Riaan's Suggestions

I offer some advice based on my extensive experiences hunting in the various regions of Southern Africa.

Riaan Viljoen and his son Wian with a blesbok trophy.

Like most fathers who are sportsmen, I greatly enjoy passing on a love for nature to my sons.

It has been my privilege to grow up in a family where nature and hunting played a very prominent part. Although we lived in the city, my father owned a game farm since I was a toddler. I spent most weekends growing up pursuing game birds with a .22 and hunted larger game with my father on a regular basis, since the age of five. I have been involved in the South African hunting industry for over twenty years - most of my adult life.

How long in advance should I plan my hunting safari?

It is ideal to book as long as possible in advance to ensure that we are able to assist during your desired dates. In recent years, however, technology has made it possible to plan a safari even if the arrival date is close at hand. We can usually assist - provided one of our professional hunters is available and a suitable hunting camp is unoccupied during the period in question.

Which region will be most suited?

This is a very tough question, which is greatly influenced by personal preference. I offer some pro's and cons of each area based on many years' experience.

South Africa

South Africa has the advantage of great infrastructure, which makes access to even the most remote hunting areas fairly easy. The country has the additional advantage of offering a greater diversity of trophy species than any of the other countries in southern Africa. On longer safaris that visit more than one area, the great diversity of terrain definitely makes for a very interesting safari.

Botswana

The Tuli area in the south of Botswana , to which we offer hunting safaris, is quite similar to South Africa's bushveld region, both in terms of species that can be hunted as well as the terrain and vegetation that creates the habitat in this region.

Namibia

Namibia is a land of vast open spaces, and is definitely a great destination for any hunting safari. The hunting areas are typically much larger than in South Africa. It should be remembered that Namibia is, for the greatest part, a very arid land where animal concentrations are a great deal lower than in South Africa because of the lower rainfall.

Zimbabwe

Hunting in Zimbabwe can be a very rewarding experience if you are set on a hard hunt that will deliver only one or two trophy animals over a ten day safari. I would recommend careful consideration before choosing to hunt in Zimbabwe, and an understanding of how tough it can be. It is a great destination for buffalo, elephant, leopard, hippo and crocodile.

Mozambique

The safaris we offer to Mozambique are primarily focused on buffalo. In my opinion, a buffalo hunt in Zimbabwe is a better choice than in Mozambique. If, however, you have hunted most of the other countries in Southern Africa, Mozambique is an inviting choice for hard buffalo hunting.

What rifles should I bring, if any?

A very contentious issue, but if I can offer my two cents worth: I would recommend a rifle that you are comfortable with, for in the end shot placement is a great deal more important than either the caliber or the quality of the ammunition. As a general rule, any .30 caliber is very well suited to hunting the plains game species of Africa and, of course, a minimum of a .375 is required to hunt dangerous game. If you are not inclined to travel with your own rifle, you are welcome to hunt with one of the rifles of the PH that accompanies you. We have a variety of calibers available and all are sighted accurately.

How safe is hunting in Africa?

We take every precaution both on the hunt and with necessary travel arrangements to ensure our clients' safety, which is always the primary concern. To date, we have never had any serious incident where a client has come to harm's way, in the more than eighteen years that African Sky has been in operation.

Can I bring my family?

Families are always welcome. In actual fact, it is one of the most rewarding parts of the job to see how fathers and sons, and in some cases the whole family, bond during a hunting trip in our part of the world. In all cases, the camps are very comfortable, meals are of a high standard and the ladies will definitely find the whole experience to be quite enjoyable.

Where should i have my taxidermy work done?

If you have a long-standing relationship with a taxidermist in your country, of course your taxidermy work should be done by the people you know and trust. If, on the other hand, you are relatively new to having taxidermy work done, I would recommend having your work done by one of the reliable taxidermists we recommend in South Africa. Please just bear in mind that it will take about a year and a half before the trophies are shipped to you.

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