Cape Buffalo Hunt with Shumba Safaris This was a short notice hunt offered by Jan of Shumba Safaris and was aimed at raising funds for rhino anti-poaching units in the Balule Reserve. Balule is part of the APNR and is open to Kruger. Between the rest of APNR and all of Kruger, it is a huge piece of wild Africa. I have hunted in South Africa before in the Northwest Province and Free State, but the terrain here was different. At this time of the year, it was very green and the brush was pretty thick. I am not the experienced hunter as many of you here, but for me it was one of the most scenic places I have ever hunted. It has all of the Big 5 roaming wild. We ran into some huge herds of buffalo and also a lot of elephants. We did not see any lions, leopards or rhino, but ran into many fresh tracks of these as well as hippo and crocs. My wife joined me on this hunt, although she spent a lot of her time in camp. Jan's camp is set at the foothills of the Drakensburg Mountains just outside Hoedspruit and has all the modern amenities you can ask for (even wifi) without losing the rustic charm of an African Camp. I don't really blame her for wanting to stay in camp rather than bounce around on the back of a cruiser. Food and service was also excellent. I am not much for writing long hunt reports, so will let some pictures tell most of the story. Please excuse the quality of some of the photos. We are not professional photographers either. Balule: Skulls from poached rhinos lined up outside the warden's office. Most have been hacked off with machetes and have portions of the skulls missing. Wife outside the chalet. Jan and Riaan (warden at Balule) Rhino midden We were looking for a Dugga Boy at least over 12 yrs of age. We were into buffalo by the hundreds and it was an awesome experience to be able to stalk these animals through the bush. We found our bull on day 2 of the hunt after a lot of busted stalks and looking over a lot of animals. He was at 25 yards at the shot and I took him with a 500NE double offhand. He didn't go down right away and decided to charge us twice. It was extremely exciting to say the least and without going into a lot of details, it took 5 shots from the 500, all offhand, to take him for good, including an insurance shot and I was shaking with all the excitement at the end of it. It was all I had hoped for regarding a classic buffalo hunt (in my mind) with a double rifle. I tried playing with Photoshop on this one. The color of the dirt is not that red. The Team I also took a buffalo cow. To find a suitable cow without calf, etc in the long grass was more difficult that I thought. It took us two days to find her. This time I used a scoped 9.3x62 and she fell where she was shot. Eddie got creative while we waited for the truck. We took a day to look around Hoedspruit and went to the Blyde River Canyon and the Cheetah Rehab Program. We left Hoedspruit and spent a week in Cape Town. This was our first time there and we really enjoyed our time there. Beautiful landscape and lots to do. We drove down to Cape of Good Hope, did the wine route, hit the beaches to see some penguins, hiked Table Mountain and even went cage diving with great white sharks, which was an exciting adventure in itself. There pics are not strictly related to hunting, but figure some would enjoy. Moderators can delete if not allowed. Many thanks to Jan, his family, Eddie, Max, Calvin and everybody else involved with the hunt, for the great experience and wonderful memories.