Editor’s note: Avid bowhunter George Flournoy has made six safaris to Africa lasting more than 30 days and several other safaris with other hunters, videotaping their hunts. He helps hunters find the types of hunts they’re looking for on the Dark Continent. He advises them on what to take and what to leave at home, tells them what to expect and helps bowhunters pick the hunts that fit their pocketbooks.
“What will an African hunt cost?” is one of the most frequently asked questions for me. From the time people leave their homes until the day they return, they want to know how much money they’ll need for a round-trip ticket from Atlanta to Johannesburg, South Africa, and other costs. At this writing, the cost is about $1,750. Now the airfare price fluctuates up and down every year by about $200, but this cost is the average. If you take an extra, medium-sized duffel bag with you, you’ll usually pay $100 to $150 extra. So, pack as lightly as possible.
I always recommend a 10-day safari. I never recommend anyone going to Africa for less than 10 days. This type of hunt will cost you $4,000 to $4,500. Now your bill is about $6,500. If you have a pretty successful 10-day hunt, and you take five animals on your 10-day plains game hunt, your trophy fees will average about $3,000 to $3,500. If you take more animals, your trophy fees will be higher. You can expect to pay about $10,000 for your entire hunt, door to door.
Your outfitter will tell you about how much you can expect to leave for a tip, which usually averages about $100 a day for a bowhunt. So, for a 10-day hunt, the average is about $1,000 in tip money. Generally, your professional hunter will distribute the tips for you to the people who are supposed to receive them. You usually pay $5 to $10 a day for the tracker.
About 6 months after you return home, you will receive a shipping bill for shipping your five or six trophies, which can usually be put in one box to your home or taxidermist. The shipping bill is usually 1,200 to $1,300, depending on how big the shipping crate is, and how many animals you have in it. If you’ve only taken four or five animals, you only may have to pay $400 or $500 for shipping–another cost you need to find out from the outfitter with whom you plan to hunt. I never suggest that a bowhunter leave his animals in Africa to be mounted. You’ll probably be told that having your trophies mounted in Africa will cost less than it will to have them shipped home and mounted. I promise you that it will not be less expensive. Also, you have absolutely no recourse if anything is wrong with your trophy if your animal is mounted in Africa.
Let’s say that you have had a highly successful hunt and taken six animals. On big animals like gemsbok, you can expect to pay about $1,200 for each animal to be mounted. A warthog will cost in the neighborhood of $600 to be mounted, impalas about $400 dollars, a zebra rug about $1,200 to $1,400 and a Cape buffalo about $1,700 for a shoulder mount. Learn from your taxidermist what you’ll be charged for each animal you plan to take before you leave this country, and about how long the mounting process will take once the taxidermist receives the animals. I suggest that you look for a taxidermist who specializes in safari animals. You are probably looking at $850 to $900 per animal that you take on a 10-day plains game animal safari.
Oftentimes, if you take your animals early, your outfitter may offer you the option of returning to Johannesburg for a day or two of sightseeing and shopping. If you take this option, you may want to consider taking an additional $800 to $1000 for spending money. You can eliminate this cost completely if you don’t plan to go shopping. But I don’t think I ever have had a bowhunter go to Africa who doesn’t want to bring home gifts and souvenirs. Therefore, from the time you leave home to go to Africa until you get back home, and your animals are mounted and put on the wall, you’ll spend around $18,000 to $20,000 total for a 10-day plains game African bowhunt.
Since 1971, Flournoy, who has shot PSE bows for 30 years, has been helping hunters find the type of African hunt and African game animals they want to take. For answers to any questions you may have about an African hunt, whether, you’re a first-timer or a veteran of many African bowhunts, Flournoy will be happy to help you. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 1-755-673-5513.
You’ll learn more-intensive hunting information and tips from nationally-known hunters in the new Kindle eBooks, “Bowhunting Deer: The Secrets of the PSE Pros” and “Jim Crumley’s Secrets for Bowhunting Deer” by John E. Phillips. Go to http://www.amazon.com/kindle-ebooks, type in the name of the book, and download it to your Kindle, and/or download a Kindle app for your iPad, SmartPhone or computer.
Images courtesy John Phillips