Forty years have passed since my first African safari, but I will never forget the awe and wonder of that life-changing experience. Certainly I’ve never gotten over it! This is not unusual. After returning from the 1933 safari that gave us Green Hills of Africa and The Snows of Kilimanjaro Ernest Hemingway, not yet 35 but already one of America’s most respected writers, was asked what his plans were. His reply was simple: “Make enough money to go back to Africa.”
Sadly, two more decades would pass before Papa returned to Africa. We’re all the poorer for it; only in posthumous releases would we read more Hemingway on Africa. As a writer I certainly can’t (and don’t!) compare myself to the Nobel laureate, but I understand his feelings after his first sojourn in Africa: He wanted to return. I felt the same way in 1977…perhaps even more strongly, because ever since I’ve spent parts—sometimes large parts—of almost every year in Africa. Every day in Africa has been amazing, but I quickly learned that I could never fully recover the excitement of that first safari.
The closest I’ve been able to come is to share it with family, friends, and fellow hunters who are seeing Africa for the first time. That is also a marvelous experience, but something I’ve noticed over the years is that relatively few hunters are genuinely prepared for that first African experience. Most will return, and of course the next time will have a better idea what to expect.
However, the reality of African hunting is that it’s somewhat like a step-pyramid. Most of us start with a plains game safari. Then the inevitable African addiction takes hold; a return trip is likely to include buffalo, and further safaris are likely to become ever more specialized.
This is why, working with a very good team, I have helped to create SAFARI-ED. There are great books and videos and myriad websites that offer the sense of excitement and adventure, the romance of the safari. These are all real and they draw us to Africa. But there isn’t a lot of genuine, nuts and bolts preparation available from any source or even multiple sources. And as you ascend those steps in African hunting the situations change.
Just how different African hunting is depends on your own hunting experience, but as much as you want to go—and as much as you will enjoy it while you’re there—much African hunting is likely to be far different from anything you have done. SAFARI-ED reviews basic firearms and hunting safety, which is universal…but also applies these principles to the African hunting situation. It covers hunting and stalking techniques that you will experience, shooting tips, shot placement, the role of your Professional Hunter and staff, even packing tips. It’s educational, but it’s also fun, with beautiful video and excellent graphics. Just like African hunting it’s in a tiered approach, starting with Plains Game, then Buffalo, and, soon to be released, increments focusing on the remainder of the dangerous game.
African hunting has been an extremely important part of my life and the source of some of my greatest memories. I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning, and I’ve watched other beginning African hunters make their mistakes as well. I want your first safari to be as successful as your last safari…and all your safaris in between. SAFARI-ED will help prepare you for what truly is, as Peter Capstick wrote, “the last great adventure on Earth.” The more prepared you are the safer and more successful you will be…and the better you will enjoy this marvelous experience! Please watch the video at https://www.craigboddington.com/safari-ed to learn more.