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Location: santa rosa CA- USA
Joined: 02/03/2009
Posts: 3
Trophys from Africa- on the cheap

OK- I have a chance at an Africa hunting trip this year to South Africa. Plans are for warthog, eland, maybe a wildebeast. I'm a blue collar guy and have to watch all expenses but, someone has offered to help with airfare and lodging. So given that what is the least expensive way and process to get trophys and/or hides from Africa? Euro mount? skins only? cut the horns and ship them? Needless to say, I don't have a trophy room to stock.

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Location: texas
Joined: 04/23/2006
Posts: 484
Trophys from Africa- on the cheap

obviously, the less that is shipped, the less it will cost. also, if you do not tan the hides, there will be a lot less cost. i like european mounts and that is a whole lot less than shoulder moounts, and you can save a bunch by making your own plaques and mounting the skull yourself. all you need is a few 3-4" drywall screws. good luck on your hunt.

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Joined: 11/01/2007
Posts: 92
Trophys from Africa- on the cheap

some ways to cut corners follow but bear in mind nothing is cheap about going anywhere in Africa and if you bring swine or primates home you're talking delays, costs,etc.
1. Get your tanning for hides done there cheaper
2 do all Euro mounts at home
3. "If" you just have to have a warthog have the skull cleaned there and a Euro mount done there then it can be shipped as a finished mount and breezes thru inspection here...no delays
4. unless you really want one don't kill a Hartman's zebra or a Gravy's/Grey zebra stick to the common Burchell and it will cost you less in paperwork

5. Everyone will have their hand out for a tip from the time you leave your home to return...keep in mind the economy in Africa is much more depressed than here in the states....you'll read on some sites about tipping and the high rollers will have you thinknig you should be giving tons of $$ out... DON"T...in an economy where $1000 USD is a good yearly salary $10 goes along way!!

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Location: migratory cycle around Africa
Joined: 02/06/2003
Posts: 35
Trophys from Africa- on the cheap

You really need to talk to your outfitter and take his advice on what's gonna be easy to take home and what isn't.

Your profile doesn't say where you're from and that can also make a difference. The UK for example are ultra paraniod about foot and mouth and if even one date is incorrect on your paperwork, they give you two choices. Either ship it back again. to have the paperwork re-issued and then back to you (all at your expense) or they incinerate it there and then.

Shipping by sea is also worth considering, but you only get any appreciable saving if you live close to a sea port. - There's also more risk of damage than when shipping by air.

You might also like to consider having your firearms import permit pre issued by one of the courier services so you do't have to do it on arrival. - This can save an awful lot of time on arrival when you're tired and jetlagged. You'll find that under the firearms import assistance section here: http://www.shakariconnection.com/hunting-directory.html and this link http://www.shakariconnection.com/travel-with-firearms.html might also be of help to you.

Hope that helps.

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Location: South Africa
Joined: 01/26/2009
Posts: 9
Trophys from Africa- on the cheap

Ram1z....do your homework properly,there are more options in Africa and especially South Africa than you will ever imagine.South Africa has utilised the private ownership principle to excellent effect with you the client benefitting and ultimately the wildlife too.
Be careful of anything that sounds to good to be true....you know the saying...
A hunt for a blue wildebeest,warthog and eland (Cape)(respectable trophy sizes are NB)should be at least 6 or 7 days.Daily rate and trophy fees together should be about $6000.much cheaper than this and you're talking about too good to be true...Shipping of raw skulls and hides(dipped and packed)(to US) should come to about $1000.Your flights will be about $2000.All tips shouldn't be more than $1000.(tips are important to the PH,trackers,skinners and lodge staff)
Once again do your homework,ask for multiple references from the outfitter.Engage with your outfitter and PH as much as possible(without being a pain) before your trip.
Good Hunting

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Joined: 11/01/2007
Posts: 92
Trophys from Africa- on the cheap

lavartus your comment about tips are "... important to PH, trackers, skinners, lodge staff" raises a red flag to some. We Americans offer a tip bases on how well a service was supplied to us. It may seem crass but we aren't concerned with helping the Lodge owners pay their help.

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Location: South Africa
Joined: 01/26/2009
Posts: 9
Trophys from Africa- on the cheap

Single Malt,Americans get by far the best service in Africa because they are known tippers(there are clearly exceptions..)
It goes without saying that lodge staff etc get tipped on an ad hoc basis.
No-one is ever forced to tip,but if clients are looking for hunts on the cheap they should know what to budget for.I spent almost U$1000 on tips during my last trip to the US and I didn't even know the peoples' names. Big smile

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Joined: 10/07/2008
Posts: 30
Trophys from Africa- on the cheap

Not all hunts in South Africa are outfitted with resident PH's. Freelance PH's gets far less benefits than residence PH's. Most outfitters only gives a day fee, meals and lodging. After all why wouldn't any client tip after a happy and successful hunt...?

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Joined: 11/01/2007
Posts: 92
Trophys from Africa- on the cheap
lavartus wrote:
Single Malt,Americans get by far the best service in Africa because they are known tippers(there are clearly exceptions..)
It goes without saying that lodge staff etc get tipped on an ad hoc basis.
No-one is ever forced to tip,but if clients are looking for hunts on the cheap they should know what to budget for.I spent almost U$1000 on tips during my last trip to the US and I didn't even know the peoples' names. Big smile

Oops! It's a sad credit line for a company to offer service based on tipping rates! Oh how the European clients must think they are being cheated from a quality experience on the fact that Americans are known as better tippers.
I spent a few weeks in Tanzania's Selous Reserve last season chasing buffalo and leopard, the camp staff were working for the meat they could dry and whatever tips came their way...most hadn't had a cash paying job in several years. As an example the man sweeping out my tent an sitting guard at night on hippo patrol got $25 US as his share of the camp staff tip...handed to him by the PH in front of me. I thought the tears he shed were from disapointment but rather I was told by the PH he shed them out of thanks for the large tip I gave him as it amounted to a normal wage earning for 6 months!!!! Funny how a safari that cost me $20,000 USD could not afford to pay their labor more than slave wages and expected clients to pay them through their tips...SHAME on them!!!

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Location: migratory cycle around Africa
Joined: 02/06/2003
Posts: 35
Trophys from Africa- on the cheap

FWIW, I've worked in the African hunting industry for almost 30 years and have hunted Professionally in 6 African countries and in all that time, I've never heard of clients from any nation getting preferential treatment because they tip more or less than any other nation. - I'll go further, from my experience, the Americans don't tip any better than any other nation. Size of tip is much more related to individual than nationality. About the only exceptions to that statement that I can think of offhand might be the Australians and maybe the French....... but they get equally good service and if any of my staff ever gave a lower level of service for that or any other reason, I'd kick his arse out of camp immediatly.

Single Malt,

I don't know where you hunted in Tanzania or who you hunted with, but believe me, not paying camp staff most certainly isn't the norm in Tanzania or anywhere else in Africa with any reputable company and whoever told you a Tanzanian working in a hunting camp is paid US$25 for 6 months work comes from a different planet to the rest of us. I'm not suggesting the statement comes from you, but believe me, it's total and utter BS.

To give you an idea of normal costs, I pay my Tanzanian hunting and other key staff US$200 per month, and most non hunting staff slightly less, plus I feed them, give them all uniforms, boots, buy them all new tents and equipment every year, pay all their travelling expenses when they go on leave etc, I supply all their medical needs, including anti malarials, and further if any of their familes get into trouble, I usually end up baling them out and I don't expect to be repaid. On top of that, they get their tips which for a tracker averages out at about US$100 - 150 per client per 10 day trip. They hunt for about 130-150 days per year. (if they don't choose to go on leave, but most do)

If the staff in your camp were working for tips only then you were hunting with a company that operates at the very lowest end of the market and I'm only suprised you didn't have more to complain about than just the fact the staff went unpaid. - I'd have expected you to also have had problems with vehicles, fuel and supplies at the very least.

I find it interesting that you say you spent US$20K on a Tanzanian hunt that allowed you to take a Leopard. That species only occurs on a 21 day licence and even with the cheapest of companies a 21 day licence hunt should have cost you a bloody sight more than US$20K............. I guess if they let you have the hunt for that price, they couldn't afford to pay the staff. - Actually, at that price, I'm suprised they could afford to pay for food, vehicle, fuel and a PH.

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Joined: 11/01/2007
Posts: 92
Trophys from Africa- on the cheap

You are correct in some of what you wrote I was on a 21 day lis. only because of the lis. system there in Tanzania that in my opinion holds some trophies hostage until the client pays the higher lis. fee. I actually had negotiated and booked my hunt as a 12 day trip as that's all the time I was able to get away for.
I don't really give a $hlt what the companies pay their help $1.00 or $100 a day matters little to me...just don't ask me to tip more than I wish too because they aren't getting paid enough from the company.
I will say the camp I was in was well equipped and the PH whom supplied his own truck,tracker, etc had more supplies than we needed on my trip...what took place prior or post I have no idea and also don't much care about that either. I killed my buffs and leopard in less than 8 days and passed on 2 different 40-45# bulls as well optng no to kill any . I also could have had my chose of bull hippos every day but wanted a particular one on the soil but only saw him in water so passed on him too.

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