I find myself in the odd situation of being drawn back to the dark continent. I've decided to start looking for a return to africa with the only ph who's ever fully taken care of me. His name is Ian Van Der Vyver. Over the years we have become like brothers. Hearing his stories off and on of the big 5 really has me thinking about hunting them now. I've never before had the desire to shoot any elephant or hippo. It seems as if there is zero fun in shooting an animal you can walk right up to. However he now is starting to sway my opinions on many of my old strong beliefs. I am wrinting this to ask you guys what your opinion is.
animal #1 is definitely a rhino. is there anything fun about rhino hunting? is there anywhere that you can hunt a rhino and get a true free range experience? Im assuming a rhino is zero fun and as of right now I havent heard any advice that has swayed me on this subject.
animal #2. A large bull elephant. My ph now has me thinking that chasing an 80+ lb tusker would be quite an adrenaline rush. If i were to persue this do you think I would have an awesome experience?
animal #3. A large male lion. I've always wanted to hunt a lion but I've never like the looks of a free range lion. I do love the looks of a high fenced lion and would love to have one. Heres my delima. My ph says there are areas where you can hunt high fenced lions that have been free roaming inside the fence for years. He said that these hunts are hard to find but are sometimes available and that they are quite enjoyable. He know has me thinking of doing this type of hunt. So my question to you is this. Are high fenced hunts like the ones conducted by spiral horn safaris enjoyable? what are the experiences like and what can one expect?
Thanks in advance
Ever think about black or white rhino dart - you have to get real close like 10 yards and make a good shot. and not get stomped to death.
The #80 pound elephant could take you years to find and accomplish or you could be the first one out the door. try Tanzania for this hunt...
Large lion...being on a safari in Tanzania where a camp mate was after the lion - leopard and cape buffalo... we found good lion however getting them on a bait was another matter. All day light hunting by the way.
By the way we did see the mail lion and he was a nice one just would not go to bait placed.
Our leopard liked the skinning shed and the homey badgers were taking the bait for the leopard.
For me, When I went to dart my Rhino, I was thinking.....show up, walk up dart the thing, take photo's and move along. How wrong I was. First, you need to be close....very close. Waaaay closer than you would get with an express rifle, second, there can be nothing between you and the target. Nothing.
It turned out to be extremely exciting and I would in fact do it again.
Jumbo, the most exciting 5 seconds of all my international hunting.
As far as lion goes, I hunted mine in Zambia's Luangwa Valley. It gets no more real than that. That said, if you want to shoot one in RSA, I would applaud that and wish your hunt to be fabulous.
Here would be my honest and sincere advice. Hunt different area's with different people, you will grow as a sport hunter, you will grow as a traveler. Get outside your comfort zone. I know the feeling of knowing the guy that meets you in the airport, feels safe. If I had to do many of my hunts over, I would go with a different guy every single time. They all have plus's and they all have minus's. You learn the best bits from many many PH's and their hunting teams.
If you are going to ramp up after those Leopard hunts buddy you are in for a little work.
Being close to Rhino on the ground is something else. I enjoyed it. Not like your Leopard hunt though.
The price differential between B&W will create some focus.
RSA Lion are going to be way closer to your Leopard hunt, if you get out of the truck and walk them down.
Finding a place they have been released for a long period will be the trick.
I think 99% of the charge videos are from the RSA critters.
I can not see you sitting in a blind baiting. They would have to chain you down.
Elephant. I think Tuskless is more along your line.
Lots of walking, sneaking in and trying not to get trampled when you take one in the middle of the herd.
Looking for a monster 80+ will provide a challenge for sure.
Good luck. Glad he's talking you into going back to play.
Leave me a Kudu in Botswana!!
I have hunted none of the above, but if I were you I'd do it soon, the days of hunting the Big 5 are coming to and end. If I hunted a lion, I'd get it out of Africa ASAP!
I agree with Enyesse! Get it soon, the pressure is mounting!
Rhino would not interest me to hunt with a gun at all. With a high powered gun it would me more killing than hunting to me.
Darting or with a bow would be totally different as you need to get much closer and also need better angels for a shot.
When it comes to hunting Elephant, I think tuskless from a herd would be more exiting than a big lonely bull.
Baiting Lion or Leopard would make me crazy.
I don't know if any outfitter can offer a walk down hunt on a true free range Lion with a decent success rate.
This can be done inside High fence in RSA, but to me the big questions would be how long has the lion been inside that area, how big is the area and if the lion is killing its own food there or not.
i can understand not hunting a rhino norweegian woods but hunting an elephant with a bow whether its an old loner bull or a cull hunt in a herd would definately be something that would never be forgotten.
walking up a loin or lioness with archery equipement even in a big high fenced area would would be right up there also
Tap following elephant in thick jess in zim will give you plenty of excitement i promise you. they move through it without a sound ,but you couldnt run 3 feet off a track without slamming to a halt its that thick, and you can only see bits of legs at 10 yards or less, makes it very interesting. :biggrin: but even in "ordinary" bush you will love it.
I have never shot an elephant, but been quite close to one, and yes, believe me, it is very exciting.
Free roaming high fence lions can be found, I have seen them in Mkuze Falls PGR, KWazulu/Natal.
Too bad he didn't mention buffalo....
Tap good luck on which ever one you chose. I know that Ele is high on my list but its high on my pocket as well I do have a friend in Zim that said he would do a Amadundemela Elephant Bull 50 lb + 15 day Safari for 28500 I'm still losing sleep trying to figure out how to pull this one off.
I absolutely would love to hunt Elephant with a bow and also Lion if done without baiting. Just to bad that I will never have the money for it.
Originally Posted by bluey
I just stay with the PGs and hopefully one day I will save up the money to hunt a Buff with a bow :)
As for you rhino is on top of my list and, for me, the last of the big five list.
I am struggling between darting and shooting and have a bit of stand-by position until I see an offer that will make me go one direction or another. I trust both are fun. Again, motivation would be for me partially to finish the big five, and I would NOT start with it.
Concerning jumbo, I would say that now is the good time to do itｨPrices have been down, and some places do really offer the chance of a big bull (60+ should be a realistic target). I have shot 70+ last summer and have seen more than one of similar size. And rest assured, walking close to an elephant (less than 20 meters) is a real challenge and thrill. With buffalo, this is in my view the ultimate adrenaline hunting rush...
Concerning lion, I also shot one last summer, free range, but it has left me with mixed feelings. They are more and more under pressure, difficult to shoot without taking the risk of eliminating the dominant male (with the potential collateral damages to cubs and youngsters). If I had to repeat it, i would probably go for fenced, under the parameters you mentioned. Free range lion hunting is not the most exciting one and pales compared to buff and elephant to be honest.
I tend to agree that anyway the time of free range lion hunting is soon over...
Its funny that mkuze falls was mentioned. My ph borders them and he said he can set me up with a hunt there. Im thinking very serious about it. apparently 4 got out last summer and he ended up killing one on his place. I called to get the latest in africa and my ph informed me zambia is falling to the greenies and we all know botswana already fell. Now my houndsman is telling me this is the last year zim will allow leopard hunting with hounds so I will be setting dates with him tomorrow to hunt the last leopard I will ever kill. After hunting leopards with hounds theres no way I could ever go back to bait hunting. I'm making some big changes this year in my life and Im thinking that I may just go all out before the dumbasses with no clue get hunting shut down for good. I'm with you guys. The days of classical safaris are quickly coming to a close. I'm going to take advantage of at least a few of the areas now. I'm very concerned that I better get my open concession kafue lechwe this year or not do it at all. All this bad news coming out of africa is really saddening.
Where did you shoot a 70 plus last year, that's a dang nice Jumbo and I'd love to see it. Can you post a picture?
Zambia really hasn't fallen to the "greenies" as much as it has been a victim of corruption. ZAWA (Zambian Wildlife Authority) was an extremely corrupt organization. That said, I think most "indigenous African run" govt. bureaucracies are. The Zambia govt did not really shut hunting down, they recalled the GMA tenders. They all for the most part come up for renewal at the same time. There is still some hunting going on. Tondwa, for example in extreme NE Zambia up by Congo and TZ has tender expiration that ends in 2015 (I think) it is still open for business. The Govt wants to just reallocate GMA's in a transparent process, to include an accurate assessment of game populations. I also read, but cannot confirm that communal hunting area's like the Kafue Flats and the Bangweulu swamp are still able to conduct hunts. Like I said, I cannot confirm that but Tondwa, I spoke to the concession holder two days ago.
All that said, Africa is Africa and Zambia could reopen hunting tomorrow or perhaps never again. Damn shame, Zambia, in my opinion is the second richest and most diverse hunting country in all of Africa. Go get both Lechwe's while you can. They are endemic to only those area's.
Further, They have in a seperate action, closed Lion and Leopard hunting in ALL GMA's.
The hunt was adjacent to Hwange national Park, in the Colliery concession which is run by Zimafrica. Third hunt there and saw every time nice jumbos. Last one was the best regarding big trophies, mostly because late in the season (mid-august) and very dry conditions pushing the elephant out of the park.
In a ten day hunt, I saw probably 10-15 which were over 60, 5-6 70 or over and a couple that may have pushed over 80. Hard to believe but true. Fact is that I was lion hunting and shot my jumbo once done with lion and not really looking for it. It very oftn gives you the best results, just need luck.
The one I shot is not the biggest but the nicest I saw, i.e. regular both side and massive. It also turned out to be very heavy (little neural tissue). Unfortunately a very poor pic, sorry, but late shot far from the car...
ok the leopard hunting portion was just booked. I will be going over to try for my super tom in may. after I talk with my ph in SA i may be going for a mkuze lion as well. I'm still undecided on the elephant but if I find a good spot to look for an ele over 75+ I may book that as well. The elephant sounds fun but Im really not sure on the rhino. Im not into shooting something just because its on someones imaginary list of the top five most dangerous or something. I want to hunt stuff that results in a true experience. My last big desire is a timbivati buff. I want a 41 or 42 inch buff with bosses so big they hang over his eyes. Don't ask me why I want that but I've passed many buffalo looking for that one bull in particular. One of these days I will meet my buff.
I totally agree with you when it comes to the Rhino, the list and what hunting is about.
Originally Posted by tap
I am totally confident you will meet that buff.
I am looking very much looking forward to your reports from your adventures! :)
Mkuze also offers some great buffalo, that s where I shot mine.
Originally Posted by tap