Thursday, 30 June 2016

Planning your Perfect Safari part 3

So you have decided on the Outfitter or Safari company that you will go on Safari with and you have all their information about their company and what they have to offer. Now depending on what time of the year you are going you need to find out some extra details which we have provided below from personal experience.

  • Dark khaki and hunters green colored clothing is recommended for all hunters, including hats
  • 2 good pairs of hunting boots (preferably waterproof)
  • We suggest including a rain jacket and peel-off layers of clothing due to varying temperatures during the day
  • Temperatures range from 0º to 30º Celsius depending on the time of year
  • Protective eye and ear wear are recommended for shooting and a good sunscreen while in the fields
  • Binoculars with a sling
  • Soft gun bag to protect your gun while on the move
  • Thin shooting gloves to protect hands while loading and firing.
  • A good shooting vest or belt-attachable shell bag-optional
  • Gun cleaning equipment (barrel brush & lubricant) to clean guns daily. Available at Umdende Hunting Safaris
  • An alarm for early morning shoots and a small flashlight is suggested or use your Smartphone
  • Confirm with your Outfitter if waders or knee-boots are required for Wing shooting. Not required with Umdende Hunting Safaris
  • Most Outfitters have no dress code; casual, comfortable clothing is recommended by Umdende Hunting Safaris
  • Camera or Smartphone to capture Africa’s brilliant color

2) Do they offer extra activities or tours:

Find out if your Safari Company offers any tours in the same area you are hunting and what the travel times are.  This allows the non-hunters or observers the chance to explore should they not join the hunts, or on a rest day that everyone can enjoy!  Certain tours need to be booked in advance and are non-refundable should you cancel.

Below are examples of the tours available with Umdende Hunting Safaris, depending on the areas you are hunting

  • Cheetah Sanctuary / Rehab centre Interaction – Interact with Cheetah, Serval, African Wild Cat and Caracal. This is a one in a lifetime experience!
  • Elephant Interaction  - Interact with these magnificent creatures up close and personal
  • Zulu Cultural Village gives an amazing insight into how the Zulu’s live, the details of their culture and how they differ to the other tribes in South Africa
  • Horseback riding between wild animals in a reserve
  • Guided walk in a Big 5 game reserve
  • Guided game drive in a Big 5 game reserve
  • Battlefields tours- experience the South African history of the Anglo-Zulu War – Isandlawana and Rorke’s Drift

3) Malaria and medications:

One of the main concerns when travelling to new areas around Africa is Malaria.  Please consult with your Outfitter or Safari company if they are located in a Malaria zone, if so you will need to see you family doctor and ask them what medications they recommend and how long before departure you need to start your course. 98% of Umdende Hunting Safaris hunting areas are Malaria free. We do suggest packing a few headache, flu and stomach tablets, just in case.

4) Paying for extras in South Africa:
South Africa’s official currency is the Rand (ZAR). Foreign currencies and travellers cheques can be exchanged / used in most big cities, however in smaller towns this can be a time consuming process as not all banks cater for forex and travellers cheques.  Foreign personal cheques are not accepted.  We highly recommend exchanging a small amount of your currency into Rands (ZAR) at your departure airport for curio purchases.  Visa, MasterCard, AMEX and Diners are widely accepted in larger cities and certain towns and can incur a service levy of 3%-5%. Please make sure you inform your bank PRIOR TO DEPARTURE that you will be traveling and using your card.  14 % VAT (current South African TAX) is applicable on most items purchased, daily rates, and non-exported trophies taken / wounded. It is important to discuss with your Outfitter or Safari Company how they prefer your extras to be settled on completion of your safari.  Nobody enjoys carrying cash with them, but your hunting area may be too remote to allow for card payments or the Outfitter may not have this facility available. 

5) Contacting your loved ones: As we all know your loved ones need to know that you are safely at your destination and all went well with the flight etc. Ask your Outfitter or Safari company if they have WiFi available at their lodges so you are be able to send and receive any urgent emails and of course send a message to your family. Some lodges do charge for this service. 80% of Umdende's lodges have WiFi purely because of location. If possible a hotspot can be created for emergency purposes. Make sure you have activated your international roaming with your mobile service provider if you would like to make calls while on Safari.
6) Taxidermy: Immediately after each hunt, your Outfitter should tag and prepare your Trophies in salt according to the manner in which you wish to have your Trophies mounted, this drying process takes 2-3 weeks.  All animals you have taken must be recorded on your Professional Hunters Register and the necessary licences and permits signed for prior to departure home.  This paperwork can take some time so calculate this into your airport departure times. Once the Outfitter receives full payment your Trophies are delivered to the Outfitters Taxidermist.  Should you have a preferred Taxidermist the Outfitter may charge for delivery. Please confirm with your guide before or while on Safari what the procedure will be and if they will inform you once your trophies have been dropped off. Should you require your trophies to be mounted by your own taxidermist in your country, by South African law, they will first need to be dipped and packed by an accredited agent in South Africa. The dipping, packing and mounting of your trophies is for your own account. Umdende Hunting Safaris assists every client in the process of communication between the Hunter and Taxidermist to ensure the smooth arrival of your Trophies back home. Taxidermy and delivery is a lengthy process so please be patient, it will be worth the wait!

7) Safari Completed: It has been an amazing few days and you have had a once in lifetime experience with your Outfitter or Safari Company, now it's time to settle the bill.  Depending on the Safari Company, you can pay via credit card, wire transfer or cash. Check your bill against your Safari Contract Agreement and prior agreed charges, and that all your animals and extras are included on the bill.  You don't want to get home and find extras have been put on that you did not know about. Gratuities are also highly appreciated in the hunting industry so please keep in mind the whole Team that made your dreams come true!
Next is show and tell when you get home, as we are sure your family and friends want to know about your Safari!

8) Firearm and ammunition recommendations......stay tuned for part 4 of Planning your Perfect Safari....!!

We look forward to seeing you soon and
Making your Wildest Dreams come True!!