A reliable flashlight or torch is essential to take on an African hunting safari particularly if you are hunting a wilderness area and living in a camp that runs on a generator. A permanent hunting camp such as in South Africa is usually well-lit at night using mains electricity or solar power, however a flashlight is useful if the power fails for any reason.
In a wilderness hunting camp you will need a flashlight for finding your way around your tent or going to the bathroom at night when the generator is shut down. Should you go outside your tent at night (not to be recommended), there are usually oil lamps strategically placed around the camp but a flashlight with a strong beam will be useful to find the magazine you left in the dining area.
Out hunting a flashlight will be important if darkness overtakes you when you are looking for a wounded or dead animal or when you have a long walk back to the truck. In this instance a headlamp will be more convenient as long as you don't 'blind' the others in your group when you look at them. If you are doing a night follow-up on a possibly wounded leopard, a strong light output headlamp or a flashlight securely bound to your firearm barrel will be necessary.
Functions Of A Good African Hunting Flashlight
LED (light-emitting diode) technology have rendered most other flashlight bulbs virtually obsolete. They cannot be beaten for energy efficiency, battery life, impact resistance and brightness. Overall flashlight reliability goes without saying on an Africa hunt.
Good long battery life.
Uses common battery sizes (AA,C,D) whether rechargeable or disposable. Regular battery sizes are cheap and easy to buy in most towns in Africa. Most brands of rechargeable batteries work best when they are used right after charging rather than charged and left aside until ready for use.
Built-in lithium-ion batteries can be recharged through a computer USB connection, AC or DC outlet or solar panel. If your camp runs on a generator you will usually only be able to recharge in the evenings while the generator is on.
Tough and rugged enough to still function if the flashlight is dropped, covered in dust or run over by a hunting truck.
A degree of water resistance or fully waterproof. Check seals are unbreakable especially around the glass so it can't be affected by humidity.
A high level of light output with more than one brightness mode. (Light output is measured in lumens and is the highest light intensity on a new battery).
Adjustable beam intensity which varies with selected brightness setting. (Beam intensity is measured in metres). Beams commonly can be adjusted through any level between a spot light to flood light.
You might prefer 'regulated' brightness where the flashlight maintains a constant light level until the battery is dead rather than fading gradually.
Size and weight of a flashlight is an issue for travelling and ease of handling. Lightweight flashlights are often made of thinner aluminium and can be more easily damaged. Heavier flashlights are usually made of thicker aluminium and are more impact resistant.
An straight on/off power button may be inadvisable because it may get switched on in your bag unnoticed and be dead when you need it. A flashlight with a button safety lock or a rotating switch mechanism might be preferable.
African Hunting Flashlights
These flashlights have all been used by hunters in Africa and come recommended for generally good battery life, excellent light output and toughness.
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This is the flashlight that is useful for illuminating blood trails with the blue beam in low light conditions
Dual-output flashlight that also provides two distinct beam types and four spectrum choices
Power-regulated primary LED and a Total Internal Reflection lens to produce a 4 lumen white low beam or a brilliant 130 lumen white spot beam
Secondary LEDs produce low-output flood beams in red, blue, yellow-green and infrared, letting you preserve your own night vision (red, blue, and yellow-green), navigate outdoors without disturbing wildlife
The no-look selector ring lets you instantly choose colour output
Two-stage push-button tailcap switch activates the light
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