What Does Self Guided really mean?
There tends to be a lot of confusion as to what is being offered on my Cameroun “self guided” hunts. The fear is that you will arrive with no support, taken to a remote location, and dumped on the ground.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
What you need understand is that you will taken care of from the moment you arrive at the airport until you leave. One of my staff will be with you the whole time. I have a dedicated group that has hunted Cameroun with me personally for over 25 years. They have done these trips at least 100 times. I will not say that there are never complications, but we have seen most everything and know how to deal with it. You can just relax and “go with the flow”.
To start with, before the trip I will personally work with you so we are sure that you have all your paperwork in order and answering questions you may have are answered. You need to be timely in getting me your paperwork, but as long as you do that we get off on the correct foot. I am on call 24/7 if issues come up, which they often do on any trip to Africa, guided or not. I give you lots of reading material and tips, but mostly you just need to trust the guys to take care of you. They want meat. You want the trophies. It’s a good combination.
When you arrive at the airport one of my men will meet you immediately as you get out of customs. Your instructions are to pay nobody anything, no matter what they pretend. My guys will pay all the “bribes” so if anybody is asking for something you probably do not work for me. (Outsiders will read your bag tag and pretend to know you, as an example.)
We will take you either to a hotel or to my apartment where you stay overnight. The next day you either get into my vehicle or you board a train which we have purchased a ticket for you several days in advance to ensure that we get the best accommodations possible. Typically it is a sleeper car with cubicles for four people. You need to keep track of your luggage but my staff will to all the portaging. From this point on until you get back to the airport we cover all the expenses.
You will have a chauffeur to drive you the whole time. You will have at least two trackers assigned to you who know the area intimately. You will have a cook in camp. You have porters to carry everything that you do not want to carry yourself. At the far end of the train ride, which takes overnight, another of my vehicles will meet you. (I have 3-4 in Cameroun so have back up as needed.)
You will have a camp manager who will take care of all the everyday details and run your trip for you. Some of the staff speak enough English for you to get along well. A skinner will skin, clean and salt your capes.
I think you can see it is a fully outfitted program with your success in mind.
You hunt areas that typically are exclusively mine, except the inevitable poachers who will sneak into any area in Africa that has meat.
The only real thing that you will be missing, if you have done a number of Africa trips, will be the presence of a professional hunter who is white. This is how we are able to keep the price very low.
The only real drawback to this hunt is that you have to decide which animal you will pull the trigger on. We like to take all representative or better animals and they have to males by law. You will need to spend some time looking at pictures on my website and others to familiarize yourself with what is typical of the males. In almost all cases the horns will be thicker and have distinctive ridges at the base. If you have the unfortunate circumstance to shoot a female we can usually negotiate it with the game guards, as long as it was not on purpose.
You will be hunting areas where the species you wish to pursue are known to be present. We have back up guns, clothing etc. to lend you should your gear be stuck somewhere between home and Cameroun.
At the end we organize the CITES paperwork and shipping of your trophies to you. Again we have done it all.
You do need to take full responsibility for your side of the deal, as it is still “self guided” but we do not just throw you out on a patch of dirt to pick you up 2 weeks later.
To summarize, we do this year in and year out with minimal problems. You’ll be in experienced hands that want you to be successful.
I hope that helps, and feel free to ask questions.