ZIMBABWE: Hunting Zimbabwe with Phillip Smythe in Chirisa
Just to fill you in about my hunt in Africa. Hunt dates were October 1 -10 2013 in Chirisa Safari Area located in the Western Part of Zimbabwe just south of the Zambezi River. My PH was Phillip Smythe who I met with and booked this hunt with two years ago in Las Vegas at the SCI Convention. Phillip runs an outstanding camp located on the Sengwa River in the south western part of his hunting concession. Phillips Business name is Ivory Trail Safaris. Phillip leases his camp from HHK Safaris. I used Aaron Neilson with Global Hunting Resources as my booking agent. On this hunt my main animal of interest was Cape Buffalo. I also expressed interest in several plains game species prior to arrival. Just a reminder that this is a no fence area and you are hunting animals in their free range environment in the wilds of Africa. This area offers 4 out of the big five animals. I saw on this hunt numerous elephant everyday. They kill bull elephant in this area with 40 plus pounds of Ivory. They Killed a 62 pounder earlier this season. Phillip is allowed to harvest animals on a strict quota system set forth by the head park ranger in this district. A lot of the plains game animals are spoken for as baits for the Leopard hunters. Mainly Impala and Zebra are used for the cat hunts as baits. On this hunt I saw the following trophies. On average
Baboons 100 per day.
Duiker every 15 minutes of your hunt.
Eland I saw one young bull eland, but cut their tracks often while tracking Buffalo.
Elephant 20 plus elephant a day
Impala 100 Impala a day.
Kudu 8 good bulls.
Lion I did not see a lion but found their tracks.
Sable 0 tracks only.
Warthog 20 a day.
Zebra 12 per day.
During October the weather is very hot and water is quite sparse. We would travel to the known water springs throughout the are and look for fresh buffalo sign to start and track for the days hunt. Walks would be as brief as 1 hour before catching up with the buffalo or as long as walking all day and never catching up with them.
My hunt began on day one by going to the parks office filling out paperwork and getting a park ranger who would accompany me on this hunt. The first day we stalked in to about 50 yards of a group of a dozen buffalo. One nice solid top bull but according to Phillip he was " a rat ". nothing worth shooting on day 1 a bull well past his prime.
Day two we got on fresh buffalo sign and an hour later were on the group. we stalked with in 80 yards of the heard as they laid down chewing their cuds. we could see two nice bulls but long story short they got up and moved off prior to having the chance at a good shot.
The next four days was tracking tracking tracking. we got close to buffalo everyday but we were never able to have a decent shot at a decent buffalo before they spooked off.
Day 7. Going to check water and ran into a group of 4 Kudu bulls first thing in the morning. Was able to stalk with in 180 yards and shot a nice 50" bull off the sticks. This Kudu showed no signs of being hit and never lost a drop of blood. It wasn't until we saw three of the four bulls appear on the opposite river bank that we knew we had the big bull down. One shot one Kudu.
Day 8 we got onto a group of Buffalo early in the morning. I was on the sticks as they were feeding in front of me at about 80 yards. As soon as Phillip saw a nice bull present himself to us he told be to go ahead and take the shot. I hit the Buffalo good and he went about 80 yards before piling up. I was very happy to have connected on my first African Cape Buffalo. As we approached the bull Phillip had me shoot the Bull two more times to ensure he was finished. Cant ever be to sure as we all know...its the dead ones that will kill you.
Day 9 and 10 involved shooting game birds, taking photos, and helping my good friend Stu with buffalo sign for him to connect.
Would I hunt this area again and do so with Phillip Smythe and Ivory Trail Safaris? Yes. Phillip takes 15 Buffalo hunters per year. If you want to hunt with somebody who will cater to your needs and give you personalized attention this is a great outfit. If you would rather hunt with a company that has a quota for 50 buffalo and you get treated like your holding a ticket number to be served at your local grocery shop deli line then Ivory trail Safaris is not for you.
I would be glad to entertain any questions about this trip. phone # 1 907 240 1420
King Salmon, Alaska