BOOKING INQUIRIES

In making a booking inquiry you are under no obligation, of any kind, to Chacma Hunting Safaris.  Rather, this is an opportunity for you to obtain more specific information from us relative to any future safari that you might consider.  We will follow up with you on a personal, but non-invasive, basis by email and you may then decide if you wish to reach out to us further or not.  Thus, we do not contact you by phone until, and unless, you later request us to do so.

Accordingly, please complete the information requested below:

 

CONDITIONS

Rates are subject to change without written notice.

Some species occur only in certain habitats thus meaning different provinces.

Some species like bushpig, will be a night hunt.

Certain species require CITES / TOPS permits.

Game not listed may be negotiated.

Suggested period of hunt is 7 – 14 days depending on trophies required.

Only animals taken or wounded will be charged for.

RATES INCLUDE

  1. Full accommodation with laundry.
  2. All Meals and beverages.
  3. Services of a professional hunter, use of a hunting vehicle, trackers, skinners and camp staff.
  4. Hunting licenses and permits.
  5. Pick-up and drop-off at Oliver Tambo International Airport at no charge. $ 500 if hunting party is 4 or more clients.

RATES EXCLUDE

  1. Air travel, accommodation and travel charges incurred before and after the contracted period of the safari. Chartered air transport is also excluded.
  2. Hire of rifles and ammunition.
  3. The Disinfecting, packaging, forwarding and insurance of trophies to port of exit from South Africa and the shipment of trophies from port of exit to yourself.
  4. Taxidermist charges.
  5. Additional tours.
  6. Gratuities
  7. 15% vat on daily rate.

 

LIABILITY

While every effort is made to ensure the hunting client’s safety, no responsibility can be accepted for any illness, accident or loss/damage to personal belongings.

Our tariff is based on current prices and is subject to change without prior notice.

 

TERMS AND BOOKINGS

50% non-refundable deposit of basic hunt is required to confirm a reservation. We suggest taking travel insurance.

Balance due on arrival, cash or bank transfer.

Internet transfer on prior arrangement only.

All other cost incurred during the safari together with trophy fees are payable on the completion of the hunt.

We are not taxidermists, nor do we have taxidermists on our staff. The information contained in this article is intended to provide the prospective client with sufficient information to enable them to incorporate taxonomic preservation concepts into their safari planning and to provide them a basis for interacting with their taxidermist of choice in an intelligent and informed manner.

Clients may avoid taxidermy expense altogether by electing to leave their trophies in RSA. Some clients are happy to return to their country of residence with nothing more than the excellent photographs of their harvested trophies that we provide them. This is strictly a personal choice. If this election is made the client may rest assured that no part of the animals left behind will be wasted.

If the client decides to preserve taxonomic specimens of their trophies, then the decision facing the client is in what manner to preserve them.  Making this choice will be dictated by three factors:

  1. The client's personal preferences.
  2. The amount of space available to display the specimens.
  3. The client's budget for taxidermy work.

As to personal preferences, the client has possibly 11 categories to consider:

  1. The full-body mount (Figure 1)
  2. The half-body mount (Figure 2)
  3. The traditional shoulder-mount, both flat-backed and angle-backed (Figure 3)
  4. The drop-shoulder-mount (Figure 4)
  5. The neck-mount (not shown)
  6. The pedestal mount (Figure 5)
  7. The flat-skin (Figure 6)
  8. The flat-skin with full head attached (Figure 7)
  9. The back-skin (Figure 8)
  10. European mount (Figure 9)
  11. Specialty items (Figure 10)

The full-body mount involves a life-size taxonomic specimen of the trophy animal posed in accordance with the client's instructions.  The half-body mount includes the front half of a full-body mount.  The traditional shoulder-mount consists of the head and neck and a portion of both front shoulders to give the specimen a sense of dimension and depth.  This would be the type mount most of us are familiar with.  The drop-shoulder-mount is similar except it displays a larger portion of one shoulder to give the mount more definition.

The neck mount was an older mounting format typical of the 19th century and early part of the   20th century before good taxidermy forms were commonly available.  Only the head and a small part of the neck forward of the shoulders is displayed.  This type mount still has a place in today's choices because of the extremely long length of giraffe necks.  Thus, it is reserved almost exclusively for that species where wall space is at a premium.

Think of a pedestal mount as a shoulder-mount set on a pedestal.  The purpose of a pedestal mount is several folds.  For one, it places the mount closer to eye-level, which many people find appealing.  For trophy specimens that are quite tall (e.g. kudu, etc.) it avoids the situation where the horn tips are nearly piercing the ceiling.  It provides a nice counter-balance to a broad wall filled to the brim with shoulder-mounts.  It is the best mount for livening up a corner where no other item of furniture fits very well.  The pedestal itself can be an additional decorative item (maps, skin panels, photographs, etc.), or storage cabinet for hunting accessories.  Pedestal mounts are particularly adept at displaying several specimens of smaller antelope (e.g. a grand slam of springbok).  Pedestal mounts offer the client the opportunity to face the animal in different directions based upon the client's whim of the moment.  Finally, the back of the pedestal mount does not have to have the same flat surface of the typical shoulder-mount.  Thus, a bit of artistic flair can be added to a pedestal mount that the flat-backed shoulder-mount does not have.

The flat-skin mount consists of the full skin of the entire animal opened along a line trans versing the belly-line from chin to end of the tail.  Thus, the flat-skin mount is for laying on the floor, pinned against a wall, or perhaps draped across the back of a couch.  Three types of finishing details are typically available:  raw tanned skin, felt-backed skin, or felt-backed with leather edge trim.  This is a favored treatment for zebras due to the unique patterning of zebra skins across the length of the back; no two are alike.

The flat-skin mount with full head attached consists of the flat-skin as described above, but the head is preserved in 3-dimensional format.  This display is most typically done with lions (and sometimes zebras) but could include other species as well.

The back-skin is what is left of a full skin after the animal has been caped for a shoulder-mount or pedestal mount.  It consists of the skin over a very small portion of the back and both hindquarters.  These can be used as flat displays over end tables and other similar uses.    They can also be made into decorative pillows and used for any number of leather-craft projects according to the depth of the owner's imagination (hatbands, rifle slings, belts, etc. are some common uses).

The European form of mounting is probably the oldest form of preserving taxonomic specimens.  In this form, the skull (with horns attached ---- if they exist) is cleaned, bleached and preserved in its bare form without any treatment to skin or eyes.  This form of preservation is simple and straightforward and is typically the cheapest form of preservation and the most space-saving.  The skull is typically mounted to a suitable carved plaque which itself is attached to a wall in the same fashion as a shoulder-mount.

Specialty items consist of any use of taxonomic parts not included in the previous categories.  For instance, feet can be made into bookends, lamp stands, and other ornamental fixtures.  Off-cuts of skin can be made into pillows, belts, hatbands, rifle slings, book covers, etc. whatever the imagination can conceive.

In determining the amount of space to be allocated to the display of taxonomic specimens, take careful inventory of both the wall space and floor space suited for this purpose.  Typically, most mounts will be wall mounts, but pedestal mounts and flat skins will most likely require floor space.  Confer with your taxidermist for support and guidance.  Look for underutilized locations throughout the living space and make your decision on how to display your specimens based upon this assessment.  As to the positioning of wall mounts two perspectives are prevalent.  One is to have the mounts mimic the way you remember seeing the animal in the bush.  The other is to coordinate the collection of mounts so that collectively they present some semblance of harmony and balance.

If you see that you are going to run out of space in your primary residence, other locations for consideration are your office or vacation home.  Also, if you find yourself completely out of space often your local gun shop or club will consider the positioning of taxidermist work in their space for to enhance their decorative motifs.  Finally, if you already have examples of domestic taxonomic work on display in your home, you may wish to consider separating your domestic specimens from your African specimens as having them displayed separately will lend a certain visual cohesiveness to each display if they are not intermixed.

The amount of taxidermy expense is a function of the following (non-exclusive) factors: (1) number of animals to be treated (2) size of each individual animal (3) species (4) treatment to be applied (e.g. full-body mount, shoulder mount, flat skin, rug w/head attached, back skin, custom accessories, etc.) (5) any need for reconstructive work, etc. Thus, you can see why Chacma Safaris does not provide estimates of taxidermy expense; it is simply outside our professional purview.

If the client desires to have taxidermy work completed on trophies, they have taken the work can either be done in RSA or in the client’s home country. Our dip & ship affiliate works closely with a local taxidermist that will provide cost estimates upon request. Generally, we find taxidermy work can be done with less expense in RSA than other locations, however the savings is generally offset by the additional shipping expense required for the larger crates necessary to accommodate finished mounts. Also, for work done in RSA, once the work is completed the client is sent an Invoice which must be paid in a timely manner in order to receive the finished work. Thus, some clients opt to have the treated (dipped) taxonomic specimens crated and shipped to their selected taxidermist in their home country where they can spread out the cost of the work over many months, if not years. Thus, the client is advised to speak to several taxidermists of their choosing in their home country prior to departing on safari. During this visit discuss your plans and issues with them and select the taxidermist that you feel best meets your expectations. Taxidermy work (like many things) is something where you pretty much get what you pay for. If you want cheap prices and fast completion times, you probably should expect lower quality than if you want museum quality work and are willing to wait on delivery times and do not blanche at the prices. Again, this is all a matter of personal taste and expectations. Speak to one of our professional staff members if you need additional information.

Content under construction, info to follow soon.

Not every client will need the same amount or type of gear on safari. However, we find this list to be pretty much universal.

The choice of what clothing and equipment to bring on safari is a very personal one. No list, no matter how specific, is going to suit the needs of every individual client. With that in mind, we have asked several clients that hunt with us regularly to give us their ideas of what to bring on safari and we have condensed these into our own recommendations as suggested below. After having done this we have been asked why we don’t simply publish a checklist without comments, but we feel that would not be as informative as including the comments as here attached.

There are numerous sources suggesting what the client should bring on safari to Africa. Three of the ones we like are as follows:
AFRICAN EXPERIENCE by Craig Boddington, 21 DAYS IN AFRICA by Daniel J. Donarski Jr., FLACK HUNTS SOUTH AFRICA  by Peter Flack.

book1book2book3

We structure our recommendations below based on these sources with a few additions, deletions, of our own. Keep in mind that most clients bring too much stuff. You will find traveling and hunting much more enjoyable if you keep your clothing and equipment to a minimum. At Chacma Safaris you will be supplied with daily laundry service, therefore the need for a high volume of clothing simply does not exist. The main point to remember about packing is not the quantity of material you will need but rather the quality of it and its appropriateness for the climate. You will need a lot less gear, equipment, and clothing than you would typically need hunting anywhere else, so pare down to the essentials.

CLIMATE FACTORS: 

The seasons in RSA are reversed from north of the equator. December, January, February is our summer. We generally do not hunt during these months. June, July, and August are our winter. During winter night time temperatures typically drop into the 30’s F. Frost can be present in the morning. However, day time temperatures are generally pleasant at 60 degrees or higher (a cool day might be 50 degrees). Since the winter is our dry season, the days are usually sunny making the cooler temperatures more tolerable. Since individual temperature comfort levels vary widely, it is a good idea to check the internet for weather conditions in Johannesburg just before your departure to RSA to determine the upcoming forecast and adjust your clothing needs accordingly.

PASSPORT & TRAVEL ESSIENTIALS.

In the list that follows, the prospective client can forget nearly everything and not have the safari impacted too seriously, as any item can be found and replaced in SA. However, you cannot enter SA without your passport. So, do not forget your PASSPORT.

You should also have the means to cover incidental travel expenses: cash and credit card. Only the client knows how much cash to have on hand to meet personal expected expenses, but many find that $500 -$1,000 in $20’s and $50’s would cover most planned, as well as unforeseen, circumstances.   Don’t keep it all in one place and know where it is. Call your credit card company in advance of your flight and let them know you are traveling abroad. Otherwise, they may not approve unanticipated charges originating in another country.

GAME HARVESTING EQUIPMENT (GHE). 

Whether you are an archer or rifleman, bring whatever you need (bow or rifle) to send a projectile (arrow or bullet) on its way. Also, bring all the cases, bags, ammo carriers, etc. necessary to transport your GHE across international borders and into the bush, as well as required supporting equipment (slings, sights, ammo, arrows, etc.). We do not offer specific recommendations here as to what appropriate equipment is as we feel by the time the client has booked their safari this question will have already been answered. This is just a reminder not to forget it. Please remember earplugs when shooting on the shooting range before hunting commences or for any shotgun shooting, if requested.

GHE PAPERWORK.

Be sure you have the paperwork with you necessary to import your GHE into SA. Several copies are suggested, one on your person, one in your GHE case.

GHE CLEANING EQUIPMENT.

If you are a rifle hunter bring a cleaning rod, cleaning patches (both dry and solvent-saturated), bore brush, small can WD-40 and tooth brush or 1” paint brush, the latter for removing dust. Solvent-saturated cleaning patches travel better than bottled solvent. Make sure they are good and damp, but not dripping. Store as many as you think you will need in a small plastic bottle with screw on cap. Optics: bring lens cleaning solution, Q-tips.

BINOCULARS.

You will not need binos to hunt. Sometimes they seem to get in the way, but the choice is yours. If you bring them, keep them small (7 X 35 or less).

GPS.

Not needed.

RANGE FINDER.

Not needed.

CELL PHONE.

We are reluctant to say this because we know how connected people are to this instrument. If possible, do yourself a favor and leave your cell phone at home, or at the very least keep it turned off during the actual days you are afield. You will be surprised how much more you will enjoy your experience under African skies if you do not have to be engaged in cell phone conversations. If you must have access to your cell phone for business or personal family concerns, please (for the consideration of others) retire to a private location away from the presence of others and conduct your conversation as quietly and as quickly as possible.

CAMERA(S).

Bring a camera of your personal choice as well as some type of light-weight carrier for keeping it dust-free in the bush, memory cards, batteries, recharger, power converter, etc. Also, be sure to bring a minimum of an 8-gig memory stick. Your PH will download onto your memory stick the photos Chacma has taken of your safari. Over the years cell phone cameras have advanced so far in terms of versatility and quality that you may elect not to bring a separate camera at all.

FLASHLIGHT.

Bring a high-quality flashlight and batteries but keep it small. Whether you hunt at night or not (night hunting is legal in SA) you will appreciate a light if you must get up in the middle of the night.

INSECT REPELLENT.

Needed more in warmer seasons than in others, however it is always a good idea to spray one’s boots, socks, trouser bottoms, and gaiters each morning before going afield. 

TOILETRY KIT AND MEDICATIONS. 

Keeping yourself clean and unscented increases your hunting success. African animals use all their senses to avoid predators; don’t make it easy for them. Field sanitation is handled the same as in most hunting environments across the globe. Human feces are deposited in a self-dug cat hole. Bring a Ziploc plastic bag to hold your own personal supply of toilet tissue, the tissue itself you can obtain from your bush chalet. Do not ignite used tissue, simply make sure it is buried at least 6 inches below the ground surface. Also, we find that pre-moistened, pre-packaged bacterial wipes make the cleanup process a bit more pleasant. Make sure you have an ample supply of all medications prescribed for you.

EYE GLASSES.

If you wear contact lenses bring about 4 pair; you never know what can go wrong, i.e. loss, damage, etc. Unless you have a high pain threshold, it is not advisable to wear these on the long flight to RSA. Wear prescription eye-glasses instead and rest your eyes during the flight. Also, if you develop complications with your contact lenses or eyes during the hunt, with prescription eye-glasses in reserve you will be able to keep on hunting. Good quality sunglasses are also recommended. Reading glasses are a good idea if you need them.

SUNSCREEN & LIP BALM, MOISTURIZER.

If you are on malaria medication (most of our concessions are extremely low-risk for malaria) you will be more susceptible to sun burn. Therefore, bring ample sun-screen and sun protective clothing as necessary. Several tubes of lip balm are recommended. Place them in different parts of your daily field gear. The weather is often sunny and dry increasing the prospect of chapped lips. A good non-scented hand crème will keep hands from chapping.

DAYPACK OR SHOULDER BAG.

Bring something to carry your daily field gear in (ammo, water, snacks, light windbreaker, etc.). Keep the pack small (2000 cu.in. or so), but large enough to cram in clothes that you peel off during the day. This bag can serve as your flight carry-on as well, thereby serving two purposes. Keep the color subdued (green, brown, etc.) if possible. Many daypacks come with hydration systems these days. You will not need a hydration system. We find they carry more water for hunting (excess weight) than is needed, and they can be difficult or burdensome to keep clean in a dusty environment. There will be bottled water in the hunting vehicle, and you can stuff a bottle in your daypack if you need to have water on your person. We like daypacks with frame sheets or internal stiffening rods. Such a pack can be used as a shooting platform in open terrain where standing to shooting sticks makes the hunter more visible.

HATS. 

It is advisable to bring a minimum of two, one to shade the head during the day, and one to increase warmth during early morning hours and evening hours. Baseball-type caps have become very popular, but they don’t shield the neck or ears on bright days. Tucking a bandanna under the sides and rear rim can solve this problem. The brims of these caps are still stiff though and can interfere with the quick mounting of a scope-sighted rifle; bending and ducking to move through brush makes them victim to branches sometime knocking them off. If you prefer this type cap, make sure it is one of the low-crown models. You can turn the brim around when it comes time to shoot. Many of our clients prefer a full-brimmed traditional fedora-type hat. While we can never go back to the historic days of Roosevelt, Hemingway, and Ruark we can still capture the flair of that era with this headgear. The full brim provides sun protection all-around; if the brim is soft branches tend less to knock it off, and a soft brim does not interfere with the mounting of a scope-sighted rifle. Add a chin strap and neither branches nor wind are likely to have any effect. Another good choice is the ever-present boonie-type hat. These offer a full, soft brim, chin strap, and are fully foldable and crushable to fit most anywhere. Western-style cowboy hats with high-stiff crowns and stiff brims are the absolute worst headgear for Africa.

SCARVES.

One or two cotton scarves (about 40 X 40 inches, or 20 X 40 inches) can serve a variety of purposes. These can be used to keep the neck warm & sun-proofed, hide the face, and can serve as additional headgear if necessary. They can also serve as bandages in an emergency, and can be used to wipe sweat, blood, spilled liquids, etc.

BUSH JACKET.

Choose the traditional bush jacket or something similar (with or without a hood depending on season) as a wind-resistant shell that is made of a tough thorn-resistant fabric. A fair number of pockets make sense but keep the front of the jacket as uncluttered as much as possible. Be sure you can shoulder your rifle or draw you bow without your GHE snagging on pockets, buttons, loops, etc. Fully-suited rain gear is hardly ever needed as our hunting begins as the rainy season is tapering off. If your safari begins in March or April, you might substitute a rain jacket for the bush jacket. Better yet is simply to bring a light-weight highly compactable rain jacket in addition to the bush jacket for these months. Newer versions usually take up no more room than two soda cans.

MID-WEIGHT FLEECE OR LIGHT DOWN LAYER.

This is your insulation layer to wear beneath your jacket, and it might serve as an additional piece of outerwear without your jacket. In that latter sense, fleece makes more sense than down (though down is more packable than fleece) as fleece will be more thorn resistant. If you are cold-natured, make sure this item is satisfactory to meet your needs. Mostly, you will wear it in the mornings and when night hunting. Around camp at night you will have a fire at the boma, therefore you are less likely to need such a heavy layer just for lounging at camp.

UNDERWEAR.

You are not likely to need more than 4 pair of underwear (the pair you travel in and 3 or 2 additional). If the weather is forecasted to be particularly cool you might split the underwear tops evenly between short sleeve and long sleeve. Unless you are particularly cold-natured, you are not likely to need long bottoms—-see “chaps” below.)

TROUSERS.

Three pair of trousers should be plenty (two would serve), ensuring that the pair you wear on the plane are comfortable enough for travel yet durable enough for hunting. If the weather is forecasted to be the least bit warm, the trousers with zip-off legs that can be converted to shorts in the field are a good choice. The zipped off legs can be stored in the day pack or wedged under a belt easily if the fabric is nylon. As the afternoon cools, they can be zipped on again. Don’t forget belt or suspenders to keep them up.

CHAPS.

These are useful over a light-weight (e.g. nylon) pair of trousers both to protect against thorns, and to add a layer of warmth when night hunting (instead of long underwear bottoms). They are easily put on or taken off to adjust for temperature variations making them more versatile than long underwear; just be sure that they are not constructed of noisy material.

SHIRTS.

Three long-sleeved shirts are recommended. We like polyester or nylon because the fabric is quick-drying. However, neither of these fabrics will be as tough as cotton canvas or heavy cotton twill. Long sleeves protect from sun, brush, and insects but can still be rolled up if the temperature rises. Give instructions to the camp staff to have polyester and nylon shirts washed in cold water, line-dried, and no ironing.

VEST.

Not necessary, but a versatile piece of wear if you have room. Keep the fabric light but tough. Plenty of pockets make this a useful arrangement that might eliminate the need for a day-pack on hunting days. If you have a bush jacket that converts to a vest; so much the better.

CAMP CLOTHES.(sweat suit, athletic wear, etc.). 

We see this recommendation a lot. However, our recommendation is to leave this stuff at home. Just bring field clothes that are equally as comfortable and the problem of being comfortable in the evening is solved, not to mention the space and weight savings.

TRAVEL WEAR.

To keep things simple, try to make your travel clothes double as field clothes. In that vein, you do not need camouflage hunting gear. Wearing camo in airports is not particularly recommended.

BOOTS.

Two pairs of boots are recommended by many other outfitters. However, we feel there is no need for two pairs of boots so long as you are confident that the pair you are bringing are serviceable and comfortable. An extra pair of boots takes up a lot of room and contributes to baggage weight. One pair of medium-weight, well-broken-in, ankle-height pair of boots usually suffices, and we find them suitable for the daily hunting activities as well as comfortable in the evenings. Things dry out fast in Africa, so even if they get wet a change of socks makes them perfectly useful during the period they are drying.

CAMP SHOES. See BOOTS.

Again, we feel these are unnecessary but acknowledge that needs vary among clients. Make sure yours are comfortable enough to wear in the evening. It is advisable to have a pair of shower shoes to wear in the shower. The type without the toe-splitting thong can be worn with socks and are then useful around the fire in the evening of you want a break from your boots.

SOCKS & LINER SOCKS.

A thin wool or nylon liner sock underneath a mid-weight wool or wool-blend hiking sock is a good combination. Stay away from cotton or high-cotton blend socks which absorb moisture, galls against the skin, and can cause blisters. The liner sock helps keep the feet dry and provides a more-frictionless layer against the skin than the hiking sock alone. Bring 3-4 pairs of hiking socks, and 4 pairs of liner socks. If the hiking socks cannot be laundered every day (an event occurring typically on elephant hunts) the client can change the liner sock and place the same hiking sock back over it at least giving the feel of a clean pair of socks. Foot powder is a useful accessory to aid foot comfort.

GAITERS OR BLOUSING GARTERS. 

Consider a pair of low gaiters that can be worn over the trousers leg. If not gaiters, then consider blousing garters (just like worn in the military) to blouse trousers over boots. Either method keeps rocks, seeds, and dust out of the top of the boots and acts as a barrier against crawling insects—–especially if used in conjunction with insect repellent.

GLOVES.

During the colder months, a pair of mid-weight gloves can be useful during the early morning hours and when riding in the back of the hunting vehicle. If night hunting is required, they are useful then as well. During milder weather a pair of light-weight gloves protects against the sun and brush and reduces chapping of the hands. In either case, ensure gloves do not interfere with your shooting.

BOOKS, JOURNAL.

If you like to read, a good book on African game animals or African hunting will keep you stoked and help pass the time on the flight. Your safari days will be filled with events you will want to remember forever, creating a lifetime of memories. Photos will not tell the whole story, so keeping a daily journal will help. Our clients find they cannot devote enough time during the busy hunting days to keep up a journal; therefore, we recommend keeping a digital tape recorder. These can be placed in a chest pocket with a collar-attached microphone. With this set-up all the client must do is just speak into the microphone all the things you want to remember including your play-by-play pursuit of animals.

UNIVERSAL ADAPTORS. Please travel with your own universal adaptors as some concessions will not have these adaptors for you to use to charge electronic devices.

SWIMSUIT.

Seasonal. Many concessions have swimming pools and a good soaking can feel good after a hot dusty day in the bush. Do not swim in any natural waters due to the possible presence of crocodiles.

Please contact us if you require further explanations or additional recommendations. We want you to be comfortable while on safari and indeed clients with differing needs will need differing equipment and clothing. We are happy to address your needs and provide advice.

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