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A safari is not as far away as you think…
by Richard Mann of Empty Cases
When most deer hunters think of an exotic hunt, they think of mule deer or elk. For the average guy, both are doable but can also be somewhat of a let down. Unless you pay a premium, your lodging and food will be rugged and your chance of success on a real trophy will be about 50%. And, the best of these hunts start at around $8000 and can even be twice that much.
It’s a common misconception that African safaris are outlandishly expensive. In the days of Hemingway and Ruark, that was true but after six trips to Africa I’ve learned a thing or too. With some judicious saving and savvy shopping, Africa can be a blue collar hunting paradise.
Fort Richmond Safaris in the Northern Cape Province, offers several affordable safari packages. I’ve hunted with them twice and they cater to the regular hunter while delivering that full service African experience. A seven-day safari for a couple (husband and wife or father and son) will cost $ 6700.00 and includes four trophy animals, fabulous food, and fine accommodations.
I’ve also learned that, contrary to conventional wisdom, you don’t need an expensive and bigger gun for Africa. Your deer rifle will work just fine. Last year my wife took a gemsbok, wildebeest, and impala with her Mossberg bolt action in .243 Winchester and my sable and my son’s kudu fell to his Mossberg Patriot in .308 Winchester.
The African safari is no longer just for the well to do adventurer. It has become workingman affordable. If there’s a downside it’s that Africa is addictive; you’ll be planning your second safari on the plane ride home from your first.