Hunting in Africa

Things to bring on your African hunting safari

1. Four sets of khaki or olive-coloured clothing plus socks and underwear. Bring short or long-sleeves – whatever you desire. Laundry is done by hand on a daily basis but cloudy days can result in a slower delivery.

2. Two pairs of comfortable hunting boots (in the event one pair might get wet) – I suggest Courteney boots that are designed for African conditions. They are much more silent than most other brand name boots and are available in the USA, Europe and also in Zimbabwe where they are manufactured. Please do not bring boots made by Nike, Adidas etc. – they are far too noisy.

3. One warm jacket for evenings and early mornings – (must be silent if you are hunting cats). Camouflage is acceptable but not entirely legal – (I wear it constantly).

4. Perhaps a jogging or tracksuit for sitting around the fire in the evenings, especially if you are hunting during our winter months – June through August. Something along these lines is especially important if you are hunting cats and might be spending long hours in a very cold blind. (The temperature could get as low as 32*F / 0*C).

5. A wool cap or ski-hat (beanie) could come in handy for cat blinds.

6. Camo clothing is not strictly legal but I have never encountered a problem – if you are hunting on private land you may definitely wear camo.

7. Hard candies are essential for leopard hunters – constant swallowing will help you not to cough in the blind.

8. A hat or cap for protection against the sun.

9. Sun-block lotion, especially if you are sensitive to the sun. Even our winter sun will burn sensitive skins.

10. A small flashlight for emergencies.

11. I strongly suggest a light rain-suit or waterproof top – weather all over the world is unpredictable these days.

12. Malaria prophylactics. MALARONE is the best – do not buy generic!

13. Insect repellent. WalMart and Target stock REPEL – get the one with LEMON EUCALYPTUS – this works well on Tsetse Flies as well! I would also recommend some antihistamine or cortisone cream for treatment of these bites as they do itch. From the USA I have found “Cortizone 10” by Pfizer to be the best.

14. Lip balm if required.

15. Africa runs on 220v power – in most cases from a generator. If you have any 110v appliances you might be wise to bring a 220v to 110v converter. We can generally supply most of these necessities but backup will never do any harm.

16. Sunglasses.

17. A good book? Early hours in a blind can be boring if you are not mentally psyched into what you are trying to accomplish, but then you should be!

18. We do serve imported South African wines and genuine Scotch Whisky when available, but special brand names of your favourite liquor can seldom be procured. Local Vodka, Gin and Brandy are quite acceptable to the average palate but I suggest that you collect from a Duty Free any Single Malt or other specialised liquor that you may require: e.g. Bombay Sapphire, Crown Royal, Canadian Club, Polish or Russian Vodka, Genuine Mexican Tequila etc.

19. If you are a smoker please ensure that you bring enough cigarettes for your trip as very few brands are available in Zimbabwe.

20. For safety reasons I will not permit any client to carry a loaded firearm over his / her shoulder whilst walking behind me and my trackers – please ensure that you bring a sling for your rifle.

21. An open mind and a good attitude.

Firearms

For cats and most small plainsgame a 7mm, .300 Winchester magnum, or similar calibre will be adequate with about forty rounds of softnose ammunition; (a few solids would be preferable for very small animals).

For Buffalo, Elephant, Hippo and Giraffe the minimum calibre required by law is a .375 H&H or 9.3mm with 20 rounds of ammunition. I prefer that you use softnose bullets, Swift A-Frame and Woodleigh being my bullets of choice.  I would suggest ten rounds of solids as well.

Health

There are no vaccinations required for entry into Zimbabwe; however, it is imperative that malaria prophylactics be taken both before and after the safari. Malarone is currently the best but please do not buy generic as there are many side-effects!

Visas

Visas are required by nationals of all countries which require visas from Zimbabweans. If these are not obtainable in your country of residence they can be purchased upon arrival in Zimbabwe for US$30 for US citizens and most of the EU.  British citizens are charged US$50.

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John Sharp - Ethical Big Game Hunter