Hello Everyone

Discussion in 'Introductions & Greets' started by steve.pitts, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. steve.pitts

    steve.pitts AH Member

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    I have to admit I joined the site a few months ago and have been amazed during this time the great information that is posted and how helpful everyone is. In short I am pretty sure I am addicted to the site at this point.

    Now that I have been bitten by the bug I am looking to schedule my first African hunt next year. I am curious to the opinions about Zimbabwe, and the Matetsi area for buffalo. Also, is there a preferred time of year that is better for buffalo in this area?

    Thanks ahead of time for your input.
    Steve
  2. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Hi Steve,

    Welcome to Africa Hunting , you have lots of info here smitten you are with it already !! So the African hunting bug did bite you, congrats !!!!!, youwould l get the best of inputs from all the members for your debut Zimababian Safari.

    Happy Hunting !!!! and may you bag superb trophies.

    Monish
  3. Spiral Horn Safaris

    Spiral Horn Safaris AH Fanatic

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    Welcome Steve
    Good to have you on board.
    Cheers Louis
  4. Thunder head

    Thunder head AH Enthusiast

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    Welcome steve,
    Warning after you go to africa you will be hopelessly addicted.
  5. safari gal

    safari gal SPONSOR AH Veteran

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    Steve ~ welcome to AH.com! You won't be disappointed with your decision to go on safari. A Cape Buffalo hunt is one of the ultimate in my opinion and Zimbabwe is a wonderful country. Don't overlook the possibilities of adding on some plainsgame that may be offered.
  6. Shallom

    Shallom AH Enthusiast

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    Steve,
    you are about to venture into the ring for the heavyweight title... Buffalo hunting is just amazing hunting experience! Zimbabwe is a good destination for buffalo and Safari Gal may well lead you in the right direction with leads, but do consider Tanzania as well. Have a look at the whole spectrum of choices and narrow it down to your personal preferences and limitations. Do go for the real deal though - a truly wild hunt. You will get all the help and advice you need on here and enjoy the ride bwana - Cheers,
  7. browningbbr

    browningbbr AH Enthusiast

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    Steve,

    Welcome to AH

    - browningbbr
  8. steve.pitts

    steve.pitts AH Member

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    Thanks guys and I do take note of everyone’s advice. I can't wait until I can show pictures of my trophy's and tell how great my hunt went.
  9. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Hunting Zimbabwe Matetsi Safari Area

    Welcome to AH Steve!

    I have visited parts of the Matetsi Safari Area however have not hunted there, I think we have all heard good things about it and particularly more so for Buffalo. The Matetsi Safari Area is big and comprised of many hunting concessions operated by various hunting outfitters and professional hunters, the hunting can be much different from one concession to another, so selecting the right outfitter in your chosen hunting area for your quarry is important. Once you have selected a couple of outfitters, contacting many recent references is the most important thing you can do. Some concessions and areas in Zimbabwe have had their game resources poorly managed over the years and trophy Buffalo severely depleted.

    Here are some general info about Matetsi Safari Area
    Probably Zimbabwe’s oldest and best known hunting safari area, bordering Botswana the Matetsi Safari Area is situated north west of Zimbabwe about an hour drive south east of Victoria Falls. Matetsi is a collection of state owned safari areas divided into seven units, six of which are used for hunting. It is known to be an excellent area for Lion as well as Elephant, Buffalo, Leopard, Sable, Waterbuck and other plains game.

    The game rich Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe’s largest national game reserve totaling some 14,650 square kilometers (5,600 square miles), together with Matetsi Safari Area, Kazuma National Park, Zambezi National Park and Pandamasui Forest Area all combine form one of Africa’s largest unspoiled wilderness areas over 20,000 square kilometers (7,700 square miles) in extent.

    Zimbabwe Hunting Area - Matetsi Safari Area
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    Hwange National Park
    Named after a local Nhanzwa chief, Hwange National Park is the largest Park in Zimbabwe occupying roughly 14,650 square kilometers (5,600 square miles). It is located in the north west corner of the country. It became the royal hunting grounds to the Ndebele warrior king Mzilikazi in the early 19th Century and was set aside as a National Park in 1929. Hwange boasts a tremendous selection of wildlife with over 100 species of mammals and nearly 400 bird species recorded. The Elephants of Hwange are world famous and the Park’s Elephant population is one of the largest in the world.

    Kazuma National Park
    Situated in the north west corner of Zimbabwe between Kazungula and Hwange National Park and south-west of Victoria Falls, the Kazuma Pan National Park is 31,300 hectares (77,344 acres) in extent. The Park which is an extension of the Matetsi Safari Area was developed to be a refuge for the animals during the hunting season.

    Victoria Falls & Zambezi National Park
    Victoria Falls and Zambezi National Parks are situated on the western tip of Zimbabwe. The Falls, known by the local Kololo tribe as Mosi oa Tunya - The Smoke that Thunders, is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and one of the largest and most spectacular waterfalls on earth. Zambezi National Park together with Victoria Falls National Park cover an area of 56,000 hectares (138,379 acres). The northern border of the Park is formed by the great Zambezi River which also forms the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia for much of its length. A wide variety of larger mammals may be found within the Zambezi National Park including The Big Five: Elephant, Lion, Buffalo, Leopard and White Rhinoceros. In addition, herds of Sable Antelope, Eland, Zebra, Giraffe, Kudu, Waterbuck and Impala as well as many of the smaller species of game can be viewed. The Zambezi River is home to a large variety of fish and is famous for its bream and fighting tiger fish.

    Zimbabwe Major Cities
    [​IMG]

    Detailed Map of Zimbabwe
    (click on thumbnail to enlarge map)
    [​IMG]
  10. Hank2211

    Hank2211 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Steve, welcome to AH. I haven't been a memeber for long, but I know what you mean about the site.

    I have hunted twice in Matetsi, in Unit 2. One of those hunts was for buffalo.

    A couple of things. As Jerome says, each unit is run by a different operator, and so from a hunting perspective, each will run it their own way and each of the camps will be different. Having said that, the topography is pretty similar among the various units, and I'm not sure you could tell which one you were on if you were dropped in the middle of one unit or the other without being told. Each has its share of hilly and flat, more or less mopani woodland, and tall and short grass (which may depend on when it last burned).

    In my experience - limited as I say - the buffalo hunting in Matetsi ranges from the odd dugga boy wandering through the concession to larger herds. I have never seen the herds in the dozens or hundreds that some see elsewhere, but then I'm not sure I'd like to hunt those big herds - there's something to taking an old dugga boy who has done his bit for the gene pool rather than taking out a herd bull. But that's a personal matter. Personal preference aside, there's a lot to be said though for watching good trackers work for a number of hours while you track two or three old bulls.

    What you will see will usually be a function of how much water the area has had over the summer and winter. It seems if there's lots of water, the buffalo are fairly spread out and may be harder to find. If the season has been dry, then they usually gather in herds, and it's easier to find the tracks of the old bulls. Typically you'll have to hunt for your buffalo, but they are there, and given a reasonable amount of time, I'm sure you'd get what you're looking for.

    Matetsi may be pretty close to what hunting would have been like in the old days. I've never seen a fence, even on the border with Botswana, which borders Unit 2 (it's nothing more than a dirt road next to a burned strip of land). The animals are free to roam as they want. It may be similar in that respect to Tanzania, which Ryan suggests you consider, but one thing that will be very different between Matetsi and Tanzania will be the cost. Especially now, when so many people want to go anywhere other than Zimbabwe, it's a relative bargain. The daily rate and trophy fee will be fractions of what they would be in Tanzania, and, if you need another reason to start with Zim, there aren't any tsetse flies in Matetsi!

    I've enjoyed Matetsi so much - and get along so well with my PH there - that I'm heading back this summer to hunt elephant, with a buffalo because I can get one on a 21 day hunt. I may see you there!
  11. PaulT

    PaulT AH Fanatic

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    G'day Steve, like you I too am new to the site and was also taken aback by the warm welcome from members and the offers of assistance and advice from both members and the site originator, Jerome. Lots of interesting facts, pictures and anecdotes of hands on experience available to you here and plenty of advice from those that have been there done that, to help you navigate your way around the safari booking mine-feild ( bit dramatic, but you sure don;t want to step on one ! ).
    I too have hunted Zim, way back in 2000 in the campfire area near Gwaii. Hunted for Cull Ele and missed out but was not disappointed as I took a mixed bag of fantastic animals including a thumping buff after an exciting hunt. If you have half as much fun as I did you won't stop talking about it for six months and every conscious thought will be spent on thinking of how you can make it happen again. Don't forget my rule of thumb for buff rifles. IF YOU CAN'T GET YOUR THUMB DOWN THE END OF THE BARREL THEN IT'S TOO SMALL ! The fellas I hunted with use to say if the barrel of your rifle was too small for the wasps to nest in then it wasn't suitable for buff.
    Cheers, all the very best for safe travel and great hunting. Look forward to corresponding with you here on AH.com
  12. steve.pitts

    steve.pitts AH Member

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    This is why I like this site so much, everyone provides insightful information. Hank I really appreciate the info on your experience in Matetsi, and Jerome's info on Zimbabwe, and Paul I have will have to buy a new rifle for buffs (darn!) and I have found great information on site to give me a good start on down selecting.

    Since I can't get to Africa to mid next year I went ahead and booked a Roe Deer hunt in CZ next month. This will be my first time hunting them as well. Ain't life grand!!!
  13. Intu Safaris

    Intu Safaris AH Enthusiast

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    Welcome to the forum. You can find some info about the best times of the year to hunt buffalo, and the buffaloes found in the Matetsi area on my website.
  14. M. Egan

    M. Egan AH Senior Member

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    Hi Steve.
    I can see that you have already received lots of info on the Metetsi safari area, but I thought I would let you know that I have just returned from Metetsi, unit 4, and my buffalo hunt was very sucessful. I got home yesterday and was very happy that I flew home to Canada through the US and not Europe because of the volcano and the cancelled flights. All of the info that you have received coincides directly with my own observations and experiences. I loved the area so much and saw so much game that I am planning to go back to the area to try for one of the big elephants that I saw on a daily basis .
    As to the best time of year to go, I think that I went a little early as the rainy season was just coming to an end, and the grass was very high. I think that june or july might be better, but talk to your safari provider as he will be able to give you much more experienced info than I can give. Feel free to contact me directly if you think I could help you.
    Cheers, Mike Egan

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