SOUTH AFRICA: Excellent Bos en Dal Safaris Safari hunting trip
To say I am totally thrilled is an understatement! I planned a trip to visit Gerrit of Bos en Dal Safaris during the month of August. Unfortunately I only had 4 days available to me due to other commitments but boy was it a jam packed 4 days. Averaging an animal a day was pretty decent. This was my first ever hunt and I really wanted it to be memorable and special in my own way. Gerrit did just that. His wife backed him up superbly with excellent lunches and dinners and was super welcoming.
Well, to give some more info on the hunt experience - my dream was to be presented with a Kudu bull. My dream came true,and best of all it came true on the first day of my hunt. The day started off with us scouting the land, driving, walking- mostly for those damn Zebra and Wildebeest ( more to follow on those 2 sneaky species). By about 4pm we were cruising slowly to the top of one of the valleys of Gerrit's beautiful land when we stopped to scout the land down below and onto the next koppie(small hill). Gerrit had eyes like a hawk and spotted at least 4-5 huge Kudu bulls. They were at least around 700 meters or so. He said we should make our way to the bottom then walk and stalk them from the bottom of the hill and see if we have any luck. We started our stalk and this was extremely tough. August is generally a windy and dry month and the leaves and grass are extremely dry. The crunch of leaves and twigs from our slow footsteps was totally unavoidable. This made us stalk a lot slower. The amount of droppings that we saw in this fairly dense shrubbery was a clear sign that life was in abundance in this area. Droppings but absolutely no sign of movement. We continued making our way up the hill and then down the hill. By this time it was getting dark and Gerrit said we continue making our way towards a water hole as we might get some luck. When we got close to the water hole Gerrit radioed for the driver to make his way to pick us up. I was feeling slightly despondent but happy with our walking stalking attempt. As we neared the water hole we saw movement and plenty Impala scattering away. This all happened so quickly. Gerrit whispered I come nearer and he put the sticks up. He said to me -' HUGE Kudu bull'. I got behind the scope and vaguely saw the bull at first. Around 120 meters.I all of a sudden recognised that white 'rabbits tail' as he was facing in our opposite direction. The beautiful bull turned broadside and Gerrit whispered to make the shot if I'm ready. I only had about 5 seconds but I made the shot. 'Thump'! Gerrit shouted hit but I didn't see much. We walked closer to the area and saw the bull was down around 20 meters away. My heart was pounding and was super excited. I had my first trophy and it was the Kudu bull trophy I had always dreamed of. All 56 2/8 inches! Rowland Ward Gold Medal and I could not have been any happier! Gerrit's decision was right for us to stalk the kudus up the hill and I take my hat off to him. I even hugged him when we were standing next the the beautiful species, hahaha.
These days all started the same - early mornings, beautiful sunrises and those damn zebra and wildebeest. We came across the same herds every day and tracked them for over an hour at times only for them to hear snapping twig and running off for miles. They were very weary and were really difficult to stalk. I told Gerrit I would be back to see it through with the Zebra and Wildebeest. Day 2 we made many stalking attempts and by the afternoon I was presented with a decent Blesbok trophy of 15 1/2 inches.This was from approximately 130 meters and was a solid hit. The Blesbok nose-dived as it tried to run. I surprised myself with my accuracy as I thought I would be quite bad. We ended off the day with a fantastic fire and a few cold beverages which quenched my thirst.
Day 3 was Springbok day. Was a very windy and cold day. These species you generally hunt from vehicle as they are skittish and you shoot from quite a distance. We spotted a decent ram and this was about 200 meters. I was quite nervous because firstly I didn't want to miss and secondly I didn't want to injure the animal and have it run off. Wile taking aim Gerrit said I would need to take the trajectory into account as it was 200 meter and slightly uphill. I listened to his advice and WOW, a perfect hit. The Springbok darted off for around 100 meters and then dropped. I was super chuffed and really surprised once again at my shooting skills. Another gold medal at 12 6/8.
My final day and I only had the morning before I had to leave. I was interested in an Impala trophy and my wise PH Gerrit said we should try for them. Noes than 10 mins when we left the house did we see a herd of Impala. We started stalking in my mind this stalk felt like we were all in unison. We didn't make a sound and I don't think we could have been any quieter. We spotted the Ram some 50 meters away grazing. It didn't even know we were there which was the best feeling knowing we had carried out a perfect stalk. The ram turned broadside and I made the shot. Another perfect shot and I bagged my Impala trophy.23 3/8 inches.
All in all I was super happy with my 4 days hunting trip and really happy with my trophies which I cannot wait to see the end result when they come back from the taxidermist. Even better was that my 4 animals were all Rowland Ward medal worthy, 2 gold & 2 silver, and to know that some people spend years and years searching for that 'grey ghost' just like the one I bagged makes it even more special. I only have good things to say about Gerrit and his team and he runs a professional outfit, yet relaxed. I didn't feel pressured to make any shots and wasn't forced to hunt anything I didn't want to. Gerrit I will be back hopefully next year and as I said to you - I want that old Wildebeest with the Buffalo looking horn and those Zebra!
Hope you like the pics