Going to Africa, Going to Need Advice

BallisticsGuy

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A guy I know owns some leases and invited me out for a back country Boer style hunt in South Africa. I've done a lot of hunting in North America, especially backpacking in to remote areas and I'm not skittish. I'm not stupid either. So, I'm really planning on borrowing a rifle when I get there, just to save all that hassle and that's already arranged. The hunt will be for plains game, primarily Lesser Kudu, Eland, Blue Hartebeest and Bontebok. After the hunt we'll be taking a trip to southerland observatory on the way home.

So, I have passport, a place, a platinum card and the beginnings of a plan. I'm planning on lifting off next summer around late july or early august. According to my outfitter that's the hunting season there and the best time of year for something resembling comfortable temperatures.

Now, I'd like to limit the advice to being from people who've done a hunting trip in Africa, SA experience is best of course. I know I need to look into visa requirements and find out if there are licensing requirements. I need to decide on every piece of gear from boots to suits. I'm betting there's some inoculations I'll need to get and critters I need to learn to spot/identify/avoid. Cultural considerations are unknown at this time as well. One of the first things I need to do is figure out the how of getting there. Looking at flight options available over the next several months it seems like advanced purchase doesn't matter.

I'm leaving from the western USA and will be picking up 1 hunting buddy locally and another somewhere in middle america.

So, advise away. I know I forgot a ton and don't know squat so that's why I'm asking. I'm fully aware that this is going to cost thousands but some estimation of how many of them would be nice. The hunt is free to me, no trophy fees or lodging fees. I have to pay to get there and to have what I need while there and that's about it.
 

Jerry M

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The seasons are opposite of ours summer here: winter there; take a jacket, fleece hat and gloves for the mornings. The sun is strong, take sunscreen, hat, and sun glasses. Bring a good camera and binoculars. You will see a LARGE variety of game at a waterhole.

Take some Rand with you - everyone you meet in SA (in town) will have their hand out looking for a tip. May people stop at the nearest ATM, I think that marks you for robbery.

Hopefully, your host will pick you up at the airport when you clear customs. Shoot your borrowed rifle before your hunt. SA makes some great hunting ammunition.

Good luck

Jerry
 

THEIS

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Hello,

I have spent lots of time in Africa, with some being in ZA.

Best flights from USA are below:
Atlanta (ATL) Johannesburg (JNB)15h10 (non-stop)Delta Airlines
New York (JFK) Johannesburg (JNB)15h05 (non-stop)South African Airways

Visa Requirements:
USA passport holders are not required to obtain ZA visa if staying 90 days or less in country.

Boot Choices:
Lowa Zephyr
Nike SFB
Pallidium Pampa High Canvas----Not best option if you are going to be "rucking" in rocky terrain though.

US Department of State Guidelines for ZA:
https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/south-africa.html

THEIS
 

SaulReichman

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Good luck man! Hunting Africa is my favorite hunting experience of all time. I have hunted Tanzania and Namibia and will be heading back soon!

The advice others have given is great. As said before, make sure you have plenty of money for tips as everyone needs to be tipped. People also appreciate being tipped in cigarettes.

As far as guns go, what is the gun you will be renting and what game will you be hunting? You need to practice practice practice shooting off of sticks.

Best of luck!
 

gillettehunter

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I'll second that you need to practice shooting off of the sticks. Once you learn how it works pretty well. Just spend time doing it. Dry firing will help. Go over to Africahunting.com and join up. You will find all of the info that you need for a great trip over there. Good luck. Bruce
 

BallisticsGuy

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I think I might have a leg up on the normal guy here with the shooting proficiency advice. That's not to say for a second that I won't run out tonight, build me a pair of sticks and start practicing daily, c'mon, the shot of a lifetime... don't miss. That said, I'm a competitive shooter in high power and smallbore metallic silhouette. We take all of our shots offhand, unsupported no slings or gloves or jackets. I'm totally used to standing up in what are street clothes with what looks like a hunting rifle (they're all single shot) under time pressure even in the worst imaginable weather where you only get 1 shot at each target. They don't cancel matches on account of rain or wind or heat, only fog. The sticks will only make things better for me.

Thanks for that tip! It's the little things that make for a successful trip.

I'll be going for greater kudu, blue hartebeest, bontebok, eland.

My outfitter will be loaning me a rifle. He has a nice selection, I trust he'll select something appropriate to recommend.
 
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gillettehunter

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For RSA its not that tough to take your own rifle. Up to you. 1st trip my rifle was delayed and I used my PH's rifle. Trigger was 5 lbs plus. Absolutely sucked. Still used it for a Kudu until mine showed up. It is easier to just use their rifles. Ask what they have and if any work has been done on the triggers. I just like the confidence of using mine.....
Nice trophy list. It will be a great trip and I expect that will will enjoy yourself completely. Sounds like you do have a leg up on the shooting. My first trip over I'd never used them and it took a cpl days to get comfortable. Now I practice a lot with them before I go. RSA doesn't require any immunizations so you should be good to go that way. Occasionally they see a little bit of malaria way up to the North. Otherwise not a lot different from here. Good luck. Bruce
 

SaulReichman

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I think I might have a leg up on the normal guy here with the shooting proficiency advice. That's not to say for a second that I won't run out tonight, build me a pair of sticks and start practicing daily, c'mon, the shot of a lifetime... don't miss. That said, I'm a competitive shooter in high power and smallbore metallic silhouette. We take all of our shots offhand, unsupported no slings or gloves or jackets. I'm totally used to standing up in what are street clothes with what looks like a hunting rifle (they're all single shot) under time pressure even in the worst imaginable weather where you only get 1 shot at each target. They don't cancel matches on account of rain or wind or heat, only fog. The sticks will only make things better for me.

Thanks for that tip! It's the little things that make for a successful trip.

I'll be going for greater kudu, blue hartebeest, bontebok, eland.

My outfitter will be loaning me a rifle. He has a nice selection, I trust he'll select something appropriate to recommend.

Kudu is my favorite plains game animal.
 

BallisticsGuy

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Thanks guys. I went out and got the tent poles out of one of my old busted tents and made a set of shooting sticks that I'm practicing on, particularly practicing getting on the rifle in the way that you have to do with hard kickers like .375H&H. Don't want any recoil surprises because I got used to light kicking match rifles. I've also increased my daily strength training regimen on the core (especially my lower back) and legs and added longish walks which I'll slowly work up to runs. I should be in good physical shape compared to my current form which is closer to an internet tanned office body, well maybe not that bad but I'm pretty pasty.

I'm really thinking about building a rifle to take with me. I'd really like to have something I know will fit, fire and function instinctively for me, especially if it's going to be a hard kicker and the shots are once in a lifetime. For plains game antelope species, are there any caliber/chamber restrictions or, better yet, how about suggestions. I'd be just as happy to use an 6.5x55mm Mauser as a 9.3x74. If it's best to bring a .375H&H, that's fine. LMK.
 

SaulReichman

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Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Messages
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Thanks guys. I went out and got the tent poles out of one of my old busted tents and made a set of shooting sticks that I'm practicing on, particularly practicing getting on the rifle in the way that you have to do with hard kickers like .375H&H. Don't want any recoil surprises because I got used to light kicking match rifles. I've also increased my daily strength training regimen on the core (especially my lower back) and legs and added longish walks which I'll slowly work up to runs. I should be in good physical shape compared to my current form which is closer to an internet tanned office body, well maybe not that bad but I'm pretty pasty.

I'm really thinking about building a rifle to take with me. I'd really like to have something I know will fit, fire and function instinctively for me, especially if it's going to be a hard kicker and the shots are once in a lifetime. For plains game antelope species, are there any caliber/chamber restrictions or, better yet, how about suggestions. I'd be just as happy to use an 6.5x55mm Mauser as a 9.3x74. If it's best to bring a .375H&H, that's fine. LMK.
Depends on the country. Tanzania, for instance, has a caliber minimum but not an energy minimum. Namibia is the opposite. I am not sure about SA but I my guess is that they have a caliber minimum. I think that my .280 AI is about perfect for almost all plains game, although I am looking to build a .338 Lapua rifle to really anchor blue wildebeest and the like. No one will complain that your .375 is inadequate as long as you can shoot it straight. It is the classic safari cartridge.
 

gillettehunter

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Most providences do not have minimums but rely on common sense. They usually have a .375 for a minimum for dangerous game. My experience is for most plains game is that a .28 caliber is a good place to be. Think of a Kudu/waterbuck as elk sized with gemsbuck not a lot smaller. The blue wilderbeast can be very tough. Many people have had a long days tracking when their shot was not perfect on a BW. The joke in Africa is a BW is born sick and gets healthier every time you shoot him! I've used a .300 WSM, 7mm RM and a 7 SAUM on my africa trips. Been 4 times and hunted with 6 different outfitters. I have a huge amount of respect for the 6.5's. With the right bullets they are deadly.
Some areas are very open. Other places the bush is tight. Find out what your hunting in. Then decide if you would be comfortable hunting elk with what you want to take for a rifle. That will give you a baseline.
Last yr I heart shot a BW at around 120 yds. 160 gr AB at 3000 fps from my 7 SAUM. Be darned if he still didn't go over 100 yds and that with a broken shoulder. Bruce
 

snox801

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Hello,



Best flights from USA are below:
Atlanta (ATL) Johannesburg (JNB)15h10 (non-stop)Delta Airlines
New York (JFK) Johannesburg (JNB)15h05 (non-stop)South African Airways

I took the flight from Washington D straight to jo burg. I would definitely do South African airways. Best flights I've ever taken. And remember seats over the wings are always the smoothest invade you get a rough flight.
 

Jerry M

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695
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I killed: Blue Wildebeest, Kudu, Gembock, Impala, Zebra, Warthogs, Diker, Baboon all with a .30-06 Sp and 180 grain Nosler Partition. All one shot kills. The only animal that ran any distance was the Zebra, shot was too far back.

A .375 is not necessary for these animals. Although on my second trip I took a Lioness and Cape Buffalo with a .375 H&H. But in retrospect the bullet I used was too hard for the Lioness, but perfect for the Cape Buffalo.

It is important to learn the anatomy of the animal you plan on hunting. Buy the book Perfect Shot Placement for African Game by Kevin Roberson. There is a significant difference in the location of the vital organs on African animals, than say a black bear, deer, or elk.

It is amazing to sit in a blind near a waterhole and see a variety of animals from a Rhinoceros to a Baboon come in to drink.

Good luck

Jerry
 

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