Observations on a trip to East Africa


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browningguy
December 8, 2012, 02:57 PM
I returned yesterday from a trip to Mozambique and just a few notes on firearms there. We are going to be doing some work in Mozambique over the next couple of years and my company has given me a budget for hunting trips with clients in the area so I tried to check everything out that I could. Mozambique had a civil war starting in 1977, about two years after independance from Portugal, that lasted until 1992. They say about 1 million people died and essentially all wild game was wiped out for food during the war.

In Mozambique there are hardly any firearms officially in private ownership, although they aren't outlawed. I stayed in Maputo which is the largest city and the several people I met on business did not own any legal firearms, although a couple of them had private security that did have pistols. One of the government types said he thought there were less than 10,000 legally registered firearms, but millions still available in the black market from the last civil war. Importing for hunting is relatively simple and you are allowed to bring two rifles and one shotgun with 60 rounds for each. No semi autos are allowed of any type. Most of the police and military types carry what appear to be fairly new and well maintained AK47 and AK74 type rifles but none of the troops I saw were carrying pistols.

On the way back I spent a day in Johannesburg South Africa but didn't get to discuss firearms with anyone. However I did meet one security guard carrying what appeared to be a BHP and stopped and talked with him a bit. It was indeed a 60's vintage BHP which had been well cared for. He was really proud of it also.

Basically it appears hunting in Mozambique is not really worthwhile as the game has not built up to sustainable levels (yet), but may be good in the next few years. Botswana, Tanzania and South Africa remain the major places to hunt in that part of Africa. You also need plenty of shots before going, Hep A and B, Polio if you haven't had one in the past couple of years, Typhoid, Tetenus boosters, yellow fever wouldn't hurt, and of course a standard malaria regime. Things like the plague you can't get shots for but it can be treated when you get back, if you get Marburg Hemorraghic fever, well, that's just a tough break according to my doctor.

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1911 guy
December 8, 2012, 03:42 PM
Somewhat funny story about typhoid shots. They're a two shot series and required for me when I was in the military, since we strolled through parts of Africa and Asia ance in a while.

I'd get the first shot, was told to come back in a week or whatever it was for the follow up. I'd get a litle sick in this timeframe, chills, fever, etc, but be over it in a couple days. Second shot, no effects. Then we went back. Told to go get my typhoid shots. Again.

Me: But I JUST had 'em!
Medical dept: No, you didn't.
Me: Sure I did!
Medical Dept: No, you didn't.
Me: Pull my record.
Medical Dept: O.K. Nothing in it about typhoid. Now roll up your sleeve.

Repeat this cycle about four times. Finally I went in for my typhoid shot (again) and demanded the OIC (Commander, IIRC) stand there with a pen and my medical record. Got poked, he logged it in, I never got another typhoid shot. They're supposed to be good for about five years, IIRC. By my estimation, I'm good for another ten years yet.

Anyway, about the OP. I have friends from Zambia and Togo. They say much the same about hunting. Between development and various civil and faction wars, especially large game hunting has suffered over a lot of the continent. There are still places to go that are very worthwhile, but some places that USED to be good for hunting aren't anymore.

steveno
December 8, 2012, 04:59 PM
I have always had Africa on my "no visit" list for a long time. I haven't seen in reason to change that even if I had the money

mg.mikael
December 8, 2012, 05:00 PM
To the OP, hope you don't mind me asking but what kind of work are you in?

browningguy
December 8, 2012, 05:46 PM
Offshore oil and gas.

tekarra
December 8, 2012, 06:28 PM
browningguy,
Are you involved with gas for the LNG liquefaction plant?
I have spent many a year in Africa working LNG, mostly western Africa, but lately in eastern Africa. Africa is a great place once you accept it as it is. I envy you.

browningguy
December 8, 2012, 07:45 PM
No, we are working on the offshore past that will be supplying the new LNG facility they are planning, subsea tree's, pipelines, manifolds etc. It will be about 2+ years before we start any of the offshore part but in the meantime we are investigating capabilities for developing an onshore fabrication yard there.

You just have to keep reminding yourself, TIA, This Is Africa, and then everything becomes understandable. And so far I find East Africa much better than say Nigeria or Angola, none of the politicos have ever asked for a "fee", they just ask how many jobs will we create locally.

Andrew Leigh
December 9, 2012, 12:33 AM
I have always had Africa on my "no visit" list for a long time. I haven't seen in reason to change that even if I had the money
I live in South Africa and ahave travelled through Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania and Swaziland.

Africa is exactly that but it is a great place to travel. The wildlife parks are awesome on although going down the tubes a little S.A, is still damn close to 1st World.

Wish I could change your mind.

Andrew Leigh
December 9, 2012, 12:36 AM
@ Browning guy. You biggest risk WILL be malaria. Take your medicine.

The Buffalo hunting is great in Mozambique. Where will you be located (closest main town)?

Botswana is soon to ban hunting.

Boxhead
December 9, 2012, 07:04 AM
Interesting as Mozambique is at the top of my list of where to hunt in Africa as it is likened to the early days of Kenya, Tanzania and the like. Plenty of game to hunt as well. Likely my retirement gift in four years when I finish up in Brisbane.

browningguy
December 9, 2012, 12:58 PM
We'll be working mainly out of Pemba along the north central coast for the next 2 years. The main operating base will one day be in Palma (near the Tanzania border) but for now there is nothing there. Currently in Palma there is a grass strip about 2500 feet long, the airport consists of a single tin shack without even a chair, and if you want to spend the night bring your own tent, water and food. The oil company has plans for an international airport with flights direct to Johannesburg and perhaps Dubai, housing for 9,000 people and a deepwater port able to take LNG tankers. I think their budget for the new town is around USD 5 Billion.

sixgunner455
December 10, 2012, 12:10 AM
The only place in Africa I've ever been was Egypt. It was fantastic. If I ever get the money, I'm going back, and then I'm going to see some of the sub-Saharan countries, too.

Patocazador
December 10, 2012, 04:29 PM
When I hunted South Africa and Namibia in 1982 LOTS of people openly carried UZIs. I saw a guy window shopping at a downtown Windhoek, Namibia (the capitol city) with an UZI slung over his shoulder. We had a great time and were not hassled at all.
I'm sure it has all changed since then.

brnmw
December 10, 2012, 04:57 PM
I recently read a copy of the current (well I don't know just how current really) "African Hunting Gazette" that basically told people the same in regards to Mozambique. For awhile now South Africa has been the hunting "Hot Spot". Plains game being the biggest in terms for hunters since it does not take the large and expensive calibers to take them down. If I were to go to Africa I would also focus on the smaller plains game as well. I am not really a thrill seeker so staring down an Elephant, Rhino, or something to that degree AKA "Cape Buffalo" is really just not my cup of tea. (Let the what a "whimp threads" begin! ) :)

Another thing they pointed out was the cost of preparing and shipping your kill stateside... apparently the taxidermy here in the states is better quality than you get in Africa so they say.

ak257
December 10, 2012, 10:27 PM
"Basically it appears hunting in Mozambique is not really worthwhile...."

Sorry, but I would have to disagree with this statement. Many concessions in Mozambique have healthy game populations.....especially the Niassa Reserve and Zambezi Delta areas. Elephant, buffalo, lion, sable, crocodile, hippo, leopard, plains game and others are all available. It is not an inexpensive undertaking though.

H&Hhunter
December 12, 2012, 05:56 PM
"Basically it appears hunting in Mozambique is not really worthwhile...."

Sorry, but I would have to disagree with this statement. Many concessions in Mozambique have healthy game populations.....especially the Niassa Reserve and Zambezi Delta areas. Elephant, buffalo, lion, sable, crocodile, hippo, leopard, plains game and others are all available. It is not an inexpensive undertaking though.

I'd have to agree with ak257. There are serious game populations and some top notch hunting in Mozambique. You just have to know where to go.

Cosmoline
December 12, 2012, 07:38 PM
are planning, subsea tree's, pipelines, manifolds etc.

So you were there to DRILL Mozambique?

Sorry, had to.

Uncle Richard
December 12, 2012, 08:43 PM
Interesting as Mozambique is at the top of my list of where to hunt in Africa as it is likened to the early days of Kenya, Tanzania and the like. Plenty of game to hunt as well. Likely my retirement gift in four years when I finish up in Brisbane.
If i was single, I'd ask if you need any chemical engineers.

gspn
December 12, 2012, 10:56 PM
Thanks for the report. While I have no plans to visit that continent it's always interesting to learn more about it.

browningguy
December 12, 2012, 11:10 PM
I guess everyones milage will vary. But while I was actually in Mozambique I talked to multiple guides, and have made the decision to spend our hunting money in Tanzania and South Africa. I'm sure it is possible to find some game in the north of the country on the border with Tanzania, and it may well be like Tanzania 100 years ago, remote is a word for it. To get to Palma from Pemba (maybe 150 KM) takes 5-6 hours by Land Rover, unless it rains, then you can't get there by Land Rover.

However if you want a remote hunt I suggest you go now. Over the next 3-4 years they are building a 2 train LNG plant in Palma, putting in housing for 9000 people, building an international airport, a harbor capable of holding several LNG tankers at the same time, and several thousand KM of rail lines running through the country. So very soon it won't be all that remote.

H&Hhunter
December 13, 2012, 08:43 AM
I'm sure it is possible to find some game in the north of the country on the border with Tanzania,

If that is what you came up with after talking to multiple guides you are somehow still horribly uninformed about the what and where of game populations in Mozambique. To make the statement that there is "some" game in the North of the country is leaving out some of the most game rich areas in Mozambique of which the Zambezi Delta is one of the most game rich areas in the whole of Sub Saharan Africa.

Granted if you have the money to hunt Tanzania it is some of the best hunting in Africa, bar none so I'd say you are making a good decision there. And of course any "guide" (PH? there's a huge difference in Africa a guide takes tourists around parks to take pictures and a PH is a hunting guide/ control hunter) or booking agent will steer a large corporate account towards Tanzania as the fees are about 2 to 300 percent higher in Tanzania and they make their commissions on the daily fee's.

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