4 Great Options for a First Safari: Zimbabwe

4 Great Options for a First Safari: Zimbabwe

Due to the huge losses of game on "reallocated" private lands, Zimbabwe is no longer a primary destination for a plains game safari, and options for a buffalo-plus-plains game safari are much more limited. However, buffalo hunting remains excellent in the designated safari areas and some of the forestry reserves and communal lands on the periphery of the country.

Many of these areas, such as the great Zambezi Valley, never were particularly good plains game country. But they are still wild Africa — areas where buffalo roam — and there are certainly pockets of good plains game. A buffalo/kudu combination is very possible, and there are zebra, waterbuck, sable, bushbuck, lots of impala, and other species.

However, in many of the better areas the buffalo quota is likely to far exceed that of any other species except impala. This means that a Zimbabwe safari is becoming ever more specialized, and on many short buffalo safaris the available bag is limited to buffalo, impala, and perhaps hyena and grysbok.

If a larger combination is so desired, today it's almost essential to commit to the desired licenses at the time of booking. Hunting in Zimbabwe is generally marketed as a daily rate plus trophy fees, so if you have a kudu and don't take one, you don't have to pay for it and your kudu can generally be offered to another hunter later in the season. But if you don't have a kudu on your  hunting license, you can't take one. The Mozambique situation is very similar, except that in Mozambique's huge concessions, quota is generally only a problem for relatively scarce animals, such as eland, hartebeest, and zebra.


The exceptions to all this are Zimbabwe's large conservancies, all managed as private lands. They are excellent, with limited and well-managed buffalo hunting and amazing densities of plains game. Understandably, a buffalo/plains game safari in these areas carries a premium, but they are very good.


As for the politics, Zimbabwe has its challenges, but the vast majority of Zimbabweans seem well aware that you and I as hunting tourists are not part of the problem. In recent years I have spent a lot of time in both Mozambique and Zimbabwe and have not felt unsafe or threatened. So long as you perform due diligence in your choice of an outfitter and place yourself in his hands, you can hunt these countries with confidence.


So those are my four picks for a first African safari. Namibia and South Africa for plains game; Mozambique and Zimbabwe for "buffalo plus." There are a dozen other countries in the "roll call" of African hunting. Each has its charm and attraction, and most have their own unique prizes. Don't worry! Once you get that first safari under your belt, you'll want to return'¦and there are plenty of options!

Recommended for You

Pass on your passion and make hunting fun for children with these tips! How-To

How to Make Hunting Fun for Kids

Jeff Johnston

Pass on your passion and make hunting fun for children with these tips!

A new wave of allergies threatens to turn hunters into vegetarians. News

The Ticks Making Hunters Allergic to Meat

David Hart

A new wave of allergies threatens to turn hunters into vegetarians.

Check out these top choices for building out your reloading bench. Ammo

Roll Your Own: Best Reloading Supplies

David Draper - April 19, 2019

Check out these top choices for building out your reloading bench.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 9: Aloha Axis Deer

Host Mike Schoby joins his buddies Jon Dubin and Jeff Johnston on the island of Lanai for a deer hunt Hawaiian style!

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 8: Midnight Sun Grizzlies

Kevin Steele and CZ-USA's Jason Morton return to Alaska's arctic tundra for Kevin's second and Jason's third attempt on the legendary species. Things are looking up on day one but time will tell if the boys will get a shot a the king of the tundra.

Cheeseburger Poppers

Cheeseburger Poppers

David Draper shares his recipe for making delicious cheeseburger poppers with wild game in this edition of "Fare Game."

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Since the first explorers and pilgrims landed, the inhabitants of this glorious country have been Shooting

7 Favorite Truck Guns

Joseph von Benedikt - May 11, 2015

Since the first explorers and pilgrims landed, the inhabitants of this glorious country have...

Which are the best states to hunt for black bears? I have compiled a list of several great black North America

Best States To Hunt For Black Bears

Joseph von Benedikt

Which are the best states to hunt for black bears? I have compiled a list of several great...

From trajectory to penetration to recoil, we evaluate this cartridge for the big-game use case. Ammo

Is the .308 the Perfect North American Big Game Cartridge?

Richard Mann

From trajectory to penetration to recoil, we evaluate this cartridge for the big-game use...

See More Stories

More Worldwide

Kevin Steele visits a red stag trophy room in New Zealand and then sets out to hunt one for himself. Worldwide

Trophy Red Stags

PHTV Adventures - June 26, 2015

Kevin Steele visits a red stag trophy room in New Zealand and then sets out to hunt one for...

New Zealand's hunting claim to fame comes from stags and tahr but hunting small game in New Zealand Worldwide

Hunting Small Game in New Zealand

PHTV Adventures - June 27, 2015

New Zealand's hunting claim to fame comes from stags and tahr but hunting small game in New...

All hunts are good, but some are better than others. Some are just more rewarding in overall Worldwide

International Hunts to Plan Before You Die (Or Get Really Old)

Craig Boddington - March 12, 2013

All hunts are good, but some are better than others. Some are just more rewarding in overall

See More Worldwide

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.