Here are some questions and answers from our Outfitter/PH regarding hunting in and access to his concession in northern Mozambique.
Q. What is the cost of the charter flight?
A. The average cost for the air charter from Pemba to camp is $1600.00 one way.
The PH recommends that you fly into Lichinga (the capital of Niassa province) – you can drive to camp which will take 4 hours from Lichinga and will cost $400.00 one way.
Q. How do I get to Lichinga?
A. Air Portugal or SAA from Johannesburg into Maputo, which is the capital of Mozambique. You can then fly commercially to Lichinga. There are currently 2 stops on this itinerary, but the PH advises that the way Mozambique is growing he thinks that there will be a direct flight from Johannesburg to Lichinga by 2012 – which won’t help you.
Q. What is the possibility of taking a 40” Cape buffalo?
A. The area that our PH has acquired in northern Mozambique has buffalo that have not been hunted for some time and is confident that you should be able to find a 40″ + buffalo – he says that new areas always have good quality buffalo.
Q. How long should it take to get my trophies back into the United States?
A. Regarding the trophy shipment, here is what the PH had to say: “…5 years ago it took 2 years to get your trophies (from Mozambique). Fortunately it is getting better and we can now get them to you in a year. We wait until the end of the season and then take all the trophies out to Chimoio. This is a 17 hour drive.
I think that this answers most of your previous questions regarding Mozambique.
Concerning Zambia, I received an email back from the outfitter there and he advises that he does have buffalo left on quota for 2011 in Chiawa (lower Zambezi valley of Zambia) and advises that you can expect a buffalo in the 38 to 40″ range average. If you look at the Destination Overview for Hunting Zambia previously sent, you will see the plains game species available in the area.
Regarding your most recent questions, I will answer them in red below or try to get answers as appropriate:
Q. Are the bulls fully mature, which are hunted? Do they hunt the Dugga boys or the herds? What is the average boss size? What is the average width?
A. Most reputable outfitters in southern/eastern Africa today will not take immature bulls or bulls that do not have hard bosses. There has been a movement in Africa to restrict the taking of the herd or breeding bulls as it is affecting herd quality. In most cases the breeding bulls do not have fully hardened bosses, but often exhibit greater width because their horns have not dropped nor have they broomed their tips.
So I would say that you would be hunting the older bulls that have done their breeding and have been kicked out of the main herd by the dominant bull. That is not to say that they may not still be with with the herds (to one side or another or behind the main herd) but they are not a “part” of the herd. This changes with the time of year, with the older “dugga” boys more prone to shadow the herds during the breeding season in the hopes of finding a lone cow. These bulls may go off on their own once the breeding season is over – but then again maybe not. There is safety in numbers – particularly in lion country
I have given you information on width; don’t know that I can provide any accurate data on boss width as that is something that is not well documented.
Q. What is the average shot distance at the buffalo? Is it close enough for open sights? A. Most buffalo are shot at 100 yards or less as the professional hunters specifically try to get as close as possible to increase the odds for a good shot and decrease the possibility of a wounded buffalo. So much of this will depend on your ability to shoot the rifle coupled with the conditions in the area hunted. The thicker the vegetation, the closer you will have to get to see the bull – also, the vegetation will provide screening cover for the stalk. Lots of buff are killed with double rifles using open sights, so I don’t see this as a problem – would expect that you should be looking at a shot of fifty yards or so, but it could be slightly less or slightly more (up to 100 yards or whatever distance in between that matches your ability with the rifle).
Q. What do you think the success rate would be on hippo on land with an open sighted rifle? Is it even worth trying for a hippo on land? I think they mainly come out at night.
A. The odd hippo is taken on land but the vast majority are taken with a brain shot in the water. So again, it depends on your ability to shoot the rife with open sights and luck. Again, to decrease the odds of wounding the animal, I would expect most shots on hippo in the water will be 100 yards or less.
Q. Do you still have openings for 2011?
A. Yes – in both Mozambique and Zambia.
Q. What plains game could you hunt with reasonable success with an open sighted rifle in Chiawa? I am trying to plan the license fees.
A. Goes back to your shooting ability with open sights. As stated above, most PH’s try to keep shots on all game animals under 150 yards – which would be stretching open sights for most of us, myself included. You should consider taking a second rifle with a scope for the plains game and the hippo. Save the open sights for the buff.
Chiawa will not have the unique Zambian species such as puku or Crawshay’s defassa waterbuck.
Q. Are there any game fences in the area?
A. These are all pretty much government concessions, so no game-proof fences.
Any other questions, please advise or call me at 307-473-1268. Thanks,