Each winter I?m privileged to speak to about 10,000 hunters at big game dinners put on by churches. I often talk about African Life and Death Adventure and I?m always barraged with questions at the end. And for good reason?not many hunters know much about the Dark Continent.
In that my friend, Robert Hoague will be traveling with me this year, and many of you will be following our Bowhunting Safari on Bowhunting.net and BowTube.com and I thought I?d answer some of the more common questions asked about Africa. Here we go.
While bowhunters are often the top predator in the woods of North America that is not so for the Dark Continent.
Q- What are the risks ? that I could die?
I try to spend a month or more in Africa each year. It is my adventure fix. If it was life threatening I?d probably not choose this as an adventure option. Fact is there are lots of places I?d not recommend you go in Africa. It?s a big continent and choosing well is the key to safety. South Africa, Botswana and Namibia are politically stable and I consider them as dangerous as maybe Cincinnati or Nashville. Like Chicago there are parts of town you should avoid after dark but that?s only logical. These countries are at the south of the continent and they are all contiguous. (As Rush would say, ?If you?re from Loma Linda, that means touching each other.?)
Countries that are unstable at this time are Zimbabwe, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, The Congo and a few others.
Q-Do I need a bunch of shots?
For the most part you will likely be traveling to these countries and hunting during the winter. They are more like Texas than any place else I can think of and they are largely dry. The big risk is malaria. That being said, I get no special immunizations. We hunt in malaria free areas and none?get this, none of the local residents take malaria pills and they live there full time, even during the rainy season. They would all be dead if malaria was prevalent.
You can visit your local health department and get a host of shots if you please but in my opinion they are not necessary.
Q- How expensive is a bowhunting safari?
This is a good question. Most unschooled hunters would guess that a safari costs as much as an Alaskan Brown Bear Hunt, say $17-20,000?that just not the case.
I work with the best bowhunting outfitter in South Africa, Dries Visser Safaris, and his safaris are not the cheapest in the continent but they are among the best. An 8-day plains game Africa bowhunt for 4 animals is about $5500. That will get you a hunt of a lifetime where you will see 40-60 animals a day coming to a waterhole. If you’re patient, you should take all of your animals within 8 days. Add more animals and the price goes up a bit. Six animals would cost you about a thousand dollars more. In a 4 animal package in Namibia you?d be hunting animals like, Kudu, Gemsbok, Impala and warthog.
Q- What does airfare cost?
Airfare is about $1500 round trip from the US east coast to Johannesburg South Africa. On a Namibia hunt where you are round tripping Windhoek Namibia is about $600 more.
Q- How long is the flight?
South African Air has a direct flight out of Atlanta that is about 21 hours. All flights out of Atlanta stop and refuel in Dakar.
Africa Safari Q & A By Bowhunting biologist Wade Nolan