An African safari is one of the last great adventures. It should not be sanitized or watered down, but consumed, drop by precious drop, like a fine, gritty wine; a blend that sticks to your teeth, tugs at your stomach, and ultimately leaves you a little richer for consuming it.
Safaris are a tradition rich in culture, history, and mystique. Undoubtedly, the life, the experience, and the culture will rub off on you…if it doesn’t, you’re one of the unlucky few. If even the tiniest shard of an adventurer’s spirit is alive in your heart, this “once in a lifetime” trip will likely become a passion, an obsession, a quest that will pull at every fiber of your being to return again and again until you experience all that Africa has to offer.
And while a safari should be an adventure in every sense of the word, it is not to be taken lightly or embarked upon haphazardly. Before you book that first trip, learn what you need to know and travel with a touch more confidence. Extracted from nearly two decades of beating around the Dark Continent, from the Cape to Kenya, this guide of the top gear for Africa will start you in the right direction.
- There are lots of great African rifles, but few equal the Blaser R8. This rifle is incredibly accurate, extremely well-made, and handles like a sports car, but what really makes this rifle shine for Africa is the easy take-down feature, which makes traveling much more convenient. Not lugging a full-size rifle case through airports makes your life easier, because the tiny case doesn’t scream “gun” to thieves and gets thrown into the luggage hold when bigger gun cases get left on the loading ramp for the next scheduled flight. (Which in Africa may be several days away.)
The Professional package is set up and ready to hunt and comes with a Zeiss Conquest scope, quick detach saddle mounts (which, after extensive testing, return not “close to zero” but exactly dead-on), a quality neoprene sling with shell holders, and a fitted Pelican case. There is enough room in the case to store an additional barrel, too, making for a dangerous-game and plains-game package that is half the size of a conventional case. The Professional package is available in six basic caliber configurations from .270 Winchester to .375 H&H, but there are nearly 40 different calibers/barrels that will also fit.