The Bubye Valley Conservancy (BVC) is a pristine lowveld wildlife area of almost 1 million acres situated in the south of Zimbabwe. This area has an incredible array of over 35 animal species and, apart from elephant, offers the very finest of both dangerous and plains game free-range hunting found anywhere on the African continent. It is extremely rare to have such a diverse list of different species all found in one area. Some species are found in the thousands; hence the area is affectionately known as the Serengeti of Zimbabwe. The periphery of the total concession is fenced and electrified, due to government regulations pertaining to some dangerous game. There are no internal fences, so there are no problems with boundaries affecting game movement or hunting. The BVC remains as one of the largest concessions found anywhere in Africa.
This safari company is run by a PH who grew up in Zimbabwe. He worked a number of years as a Park Ranger for the Zimbabwe Game Department, doing much hunting and culling of dangerous game, including taking over 1,000 elephants and many lions, buffaloes and leopards. He worked capturing crocodiles and culling hippo and excess plains game. He was fortunate to begin working on his own as a PH, and now is well entrenched at the Conservancy. He has previously been awarded the prestigious Professional Hunter of the Year award in Zimbabwe. His company is very pro-active and very tough on poaching; so much so that they have never lost an elephant to poaching! They have one of the largest herds of black rhino, and spent half a million dollars in just one year on anti-poaching patrols. These people care and prove it.
The BVC offers arguably the very best of wild lion hunting in Africa, with every trophy taken being of MGM quality. They currently hunt 13 male lions a year, with success running pretty much at 100%. Please note these hunts are usually sold out a few years in advance due to the incredible success rate. Although they have an overpopulation of lions (largest population in the country and second highest density, after Serengeti), they are presently not hunting any female lions due to the controversy surrounding lion hunting.
The BVC is blessed with a very high population of leopards and years of research shows that the male to female ratio is 2 females to 1 male throughout the area. They hunt about 20 males each season and the success rate on large toms is among the highest in Africa. Almost each year they win the prize for the largest leopard shot in the country. Again, these hunts are usually booked out a few years ahead.
The BVC has a very healthy buffalo population in excess of 6,000 head and increasing annually. This outfitter takes about 120 bulls a year with about 40% of these being management bulls of 35” spread or less. Every year they take a large number of bulls in excess of 40” and these hunts usually run at 100% success rate. On one recent hunt they looked at over a 100 “dagga boys” in 9 days! They do not hunt any cows.
At this time, this outfitter is only hunting problem elephants, as and when the need arises.
You could easily write a book on what is available here. First, realize you are hunting a huge parcel of ground that is kept as wild as possible. While hunting plains game you may see the Big 5 and when stalking they are around! This adds greatly to the experience. Here is a comment from one client:
“I have seen more game here in 2 days than 21 days of hunting in the Selous. How I wish went here on my very first plains game hunt.”
And another client said:
“I cannot stress how much I recommend this PH and his area. Having hunted in Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa with all kinds and ranges of outfitters, these folks are unquestionably the best African safari outfit on that continent.” Harris J.
They have 27 species that can be taken. They include kudu, zebra, warthog, waterbuck, eland, sable, gemsbok, nyala, impala, wildebeest (black and blue), and many more. Just look at the trophy fee list below. And if you want some of the night time critters like small cats, you can legally do that too.
They never mix different clients in any of their camps, in order to keep all safaris very exclusive. Each camp has sole and exclusive hunting rights in that area, varying from 75,000 to 200,000 acres. Each camp has their own skinning/butchering facilities complete with a cold room. All camps have wireless satellite internet connection installed so that clients are able to access their emails. Daily laundry service is provided, along with regular attention by the camp staff who pride themselves on what they do.
2020 PRICES (subject to change without notice until deposit received; all prices in USD).
All prices based on 1×1 guiding. Deduct $75/day/hunter for 2×1 guiding.
Safari No. of days Daily Rate Total
Gemsbok is hunted on normal hunts but attracts a higher trophy fee. Gemsbok and cheetah require a permit prior to the hunt (approx. $1,500). Management lions are males without large mane, injured or problem lions. Any key species upgrades will be charged at 70% of daily rate + applicable trophy fee.
• 2% Zimbabwe Tourism Authority levy on daily rates and trophy fees
• 2% National Parks levy on trophy fees
• trophy transport, handling and dip & pack
They have 8 permanent, fully-staffed and catered camps (luxury lodges and thatched chalets) dispersed throughout the area. All camps have hot and cold running water with en suite bathroom facilities. Each camp has 220-volt generator power with a stand by generator and most have a swimming pool.
You will fly first to Johannesburg, South Africa. Most will overnight there and we can suggest some wonderful facilities and folks who can help expedite your permits for your firearms as well. They will meet, greet, and take you to their facility, offer you an evening meal and return you next day for your flight to Bulawayo in Zimbabwe. There are daily flights from Johannesburg to Bulawayo. We can also suggest quality travel agents to assist you. Do be aware that you must go through a few formalities to import guns into these two foreign countries. Again we will assist you with this.
Your transport will be waiting for you outside arrivals and if possible please pay the transporter directly in cash upon the return leg (approx. $400 but varies by camp). Most of their camps can be reached within a 4-hour drive on good roads from Bulawayo. Air charters can also be arranged.
All formalities in Zimbabwe are very easy, although often slow. We suggest your immigration, customs and temporary firearms forms be filled in prior to arrival at Bulawayo, to save time. These forms can be downloaded from the Zimbabwe website or will be sent to you. Visitors require a visa upon arrival ($30). Upon arrival go first to the visa desk and obtain your visa before anything else. Then clear immigration, followed by customs.
A Zimbabwe Temporary Firearms Permit needs to be filled out with weapon particulars and exact ammunition listed (3 copies). Upon exit, this firearm permit will be handed back when customs re-checks firearms departing. The U.S. Customs firearm form 4457 must be brought along. YOU MUST HAVE THE CURRENT 4457 FORM. OTHERWISE YOU WILL RISK BEING DENIED ENTRY OF YOUR WEAPON.
TO PREVENT PROBLEMS WHEN RETURNING TO THE UNITED STATES, YOU MUST REGISTER YOUR FIREARMS AND RELATED EQUIPMENT BY TAKING THEM TO ANY CUSTOMS AND BORDER PATROL (“CBP”) OFFICE BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE UNITED STATES. THE CBP OFFICE WILL REGISTER THEM ON THE SAME CBP FORM 4457 USED TO REGISTER CAMERAS AND COMPUTERS. PLEASE NOTE THAT YOU OFTEN CANNOT SIMPLY DO THIS AT THE AIRPORT WHEN LEAVING THE U.S., SO YOU SHOULD DO THIS IN ADVANCE OF YOUR TRIP.