Reference Robin West
Monday, 15th December 2014
Great Reference !!
From: Robin West [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: 11 December 2014 11:19 PM
Subject: Richard Holmes Safaris
Hi Brian. My wife forwarded your email regarding traveling/ hunting in Africa. I have been 7 times (various countries) since 2000 and 3 of them have been with Richard Holmes. Our repeat business should speak for itself (highly recommended)!
We have taken all of the species you are interested in and can assure you that there are abundant trophy opportunities. Richard owns considerable acreage but also has access to a great deal more. Your rifles (calibers) are perfect. You can also rent from Richard if you want to avoid the permit process - I have done it both ways without complaint. The tips proposed are fine (there will be suggested amounts in total in materials provided to you, but the amount you are thinking for the PH, plus something for all the other staff combined, is good.
There are no hidden charges. You may wish to spend extra time in Joburg or Port Elizabeth and of course this would be on you (hotels, meals, tours, souvenirs, etc.) but you will find most things in South Africa reasonably priced. If you have the time I recommend visiting Addo Elephant Park near Port Elizabeth. Richard can help with any arrangements for side trips. Taxidermy is a big expense. I have shipped back raw trophies from other trips but when hunting with Richard I have used Taxidermy Africa for complete services (they pick up at Richard's, prepare the trophies - shoulder mount, European mount, etc., take care of permits, crate, and ship to any US Port of entry). They do quality work (you have someone mounting the animals that are familiar with them) and while not cheap, the prices are a little better than US taxidermists. The additional cost of shipping completed trophies makes the final tab pretty much a wash. In general, you pay for your trophies pretty much twice (once for trophy fee and once for taxidermy and shipping) - just need to know that going in, and if money is short, consider good photos and European mounts.
Hunting the Eastern Cape is as safe a trip as you will find in Africa (no malaria, clean drinking water, stable government). Reasonable precautions should be taken about wandering around in Johannesburg and one always needs to be smart about snakes and such, but it is unlikely you will even see one let alone have a problem.
The accommodations are nice and you will feel safe, secure, and welcome. My wife has joined me on all 3 of our trips there and 2 of our children and my sister-in-law on one of them. All loved it!
Only recommendations I would make is to take extra time to see the sights if possible, plan on a few extra dollars for an additional species if you can afford it (it is amazing how your thoughts and values will change after your arrival on your first trip over), and practice shooting at 200 yards with bipod or shooting sticks (prone or sitting). Closer shots are possible, but if you can shoot well at 200 yards under field conditions, you are guaranteed to do well.
Lots more I could share if you have more questions. Email me or give me a call at (541) 787-0938.