The first thing to remember about African hunt payments is that, the hunt is not booked until the first deposit payment is made. The outfitter is at liberty to sell the hunt dates that you want to anyone else who comes up with the deposit first.
"Alas! how deeply painful is all payment!" Lord Byron
So when you have made your choice and told the outfitter you definitely want to hunt with him, act quickly and decisively. Complete and return your hunt agreement and other documentation and make arrangements to transfer money. A good outfitter would consider the hunt taken on receipt of your signed agreement and will not sell the dates to anyone else while your deposit is in transit.
Hunt payments typically are divided into a confirming deposit and a final payment. Deposits vary in percentage amounts but are usually 50% of the total hunt cost. The timing of the final African hunt payment can vary but is usually between 60 and 90 days before the hunt starts. When the hunt is a last minute booking within the hunting company's final payment period, the hunt cost in full will usually be payable.
Some outfitters prefer clients to pay their final hunt payment on arrival at the hunt area but before the hunt starts. Others will even just require the final payment invoiced in with the trophy fees at the conclusion of the hunt, before departure from camp. This suits some clients who feel they can then withhold payment or partial payment should the hunt 'go bad' in their opinion.
When you make your hunt deposit transfer arrangements, ensure that the correct and agreed amount is sent and that means you take care of all the associated bank charges. It is often the case with monies coming from the USA that an extra small charge (only about US$12) is deducted from the amount unbeknown to the hunter. This is probably because money sent overseas from the US, goes through a central clearing bank who lop off this fee. No outfitter is going to worry if the hunt payment is a few dollars short and will just add it to your final account.
It is often the hunter's option also whether to transfer an amount to cover some trophy fees, ahead of the hunt. The outfitter may agree to this so you do not have to carry around large sums of cash. However check with him first because he will incur bank charges to move the money which will usually be passed on to you. Increasingly a trophy fee deposit made prior to the hunt is actually being requested by outfitters.