It is of interest to note as ProHunter states The point is that, in reality, each and every hunting region in the world has its own special character, and as such, one cannot really compare and generalise." This is somewhat a problem in some cases, folks EXPECT one thing and get something entirely different.
Perhaps this should be better addressed in the come-on before the hunt(s). I believe this is what Umzingeli is trying to do in some manner.
I have arrived in camp and subsequently hunted with folks that made NO PREPARATIONS prior to the hunt, I asked myself "What were they expecting??". I guess they thought that like at home (their home) folks would know them, prepare for them, then take them up and nurture them along. They expected what they've learned to expect and apparently have no experience with the outside world (beyond their county/township).
Hunting with the same outfitter (sorry, just whitetail) I have been offered/have endured many different methods of hunting. I've been dumped in the middle of a swamp, left to stand on remnant of a muskrat lodge for hours on end in what I considered COLD weather when I had been told to expect an elevated enclosure with heater available. (Had I known beforehand I'd have worn something other than my flimsy girly deer hunter underware [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img].) I did survive with only the experience of having chilled my hands to the point where I couldn't work the rifle safety or magazine release. I'm a bit smarter now too "ALWAYS Dress EXTRA warm, remove clothes as necessary later." I bear no malice toward the guide, he hunts in the same manner and was only offering me exactly what was normal for him... a true northern Canada cold weather hunt, not girly heated hunt(s).
As I've stated several times before, I expect to be treated no better AND no worse than the guide (decent guide). To live/hunt in the local ways and customs is a delight, added benefit and part of the reason I'd go, for the experience.
Yes, I intend to go to Africa, where and when is open to debate. I have several new rifles (an American thing I guess) and will practice with them and bring them along. I expected to go next year but I believe I've been pre-empted by the wife and will be on a cruise to South America and Antarctica in January of 2006. Maybe I can still swing the deal, refinance the house in these inflated times and spend the equity, sound fiscal judgement.
So as turnabout is fair play, ProHunter & Umzingeli, tell US what YOU expect and what you consider normal. Maybe a new thread by the pair of you or Umzingeli.
I have also been keeping track of this thread. Up to now, I have resisted the urge to reply to PH; as I'm sensitive to criticism on a couple levels.
First as an American, and second, from other Americans, since I live in California and have to put up with that stereotype, as well.
Wealthy clients the world over, are in a special catagory. Pampered and catered. That's not me, and most other hunters that I know. The only time I have ever been guided, was in Africa, and there wasn't any other choice. Just to illuminate, I'm not looking to dwell on myself.
However, the difference between his first post and the second is night and day. We were asked about expectations, as we all have a perception of what the Afriican experience is all about. Some of those perceptions are accurate, some not.
I especially was impressed by the geography of southern Africa. I kept telling my "guide" that it reminded me of my favorite state, Arizona, of which I am quite familiar. When he joined me there, in Arizona, a few months later, he had to agree, which pleased me very much.
The important thing is to avoid putting people in a box. White Africans are as diverse as Americans, and I found them to be surprisingly friendly to Americans, in general. Many people wanted to meet me just because of being a Yank.
I got none of the "put downs" that I detected in PH's first post, and I'm sure it wasn't because I was paying the bill. Everybody seemed to be genuine and friendly and the discourse was, as "equals". I wouldn't have had it any other way.
Tracking an elephant across sub-Saharan Africa. Okay. For a local, I suppose it's understandable, and doable? But, what it has to do with the survey, questioning foreigners as to their expectations, I can't fathom? You want a challenge, try tracking a coyote, at night across desert hardpan. Neither are particularly germaine to the topic, which is my point.
So, yeah. If the purpose was to elicit a negative response, it worked. If I somehow misinterpreted the tone and the intent, I apologize.
Good hunting. LB
edit: By the way, the Springbok lose at Cricket and Rugby about the same, mate.
…How about tracking an African elephant for 31 days, sleeping in the veldt, being stung by scorpions, sucked dry by mosquitoes, with nothing but maize porridge for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with no early morning coffee, no cold beer, and certainly no Jack Daniels to clear the dust clotting your throat?...
This is nothing! How about tracking a vicious wallaby for 100 (or was it 101?) days, sleeping in the bush, being stung by snakes, spiders, centipedes and scorpions, sucked dry by leaches and mosquitoes, with nothing but dirt (run out of porridge after first few days) for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and nothing to drink but your own urine.
Dave, the idea of a new topic is a good one. Allow me to put some thought into it, and I’ll see what I can come up with. Hopefully, I’ll get some interesting responses. Being isolated down here in Africa, I’m very appreciative of this interaction with international hunters.
To those sports fans trying to make a point: As for the cricket team in Sri Lanka, well what can I say? We take losing very seriously, so while the wounds are still bleeding, I’ll try not to dwell on the topic. As for the rugby on the other hand, how about plucking those black-birds feathers one by one until they look pitiful and confused? One thing about the Springboks, they might not do it often, but when they do, they make a good job of it.
LB, you’ll have to agree that we come across a diverse selection of hunters from all over the world. The point I was trying to put forward was that while most of these hunters come from a wide range of backgrounds, it doesn’t always make sense to us that many of them expect the same sort of comforts associated with certain living styles.
My opinion is simply that a true African hunting experience is diluted when offered up in these instances. On the other hand, if the hunter would relinquish his pre-requisites for certain comforts, he would probably have a more interesting, if not more rewarding, experience.
I cannot speak for Umzingeli, but the responses to his survey confirm my above submission. On the other hand, I must fully respect the clients wishes, even if that means bringing a gourmet chef and an air conditioner along on the hunt.
T3Shooter, [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] I hear that those “vicious wallabies” and “stinging snakes” can be a real bugger. What more can I say?
Hell, I go away for a few days and my thread gets hijacked! [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]
Anyway, I just wanted to thank everybody again for their most helpful input. Thanks to the responses from folks on this board, and the many other forums I posted in, I've pretty much completed my survey.
If you're interested, I'll start a new thread in a week or so to post the results, once I've correlated and analysed them.
Thanks people, you've been a real help, and I appreciate it a lot.