First-Hand Report On Benin


Published: July - 2000

Steve Kobrine on Benin: I spend nine months a year hunting in most of the African countries which allow it, including Benin, about which little is known among US hunters. I thought it might be helpful to explain to prospective hunters what to expect here. The main animals one goes to Benin for are western roan and the newly re-classified West African savannah buffalo, though there are several other local rarities on the list, such as western hartebeest and nagor reedbuck.

The first thing to realize before booking a Benin safari is that it is not anything like the game fields of Tanzania, or the artificial conditions of a South African game farm. There are huntable numbers of animals in Benin, but a hunter will see fewer of them here than in many other areas. The way you have to hunt can be tough, too.

Take buffalo, for example. They are fairly abundant, but to hunt them successfully you have to track them. The protocol for a buffalo hunt is to drive roads near water sources such as the Pendjari river, where the buffalo have drunk during the night, find fresh tracks and follow them until you see the buffalo. These buffalo often walk long distances away from the water and it is sometimes necessary to walk several hours after them. The excessive heat (which can crest at 120 degrees Fahrenheit toward the end of the season) is often a problem for clients. That said, if you are fit and can withstand some hardships, then you are almost guaranteed to get a shot at a nice buffalo.

As for roan, the animals available here are almost certainly the cheapest in Africa. Roan here are taken by chance encounters, or by tracking much as you hunt buffalo. Often, roan will be sighted from the car, then tracked until a shot presents itself.

The other antelope on the list are taken by chance encounter from the road or sometimes when tracking other species. For some animals such as bushbuck, it is necessary........(continued)

 
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