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Is Classic Africa already being impacted by the exposure of their dirty little secret?

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Mar 31st, 2004, 02:22 PM
  #1
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Is Classic Africa already being impacted by the exposure of their dirty little secret?

I just noticed that the "About Us" link is not currently working at Classic Hunting Safaris. I bet they are reworking it right now, but it could just be down:

http://www.classichuntingsafaris.com/aboutus/about.htm

These two love to wear their Oxford Phd's on their sleeves, but not even those Phd's can save them from being hideous individuals that hunt down defenseless animals. As fellow fodorite, King, stated, how can one be a veterinarian, a conservationist and an avowed hunter?

I may not be an Oxford Phd, or any other type of Phd for that matter, but I, and most other Fodorites are decent enough human beings to know better that it is wrong to kill animals for pleasure.

Wonder what will pop up in the "About Us" link on Classic Hunting Safaris??? Stay tuned.
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Mar 31st, 2004, 07:14 PM
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And here are the types of hunting that is proudly offered by Classic Africa / Classic Hunting Safaris / or whatever is their nom du jour. So, next time one of us is enjoying gameviewing from horseback or mekoro and the animals seem a bit skittish, we will know why. Also, for anybody that has dearly wanted to see a leopard but has been unsuccessful, it is because the poor leopards, if there are any left in that area, are fearing for their lives, not knowing whether you booked with Classic Africa (cameras) or with Classic Hunting Safaris (big guns):

Classic Hunting Portfolio

Classic Buffalo and Plains Game Hunt

One of our most popular hunts, this safari combines a classic buffalo hunt in the famous Zambezi Valley, with the opportunity to pursue a wide range of plains game on a vast private conservancy in Zimbabwe's game-rich Lowveld. This is a high quality, value for money hunt that will take you back to the golden days of F.C. Selous and Owen Letcher. Click here for more details.

Selby's Camp - Okavango Delta, Botswana

One of the top safari camps in Africa. Located on a 500,000 acre private, unfenced concession in the heart of the Okavango Delta. Offering a broad range of plains game species, as well as elephant, buffalo, and leopard. Daily rates from $1,200 per hunter per day (from $400 per hunter per day for plains game horseback hunting). Click here for more details.

Ant Africa Safaris - Waterberg, South Africa

An excellent destination for plains game hunters, families, or hunters after rarities such as rhino, black wildebeest, and bontebok. Outfitter has access to over 50,000 acres in the immediate vicinity of their own 5,000 acre private reserve, as well as to concessions across South Africa. Daily rates from $350 per hunter per day. Click here for more details.

Buffalo Range Safaris - Matetsi Safari Area and Chiredzi River Conservancy, Zimbabwe

Offering some of the best value for money, quality hunts in Africa today. Hunting in the Chiredzi River Conservancy (270,000 acre, low fenced private reserve), and the 250,000 acre unfenced Kazungula conservancy in the Matetsi Safari Area. Just about all southern African species - plains game, elephant, buffalo, leopard, lion, hippos and crocodiles to name just a few. Daily rates from $250 per hunter per day. Click here for more details.

Progress Hunting Safaris, Namibia

A superb destination for quality plains game trophies hunted on large, low fence private reserves. From their 30,000 acre home base just 60 minutes north of Windhoek Airport, Progress Safaris has access to over a million acres of prime hunting concessions across Namibia, offering the full range of Namibian trophies. Daily rates from $310 per hunter per day. Click here for more details.



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Hunting Techniques in Southern Africa

The principles and ethics of hunting in southern Africa are derived from European (and particularly British) sporting traditions; many practices that are considered acceptable in the American context are frowned upon as unsporting (and often illegal) in southern Africa. Examples include: hunting from tree stands or blinds, ambushing game at watering holes or feeding points, the use of calls, scents, lures, or baits, and hunting with dogs. There are exceptions to these rules - leopards and (in, most cases, lions) are typically hunted from blinds over baits, and leopards are also hunted with dogs in some areas. But these are exceptions, and 'still hunting' (called 'walk and stalk' in southern Africa) is the predominant method.

'Walk and Stalk'

By far the most common hunting technique in southern Africa is to follow animals on foot, stalking into a position from where a clean shot can be taken. Shots are rarely over 150 yards in length (a 250 yard shot is an extremely long shot in most African contexts), with most shots being within 100 yards. Hunters often have to shoot quite quickly though, and a rifle that fits and mounts well is a real asset.

In most instances of 'walk and stalk', the hunter, professional hunter, and tracker will ride through the reserve or concession in a 4WD vehicle looking for game (or tracks). When a suitable animal or its tracks are located, the party descends from the vehicle and the stalk begins. Such stalks can take from 20 minutes to several hours, and can require a fair amount of physical exertion - hunters should give consideration to their physical fitness in preparation for their hunt. Shooting from (or near) vehicles is illegal and considered highly unethical - if you want to get off to a bad start with your PH, ask to shoot game from the vehicle!

Certain hunts, in particular elephant hunts and some buffalo hunts, entail significantly more walking as one follows tracks on foot. High levels of physical and mental fitness are required for these kinds of hunt.

Horseback Hunting

A technique that is enjoying something of a resurgence in popularity, with some excellent horseback hunting safaris available in southern Africa. Hunters set out in search of their quarry on horseback; once the right animal is located, hunters dismount and stalk the target animal on foot. In essence, this is more or less the same as the previous hunting technique, only the reconnaissance in performed on horseback instead of in a vehicle. This is the way all the legendary hunters of yesteryear hunted - Roosevelt, Selous, Harris, and all the other nineteenth and early twentieth century greats. Hunters today, however, do not go after dangerous game by this technique, which is reserved solely for plains and general game.

For those who can ride, are of reasonable physical fitness, and primarily interested in plains and general game, this is a fun method of hunting that transports the hunter back in time to the golden era of African adventure.

Hunting the Big Cats

Leopards are almost universally hunted from blinds over baits. This type of hunting is a real test of a professional hunter as it is principally their skill, knowledge, and experience that will determine whether the hunter gets a shot at his/her quarry. Choices regarding bait sites, bait animals, and frequencies of changing the bait, will impact the chances of drawing a leopard to the bait. The skill involved in hanging a bait and constructing the blind are also critical in getting a clean shot at a feeding leopard.

For the hunting client, this type of hunting is a test of nerves. Sitting in a blind watching a bait has been described as 99% boredom and 1% sheer terror. Shots are rarely taken at distances over 40 yards, but these are some of the most challenging (and often botched) shots that a hunter can take due to the phenomenal levels of excitement and tension when a leopard does present itself.

Bear in mind that leopard hunting on government owned concessions can only be conducted during daylight hours while, in some areas, hunting on private reserves can be conducted at night by spotlight (which can greatly enhance the likelihood of success). In this instance, hunters must decide for themselves where they draw the boundaries of ethical hunting practices.

Lions are an increasingly difficult trophy to get on quota, and lion hunting is now the preserve of only a select few. In most instances lions are hunted over baits in the same manner as leopards. It is, however, still possible to hunt lions by tracking them. Hunters listen for the roaring of lions in the wild, locate their approximate position by the sound of the roaring, then try to find and follow their tracks. Even if all of this goes to plan, the next great challenge is to see the lions before they see you. Needless to say, this type of hunting requires large amounts of time, patience, perseverance, skill, and a solid dose of luck.

Hunting by 'Mekoro'

Mekoros are dugout canoes used by the inhabitants of the Okavango Delta to traverse the channels and floodplains of this beautiful 'Jewel of the Kalahari'. Much of the Delta is comprised of large islands, where more traditional forms of hunting are pursued, but hunters in the 'Delta' will often enjoy the opportunity to go out in a mekoro if they so wish. Mekoros can be used as a means of conveyance from one hunting point to another, or these silent canoes can actually be the platform from which shots are fired at quarry.



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Mar 31st, 2004, 08:37 PM
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Roccco

Shocking that they will hunt in the Okavango Delta !

Mala Mala sounds better by the minute!
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Mar 31st, 2004, 11:22 PM
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Sadly I doubt we'll have a huge impact on their business since such a very small percentage of potential travellers would think to research on an internet forum before booking let alone this indivudual forum.

That said I will certainly be making sure that I convey the duplicitous nature of this company (and any others like it) to anyone I know who is embarking on the planning of a trip to Africa and will also try and post about it on other forums.

I was intending to post on Thorn Tree about this but didn't have time - if no one else does it while I am away I will do that as soon as I get back next week.

Rocco, I would also be interested in the response you receive from the NGS.
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Apr 1st, 2004, 12:21 AM
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Kavey,

Even if we only steer a few customers a year away from dishonest operators such as Classic Africa, then we will have accomplished something. Although there is another similar case out there in Classic Safaris/African Safari Consultants, that guy doesn't get on my nerves as much as Classic Africa.

Classic Africa just paints this rosy image of themselves, not to mention patting themselves on the back for accomplishments that have absolutely nothing to do with their business (I mean really, WHO CARES about Pierre's athletic prowess when ultimately he is a troubled and weak person that needs to kill defenseless animals to fill a void).

Kavey, do keep in mind that this very forum usually pops up on the first page of a Google search, so anybody that does a search and finds Classic Africa, will also likely find this very same thread. I do think that we can have a significant impact.

I cannot wait to see what they put up in the "About Us" link on Classic Hunting Safaris, if they decide to put up anything at all. No matter, they are so vain that they have their pictures splattered elsewhere on the site and more than enough information to link them back to Classic Africa.

Have a great trip and never mind STD!
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Apr 1st, 2004, 12:41 AM
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I don't mind her at all, I enjoy reading about your trips and varying interests. I was a little surprised she didn't understand the way I respond to your posts, is all... it seems quite consistent to me!

Anyway, you are right that if we influence only one or two people that's one or two people more than zero.

E-see you when I get back!

Kavey

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Apr 1st, 2004, 07:24 AM
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Perhaps out of denial, I was willing to give these companies the benefit of the doubt, hoping that they were involved in the kind of controlled hunting that a Kenyan guide once told me was useful for maintaining an eco balance of elephants and certain other animals in designated areas. But leopards? There is absolutely no justification on the face of the earth for hunting this rare and endangered animal, and anyone who does deserves all the disdain we can muster. A sad day indeed.
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Apr 1st, 2004, 08:48 AM
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I don?t know if any of you have read it, but an interesting article on leopards appears in the February edition of Africa Geographic magazine. It talks about how highly adaptable they are to surviving in changing conditions and environments. Even though they have the ability to adapt to different environments for their species survival, they have yet to outsmart man and his thrill of sick trophy hunting.
A specific game reserve in South Africa, Phinda (which we recently visited) is trying to help in the conservation of leopards. The game reserve is fenced to protect the survival of the leopard, cheetah (which has a 70% survival rate there) and several other endangered species from the local farmers and hunters. However, hunters quite often bait the leopards on the other side of the fence with goats, cows, etc. enticing the leopard to find ways to jump over. Hunters will pay the farmers to do the above and when the leopard finds his way to the carcass on the other side of the fence, it is shot. How sick is that for sport?!
This is sad but the article talks about how one leopard who was collared and monitored, was baited into doing just that. The hunter was waiting in a jeep about 20-30 yards from the leopard when she jumped the fence. The leopard did not sense any fear from the jeep because it was used to the vehicles from the game reserve. It stated that the leopard casually laid down to clean herself, looked up at the vehicle and the people in it, and was shot by the hunter (as the hunter looked it in the eyes!) The leopard did not die immediately but the force of the bullet shattered her shoulder and she took off leaving a trail of blood behind her.
Her remains were found a few days later apparently eaten by some other predator.
In this instance both the hunter (and I use that term loosely) and the leopard both lost. No trophy was gotten and another life of an endangered species had to pay the price for a sport that is not at all a sport, but an inhumane act by a barbarian.
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Apr 2nd, 2004, 02:54 AM
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Geez, this is disgusting.
 
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Sep 17th, 2004, 06:25 AM
  #10
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ttt
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Mar 12th, 2005, 04:56 PM
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ttt for an interested party
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