KZN 2010 Hunt Report
During September of 2010 we hunted Debula Yedwa Safaris in KZN province of South Africa. The Outfitter/PH of this operation is Mr. H.N. de Wet of Durban. To say I had a magnificant safari would be a complete understatement. As I look back over the hunt, words don't quite match the excitement, adventure, and hunting that we had over that period.
I hunted with a Ruger 77 tang safety in 7x57 with 160 grain Accubonds at a measured 2600 fps. I also brought along a CZ 550 American in 9.3x62 with 250grain Barnes TSX, but it stayed in the case the entire hunt. Only on the largest kudu cow I shot for meat did I feel slightly under gunned.
During this hunt I took common reedbuck, cape bushbuck, nyala, 2 blesbok, warthog and 2 kudu cows for rmeat.
The two main animals I wanted were the bushbuck and nyala. We hunted these on a free range area (no fences of anytype) along the Mkomazi River near the town of Richmond. It seemed the bushbuck liked one side of the river and the nyala the other side. The brush was extremely thick and made the spotting the game difficult and we heard many "barks" from the nyala and bushbuck, heard the crashing through the brush, but failed to see them. The season was changing with much warm winds, hot temperatures and full moon all added to the chalenge of this hunt. (next time, my timing will be better)
After hunting a few days with little success on the bushbuck side of the river we tried for nyala. About 20 minutes into the afternoon hunt we came spoted through the think brush a bushbuck ram and I thought about passing on it for a brief second and as that moment past, I found a hole through the brush and down he went. I know there are bigger bushbuck in this area we just couldn't seem to find them. But I had my cape bushbuck. And am quite pleased with him. What was interesting is that this is the only bushbuck we spotted on the "nyala" side and he was hanging with two nyala ewes, so maybe he was confused.
This is a picture of my wife and I with my cape bushbuck.
After the bushbuck was in the salt, it was time to concentrate our efforts on a good nyala. We had seen a couple of smaller bulls, maybe in the 25" class, but we knew there were much better, bigger bulls to be had here. But it didn't come easy, after 2 1/2 days of hunting up and down the valley with the river below we had very little to show for it other then maybe a sunburn and good exercise. It was about 3pm when my wife told me she was hot, tired and hungry (not a good combination) and we decided to head back to the bakkie for a little food and a shower. It was about 90-95F and a very hot wind was blowing. Just as we all kind of conceded the hunt for the time being, we spotted a nyala hiding up the side hill, maybe 80-90 yards in a lttle patch of green to our right. The PH didn't think I had seen the bull as I was searching for an opening to place my shot. Finally I could see a window and placed the bullet right on his shoulder and down he went, but also he was out of our vision and with the brush being so thick we moved quickly to where we last saw him. As we did he got up and tried to make a get away, three more shot later (2 connected) he was down and we had the nyala I had come to KZN to hunt. In hindsight if we had left him a couple of minutes he would have expired where he first fell, oh well he was down and he was a good one.
The small little bump on the shouler is where the 160gr Accubond came to rest. It weighed 97.5grs or about 61% weight retention.
Other game we hunted was common reedbuck
and a nice blesbok.
We took it easy for the remainder of our hunt and enjoy the magificant scenery this area has to offer as well as enjoy but some of the traditional Zulu culture this area has to offer.
Near the end of the hunt, Herman took me to another camp where he wanted my opinion concerning the accomadations and we sat by a water hole to see what might come in. We saw many impala, kudu and then much to our surprise three different nyala bulls came to drink, two of them bigger then the one I had taken and one being 32-33 as estimated by Herman. He is kind of an nyala specialist and said was without a doubt the largest nyala bull he had ever seen in his 28 years of PHing. We captured these bulls on video, but I could not get a clear picture with my digital, so we moved to a more open spot, but one better for pictures and this third bull came in to drink.
One other intersting thing of this place was that we were sitting in a hide within 50 yards of a fresh leopard kill and all the animals were very skittish at this water.
As the we concluded the hunt we dropped off the bushbuck and nyala off at the taxidermist in Newcastle. Upon measuring both he said they both met Rowland Ward minimums. So that was a nice bonus. As stated earlier, the entire hunt was just super and I thank Herman de Wet of Debula Yedwa Safaris for working so hard to make this a safari I shall never forget. This was our sixth trip to Africa, and I must say it was also the most enjoyable.
Congratulations, BigBullet, nice trophies.
You certainly can find huge nyalas in KZN, I have seen them !
This is a good report with matching photos with great smiles...
the extra pictures were a bonus for us to look at.
All the animals are very excellent trophies! I'm glad you and your wife had a good time.
I love reports with lots of pictures. They tell as much as the text. Especially the joyous moments (like you and wife laughing with bushbuck). Good stuff.
Nice report, thanks for sharing. I guess I may not know bushbuck that well, but yours sure looks like a good one to me! Love the reedbuck too.
THANKS FOR TE GREAT REPORT! Love the pics some great trophys glad you and your wife had a great time.
Thanks for posting your hunt report with pictures BigBullet.
Thank you all for the kind remarks. I will be heading there again in May 2012 and can't wait. Herman is just a blast to hunt with and I am looking forward, once again, to laughs around the campfire.
Hi Big Bullet,
Congratulations to your wife & you ...... great hunt report and wonderful trophy photos ( blesbok has a real freak head), it seems you both had remarkable time .....
Thanks for sharing