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Old December 1, 2010, 04:10 PM   #1
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safari hidden costs

I've been looking at a ton of plains game hunt packages, even though it might not be this year...or the next...before I can go. I really want to figure out what to expect for the dipping, packing, and shipping of trophies. I know it will vary, but I can't find any info, anyone know a ballpark per animal or per trip or whatever?
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Old December 1, 2010, 05:03 PM   #2
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If you have to ask....

Twenty years ago older relatives who did the African Safari thing said the mounting cost a bundle, but not as much as the trip.

Call taxidermists and start there, then start lining up prep costs and shipping to the person who is going to do it. Big outfitters will know what it takes on their end and may know someone who will do it and then ship it, although it's probably cheaper to ship before it's fully caped and mounted.

Outfitters are typically turn key capable and can run it down pretty well, it's not the first time for them.
Fiction is harder to write than the truth, fiction has to make sense, the truth can be unbelievable.
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Old December 1, 2010, 07:39 PM   #3
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I have a local taxidermist who will get my business, I just can't find any information on how much I can expect to have my cape and head dipped and packed in South Africa and shipped back to the US. Again, I know it will vary, I just can't find any info on it.
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Old December 1, 2010, 07:53 PM   #4
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It may be cheaper to have the mount done there and the finished mount shipped back.
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Old December 1, 2010, 09:25 PM   #5
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Was on South Africa Safari in August


Like the title says, I spent 9 days in South Africa in August this year. I was fortunate to take 5 animals and had a blast.

When it comes to mounting your trophies, I can tell you the only advantage to having them "prep" your trophies and ship them to the US (cost wise) is that you can spread out the mounting and thus the cost over a longer period of time. Originally I was going to do what you are proposing but after looking at the costs, I am having the animals completely done there and the finished trophies shipped to me.

Here is one example. On my Bushbuck which I wanted done in a shoulder mount, the raw prep price was $107 and I was still looking at $500 for a reputable taxidermist in the US to do the mount.
Life-Form Taxidermy in S. Africa is doing the complete shoulder mount for $605.

Now, the shipping would be the same because it is based on weight of the container and they can't give you a price on that until it is ready to be shipped as shipping rates change regularly based on air vs. sea travel, fuel costs, etc.

I can tell you the cost for my 5 animals:
Bushbuck shoulder mount & tanned backskin
Impala shoulder mount
Warthog European mount on wood plaque
Wildebeest European mount on wood plaque & tail swish
Zebra Full skin rug with felt backing
was approx $2600

It takes approximately a year for Life - Form to complete the mounts so I have about a year to pay the bill. Again, I still don't know what the shipping cost from S. Africa to me will be.

Some final thoughts on the taxidermy. The taxidermists in S. Africa (at least Life - Form) make their own animal models. They are familiar with the African Animals and do absolutely stunning work. I had to search quite a few taxidermists in the US to find some that have experience working with African animals. Also when you receive the skulls & skins (assuming you decide to got that way) they are soaked and have to be kept frozen to preserve them for any period of time before mounting, so you may want to have them shipped directly to your taxidermist in the US.

Hope this helps you out and if you want a great outfitter recommendation, hit me with a PM....

Last edited by Cowboy_mo; December 1, 2010 at 09:31 PM.
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Old December 1, 2010, 09:54 PM   #6
phil mcwilliam
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I went on a plains game hunt in South Africa 3 years ago. I had a skull mount on wooden shield of Impala & Eland. I also had Zebra skin tanned & lined with black velvet. Total cost of taxidery in South Africa was under $500 & took just over 1 year. Shipping costs to Australia was about $500, & I would think more to the US, but still under $1,000.
Your outfitter/guide should be able to recommend a taxidermist in South Africa who could quote "ball park" prices. Contact a local customs/shipping agent & they will confirm freight/customs charges.
Just paid deposit for 11 day plains game hunt in Zimbabwe for next June, & again I will have taxidery done in Africa.
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Old December 3, 2010, 03:25 PM   #7
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My dad took 7 or 8 animals about 5 years ago. He had all European head mounts and hair-on tanning done for the hides. The work was done in Namibia, and the finished trophies shipped from Kingston to Seattle. Including a Kudu, Eland, Gemsbok, and the smaller animals, he was well over $2,800.

It's not the price that will kill you, though. It's dealing with Customs.
Everyone in my family has had some kind of bad experience with customs, but my dad's was one of the worst. The holding area in Seattle lost his trophies for 5 months! When they finally located the shipment, the crate was badly damaged.

He was able to repair the only mount that was damaged (broken skull on the Springbok, I believe), but the experience was far from stellar.
"Such is the strange way that man works -- first he virtually destroys a species and then does everything in his power to restore it."
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Old December 5, 2010, 03:48 AM   #8
lt dan
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i think you first order of business should be to decide on an outfitter. these guys are pro's. they will cater to your every need and you can mail or skype them and they will answer all you questions. we have game in abundance as well as many different surroundings. so decide what you want to hunt and were. then tell that to the ph you decide on.

hope Africa see you soon, we are proud of our game and hunting possibilities
If youth is wasted on the young, then Africa is wasted on the Africans
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