Hunting with Zirk's African Hunting Safaris - March 2013
A few months ago, my brother posted a thread stating that we'd be returning to South Africa to hunt, and said we'd have a good write up on AH upon our return. Well, it's taken a bit longer than it probably should, but we're finally getting to it. We have looked at the hundreds of pictures we've taken, hours of video, and finally started getting some things that we can work with and help tell the story as we experienced it.
We'll both be contributing to this report, as we feel that between the two of us we should be able to cover it better than just one, and since we split up many of the days, we'll be able to share more of the overall hunt with everyone.
I want to start out by saying that this was the first time hunting with "Zirk's African Hunting Safaris" but not everyone's first time hunting with Zirk. Our first trip, in 2011, was with another outfitter and Zirk was our head PH. Him, along with two other PH's that we had at that time (Pieter and Frans) made our trip what it was, and it was fantastic. We kept in touch with Zirk after the first hunt, and learned he branched out and started his own outfit. We knew that a return trip would have to include him (and the other two PH's if he would be able to recruit them for this hunt...which he was!), because we all got along so well the first time around. This time, the 4 hunters were my Dad, his friend Bob, my brother Jesse, and myself (Jason). Bob was the "first timer" this hunt, and loved every second if it.
Contact was made with Zirk through email, months before we planned on hunting. He was able to walk us through which areas would be best to have a chance at taking great trophies that we were interested in. We had numerous email exchanges, Skype calls, and phone calls throughout the planning process which made things feel very personal and not like we were just "customers". I definitely felt more connected with the outfitter during the planning stages, than I did last time but that could have just been that the first time we went, I had no idea of what to expect or what to ask in advance.
We got in to JNB from ATL on the Delta flight, and we had the Economy Comfort seats. These were a great investment and we got the first row in coach so our leg room was unmatched. I couldn't hit the wall in front of me with legs fully extended. The flight was uneventful, and the arrival in SA was pretty smooth. We met up with our PH's and with Henry from RifleImports.com and we were in and out of the SAPS office with rifle (and bow) cases in no time.
We left the airport and headed to El Cazador Guest House in Pretoria for the night, and it was great. Definitely a place I would suggest staying, as the food and company was great, and the house itself was beautiful. Definitely a great start to what would become a memorable hunt.
With our stomachs still full from the blesbok fillets and Castle beers the night before, we awoke and ate some breakfast before headed to Limpopo where Dad was going to kick off the hunt with a Cape Buffalo.
And so the hunt began...
Pictures from our first night in country:
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