Based in South Africa in the Eastern Cape Province, with hunting also in Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The main Lodge is 33° 31.561’S 25° 56.284’E
Depending on the area hunted, areas range between flat, open thornveld savannah, open grassland, rocky hills, mopane and miambo woodland and riverine bush.
The areas in South Africa are privately owned but the areas in Zimbabwe and Mozambique are all state-owned conservancy areas. Hunting is mainly from March to October, which tends to be cool and dry. Daytime temperatures are warm to hot, whereas at night it can get cold and a warm jacket would be needed. However, during the day temperatures can reach 30°C. The summer rains start in January, ending in March. The South African areas were previously stock ranches. However, wild game has always occurred there naturally, whereas the Zimbabwean and Mozambican areas are wilderness areas. There are no inhabitants on the land used.
The main hunting lodge is on 1 000 hectares with further hunting rights on 100 000 hectares on various properties within a one-hour drive. All the properties have a perimeter game fence and cater for bow and rifle hunting. All areas are in a low-risk malaria zone. The Zimbabwean and Mozambican areas are very large and unfenced and if hunting in those areas, anti-malaria prophylactics should be taken.
Russell does game capture and introduces a new game to improve the gene pool. The Big Five and dangerous game are offered on package deals. The minimum hunt is five days. Culling and managed hunts are offered to remove surplus females.
The lodge is purpose-built and comfortable. The lounge, bar and dining room are separate from the accommodation. All the buildings and chalets are brick with tin roofs. All have en suite bathrooms, flush toilets, hot and cold water, constant electricity and are fully air-conditioned and have a back-up generator. There is also a boma, as well as mobile phone and Internet coverage with a dongle. A maximum of five hunters can be accommodated at any one time.
The distance to the closest tar road is 2km. In the remote hunting areas, no lights can be seen and no vehicles can be heard. The nearest international airport is either OR Tambo or Cape Town, and clients catch a connecting flight to Port Elizabeth, a one-hour drive away. However, the closest airfield is on the property, a 1000m VFR grass airstrip. There is a hospital in Port Elizabeth.
All meals are inclusive of the price and all dinners are four courses. Light breakfast followed by a big brunch is served, and typically the animals shot to provide the meat. All drinks and alcohol are included in the daily rate.
One full-time tracker is employed who has been working for Russell for six years. They also have skinners and a full complement of the lodge staff.
All clients are met at the airport on arrival and dropped off on departure by one of the professional hunters. This service, plus field preparation of trophies, is included in the daily rate. The current daily rate for a one-on-one hunt is US$425 per day, and two-on-one is US$380 per day. In Mozambique, the daily rate is US$1,500 per day. There are numerous big-game package deals on offer.
All their vehicles are well maintained.1 x Toyota Hilux double cab1 x Toyota Land Cruiser pick up
Safari Trails International is registered in the Eastern Cape Province, has been in operation since 1998, and is a member of PHASA, SCI and Dallas.
Trophies are skinned, salted and stored in separate sheds made of brick, very secure and 100% vermin proof. These facilities are well ventilated and have electric lighting. The trophies once dried are stored separately and tags are used for identification. There is also an abattoir with cold room.All the skinners are taxidermist-trained. Taxidermy Africa in Humansdorp is recommended. However, trophies can be shipped to the clients own taxidermist of choice.