shoes, I would fly in directly to Namibia. Make sure your host forward you the hunting invite and have your temp gun export permit from your home country handy. Namibia officials issue you with a temp import (gun) permit. Allow a day or 2 extra to your expected date of departure, just in case of an emergency.

You would enjoy Namibia, if fact any hunter would, we hunt the Nornern parts.

lwaters's picture
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I live in Kansas and would

I live in Kansas and would fly from Kansas City to Atlanta Georgia then non-stop to Johanisburg South Africa. That seems to be the fastest and cheapist option. I heard you can have Afton House handle your weapon issues if we overnight in South Africa and can not check our weapons through to Namibia. Would a 338 winchester mag and a 275 Rigby (7x57 mauser) ammunition be available in Namibia if mine was lost. My friend hunted with Immenhof farm recommended them. Has anyone else hunted with them? Wild game meat here in the states is becomming a problem moving from state to state. I guess they do not like you throwing it in the back of a pickup and driving home with the skull and spine. Thanks for the reply. Lenny

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thanks for joining the

thanks for joining the forum.  i have been to namibia three times.  i would first recommend the route thru frankfurt on lufthansa.  they have a baggage agreement with air namibia and you can book your gun all the way thru and not mess with german customs.  the south africa route thru johannesberg is troubled by theft, graft, lost baggage, especially guns, and problems with whether the ammo should be in the gun case or in another checked bag.  south africa air is getting a bad reputation although the delta flight there is supposed to be good.  my first trip i went thru cape town and missed the connection due to having to check my gun thru the police station at the airport.  no such problem in frankfurt.  lufthansa does a good job also. 

there is a reluctance to book far ahead and commit to a certain daily rate and trophy fees based on US dollars, when there can be major fluctuations.  also, the government can at any time change the trophy fees and permits, leaving the PH stranded with your expectations unable to be met for the agreed upon prices and/or the animals expected almost two years early.  i would suggest narrowing down your selection of where to hunt and then booking with them next year when there is a bit of settling in possible fluctuations.

i do recommend namibia as a great location for hunting and visiting.  for side trips, i would recommend etosha park as a must see, the fish river area or the kalahari as other options, along with swakopmund and the coastal areas, especially if you want to do some fishing.

from my own experience and other reading on other forums, i would not go thru south africa, unless i wanted to hunt there.  good luck.  let me know if you have any other questions.

CVC
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How important do you think it

How important do you think it is to use a US broker for booking your trip?  Seems to me that if something goes wrong then it would be nice to have someone in the US to communicate with and if necessary to hold responsible?  I haven't heard of many problems with Africa outfitters, but lately there has been a rash of problems with caribou outfitters in Quebec Canada leaving the US citizens with no recourse since they'd have to go to Canada and deal with the Canandian legal system and that just isn't feasible for most if not all.

I think I'd try to use a US booking company with a long established record.

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I do not think there are that

I do not think there are that many hunters booking African hunting trips with sketchy booking agents. I think most people have more sense than that. If you are going to traveling half way around the world to visit a far away country, than you better know who is going to be taking care of you. I also think that booking agents that would do anything like that to you in Africa would not be around very long. I am sure that there are sketchy outfitters in Africa just like there are in the states but I just think that it would be pretty easy to avoid them if you stick with the popular destinations. 

CVC
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I go to some sites that have

I go to some sites that have outfitter reviews and you'll be surprised at the number of bad outfitters here and abroad there are.  You don't know that an outfitter is bad until they go bad and what happens if you're the first person it happens to?

If they are in another country you're screwed,but if you paid a US booking company then you have recourse here in the states if you were harmed.  It doesn't cost you any more to use a US booking agent so why wouldn't you? 

The outfitter, Dries Visser, a very well know and respected outfitter that i thought about using in Africa has a US booking agent.  I could pay Dries in SA or i could pay the US outfitter the same price for the same hunt - why not do the transaction in the US so that jurisdiction would be here and not half way around the world?

Go to bowsite.com and go to the caribou section and look at how many lost 5000 or more with a Quebec outfitter that just closed their doors after booking the trips.  The Canadian government won't help them and they have no recourse.  So it does happen and it seems like if you can get the same hunt for the same price and pay here in the USA why not do it?

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I've made 3 trips to South

I've made 3 trips to South Africa/Zimbabwe and I booked directly with the outfitter each time.  My first hunt was bought at a Safari Club auction, the other two I met the outfitters at Outdoor shows, checked some of their references, and had great safaris.

On all three trips I used a Travel Agency for my flights instead of booking them myself like I do for flights with-in the US.  My thinking there is that if I have any flight problems overseas, a travel agent should be able to fix them than I could by myself.

On my last trip through Johannesburg, I did not get to the airport early enough for all the lines, but the "Meet and Greet" representative from Afton House got me and my luggage through to make my connecting flight.  I wouldn't have made that flight without his help.

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i would recommend using a

i would recommend using a travel agent ( i use gracy travel in san antonio and have had good performance), especially if you plan to take your rifle.  i have also done my own booking without problems.  search namibia hunting for places to hunt.  if the address is out of country, beware, unless it is a booking agent in the states.  i have been to "die keiler" twice in namibia and had great hunts.  there are many quality hunts there in different parts of the country.  i would recommend a .300 mag as a good all around rifle for plains game, and most of the PHs there want a .30 or up in caliber.

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my experience

You have receieved some good advice from teh other posters above.

I flew through Jo-berg in RSA en route to Windhoek and had no problem at all.  We flew from New York City to Atlanta then to the islands off Africa to refuel without leaving the plane before landing in South Africa and changing flights to Namibia.

Definitely check references and get every assurance you can that things will go smoothly when you are flying internationally.

Buy the insurance, and do all you can to make sure that you don't need it.

BTW - we had a fantastic hunt and I would not hesitate to go back again.

Ruppell Hunting's picture
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Outfitter from Namibia

As an outfitter in Namibia I can assure you that you will have more problems getting your rifles through South Africa than bringing them into Namibia. The most cases we had where hunters had problems with their baggage/rifles or where rifles went missing, they flew over Johannesburg. I would also definitely recommend the route via Frankfurt to Windhoek. Immenhof is our neighbouring ranch and are actually good friends of ours. They are in the hunting business for quite a while, since 1974 I think. They're quite good and handles a lot of hunters each year. I don't know if they do side trips, think they're more into flying safaris.

We also does hunting and can arrange very good side trips (Etosha, Swakopmund, Sossusvlei) we can tailor them for you, depending on what you want to see.

Message me or feel free to e-mail (ruppell@africahuntnamibia.com) me if you have any questions or maybe want a quote on hunting and side trips. Just tell me what you are interested in.

Regards,

Barend

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