Now what?There are a lot of things to consider before traveling half way around the world and hunting with someone you have never met.
You will be making a substantial investment in the trip and the main return on your investment will be your memories.
You want them to be the best they could possibly be.
So where do you start?Here are some tips to get you started that will go a long ways towards making your hunting safari a success.
Africa is a huge country.
Although you cannot hunt in all of the countries in Africa, there a numerous countries where hunting is available.
The countries open to hunting can change at any time and you would be amazed by how often they change.
Within those countries, there are also many different types of habitat.
From deserts and savanna, mountains and swamps, to jungle, and about everything in between.
How do I decide then? There are a lot of books on planning a safari that have been written in the past fifty years.
The problem is, Africa is ever-changing, and that makes many of the books outdated several years after they hit the press.
One strategy would be to find the latest book written on planning a safari and rely on it, which is a good starting point, but you would still need to take the time to read it.
There is a faster way.
Thanks to the power of technology, you can now gain a huge amount of knowledge about hunting in Africa while sitting on your couch watching the television.
There are now quite a few dvds on African hunting, African safaris, rifles, etc.
, but among them, there are a few that provide the knowledge to create an excellent African Experience.
Craig Boddington, Mark Buchanan, and Jim Shockey all have excellent videos on African hunting.
These are worth their weight in gold.
You can learn from hunters who have been to Africa numerous times and learned the ropes.
That being said, I can offer a few tips to get you thinking in the right direction.
Let's start with what species you want to hunt.
This will often be based on your budget.
Disregarding the cost of the plane ticket, which will determined by where you live, you can spend from several thousand on a hunt to over one hundred thousand, depending on your species of choice.
To make your trip the most enjoyable, I feel it is important to pick one species as your primary goal.
On a first safari, a great choice would be a kudu, or if you're a little more adventuresome, a Cape Buffalo.
Something that is fairly common, but still a great representative species of Africa.
You should not plan your first safari around a lion that you may spend the full duration of your safari searching to find and end up unsuccessful.
Pick a species you have a good chance of getting, and once you learn the ropes, then choose the more difficult, specialized species.
Africa gets in your blood, so don't try to do it all the first trip.
The remaining animals you get will just be icing on the cake and you won't pass up a beautiful bushbuck because you were looking for only a lion.
You will quickly learn there is a big difference when you put one of the big five on the list, when it comes to cost.
The big five are Cape buffalo, leopard, lion, elephant, and rhino.
Other than buffalo, these are specialized hunts that are very difficult for a first safari.
When you look at the cost of a good plains game hunt where you can kill seven or eight species for the price of a quality elk hunt in the US, you can see the value of Africa.
Once you begin to research it, you will realize there are more species than one will ever be able to hunt on the African Continent, so now is the time to get started.
Don't let the planning process stop you from taking your first safari.
There are plenty of hunting videos that can assist you in making your trip a successful one and give you the bug to return again and again.