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Thread: South African PH's

  1. #1

    South African PH's

    Just thought I would get the views of other readers on the abilities and professionalism of PH's.
    2years go myself and my partner booked a trip to SA. My partner had worked in SA about 20 years ago on a work placement as a camp manager for a very reputable company out there. We booked our trip with an ex employee of this company who is now one of the main men in the company we chose. This particular individual has been awarded PH of the year in the past and as he was keen to tell us only hunts for dangerous game now. He of course knew my partner from before and seemed keen for us to go on safari with him. A kudu was my partners main objective and I was there for a couple of cull animals, but mostly the experience..
    The first two days were spent wing shooting, we had a really good goose flight and a not bad dove shoot the next day. Our PH seemed really keen, he was shooting as well, something ge doesn't have chance to do much. Then onto the plains game, this is when it started to go down hill.
    We did shoot 6 animals with my partner eventually getting his kudu on 11 th hour. But overall the PH was very disappointing, we spent more hours sitting in the truck than on our feet. Some days we didn't even do any walking. He was constantly on his mobile organising richer American clients. We saw plenty of animals, usually disappearing into the bush after being spooked. He had a real dislike for me and wasn't afraid of showing it. Women can't hunt and shouldn't be allowed firearms was his view. He particularly didn't like it when I would see animals before him. He would constantly spook game when trying to get nearer, for no reason, running to animal when it's sat down happily. Not one day did we hunt from dawn till dusk. We saw plenty of cull animals however he would not give me the opportunity to shoot, when asked face to face why he wouldn't give a reason just walk away. We had several problems with vehicles, we lost a whole day hunting due to the truck being broke. We were supposed to transfer camps a three hour drive. After all morning drinking coffee ge eventually decided that the three of us would have to make the journey in the oldest single cab Toyota. With me sitting on the handbrake all the way. I am sure he wouldn't have treated some rich Americans wife the same. I am a gamekeeper myself so I am very used to rough it, but not when you save up all year to go on holiday.
    I could go on and on, with some downright rude stories to just laughable moments at the complete uselessness of the PH. We have some nice animals on the wall, however it wasn't the total experience I thought it would be and it has put me of Africa a lot.
    Have others had similar experiences, I know there are very good PHs out there, some others in our camp seemed a lot more switched on with hunting. Where as ours seemed more suited to politics. PH of the year?
    I would be interested in your thoughts.


  2. #2

    Similar to my experience a few years ago now, on my first 1:1 10-14 day plains game hunt.
    One of the 2 PHs (Willi) was younger than the company owner/PH - he had his lady friend in camp..............
    Regularly the voice was heard from within tent on camp 'Willi........this that and whatever' in a SA accent. Said Willi back traipsing backwards and forwards around camp for whatever errand.
    With other matters on mind whilst out tracking, locating etc. reduced effectiveness leading to wasted days.
    Suffice to say learnt the lesson once for subsequent visits to SA!


  3. #3
    Like all professions there are good and bad, people claim all sorts of things to catch clients. Even in this country you get people who claim to be professional deer stalkers and have taken and managed all the species in the U.K, when I know full well they have not managed them at all. But it looks good on their website.

    In SA you have PHASA (Professional hunters association South Africa) and I would lodge a formal complaint to them if you were not happy. Trouble is these days there are a whole host of cheap plains games hunts/cull hunts call them what you will in SA and most are very good, with very professional people guiding and running the camps, but normally if its too good to be true, it generally is. Shooting birds is no big deal in SA, guiding and judging a good bull Kudu is something that all PH's should take in their stride. If you decide to go again research it well, don't let one bad experience put you off. Let me know if you need any advice or help or I can out you in touch with one or two good Ph's or take a look at some of the guys advertising on this site. I am sure they will help you out and go the extra mile to make your next trip to Africa a more pleasant and memorable one.

    Good luck.

    All grades of deer stalkers/hunters in the UK and overseas catered for. Level 2 DMQ signing off available. Over 30 years experience in the stalking/hunting industry. For friendly and professional help go to


  4. #4
    Well folks, just in the way home from my second trip with Bos en Dal Safaris and Gerrit cannot do enough for his clients. We went up north to shoot a buffalo and the PH up there, Eddie o'Reilly was exactly in the same category. I've been here 6 or 7 times now to three or four different operations and every time I have been very impressed by the PH's. I admire their level of professionalism. Luck? Maybe just that.

  5. #5

    sorry to hear about your experience...damn, this is really bad even for me; i am also a representative of the hunting fraternity in RSA and now you getting assholes like them that make it bad for all of us...yet again sorry...

    PHASA wouldn't be able to help if the PH is not a member of the organization. And even if they can, they probably just going to scrap him from their members list...

    On cheap hunt, well Kudu or Eland bulls doesn't sell for under $1000 in RSA, so stay away from 'the good to be true' prices with other outfitters...Even if it is your own farm it wil be stupid to give away Eland and Kudu bulls in season to anyone, local included...Trophy quality bulls will sell in the region of $2200 to $3500...

    Like sikamalc said, ...all professions has their good and bad people out there...don't let this sit you off about Africa, allways ask for references and always ask 'stupid' questions...
    Last edited by Bushwack; 14-08-2014 at 09:46.
    Patrick Reynecke (Bushwack Safaris)
    Mobile:+27 82 773 4099

  6. #6
    Hi Izzy
    We are not all that bad. Don't be put off visiting SA again.
    Please see here a link from this site a few weeks ago on how we perform: My 2014 African hunt
    Kind Regards
    UK Agent for Settlers Safaris
    Grahamstown, South Africa
    Etosha Conservancy, Namibia
    Hunting Safaris | Big Game Hunting | Safari Hunter

  7. #7
    Hi all
    thanks for your replies, I am sure that it is like anything else, you always get one or two bad apples in a barre. I didn't mean to tar all you SA Hunters with the same brush. I am well aware that we have bad individuals within our hunting profession and unfortunately it usually get used to generalise the profession as a whole.
    I tend to think the problem with our trip was that as our PH said, he usually only hunts dangerous game, and so our trip was a bit of a holiday for himself. He certainly gave this impression anyway. We didn't chose a cheap operator, nor did he make us a really good deal on the animals. We paid full price for everything. Which would have been alright.
    As it happens we are looking at going back to Africa, although my partner fancies Namibia instead.
    Thanks for all your replies and maybe I will have a look at some of you hunting operations for next year.


  8. #8
    Hi Izzy

    Sorry to hear about your bad experiance. Dont let one trip put you off from African Hunting. There is many reputable ph's and outfitters out there that would give you a very good experiance and hunt!! As prevouisly stated in this thread. Make use of referances of the company you are thinking about to hunt with!!!

    i hope you will set foot to African soil again and maybe this time you will find what you where looking for in an African hunt.

    All the best

    Gerrit jv Vuuren PH & Outfitter
    Bos en Dal Safaris- South Africa
    Home - Bos en Dal Safaris

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