The African Hunting Safari is often the fulfillment of a hunter's life-long dreams. For some it is a once in a lifetime event, but for many it marks only the beginning of many trips back to the bush to once again test themselves against nature and her wild creatures.
Preparation for the African hunting safari is of utmost importance and should begin months before one sets foot on African soil. The right clothing, a hat to keep the brutal African sun at bay, and a good fitting pair of boots that are well broken-in are just a few of the important considerations. The choice of rifles can sometimes be an issue, but in most cases your favorite deer rifle will be sufficient for just about all of the plains game species. Be sure to mate your rifle with premium, high quality, ammunition loaded with heavy for caliber bullets. If you intend your hunt to include any of the dangerous game species, most African countries require the use of a .375 caliber rifle or larger. Take the time to sight-in your rifle properly and then practice with it. Be thoroughly familiar with your weapon of choice and shoot from the sticks, off-hand, and any of the other shooting positions that you feel might be encountered.
The typical African hunting safari begins as you arrive at one of Africa's International airports. Once clear of immigration and customs, you will be met by a representative of the Safari company, usually your Professional Hunter (PH). He will assist you in retrieving your firearms and insure that you receive the proper permits; from there you will proceed to the hunting area. Upon arrival at your hunting camp, you will be met by the staff, shown to your room, and then most likely treated to your first African meal. Following lunch it will be off to the shooting range to insure that your rifle(s) have remained in zero during the long trip. Now your hunt begins ... it's off to the bush and a first stalk. Your Professional Hunter will discuss the stalking techniques, use of the shooting sticks, shot placement and any other pertinent issues he deems necessary. Listen to his advice carefully and try to follow it to the letter, that will pay dividends in the end. Once the game is spotted be sure that you and the PH agree and are looking at the same animal. Once "on the sticks" be sure of the target and then take the shot as expeditiously as possible. I you are not sure of your target or are not comfortable with the shot, do not take it. Better to re initiate the stalk than to make a badly placed shot on your quarry resulting in hours of tracking or worst case a lost trophy.
The typical day in the bush begins about 5 AM with coffee and rusk, a kind of hard biscuit that is popular in Africa. Then it's off to the bush to hunt until about noon. Back to the camp for a brunch, possibly a short nap and back out to the bush about 3PM to hunt until sunset. Once game is down, the typical photos are taken and the trophy is transported to the skinning facility where expert skinners cape out your trophy and deposit it in the salt to begin the drying process. With the sunset, we often enjoy a cool beverage and then proceed back to camp for a fully appointed elegant meal usually consisting of some of the game taken during the safari. It's drinks and stories of the day's adventure around a campfire ... then off to bed to get recharged for the next morning's activities.
With the completion of your safari you say your good-byes and it is off the the airport where you will be assisted in checking in for your long flight home. Almost without exception, your time in Africa has passed too quickly and you find yourself making plans for you next expedition to the Dark Continent.