Somerby understands that booking an African Safari is a big decision and that anyone thinking of it has several questions.
We would like to be there for you all the way, from the moment you start planning till the day your precious trophies are on your wall in your home.
Below we provide a Step-by-Step guide to booking an African Safari which outlines the whole process, just as supportive information.
We will personally work with you through every facet.
At times it might be easier to speak to someone locally who has been on a safari. Please feel free to contact any of our references.
DECIDING ON A SAFARI OR WHAT TROPHIES TO HUNT
Choose on of the three types of safaris:
o Choose one of our standard hunting packages , fully inclusive of : • Daily rate (Accommodation, meals, land transportation & the services of an experienced professional hunter plus 14% government tax on the daily ) • Trophy fees for the animals which are specified in the package.
We strive to offer you exceptional quality at competitive prices through our standard hunting packages.
o Send us your wish list and we will customize your own fully inclusive package for you: Both the standard packages and customized packages are flexible – animals in a package may be exchange for a animals of similar value that occurs in the same geographical area.
o Opt for Daily Rate Safari: Daily rate and 14% government tax charged and add the animals you shoot as the opportunity arrases, “a la carte” as per our price list
In any of the above cases:
Additional trophies can be added at the price list rate
Guests are met upon arrival at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and are returned there upon completion of the Safari.
Add on tours and photo safari day trips are also available.
BOOKING A SAFARI When you have selected the safari you would like to book, the safari contract, providing all the details of the upcoming safari, will be finalized and signed and you will be required to pay the deposit of $1000 or as required, depending on the nature of the safari. Click here for step by step instructions on booking a safari
BOOKING THE AIRFARE FOR YOUR AFRICAN SAFARI After we have agreed on the date of your safari and the amount of days you are to be here in South Africa you can then book your airfare.
A direct flight to OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg is recommended either with Delta out of Atlanta or South African Airways out of Washington Dulles or JFK New York. Please communicate with us during this process.
If you are a US citizen you need only a valid passport with two clean pages to travel to South Africa. If you are NOT a US citizen you might require a visa.
IMPORTATION OF HUNTING RIFLES: A temporary import permit from the South African Police service is required to bring your rifle into South Africa. We will apply for the permit on your behalf. Please send us the following: information (contact details and details of your rifle and ammunition) & documentation (copies of passport, customs declaration from 4457, and itinerary). Please consult the Rifle Importation page on our website.
ARRIVAL AT THE AIRPORT: We will personally meet you at the airport and help you to collect your rifle. If your flight arrives in the evening we will overnight at the guest lodge near the airport. Please read the arriving at Johannesburg Airport section one our website.
If your flight arrives in the late afternoon or in the evening we will overnight at a guest lodge not far from the airport as our hunting areas are two or more hours drive from the airport. The cost is $180 per person.
HEALTH PRECATIONS: No shots are needed for South Africa. Our hunting areas are in Malaria free areas.
Malaria medication is required if you are traveling the Kruger National Park for a photo safari or hunting near Kruger National park any time between March and May & September and November.
Malaria medication is required throughout the year if you are hunting in Zimbabwe. A yellow fever shot is required to travelling to Zimbabwe.
HUNTING AREAS: Hunting takes place in all 9 of South Africa’s provinces.
Most of our standard hunting packages take place in two major areas.
The Limpopo Province, referred to as the North, and the Free State province, referred to as the South.
These two areas are totally different from one another in topography and vegetation.
The North consists mostly of thick acacia thorns brush and small rocky outcrops.
The South is characterised by open plains with very little tree cover and mountains up to 11 000 feet.
It is a real advantage to hunt in two different areas on one safari to experience more of what South Africa is like.
Different animals occur in these two different areas.
WEATHER AND TEMPERATURES: South Africa’s seasons are reversed from yours.
For the most part, early mornings are crisp and cool but warm up around 9am. Mid days are sunny and warm but starts cooling down from 3pm and can range a great deal so you have to pack to dress layers each day.
As a guide, here is an indication of the temperatures you might experience:
Months Limpopo(North) Free State (South) March & April 50-80 45-75 May & June 40-70 35-70 July & August 35-70 35-70 September & Oct 50-80 50-75
WHAT TO WEAR: Laundry is done daily therefor three sets of hunting clothes will do.
Khaki or camo or whatever you prefer. A range of temperatures may be experienced in one day so dressing in layers is advisable.
Please see the recommended packing list for more detailed guidelines.
PAYMENT AFTER THE SAFARI: A payment of 50% of the total safari is due two weeks prior to the safari. This will be done via wire transfer or direct deposit to our Bank of America account.
After the safari the balance can be paid in cash, credit card (service fee applicable) or via wire transfer within 5 days of your return to the USA.
PAYMENT OF OTHER ITEMS: PURCHACES OF GIFTS AND SOUVERNIRS
South Africa’s currency is called “RAND” the symbol for is R. ONE (1) US Dollar is more or less equivalent to SEVEN Rands (R7.00) depending on the exchanges rate.
Most stores outside of the airport – WILL NOT – except dollars.
Most stores WILL accept ONLY MASTERCARD AND VISA credit cards, and not AMEX or DISCOVER.
We will assist you to exchange Dollars in Rands at the airport when you arrive.
YOUR TROPHIES: The field preparation and care of our client’s trophies are a TOP priority at Somerby Safaris.
Trophies can have to undergo a Dip&Pack process to be shipped raw and mounted by their local taxidermist in the USA, or having them mounted in South Africa prior to shipping. Please consult the YOUR TROPHIES AFTER THE HUNT page for more detailed information.
TIPPING: We are often asked “How much should I tip my PH? How much should I tip the skinner/tracker? And lodge staff. It is not an easy question to answer because tips are by no means obligatory and are at the discretion of the hunters.
All staff are well informed of this fact and should accept anything given, as a bonus to their salaries. Here are some suggestions, merely a point of reference:
Tips can be given in US Dollars on in South African currency, Rand.
On a typical basic 7 Day safari to the value of $5000 or $6000 the average tip for the Professional Hunter is around $500. We recommend $10 per animal that the Skinner skins for you and if he was also your tracker and helper out in the field each day, a couple $’s extra, depending if he had to work hard to recover wounded animals for you.
On a standard safari we will stay at two different lodges.
The lodge manager and supporting staff may be tipped at your discretion.
For a 3 -4 day stay at a lodge we recommend about $10 - $15 per staff member, and when counting the lodge manager, cooks, laundress, servers and other supporting staff on duty. It will more or less amount to 10 staff members at most of our hunting lodges.
Please ask us for an envelope and then present it to the lodge manager.