SOUTH AFRICA: 1st African Safari with KMG/Marius

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by rphguy, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. rphguy

    rphguy AH Enthusiast

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    Hello all! I just got back from my 1st hunt in Africa and had a truly aswesome time!
    My son, Matt, just graduated from college and this was a present to "me", I mean Matt for a job well done.

    I chose to hunt with Marius Goosen of KMG Safaris and I know we made the right choice. We had an awesome hunt. The Tent Camp we stayed in was perfect for us as we could see for at least 3/4 mile or more from our porches. Our warthog kill actually came from a stalk as we glassed him on a hill about 800 yards away. My wife desires to go back, but we will stay in the luxury lodges, I am sure.
    The meals were over the top, awesome dishes presented beautifully and tasted wonderful.
    Most of the meals were prepared with wild game as I had requested along with a couple meals with lamb and beefsteaks.
    All the people associated with our hunt worked hard and were very pleasant to us.

    Marius is a passionate hunter and diligently put us on stalks all day long. We didn't require nor desire a lot of relaxation time and spent every moment either hunting, eating or sleeping.... mostly hunting. We even hunted 3 nights for jackals, would've been more except it rained some nights and had a couple late afternoon kills.

    Since I am not skilled in posting pics, etc, My first post is my practice post and I'll begin with Geoffry who greeted us often.


    Copy of DSC_0001.jpg
  2. Buff-Buster

    Buff-Buster GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Glad you had a great time rphguy! Look forward to the rest of the pictures and, hopefully, the stories that go with them!
  3. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Nice to hear that you had an awesome hunt! Looking forward to the pictures and thanks for the hunt report.
  4. rphguy

    rphguy AH Enthusiast

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    DAY 1.

    I want to thank all you guys for assistance with planning my trip. Been lurking for a year, finally joined in March. I mostly just searched old threads on all the topics I wanted/needed to learn about. Then asked a few that were answered helpfully.
    Therefore, our trip over was extremely uneventful and easy. We arrived in JHB and transferred to our Port Elizabeth Flight in a short time. We used PHASA to help get our rifles in. I would recommend them especially if you're a first-timer or if you have a short time to get to your next flight as we did. We got the guns quickly and she had someone take us quickly to the places we needed to go.

    We arrived in Port Elizabeth and were met by Marius and Flex, his Jack Russell Terrier and champion stick retriever.
    From there we picked up his 2 trackers and made the drive to our hunting area. We stopped off to check sight on our rifles and arrived in camp about noonish.
    Wonderful meal, unloaded stuff in room and made plans for an afternoon hunt.
    We gathered on Matt's Tent Porch to talk about what and where we might begin our hunt. Glassed the mountain opposite us seeing a few animals but way off to the left we viewed a very large warthog in a small clearing about 800? yards away (likely more). His tusks were large enough to easily see them thru glass, even with naked eye. Marius and Rudy were impressed with him and Marius said "looks like Warthog will be first on list because he looks like a real snorter".

    We make a long drive around to get downwind of him and plan the stalk. As we approached him we stumbled onto some rhino and had to change our pathway. I don't know if our new approach alerted the warthog, maybe smelled us, not sure, but he was no longer there when we got there. From there we glassed a nice Gemsbok on the same ridge about 400+ yards away and decided to begin a stalk on him. About 50 yards up the trail we came up on a large bedded Kudu bull maybe 40 yards away. He was hidden but shootable from my vantage point, but Matt was to be the Kudu hunter on this trip and, sticks went up, but a very large limb blocked the vitals for Matt to get a shot. I whispered that it was more open in my direction a couple yards to the left, but as they positioned the kudu stood and vanished like a puff of smoke on a windy day.

    We then continued on towards the Gemsbok, but Marius froze in his tracks and said "Let's back up". It seems the Momma and baby Rhino had turned, walked up the ridge and we were not past them as we had thought. Started to take pics, but Rudy said we would likely see them often so we left out, went back to truck as we no longer saw the Gemsbok anyway.

    We drove around to another area. From a hilltop we glassed a long ridge that was more open than anywhere I remember on the hunting grounds. I can't tell you how many animals we saw from 1000-1500 yards, but we saw numerous species and many of each. We saw a few zebra and Marius decided he and I go after them while Matt/Rudy remained as it was a small cover stalk. We closed in with kudu, blesbok, impala, springbok, nyala, and no telling what else all around us. None of those were on my list. Saw what Marius said was a monster Waterbuck, but he was not on my list either. With so many eyes on the hillside it would take a miracle for us not to be busted. Literally a hundred animals on a very long high mountainside. Finally, animals started disappearing group by group. Zebra disappeared. We decide to hike up and peak over and none really spooked hard, just moved on. While hiking up, a nice Impala came down and stood there. He was on Matt's list so we waved them to come up. They quickly closed most of the distance, but with another 100 yards remaining, a jackal stepped out and ran straight at the Impala. The jackal offered no shot and the Impala disappeared.
    It would be dark very soon, but something happened to my thinking on that hillside.
    The Waterbuck and the Bushbuck entered my brain. They weren't on my list, but suddenly, they were all I could think about.

    We looked around for another 15 minutes til dark and headed in for a great meal and an attempted jackal hunt. no success.

    1st day? Saw numerous animals and multiple species. no kill, but an awesome afternoon especially considering our hunt would not officially start until the next day!
  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Membership has its privileges. :) Glad you got what you needed. You have just started the pay back with the stories and pictures. Thanks


    Welcome to Africa. It is a very hard insanity to manage. When everyone says take some extra money along for those trophies that you "will just have to take". Here you go.

    Glad you had a good time. Look forward to the rest.
  6. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Glad you had a great time! Thanks for the hunt report!
  7. adgunner

    adgunner SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    RPH, sounds like you had a great time, thanks for sharing, looking forward to the rest of the hunt and photos!

    Marius, looks like another satisfied customer, see you next summer!
  8. rphguy

    rphguy AH Enthusiast

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    DAY 2 .
    Our day begin with a long stalk for Zebra. Up and down, through briars, rocks, etc. Beautiful morning animals everywhere, sounds great, but actually is a problem when you're hunting one animal in particular. The Eagles sang a song called "Too Many hands"...... We had too many eyes. Walking very slowly, but that matters not when you can see something in every direction you look. Got very close until we were busted by 3-4 Kudu cows that we never knew were there.
    I was somewhat surprised how thick the brush is where we were hunting in South Africa on Eastern Cape. I had no reason to think it'd be more open, but never expected it to be this thick. Animals would appear and disappear like their was a Star Trek Transporter behind every bush. Needless to say the Zebra disappeared when the kudu spooked.
    Now a long walk back and seemed completely uphill. Breathing like a asthmatic on a 10K run.

    We drove to another area to search out our next attempt. Coming down the side of a mountain our trackers on back tapped the roof. Stopped and glassed a large Impala feeding across the valley and up the side of opposing mount about 700 to 800 yards away. it was a long circle around the road to get to a stalking point. likely 3/4 mile or more. Marius, Rudy, Matt and I left the trackers at the truck and walked around the long way with ostriches hollering and running ahead, I just knew they'd mess everything up. Finally got to the stalk point. Marius and Matt left Rudy and I and slowly went around side of hill to approach the Impala.They'd been gone almost an hour with Rudy contacting the stalkers by radio who reported they could see the ram milling around but no Matt/Marius. Rudy and I watched numerous animals and listened to the yelling of 20 baboons who we thought might blow the hunt, as they were just past Marius/Matt. After an hour, Rudy and I hiked by to the truck to watch the ram and try to spot the hunters. As we got there the trackers said they finally saw the hunters getting ready to shoot while they were on hands and knees. (it's why they couldn't be seen). Just as I got to the glassing point, the shot rang out. rats. I didn't get to see it.
    It turns out that they had been in sight of the ram since 30 yards after they walked from us and crawled on hands and knees to within 30 yards and sat there for 30 minutes waiting on him to step out. They saw a nice Gemsbok and warthog they considered shooting, but felt the Impala was more impressive and deserved waiting for.
    At about 20 yards, he stepped out and was greeted with Matt's shot. He ran about 20 yards, fell, got up and ran 10 more and fell again.
    View attachment 12703
    Very nice Impala and great start to filling our lists. Went back to camp and to tent to shed some layers and looked out over the valley and that big warthog was standing there in the same place. We told the cooks to wait on brunch til we got back with a warthog.

    We made the long looping drive back around to begin our stalk. This time armed with perfect knowledge of best approach and fortunately no rhinos in the way this time.
    Matt and Marius started their stalk. When they got to the edge of clearing they had to wait awhile and finally saw him. Approached and got very close. Sticks up as the pig was about to step out, but no go. He turned, they shifted and the pig came out quickly. Sticks up, pig stops, shot rings out. Hear the thud of the bullet and he runs off. Rudy, Flex (dog), and I come down to do the search. lol. They thought he had run some distance. Marius puts Flex on the blood, he runs 10 yards or so and jumps over about a 20 inch mound of dirt and lands on the big Warthog. He's already dead, though.
    View attachment 12704
    All are impressed with the tusks on this hog. Matt, surely very happy. Almost apologizing though because he's gotten 2, me none. Obvisously, it didn't matter to me who got there's when though.
    Off to the skinning rack and lunch.

    Attached Files:

  9. rphguy

    rphguy AH Enthusiast

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    DAY 2 (continued).
    After brunch, we drove toward the area of first day and saw zebra far off. Circled way around in trunk to we got on the complete other side of them to stalk from uphill and downwind. Marius and I began our stalk, coming down an open little trail that was very thick on either side. 3 Zebra in all, could see 2 of them. Marius said one is whiter stripes and the other has grey markings. I told them my wife said to come home with a zebra rug and she didn't indicate if she did or did not want whiter stripes. lol.
    "just pick out the bigger one." I don't remember for sure the shot distance, but about 150 yds, more or less.
    One on left turns uphill to face us and give us a frontal shot, which is my favorite for whitetails at home. Sticks up. I fire and blood squirted.
    Not from the zebra, mind you, but from my finger that got pinched between sling swivel and sticks. Because of this, I didn't see what happened to the zebra and Marius lost him in the blur as the other 2 ran to the left across his position. Marius had thought my zebra ran, but I was doubtful because I've never shot an animal "front on" that didn't drop in his tracks. I had never shot an african animal, though, so I didn't know. Went in ready for a follow up shot.
    We slowly approached and he was lying their dead right where he had just been standing. Lana will be pleased with her new rug, now I can hunt my choice for animals.
    View attachment 12705
    By the time the pics were made and the recovery team left, it was too late to start another stalk so headed in for supper.
    Ostrich steaks were main course. YUMMY!

    Attached Files:

  10. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH Fanatic

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    Sounds like a great hunt. Love the details. Keep it coming. Pics aren't coming through. Perhaps Jerome can fix them. Bruce
  11. rphguy

    rphguy AH Enthusiast

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    yeah, I have to click on the Attachments highlighted in blue to get them to pop up the pic.

    if all else fails , here is the photobucket link for just the trophy shots along with a couple extra pics.

    Africa Favorites :: Matt's Wilderbeast picture by rphguy1 - Photobucket
  12. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    How much for Geoffrey?!
  13. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Sounds like a great start to yuour hunt. thanks for sharing.

    I dont know what is with pics lately, the poster can see them but no one else. I am sure Jerome is working on it.
  14. svinejakt

    svinejakt AH Veteran

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    Seems like a great hunt. Love that tented camp and the area is beautiful. Keep the story coming!!
  15. rphguy

    rphguy AH Enthusiast

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    DAY 3
    Wednesday morning, we left camp early to go to another concession. On the menu are a Wilderbeast for Matt and possibly a Gemsbok for myself. We drove to a farm that was many thousands of acres of thick cover and maybe a total of 1000 (+ or -) acres of fields for farming. We drove far into the land up a high mountain. We could see for miles in every direction. Likely close to a mile away was a field where some Wilderbeast (about 6 or so) were in the far corner near a pond. We drove down the mountain zigzagging down because of steepness and drove around to behind them and began our stalk of about 400 to 500 yards?. As we approached the last part of the closing in, something came into the field that spooked them somewhat and they ran to the other corner. So, we began a circle around the field through a low end with a bit of marshiness and thick stuff. Climbed up the hill to their left and most of the way up. Myself and the local farm's guide sat while Matt and Marius continued up and down the ridgeline to hopefully get in position for the shot. 10 minutes passed. 20. 30. Finally, I stretched out on the ground and fell asleep. A shot woke me up and I headed toward them. It seems they had only gone about 80 yards, mostly crawling to get in position and just sat there and waited for them to come out. It was a one shot kill from about 150 yds on the Wilderbeast. He fell after running in circles for a bit.
    View attachment 12706
    [​IMG]
    We then went back up on the mountain and looked for gemsbok. Not seeing any, we drove around the property, stopping and glassing all around. Saw numerous animals and many species, but no gemsbok. We then left and headed back to our main camp to prepare for an afternoon hunt.
    We saw some Kudu and Gemsbok across the valley and up the hill from the tents. We drove around to behind them and made a long stalk that was blown. So many animals and each of them had at least 2 eyes that makes it easy to get busted by the others you didn't know were there.
    We drove to another hilltop. Matt, Marius and I went one way, the other guide and 2 trackers went another. This was way back and we hiked a long ways down the road and trails. We found 2 bulls, one almost big enough, the other was huge. We slipped in they stepped out but the large one was covered and Matt didn't feel comfortable to shoot. He was just about to step out when the smaller, closer one saw us or winded us and took off. The other bolted and were gone in a flash. We tried to recontact them, but to no avail. Scouted more and got a radio call from Rudy saying they had eyed a good bull far off in the other direction.
    The hike back to the truck was sheer torture. Straight up.
    We hiked in the direction of the one they saw with no luck on spotting him.

    We got back to camp and ate a great meal while listening to a jackal yipyap constantly about 500+ yards away on a ridge. Marius had this "killer look" in his eye. If you want to kill a jackal, he's your guy. I can't really tell if he hates them or loves them. I know he loves hunting and shooting them. No doubt.
    We drive out to a clearing that night on the same ridge as the jackal and set up the caller. In a few short moments, Marius flicked on the light and at about 200 yards, the jackal had just appeared. I was using Marius' 308 with a silencer/suppress. The scope had a red dot. I quickly sighted in on the jackal and squeezed off. We heard a clear thump, 2 yaps, and it was done. Went and gathered up the jackal and headed back to camp. He had gone maybe 15 yards after the shot.
    View attachment 12707
    [​IMG]
    It was an absolute blast and my favorite moment of the hunt thus far.

    Tomorrow begins yet another hunt for Matt a Kudu or myself a Gemsbok.

    Attached Files:

  16. rphguy

    rphguy AH Enthusiast

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    Matt's Impala from Day 2
    [​IMG]

    Matt's Warthog from Day 2
    [​IMG]

    My Zebra from Day 2
    [​IMG]



    So, after 2 1/2 days of hunting we had 5 animals from our list of 8.
    a great start.

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  17. Stretch

    Stretch AH Fanatic

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    Great report on a wonderful hunt. Sweet!
  18. rphguy

    rphguy AH Enthusiast

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    Day 4

    the day started early back deep in the concession. Lots of glassing for Kudu. Couple attempts, long walks, no shots. Marius was adamant on hunting hard and not merely settling for something. I walked just as far as the day before, but without the cardiac wheezing. lol.
    He kept us in front of game all day, every day.
    We drove to another area of the place for a fresh set of glassing/stalking. Walking up a dirt road a Gemsbok is seen heading toward us from a distance. We froze on the edge of the thick stuff and it got to maybe 40 yards and stopped. Already on the sticks, but it was decided it wasn't the one for us.

    After lunch there is much glassing, seeing not as many animals. Much walking. Getting a little late and a gemsbok is seen way off. Marius and I go the stalk and close to about 220 yards, but kudu cows come between us and make us wary of trying to close in more. Gemsbok is behind some bushes and we wait. He never steps out. don't know where he went, but who cares? a nice Kudu Bull steps out and faces our direction at 250 yards. marius is saying he's nice, too bad Matt wasn't there. I told him that Matt and I had already OK-d swapping kudu/Gemsbok if a good one stepped out. Sticks go up, rifle on target, pull trigger, thump. he disappears. He ran maybe 50 yards, i don't know exactly. But was dead when we came up on him.
    Awesome hunt. Killed Matt's Kudu, hopefully he will kill my Gemsbok tomorrow.
    [​IMG]

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  19. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    You do have a thing for tall critters!
  20. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    You do just have to love being able to do stuff in RSA, perfectly legally, that would have you thrown in the klink at home.

    Suppressed Rifle, Shooting at Night, Using a light all for a Jackal!

    Congratulations.

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