African Hunting Safaris
African Safaris - From Livingstone to Roosevelt and later on Jack O'Connor, African hunting safaris has been the dream of countless hunters. Millions of American boys grew up reading the stories of these great legends and their adventures in the dark-continent, preparing for the day that they too would be able to partake in the unique experience of hunting Africa. An African safari used to mean 30 days walking through the bush in pursuit of Africa's varied species. Theodore Roosevelt spent a year hunting in Africa and took over 1100 animals. Those days are all but gone.
Today, a hunter can hunt in Africa and take a number of trophy animals in 10 days for less than $10,000 including airfare! The current exchange rate which highly favors the American dollar, the frequency of international flights, and the boom in wildlife populations all contribute to a much more affordable safari experience than ever before.
Now that many of Africa's professional hunters, outfitters, and governments understand the economic value of regulated sport hunting they have become very friendly toward visiting hunters. The result has been efforts to increase and improve the quality of game populations, strict rules governing the licenses of professional hunters, the enticement by governments to the airline industry to increase flight frequency, and an overall desire to lure more and more hunters to Africa. These factors greatly benefit today's hunter that wishes to travel to Africa.
Many hunters are taking safaris in Namibia and South Africa where they are able to stay in relative luxury and hunt a large variety of species. With the introduction of "all-inclusive" packages it is even more affordable than ever. These packages are designed for the hunter who would like a variety of game animals. In most cases they showcase the best species available in a particular region. This is because the species that are of the best quality usually occur in the highest numbers in the areas that safari operators are willing to put together package deals. For instance in Namibia you can take a kudu, warthog, hartebeest, 2 gemsbuck, 2 springbuck and a steenbuck for about $7,000. This includes everything but airfare, trophy prep and taxidermy. The animals that you are able to take are of true trophy quality. Add about $2,000 in airfare you can be on a first class safari and take 8 animals. You will stay in deluxe, often luxurious accommodations and eat excellent meals for the entire trip.
In South Africa a hunter can take 9 animals in 8 days including some "premium" animals like kudu and bushbuck for $6500 including top notch food, lodging, and the services of a PH, skinner and tracker.
There is no doubt that safari hunting in Africa has changed. The days of the African foot safari for the better part of a month may be less common than in years past. But for the modern hunter who has limited time and finances Africa represents an excellent opportunity for adventure.