The following hunting report features the events of a successful partnership with paw print safaris. We hunted from Sunday, June 15th until Friday, June 19th 2014. Day 1: We met PHs Pieter and John around 7:30am in O.R. Tambo international airport. In less then a 2 hours drive, which felt like 10 mins, in comfortable land cruisers, we reached the beautiful lodge. After a nice lunch, and having checked the rifles, three of us jumped on board with Pieter for some plains game hunting, while the others went with John for an afternoon ground birds shoot over two highly trained german short haired pointers "Pipa" and "Abbie". N.B: None of us had brought his own shotgun or rifle, everything was provided to us at no extra charge! We could see a lot of animals (Waterbucks, Zebras, Eland...), but none of us was interested in the above species; until we spotted a herd of Blue Wildebeests that were on Charbel's list. From there, Pieter set up a stalk and just 20 minutes later Charbel took the shot... No blood was found! But luckily, Eli (Charbel's brother) had the shot on tape, and he was pretty sure that the animal was hit... For instance, he found a couple of very small blood drops! 2 hours later, and after some excellent tracking done by "Sami", we could finally see a very old blue wildebeest under the tree and some very happy faces as well! We had spent a lot of time on tracking, and it was around 5:15pm when we finished loading the animal to the truck, still, we were happily heading to the lodge after finding that bull... Driving back, I suddenly heard Sami whispering: "Warthog, Warthog!!!” I had butterflies in my stomach, as my favorite African animal was standing around 55 meters away. As he was hiding in the bushes, I could only see his tusks clearly... Then, he looked at me, but I couldn't see his body, and I heard Pieter say "Shoot him in the head!” Swiftly, I took the shot... "Dropped dead!" said Eli who was surprisingly having the shot on tape with all the fast paced action. Sami's smile was shining as there was no tracking for this warthog. It's amazing how ugly yet beautiful this animal is... It was an impressive warthog! I couldn't have been happier... Returning to the lodge, we met our friends who had been shooting birds... They couldn't stop telling stories about how much fun they've had. They bagged around 25 birds between Francolin and Guinea fowl. What a perfect end of the day! Day 2 (Monday): After a hearty breakfast, we were out for blesbok while the boys went with John for what he does best since they had a lot of fun bird hunting with him the day before. This time we had to walk and stalk. It wasn't too long before we found a herd and followed them around for a while. After a few attempts of getting close for a shot, 180 meters was the closest we could get, but was more than enough for Eli who dropped that female blesbok down cleanly with a single shot and it's on tape! (Coming soon) Charbel wanted his own blesbok as well, so we carried on walking... We climbed from one hill to another, glassing the herd, and trying to get closer for a better shot. It was a bit harder this time as the herd was more alert. However, after numerous attempts, we finally reached to a nice place where Pieter set up the stick for Charbs who took a very accurate shot through the lungs that instantly dropped the animal down... It was another nice female. We loaded the blesboks to the truck and started looking for Kudu... We spotted a few cows and some young promising bulls that will definitely be worth hunting in a few years. After a nice morning drive, we headed back to the lodge for a nice sit-down lunch. In the afternoon, we swapped hunting activities.... It was our turn to go with John for some wing shooting. We had to hunt in a farm in which the boys had bagged a lot of birds earlier in the morning. Meanwhile, Sarkis (Who had shot a beautiful doublet of francolin earlier in the morning) along with Claude and Peter jumped with Pieter for their share of animals, and what a share! An amazing 52.7-inch kudu and impala for Claude! On the other hand, a beautiful blesbok for Peter! I wish I were there for some more details... I can only tell you that none of the boys had kudu on their list, but when that ghost presented himself, Claude couldn't take "No" as an answer! Day 3:After some delicious morning oats and Lebanese pizzas (Thanks to Charbel's wife "Nancy")... We could barely walk to the truck; four of us with John and the rest with Pieter. Driving to the farm, we spotted a huge flock of guinea fowls running in an open area. We stopped the vehicle and decided to go after guinea fowl. These smart birds were flushing at long distances out of the shotgun range... Still, we kept walking and flushing those guineas from one area to another, sinking in the mud, sweating and following Pipa and Abbie’s points. We exhausted those ground birds so much that they started to fly at reasonable distances. The dogs did an outstanding job as usual, and we had a wonderful walk shooting one of the best game birds of Africa! In the meantime, the boys had been looking for white blesbok with Pieter... We met them around 11:30am with a white blesbok and a fallow deer on the back of the truck! Peter had shot them both; such a perfect start for this young man. Returning back to the lodge, we had to take an ever-lasting shower, to clean ourselves from the mud and dirt that we picked up from this amazing morning hunt… After an enjoyable lunch, Eli decided he’s not going back home without a warthog. We bounced in the truck with Pieter to start looking for warthogs… We saw a lot of them, however, it’s incredible how these animals can disappear with a blink of an eye. Fortunately, just before sunset a couple of warthogs bounced just a couple of meters away from the truck… Eli quickly took his shot and brought one down. Eventually, Eli can happily go back home… Charbel had also shot a nice fallow deer earlier this evening. Day 4: This morning, we had to wake up earlier than usual, as we had to travel 80 kilometers to a new area for some goose hunting. We were there before sunrise when the geese started to fly around in huge flocks. John and Peter advised us about where to stand for the best flight paths. It was a very nice morning shoot; we hunted lots of spur wing and Egyptian geese, as well as doves and a few ducks. 2 hours later, we gathered around for a brunch that had been packed and prepared by Pieter the night before. Following that, John suggested going for some ground bird hunting until the geese start to fly again in the afternoon. It was the best ground bird hunting ever! Pipa and Abbie did such a great job pointing those birds… These are truly field trial champion dogs; we shot 12 birds in less than 20 mins! A couple of hours later, the geese started to fly again around the lake… We had an amazing afternoon shoot; we had bagged around 60 geese, 30 ducks, 12 francolins, rabbits and lots of doves this day only… It was already dark, and it was time to go back to the lodge after a long but successful hunting day. Day 5: This was our last morning, and we wanted to benefit from every single minute out there… Claude, Peter and Sarkis loved plains game hunting and wanted to experience it again. On their last day, Claude shot a beautiful red hartebeest and a blesbok while Sarkis also shot a blesbok. This was our last day, and we had to leave early to the airport. We had asked Pieter earlier if he could lead us to a hunting shop somewhere near O.R Tambo international airport, and he was more than happy to assist us. We arrived to Safari and Outdoors around 5pm, and everyone was impressed with this huge hunting store. At the end, I would like to thank Pieter for his amazing hospitality and attention to detail. We really enjoyed this trip, it was frankly an unforgettable experience to an extent we were already planning our future trip. You may find wonderful lodges for upland hunting, even better for waterfowl or big game, but to find all three in one hunting lodge is difficult. At paw print, we hunted plains game, francolin, guinea fowl, partridge, geese, ducks, doves and rabbits; the true meaning of mixed bag hunting!