KMG Safaris - vaal rhebuck and oribi hunt
For 10 days in early may 2012 I along with my friend Robert had the pleasure of hunting with Kmg safaris. We took the flight from Washington to Joburg and then caught the last flight of the night to Port Elizabeth. This was my 4th trip to South Africa and second to Port Elizabeth. This was my first hunt with KMG. I personally hunted with Marius aka as Goose. My friend Robert's well qualified and well equipped ph was Louw Pieterse. We started our stay with a nice night sleep in port Elizabeth at a bed and breakfast called Sir Roys. Marius picked us up early the next day and we drove to the Stormburg mountains in search of Vaal Rhebuck.
It didn't take long for Robert to find his first 8" vaal rhebuck. The shot was 250 yards. I on the other hand would take 3 and a half days to get a shot at a mature ram. I hunt with a muzzleloader and getting within 200 yards of a vaal rhebuck was not a easy task. Robert with his rifle in two days shot 2 vaal rhebuck and 2 mountain reedbuck.
Here is a picture of Roberts 2nd vaal.
While hunting in the mountains we saw a monster of warthogs. The teeth were respectable but the body was huge. A shot of 135 yards prone from a rock ledge and I had my first animal in the salt.
On my 4th hunting day I did finally get a shot at a vaal. Let me just say I did not do my part in making a good shot. We had spotted 3 vaal rhebucks in the lands near a hill. We made a plan and stalked them from the back side of the hill. After a hour long stalk we belly crawled around the hill and where in the proses of looking for the 3 animals we had seen from 800 yards away. I was laying prone and out of my left eye I see 2 vaal rhebuck males running in our direction. Marius ranges them with his Leica range finding binoculars and whispers 138 yards and shoot the second one. In less than 10 seconds they broke to 186 yards. They stopped and looked back. I held 12" high and right up the front leg and let fly. The impact sounded good but the vaal ran into the distance and was back to where we had just spotted them 800 yards from us. As I stood up from the shot the wind blew my hat off. I did not factor in the wind and the drift that my 300 grain bullet moving at 1700 fps would have. I hit the back end of the animal. We searched all day and bumped him and his buddy right before dark. We had came so close and our time in the mountains was up. The land owner did everything in his power to find my vaal. He did find him and Marius is driving back the 8 hour round trip to retrieve the animal I had so longed to recover.
We drove back to KMG's main lodge in Grahmstown and met back up with the other guys. The lodge is more like a spa than a hunting lodge. Bubble bath , huge shower and outdoor shower in each villa just to start. Clean rooms, plenty of hot water and electricity all the time was a plus. The food was prepared by Piglet and Polecat. Piglet was the first camp staff I have ever encountered that had a swavorski scope on his rifle. They did a very good job of keeping us fed. The 42" TV in the lodge helped me keep in touch with the world. I wanted to hunt as much as possible in the short time I had so the cooks packed a bag lunch for us every day and we stayed out in the bush to minimize travel.
Here is a picture of my villa.
A perfect stalk and a 15 yard shot we had a 29" waterbuck in the salt.
I had always wanted a oribi and getting a permit was not a easy task. Marius was able to arrange a permit and a place to hunt the animal on my short list. We picked up Tertius and a man named Terry to help us spot and acquire a mature oribi. Terry was good friends with the man who's land we would be hunting. He drove us to where the animals lived. It was a beautiful property right on the Indian ocean in the town of port Alfred. We stalked to within 120 yards of the animal I would eventually harvest. Marius did a very good job of getting me into position to make a good shot. I had my 5" oribi.
On the way home from the oribi hunt we stopped at Terry's farm. I hunted zebra for the first time on my last trip. After that hunt I made a decision to try to hunt them every time i come back. We spotted a zebra and made a stalk to get into position to take a shot. The first zebra moved off and after a line of 14 or so passed the small lane we had, out stepped the herd stallion. He had no idea we where there. 135 yard shot and 60 yards of tracking I had my zebra.
This was a sight to see when they came to get my zebra. They all directed each other (back in the states we say to may chiefs not enough Indians) I was glad to see the 9 chiefs come and help us get the zebra. The hide was off and in the salt within 1 hour of the shot. Hide care was handled very well on all the animals.
Marius had arranged for dogs to be run to get me a caracul. It was a wet morning and the dogs picked up the trail quickly. We had to run to the top of the mountain to get the cat before it got out of the tree. I guess some cats go in the tree and some stay on the ground and fight. Mine went into the tree. I made a good shot from 30 yards and had my red cat.
I also harvested a 4.25" diker
BTW Robert sat 1 hour in the bush pig blind before he got his boar. Trail cameras and months of preparation paid off.
Dip and pack is handled by Karl Human taxidermy. On the way back to the airport a stop at his office makes for a personal meeting with the person handling your trophies. Payment and a check of the trophy list was made. The quote Marius acquired for us before we left was exactly what they charged. The only unknown is what shipping will be back to the states. At time of crating quotes from different shipping companies will be acquired. The hunt is not 100% over until the trophies arrive back from the tannery on home turf. I feel very confident that this will go smoothly. As I write this my skins are already at the taxidermist and dipping is happening.
In all Robert and myself harvested 35 animals in 10 days of hunting. Marius and Louw are both very qualified ph's. Both use top notch gear. Not having any breakdowns was a plus. It was nice having Tertius along for 4 days. He came along because he loves to hunt and had a break in clients. Both of our trackers loved to hunt. This makes for a enjoyable hunt. Marius was very well organized, true to his word, no hidden fees and hard working. I could have not asked more from him. 10 days in the eastern cape hunting 2 of the animals most hunters will never see will be hard to top. I will make plans to come back and hunt vaal rhebuck with Marius. I do have horns coming my way but a picture of the two of us and a vaal rhebuck on the top of the mountain will mean more to me than any trophy. I will sum up vaal rhebuck like this. They are very small, very smart, very fast and if they think they see something they don't like they run. They don't stop running until they see something else they don't like. I thank Marius and his team for the great time we had. I pray that God blesses all who hunt with Marius. You are in good hands. Thanks to Kmg Safaris for going that extra mile in all aspects of the hunt.