7-day Plains Game hunt with KMG Hunting Safaris: A GREAT Experience!
My wife and I recently returned from our first African safari, where we hunted for 7 days in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa with KMG Hunting Safaris, approximately 100 miles north of Port Elizabeth. Marius Goosen, KMG's owner, was a truly great individual to work with both in planning this trip, and taking care of our every need once we were over there. He did a great job answering my hundreds of questions when gearing up for the trip, as well as those we had once we were in-country. His staff was courteous and professional, as was his wife, who was along for part of the trip.
Our trip over went off without a hitch: we booked our travel through Gracy Travel, with Delta flights from Minneapolis to Atlanta, then to Johannesburg where we stayed the night at the City Lodge at the airport (great hotel, by the way, with a nice breakfast in the morning). we then woke up the following day and took a South African Airlines flight from Joberg to Port Elizabeth, where Marius' staff picked us up and took us to our lodge, about an hour and half drive away.
The accommodations were top-notch, as was the food and service. The lodge where we stayed had the most breath-taking views- it is at the top of a huge rise overlooking a river valley (there are some great photos of it and the amazing view on KMG's website). Another added benefit of our lodge is its location on about 5,000 acres of diverse bush. There were numerous species of animals on the property, including so many Nyalas that it seemed like it could have been a petting zoo! We were also treated two different days to hippos feeding in the river below.
Marius is a very competent PH but since there was another couple in camp before we arrived (they were there about half of our trip) and he was hunting with them, he arranged another PH for us. We hunted with Louw Pieterse, a PH Marius works with, who was an outstanding individual and extremely patient with us "newbies." Louw successfully guided me on Impala, Kudu, Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, and Gemsbok, and my wife on a Warthog (which incidentally was her first hunt and animal ever taken!).
Louw spent hours and hours with us- driving us to several hunting properties, seemingly each one bigger than the last, in pursuit of trophies that he felt best met our expectations. He also was our "tour guide" taking us to Addo Elephant Park (we saw about 30 elephants!), as well as to a private farm where they have a cape buffalo breeding program, numerous giraffe, three white rhinos, several species of plains game, and a tame warthog (sans tusks and "stones"). The warthog was a riot, and acted just like one of the dogs on the property. He was rooting around while I scratched his ears and slapped him on the side.
I was very happy with the gear we brought along, and everything performed as expected. The rifle we took over is a Weatherby Mark V Super Big Gamemaster in .300 Win Mag. I took a new scope over with me- a Swarovski Z3 4-12x50, with the BRH reticle. Swarovski has a great ballistic program that creates a chart specific to your cartridge and gives ranges matched to the corresponding subtentions in the reticle. I was very pleased with this combo and shooting 180 gr. Barnes Tipped TSX bullets, it proved a lethal combo on all animals taken! All shots were taken within a few hundred yards and I was very pleased with my shooting, and my wife's as well!
All in all, it was an amazing trip and I just can't wait to go back! Hopefully in the next 10 years, I can head back over with my father and go after some dangerous game, including cape buffalo, lion, and leopard. I would not hesitate for a moment to book another trip with Marius and his team. My wife and I had such a great experience with him that it makes it all the more tempting to book a return trip ASAP. We're both young though, and this was our "last big adventure" before we start a family. Hopefully though we can swing it before too long!
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