Ladies and Gentlemen,
This topic has been brought up in several posts. I thought I would consolidate the suggestions from our members and post them here for future reference. Thanks to all those who posted such good recommendations.
Questions to ask the Outfitter or Booking Agent.
1. How long have you hunted this concession?
2. Are you the only outfitter hunting this concession?
3. What is the size of the concession?
4. Is this a private or government concession? Do you (the outfitter) own or lease the concession?
5. Is the concession fenced?
6. How many [major game you are wanting to hunt, buffalo, kudu, etc.] were taken from the concession over the last 2 years?
7. What was the largest (also, what was the average) size of [buffalo, kudu, etc.] taken from this concession over the last 2 years?
8. How is hunting conducted? Walk and stalk? Spot (from a vehicle) and stalk? From blinds (hides)?
9. What is the maximum (and average) length of shot?
10. What is the topography like on the concession? Open grasslands? Hilly? Dense bushveldt?
11. If I don't want a "package deal", can you tailor a safari to meet my time limit, budget and preferred animals?
12. How many hunts are conducted on this concession each year?
13. Describe to me the typical day on safari.
14. If I will be hunting different concessions, is there a lower charge for changing camps or am I charged the full daily rate?
15. What is the dip and pack cost? Who does your dipping and packing?
16. Are airport transfers included? How far is the airport from the camp?
17. What caliber of rifle and bullets (type and weight) do you recommend?
18. At what distance should I sight-in my rifle?19. What is the best time of year to hunt? What will the weather be like?
20. Will I be the only client in camp and on the concession? [If you want camp and concession exclusivity, you need to add it to the contract].
21. What is the camp like (tented, rondavels, thatch over brick, etc.). Does the camp have electricity?
22. Number and size of beds, en-suite flush toilet, shower and hot and cold running water. [Add this to the contract].
23. Cancellation and return of deposit policy. [Add this to the contract].
24. Who will be my PH?
25. How long has the PH, tracker, skinner and cook been with you?
26. Is the PH a full time employee or freelance?27. What activities can be arranged for a non-hunting spouse?
28. Can you provide me with references of people who have hunted with the PH on the same concession? [Realize that no outfitter/booking agent is going to give a reference to a dissatisfied former client].
29. Age of the hunting vehicle?
30. What percentage of your clients are repeat clients?
31. What are the Daily Rates and Trophy Fees?32. Is the cost of alcoholic beverages included?33. Are arrival and departure days counted as hunting days?
34. Is a visa required for entry into the country?
35. What other expenses, costs and/or fees will I incurr?
Questions for the References
1. How many safaris have you been on and with whom? [Realize that one-timers have limited knowledge as to what is a good versus bad safari. The best reference comes from someone who has been on several safaris with different outfitters. Beware of the reference whose only experience is from several safaris with the same outfitter. This person has "fallen in love with the outfitter and/or PH" and won't be able to give an unbiased and well informed reference.]
2. Was the PH eager to hunt or did he start late in the morning and take long lunches?
3. Did the PH keep the client informed about what was planned?
4. How many animals did you "pass on", or did the PH have you shoot the first one you saw?
5. Any problems with the food, camp, equipment or staff?
6. Number and trophy quality of the game you shot?
7. What animals did you fail to take? Why?
8. Would you hunt with this outfitter and/or PH again?
9. Quality of trophy preparation?
10. Describe a typical day on safari with this outfitter/PH.
11. What hunting method(s) were used?
12. What distances were your shots?
13. How long did it take for your trophies to be shipped?
14. Did the PH and staff work together well (did the camp and hunt run smoothly)?
15. Was the PH easy to get along with?
16. Did the PH seem to mind having a non-hunting spouse in camp?
17. Were there any unexpected fees, costs or expenses?
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