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View Full Version : Is there anywhere you can go on a Safari


Doug.38PR
June 8, 2006, 11:06 AM
Is there anywhere in Africa you can go and take a Safari (not necessarily a hunt) in Africa? Can you take a rifle and pistol along? (why would you go into any third world african land UNARMED) Obviously on a hunt you can take a rifle. But a handgun for protection is essential not only from natives (who these days are armed with M-16s and such) but from wild animals.

BlueTrain
June 8, 2006, 12:34 PM
There are, absolutely. I just ran through the details with our resident hunting enthusiast, who just returned from New Zealand. He is not particularly a gun nut and only owns one rifle--not counting his wife's. But anyhow, he has hunted Africa and has the photos to prove it.

All hunts are referred to as safaris and are guided. The real expense is in the game tags, which are something like $45,000 for rhino and $15,000 for elephant. He has not hunted either of those. He went to South Africa and Rwanda.

Doug.38PR
June 8, 2006, 06:17 PM
All hunts are referred to as safaris and are guided. The real expense is in the game tags, which are something like $45,000 for rhino and $15,000 for elephant. He has not hunted either of those. He went to South Africa and Rwanda

I thought there were Safaris and Safari Hunts. One was hunting the other was more like exploring. I am not interested in being taken to a herd and shown an animal to gun down so I can take it back home and mount it in my living room. That is not interesting or sporting to me. Shoot those prices you quote are like buying a car!!! I am more interested in exploring.

Dfariswheel
June 8, 2006, 07:31 PM
There are actually more photo safaris these days then hunting safaris.

These run from groups aboard 4-wheel drive vehicles, to actual individual guided safaris.

Check out some of the game magazines like Outdoor Life or Field and Stream and photography magazines.
They usually have ads in the classified pages for both.

A quick Google search turned up:
http://www.africasafari.com/?source=google

http://www.graduatetours.com/

http://www.thomsonsafaris.com/sa_type.shtml?source=google&Keyword=african+safari

http://www.go2africa.com/

http://www.african-safari.com/

And LOTS more.

Doug.38PR
June 8, 2006, 08:07 PM
Nice!!! Are you permitted to carry a pistol for self defense (preadators or just the fact that you are traveling through a third world african country)?

rangermonroe
June 8, 2006, 09:44 PM
Carrying a handgun, I am not sure.

But after my trip to Alska, I was inundated with solicitations to hunt Africa. Namibia was the spot that was most frequently mentioned.

roscoe
June 9, 2006, 01:05 AM
But a handgun for protection is essential not only from natives
That is pretty much not true at all. You are actually much safer than the locals (natives?), who do not have access to lawyers, bodyguards, consulates, etc. Generally, if something bad happens to a westerner in some out-of-the-way village, they can expect holy hell to rain upon them. I know that if anything ever happened to me, aside from the consulate, the local police, and the embarassment to the local government, my brother would show up with $50,000 to hire someone to figure out who did it and to get them. And for $50,000, a lot of trouble can be wreaked in Africa.

But more to the point, Africans are very conservative people, with a real old-world politeness. Sure, they kill each other in some very unfortunate cases, but the Russians and Germans have done a bit of that themselves over the last century, and we don't think of Europe as inherently dangerous. Most of Africa is a very pleasant place to travel, and very safe. The cities, especially Johannesburg, are different, and should be treated with caution. Johannesburg is about as dangerous a city as there is, so heads up.

You can explore Africa, but you will not be carrying a gun in most places, at least not legally. Generally, if you want to have firearm protection, you will have to find a local guide/bodyguard who will in all likelihood be a translator, negotiator, and will know local customs and when is a good time to get the hell out of there. He will probably cost less than $25 a day, be loyal, dependable, and by the end of the trip, a good friend. He will be the best money you ever spent.

Nowadays Africa is big on bureaucracies, and there are laws on everything, including guns. There are a few exceptions, but you better be sure they apply to non-residents (African jails are not to be recommended, they say). If you feel the need for protection, carry a machete like every other African. It will probably be more useful in most any but the most dire circumstances. Often, having a gun marks you as party to the local dispute, so oft times it is better to at least appear unarmed.

You will not be wandering around East Africa on foot under most any circumstances, even if you have a bazooka, unless you are a skilled tracker. A lion can sit in the grass and you will pretty much trip right over him. Most places it is not allowed. There are definitely places to explore in Africa, just make sure that lions and land mines are not issues, and that the local tribe is friendly. Sometimes you have to talk to the local chief to get permission. Sometimes this requires negotiation. Sometimes this negotiation takes days. Don't be in a hurry. Those Victorian explorers used to disappear into Africa for years at a time.

Hunting in Africa is generally a guided and pretty controlled experience, unlike American hunting. At least, that is my understanding. Someone here MAY be able to tell you how to bring a gun in as a hunting weapon that you just keep on you as you explore, but that may be a long shot. I have often fantasized about bringing a .44 Trapper take-down rifle as a do-all gun that is compact and concealable, but it would require getting permits. Many permits. Many stamps in purple ink and many signatures from bored bureaucrats. Hiring a steely-eyed bodyguard is much easier.

Exploring Africa is definitely fun, but the days of slashing through the Congo with a machete and a Webley in a flap holster are gone, if they ever really existed. You will need a local to guide you unless your circumstances are VERY unusual. Remember, even Alan Quartermain traveled with Umslopagaas.

Go out and have fun! And get your vaccinations!

BlueTrain
June 9, 2006, 06:18 AM
There were places that you could have gone to at one time with your Webley and Westley-Richards or more likely in the case of an American, your Winchester and Colt (one Colt, about a half-dozen Winchesters). And yes, those days are gone.

Understand there is a paradox here. The places in Africa that allow hunting, all of it guided, are the ones that still have game, mainly because the income from licenses and permits allows the maintenance of a functional game and wildlife department. Things are not perfect, however, and African locals more often than not see the local wildlife as dangerous and destructive, but that is sort of the way wolves, lions, coyotes and even whitetail deer are seen around here.

It might be possible to have a little more independent adventure in Alaska than anywhere else but there are rules there, too. But you could probably wear a .44 anywhere you wanted. Please see the other threads about handgun defense against brown bear first.

BillCA
June 9, 2006, 09:26 AM
In addition to what others have written, I'll impart what little I've learned.

For a safari hunt you'll be given a list of prices. These will include the daily charges for a hunting guide (required in some places) and the expected charges to hire bearers for any other equipment you need carried.

Prices for game animals vary. Bagging something like a greater Kudu might run you $2-$5 per inch of horn, measured over the curve. Be aware that if you take a shot which wounds the animal but you can't recover it, you still pay as if you bagged it. Rhino's are much more expensive and the last I saw was $1500 per inch of horn! Certainly you don't want to screw up a shot here!

Guides will tell you to bring a light rifle and a heavy rifle if you're planning on large game. Africans classify the 7mm Remington Magnum as a nice "light" rifle. A .375 Holland & Holland is generally a good heavy rifle even though some will say it's a bit light for some game.

Typically you can forget handguns. Unless you're carrying one of the new ultra-blasters (.500 S&W, .460, etc.) handguns are not considered hunting arms and lack the power to take down any desireable game.

Lastly - everything in Africa bites! Even some of the plants (with their thorns).

Doug.38PR
June 9, 2006, 10:00 AM
That is pretty much not true at all. You are actually much safer than the locals (natives?), who do not have access to lawyers, bodyguards, consulates, etc. Generally, if something bad happens to a westerner in some out-of-the-way village, they can expect holy hell to rain upon them. I know that if anything ever happened to me, aside from the consulate, the local police, and the embarassment to the local government, my brother would show up with $50,000 to hire someone to figure out who did it and to get them. And for $50,000, a lot of trouble can be wreaked in Africa.

But more to the point, Africans are very conservative people, with a real old-world politeness. Sure, they kill each other in some very unfortunate cases, but the Russians and Germans have done a bit of that themselves over the last century, and we don't think of Europe as inherently dangerous. Most of Africa is a very pleasant place to travel, and very safe.


I'm considering the fact that so many African countries are dominated by genocide, tribal warfare, mass murder committed by governments (depending on which one gets overthrown that week), government corruption and all sorts of chaos local governments could have very little to say or do about what happens to me (or maybe they would have too much to say....unofficially. Also considering how so many foreigners feel about Americans (and to a certain extent, rightly so). I'm also considering the fact that I don't like the idea of depending on someone else to protect me with their gun if something happens....that's why I got a CHL. In America, those of us who understand our heritage and history, we don't depend of police or military to protect us. That is ultimately our own responsibility. So why should I depend on a guide, regardless of how good a friend he is (I would believe that, they would have to very people friendly to do what they do) to defend my life in a war torn country. Also, considering as one other poster put it "Everything in africa bites." A good reason to have a gun to bite it before it bites you. Africa is for the most part a wilderness unlike Europe, that's why people want to visit it :cool:

Don't be in a hurry. Those Victorian explorers used to disappear into Africa for years at a time.


You refer to "Dr. Livingston, I presume." ;)


I sure would like to do it, and I know someone else who would definately like to do it with a camera. But I would like to have a trusty Highway Patrolman on my hip or at least my Official Police loaded with Buffalo Bore 158gr on my hip while she takes pictures.


The cities, especially Johannesburg, are different, and should be treated with caution. Johannesburg is about as dangerous a city as there is, so heads up.

You're right, I much prefer the the safety of cities in America like New Orleans, New York, Los Angeles, Houston and Atlanta ;)
I saw a documentary on Turner Movie Classics a few months back from the 1950s that showed Johannesburg to be a REAL nice vacation tourist spot. Alots changed I guess.

Cossack
June 9, 2006, 10:02 AM
Africa is wonderful, and I recommend it. I've never hunted there, nor have I carried any weapons there. I think that carrying a weapon is more likely to land you in a jail that you REALLY don't want to be in than to save you.

Africa has many conflict areas. Check with the state dep't and avoid these. If you go to Burundi, for example, you are asking for trouble. But to assume that all of Africa is inherently unsafe and either in or on the brink of civil war is simply untrue. If you visit Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, Ghana, or many other nations, you should have no problems whatsoever.

The cities, especially in South Africa, are notorious for crime. My father was robbed at knifepoint in daylight in Praetoria. But really, just be streetsmart and don't go anywhere alone. In the bush, again, just don't be stupid. Treat every animal as if it were dangerous, because most of them can be if they so choose! Every sightseeing safari that I've been on included at least one local guide with a very large rifle - someone who knew the area and the animals well, and could tell if an animal meant business or not (shooting an animal prematurely could get you into a lot of trouble both legally and physically, when a now ****** off creature starts seeing you as a real threat :eek: )

I wish we could pack wherever we went. When you leave the USA, things get difficult. You can either let that keep you home, or you can get out and see the world unarmed. No, it's not ideal. But it's worth it, IMO.

roscoe
June 9, 2006, 11:01 AM
So why should I depend on a guide, regardless of how good a friend he is (I would believe that, they would have to very people friendly to do what they do)
Mainly because he will know when things are getting dicey - you simply won't have the knowledge of local customs, wildlife, etc. to really know when to be worried. Also, if shots have to be fired and the authorities show up later, it is MUCH better if you were not the one who fired them. Your guide will know how to handle the situation.

Most of Africa is just quiet rural communities (but poor) where violence almost never rears its head. Obviously, the media is not interested in those places.

The notion that there is chaos everywhere and that local governments do not have control is just silly. People are very law abiding - in fact they are too law abiding, and when someone cheats they get very angry. I saw a man get beaten by a mob for stealing a length of silk. They would do the same to someone who stole your camera.

I know a guy who was backpacking along the Indian Ocean in a very rural part of South Africa and had his backpack stolen. He went to the local chief who found the pack and brought the thieves to him. He said he could do whatever he wanted to them. The backpacker obviously just said to let them go, but the notion of right and wrong is very strong.

Incidentally, I don't know where you get the idea that the world hates Americans. They love Americans, the dollars they bring, and the opportunities our country represents. They are sophisticated enough to dislike George Bush but still like American tourists. Americans typically treat locals much better than tourists from some other countries (try to get a Swede to tip).

You should be cognizant of personal safety, but don't let it keep you from adventuring. If personal safety were the only priority, how much in this world would be accomplished? They never would have discovered America!

Doug.38PR
June 9, 2006, 11:24 AM
Thanks (Sheriff?) Rosco (P. Coltrain?) ;) That I'm sure for the most part it is safe otherwise people wouldn't do it at all. I went on a expedition in the Yucatan off of Cozemel to visit the Muyel (think that's how you spell it) ruins. it was like a real Indiana Jones tour. Our guide was very polite and curtious and the people for the most part were too. They do like the almighty dollar like everyone else.


As far as not liking Americans, it's not so much Geo. W. Bush and all that they don't like. Americans have a tendency to be overbearing and arrogant. Loud, showoffy, know what's best for everybody (Dubya is just the ultimate expression of this on camera and sending the military to "bring democracy to the world"). Real people in the world tire of that and just want to live their lives. I believe it's really loudmouth yuppies and classless Americans they find offensive, not so much Americans in general, but Americans tend to get classified in this way. Americans, for the most part, are made up of real (or rural) people like you and me who go to work, have jobs, have families and want to enjoy life.

roscoe
June 9, 2006, 12:44 PM
Well, you sound like you are game. If you get away from the tour guides and go by yourself to do some exploring, the main thing you will need is simply patience. As in many parts of the world outside the west, people are not in the hurry we are. You will get most anything you need with a smile and some common courtesy. Other than outright bandits, people want to like you and will go out of their way to be helpful.

I have been many times to a total of seven African countries across the south and east, often for months at a strech, and on only one occasion a guy tried to hustle me at the overland border with some informal currency exchange. Keep track of your decimel place!

Doug.38PR
June 10, 2006, 04:23 PM
If you get away from the tour guides and go by yourself to do some exploring, the main thing you will need is simply patience. As in many parts of the world outside the west, people are not in the hurry we are. You will get most anything you need with a smile and some common courtesy. Other than outright bandits, people want to like you and will go out of their way to be helpful

that's why I like living in the slow and easy going South. I was raised in Houston, but culturally, it's not near as Southern as it used to be. Very in a hurry, very impatient, very....well Yankeeized in many respects (relative to say New York or Boston it is downright right wing and easy going but compared to the rest of Texas....shoot) Africa sounds like my kind of vacation spot.