All hunts are good, but some are better than others. Some are just more rewarding in overall experience and more satisfying in the memories they yield. It isn’t just about the animals—it’s also the country you see and the people you meet that make certain hunts especially memorable. Sometimes, too, hunting memories are measured in volumes of sweat. Some of these hunts aren’t for everyone, and some should definitely not be left until the very last minute.
On the other hand, the good news is this: Hunting memories cannot be measured in dollars spent. Some of these hunts are a little pricey (which is why I’m driving a ’99 truck with 240,000 miles on it!), but others are not. This is a list of some of the best international hunts you should plan before you die—or get too old to go on such an adventure.
- For me this is Africa’s best, and if you shop wisely it's still a relative bargain. I’m often asked about my favorite game, and the answer lies somewhere between whitetail and buffalo. If the question is about my favorite African game, then the answer is easy—buffalo. There are lots of people who have no desire to hunt the great cats or elephant—and I understand that—but few hunters are resistant to the concept of hunting buffalo. They offer romance and a hint of danger.
Moreover, for me, the buffalo offers a chance to watch the great African trackers do their work. And then you get into the herds, you smell the cattle and you try to sort out the bull of your dreams. Nobody said it better than Robert Ruark when he wrote that the Cape buffalo “looks at you like you owe him money."
There are plenty of buffalo in today’s Africa, with opportunities in at least a dozen countries. Things can change quickly, but considering availability, affordability and opportunity for success, I think Mozambique and Zimbabwe are the two best bets.
Zimbabwe is more a traditional tracking hunt, while Mozambique offers a better opportunity to get into big herds and has a much greater selection of plains game. Either way, a buffalo safari costs considerably less than a guided moose hunt in Alaska or Yukon. If you’ve hunted buffalo, then you can properly say you have hunted Africa.