Habitat Africa wishes you Happy Hunting in 2016 South Africa
Developing the precise load and accuracy for a hunting rifle takes time, adjustments to various aspects and an intimate passion for perfection, pretty much our motto at Habitat Africa.
Right from the start, we have set our sights to do something different in the online wilderness, offer top class service, products and prices all to the benefit of our clients. With our motto in mind and the dawn of the New Year, it is now time to reflect on our aim and how accurate we were in executing what we had set out to do.
One of the reasons I get excited about turning the corner in the new year is that before you know it Autumn is on us with the hunting season trailing. The prospect of time with my family in the outdoors and the bush in particular is always appealing, not just because of the hunt but for the opportunity to create new memories.
Unfortunately 2015 will be remembered and referred to for a very long time for the wrong reasons. Besides one of the worst droughts in living memory, the year started roughly around the R11.50 mark to the dollar and without any further surprises 2016 seems set to start at about R15.40. One of the most frequent questions from clients is what is going to happen in the New Year when it comes to prices. One thing is for certain, price adjustments are coming but although some hunters may shoot less, I know from experience but am still amazed at how passionate they are about their rifles and past times and passion is not something that will simply disappear because of price adjustments.
But it is not all doom and gloom. We have managed to secure some fantastic deals with the result of rifles and optics at very reasonable prices, like HOWA 308 Varmint models at R9000.00, which is probably cheaper than what it has been for a very long time.
In general rifle optic prices have increased quite significantly in the last couple of years but so has the technology that goes with it, resulting in better products all the time. One product that comes to mind in particular is the new Burris XTRII 5-25×50 with a front focal plane MOA illuminated reticle for R21699. This product is sure to make a big impression on the competition scene at a very modest price tag for a competition rifle scope.
On the reloading front, the enormous demand in the United States seems to slow down a little bit resulting in a better flow of especially bullets.
The weak rand also has its advantages and I know the outfitters and hunting industry catering for foreign clients can look forward to a busy time in the veld. Where game is managed well, trophy quality is improving which will keep South Africa among the top Safari destinations. As a small boy I used to study a Rowland Ward record book on the hunting farm that we would visit back then in the Alldays district, north of the Soutpansberg. One particular recording was that of a 71” Kudu Horn and I have often wondered what a kudu bull with 71” horns must look like. Well thanks to the scientific way that game farmers are going about their profession these days and the protection of top genetics for future generations of the species, we might soon know what a majestic 70 incher look like again – wouldn’t that be something.
Unfortunately pressure keeps mounting from anti-hunting fraternities to ban all hunting related activities. The constant threat by governments to ban the import of hunting trophies does remain a cause for concern. Be that as it may, we can be certain of the fact that our conduct as hunters will be very subjectively scrutinized in years to come. Something that I was particularly disappointed about was the absolute lack of response from these so called animal rights entities when several members of the Marsh Pride Lions, which is one of the best known lion prides in the world , was poisoned by Masai Herdsman in Kenya. From a lion conservation point this is a particularly bad incident since the populations in Kenya has been plummeting ever since hunting was banned there in the 1970’s. Furthermore incidents have been reported in South Africa where lions have been poisoned and killed with various body parts removed for the muti trade. This however does not bode well for the remaining wild lion populations in Africa.
In re-evaluating what time has taught us and the experience we gained from our customers countrywide, it is important that we apply this to our business model and improve the overall experience.
Our product range will vastly increase in months to come and through our passion for our business and nature keep providing our clients with the best prices and service possible in the New Year.
As 2015 comes to an end, we would like to thank all our clients for their support since the launch of Habitat Africa in August. We enjoy talking to our clients, learning from them and giving advice where possible.
May the winds of change blow across our land and the rains fall where needed!
We wish you all a prosperous 2016
The HABITAT AFRICA Team