Editorial: Homework is essential for a successful hunt

When planning your next safari – PLEASE do your homework.

Up to now, I have been reluctant to speak out with words of caution – but I have too much invested in this industry not to do so. Hunting needs to face up to the challenges, and I will talk about this in the upcoming editorial of the print edition out for the conventions. But this month’s digital message is about doing your homework as the hunter.

Hunting forums are quick to post one side of a story, seldom allowing the other side of a story to be published, which is why I have a personal aversion to forums. The media can do too much damage, especially when facts are ignored and some parties are not given a chance to absolve themselves, before posting comments.

Therefore, the following is not about naming names (which I could); it is a factual list of some of the actual incidents that I have dealt with this year. Some of these have caused problems for the hunter – disappointment, dissatisfaction, loss of money, and some are downright wrong. Dishonest.

For starters, what about:

Outfitters allowing hunters to shoot an animal when those outfitters knew there was zero chance of shipping it out. Why? Because there were no permits in place, or the trophy cannot be exported to the hunter’s host country. 

Or the outfitter who made some wishy-washy promise that the permit would be applied for as the client flew back home.

Or the hunter who was offered a lioness when arriving in South Africa instead of the hyena she was promised when booking the hunt.

Or the hunter who was told “Just export it as a blesbok,” when it was actually a bontebok.

Or the outfitter who did not have the skinned correctly on the farm – a full mount was wanted, but it was skinned for flat skin rug.

Or the feet were chopped off when the front legs were needed for a half mount.

Or how about an outfitter in SA offering an American client an elephant darting safari, which is illegal, yet both the outfitter in SA selling the hunt and the outfitter in Zimbabwe both telling me in writing that it was legal!

Or when little care was taken with the hunter’s monster civet at the time of salting in the field and the skin fell apart with hair slip.

Or the booking agent who was unaware that the South African outfitter they sold to a hunting client for a bargain hunt in the Eastern Cape came with the proviso that they had to use the outfitter’s in-house taxidermist, and the taxidermist would not allow the trophies to go elsewhere without the hunter paying a dip and pack fee (yes, that is correct) to move the trophies to an alternate taxidermist.

Or the hunter who arrived in Joburg en route to Mozambique for his bargain safari, only to find out his outfitter was not wanted in Mozambique (aka no license there) and was languishing in the Kalahari!

I could go on.

The continent is opening with opportunities and there is a complete range of safaris on offer. In today’s world, information is available. You just need to know where to look for it.

What I can commit to is offering impartial input. Advice where I can. There are 500-plus outfitters in Africa, but they are not all completely above board. But if you know who the African Dawn Outfitters are, you will have peace of mind when you book a hunt directly with any one of them. You will have assistance with your trophies after the hunt, via our unique TTS (Taxidermy & Trophy Solutions) Service and you can be hosted on your way in or out of Joburg at Afton.

Have a wonderful Christmas, enjoy some downtime, and we look forward to hosting you all on this incredible continent of Africa that we call home.

All the best,

Richard Lendrum

Rigby Winner

African Hunting Gazette ran a subscription giveaway for a stunning Rigby .416 rifle for the second year in a row. All existing and new members received entries for the draw on November 25.

The winner of the 2023, Rigby .416 draw is Cade Owen. This is what he had to say about winning this amazing prize:

“I love hunting, but if there is anything that drives me more than hunting it is my family. I owe much of everything I know about hunting to my Dad. Including what makes a good rifle. I had the chance to go to Africa for the first time just this year. Africa is an incredible place and I can't wait to go back again, but what really made the trip so incredible was the chance to make memories with my Dad, brother and cousin. My family all share the same passion I do for adventure. I look forward every chance I get to share memories with all of them. Also thanks to a loving wife and daughter who let me take the time to do so. I look forward to the day I can teach my children to enjoy hunting as I do. Until then, I look forward to my next trip to Africa with a Rigby by my side. I have every intent to look down at a Cape Buffalo someday, and with a .416 in tow, I am confident I can get the job done.

Congratulations Cade! We wish you many years of hunting with your new rifle.

And thank you to Rigby for donating such a wonderful rifle.


Classic and Contemporary African Hunting Literature:

Rhino War
Rhino War is a fascinating read describing the staggering level and sheer brutality of rhino poaching in South Africa’s Kruger National Park, and one man’s Herculean efforts to stem the losses.
In 2012, Johan Jooste, a retired South African general, was hired to lead Kruger’s anti-poaching efforts. 

Read More

Karamojo Bell and his Small Bores – Stubborn Resolve or Logical Choice?​​​​​​

It’s near 70 years since Walter Dalrymple Maitland Bell left this world, but I do wonder if his opinions on rifle and calibre selection were well reasoned, especially for the time he lived? He certainly wasn’t afraid of voicing an adversarial view, but was there more to it than stubborn Scottish resolve and a desire to make his own path?
Bell is a highly regarded if somewhat contrarian figure in the modern history of hunting sportsmen. He is one of the most accomplished hunters of his era and did so with an unorthodox approach in his choice of arms. He also enjoyed poking fun at his contemporaries, especially those in what he termed as the double barrel big bore camp, which he categorized as the “DBBB gang”. He clearly had fun with this, and generally shrugged off the advantages offered from big bores against the disadvantages they imposed for his style of hunting.

Read More

A Night in Hippo Heaven

It is said that hippos kill more people in Africa than any other animal (if you exclude mosquitos).  But does that qualify them to be classified as dangerous game.  I have certainly had my doubts until, that is, an experience I had one night in a farmer’s field. 

Read More

One for the Road

To the wide world, the elephant is the symbol of Africa.  Hunters might hold out for the lion, and the greater kudu has it advocates, but ask the average person what animal he thinks of when you mention Africa and the answer will almost always be “the elephant.”

Read More

Who are African Dawn Outfitters?

The African Dawn Program is about promoting hunting in Africa, not just through what we publish, but with the outfitters’ cooperation in this program… and it is for your peace of mind.

International travel consumes two precious commodities – personal time and money. And when you are a hunter, things can get tricky when there are further considerations like rules, regulations, details and differences between each country and their species. It is important to have a good outfitter, and whether it is your next hunting safari, or your first one, there are many outfitters to choose from. In fact, there are over 500, so how do you find a reliable one, the one that is right for you?

To help you, we decided to promote and work with approximately 10% of this continent-wide group of outfitters. We have listed a limited number of an esteemed group of established and reputable African outfitters and they can be found in this Catalogue. To familiarize yourself with this list, we also offer monthly publications, and monthly trophy gallery posts (Trophies Fresh from the Veld). To ensure you receive these updates, sign up

If you are an agent looking for an outfitter to represent, you’ll be safe contacting one of these outfitters.

If you are researching for your next safari, be sure to contact any one of listed outfitters directly. It will support them and save you money by booking with them. Please tell them that it was by them being an African Dawn Member that contributed to the decision.

Our website has a detailed overview of them all, and you know where to contact me if you need to know anything more.

For now, just enjoy the read.

Richard Lendrum - Publisher African Hunting Gazette

[email protected]

2023 African Dawn Members

Would you like to update your profile?
Update your preferences or Unsubscribe

Copyright © 2021 African Hunting Gazette. All rights reserved.