SOUTH AFRICA: Hunt with KMG Safaris

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by adgunner, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. adgunner

    adgunner SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    The planning for this trip commenced a little over a year ago when in the initial process of contemplating a trip to Africa with my better half for hunting I stumbled upon this site. Since then I have received from the forum members much valuable information allowing me to complete my first, but not last trip to Africa. I will definitely be going back. A little unabashed plug for Lori Ginn at Travel Express, she will look after you from start to finish with all aspects of your travel and doesn't disappear after you purchase your tickets. You can count on her to keep you updated on your travel. Upon arriving in Port Elizabeth, we were met by Marius and his wife from KMG Safaris and quickly whisked away to a local B and B for some much needed rest. The next morning saw us heading towards Grahamstown and on to KMG Safaris. My head was on a swivel seeing all the game on the way. I have been in Africa before but never saw this amount of species and game before, needless to say the excitement began to build. Upon arrival at the lodge, the smile on my wife's face says it all, accommodation's and the surrounding view are spectacular. It is now time to get introduced to Marius .308 and my first experience with a suppressor outside of the Army. I am very impressed with the rifle and the suppressor, but the suppressor will come back to haunt me, more on that later. Some glassing from the deck already reveals Nyala, Warthogs and Wildebeest. Some superb Impala cutlets for supper and some time to shake off the jet lag in front of the fire over a whiskey brings our first day to an end.

    Day 1

    Up early and off to find Impala. Once again, it is a case of head on a swivel syndrome as we see a variety of game as we prepare to exit the truck and commence our first stalk of the trip. The excitement is incredible as we move off in search of Impala. We stop suddenly as we see the legs of an Impala through the underbrush, just as Marius begins to decide this isn't what we are looking for, he points to a Black Backed Jackal that pops out of the grass at 25 yds and says shoot, no way to see the body so lean forward in the kneeling position squeeze the trigger and my first African animal is down. Jackal is loaded into the back of the truck and the search for the Impala continues. Creeping along and bypassing a Giraffe we see some Impalas and continue to creep closer for a better look when suddenly a large black shape materialises from my left at about a 100 yards moving left to right Cape Buffalo! A tank on legs is all I can say. That is the end of this stalk and we carefully pull back and continue the search for the Impala. We spot a nice Ram from the truck and get up on a hill and commence a stalk downhill with the wind in our favour. Can't quite get a good vantage point for a shot, so onto our bellies we go. Short sticks go up and I slide into a sitting position and the Impala is down! The afternoon is spent stalking Zebra as my better half is up to bat, but to no avail, as we cannot find the stallion we are looking for. Game everywhere as I see my first Eland and Bontebok. After putting the Impala in the salt, we spend some time glassing for Kudu and see my first bulls magnificent but not mature. Back to the lodge where another AH member has arrived supper and some relaxing time in front of the fire and it is off to bed, tomorrow Springbok!
    Day 1-Jackal trophy (3).jpg Day 1- Impala trophy (4).jpg
     
  2. postoak

    postoak AH Senior Member

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    I'll be reading the whole trip report with interest! How long was the shot on the Impala? Are others at the lodge with you?
     
  3. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    sounds likea pearler of a trip so far
    another happy KMG hunter must a great place with great hosts
     
  4. adgunner

    adgunner SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Post Oak, sorry if it sounds like I am still there, just got back yesterday and started typing, will post more as soon as my two finger typing skills allow. There was another AH member hunting at the lodge, should still be hunting as I write this ... I will be very interested to see how he made out.
     
  5. adgunner

    adgunner SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    The shot on the Impala was about 130 yds as I recall
     
  6. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Thats Awesome! can't wait to read more! and knowing we have another hunting report coming from another member well I better clean my reading glasses. Congrats thats an awesome Impala and a Jackal too Wow! I still don't have a Jackal.
     
  7. safari gal

    safari gal SPONSOR AH Veteran

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    Hi adgunner ~ thanks for the "plug"! I really appreciate it and good to hear that you had a great safari and look forward to more of your trip report!
     
  8. adgunner

    adgunner SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Day 2
    Up early again and today the search is on for Springbok. The morning begins with some glassing and I get my first look at these very fast animals. We manoeuvre to some high ground and Marius spots a very nice ram and it is time to start the stalk. We get a little closer and Marius confirms we are going to go after this one. Drop into a ravine and using it as cover come out below the ram and start back up the hill to get closer until Marius spots him bedded down. We crawl to within thirty yards, and with the ram completely unawares, set up on the sticks and the wait begins. Marius uses a distress call to get the ram to his feet and at broadside at thirty yards I miss! Now, I make my living soldiering and am completely dumbfounded. After a few expletives we carry on and another opportunity at about two hundred yards presents itself and I miss again really? Remember the suppressor I was talking about earlier, well it had somehow become unscrewed, Murphy strikes again! Fix the suppressor and begin to carry on searching for a Springbok when we come across a bachelor herd ? Marius gets me on a nice ram, follow the crosshairs up the frontleg and the Springbok goes down in his tracks. Rifle fixed! The rest of the day finds us searching for both Kudu and Zebra, some Kudu bulls found but not quite mature enough for the green light from Marius. Another great night at the lodge and some much needed rest for tomorrow's adventures.

    Day 3

    The morning is spent looking for Kudu and by afternoon we are chasing Zebra when from a high vantage point we spotted three moving down a trail. A quick stalk is planned and moving down the slope we get downwind and proceed to press the stock and in the process almost step on an Eland Bull. When we get close to their location they have simply vanished wind, heard us? Who knows? On we continue looking for some more Zebras, but the high winds work against us for the rest of the day. Luckily there is a great supper and a cold beer waiting at the lodge as another wonderful day comes to an end in South Africa.
     

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  9. Wheels

    Wheels GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to more installments.
     
  10. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    I just walked off the mountain minutes ago and am in the middle of a hunt and found myself enthralled with your hunting report.
    Awesome. Keep it coming.
     
  11. adgunner

    adgunner SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Day 4
    My wife is up early and excited as we head out to chase Zebra. This will be her first big game animal. The following is an excerpt from her journal, taken with permission of course :)
    we see six right away. We drive past the zebras and stop, it's time to walk and stalk. I am right behind Marius, carrying the rifle and following every step he takes. There is a herd of six Zebras 200 yards away and we need to close the distance. Short talk behind some bushes and last little bit crawling on our hands and knees. Rod has offered to carry the rifle during the crawl. Here we are at 120 yards, long sticks come out, get on target, but the zebras are sticking together and I don't have a shot. Marius explains to me once again where I need to shoot. I have to wait, they are grazing and there is often one behind the other it is nerve wracking There is lots of wind, the barrel is just moving too much, I am so nervous what if I miss? We wait and wait, but Marius tells me that we might not have much time so I shoot!!! The Zebra jumps backwards and starts moving I am not sure he is done so I cock the rifle just in case. We watch him go down and the rest of the herd surrounds him. We now break cover and move in and the Zebras stay put until we are very close. He is down, beautiful stripes and patterning on his back and I notice the shot was a bit too far forward. Time for celebration and pictures I am thrilled and cry South Africa will bring out these emotions

    I couldn't have said it any better.

    Quick lunch, drop off the Zebra and off in search of Kudu we go. One flat tire later we begin looking for Kudu. Lots of Kudu here and we glass and see some bulls. We end up near the end of the day on top of a ridge looking down on some Kudu bulls and off we go down the hill in order to close the distance between us and a bull, when we arrive he is nowhere to be seen as we scan the bush intensely. Just when we think we won't find him two bulls step out of thick bush and proceed to battle. It is so impressive I almost don't hear Marius whisper the one on the right is the one we want I wait patiently and in awe as I watch them fight it out, here I am watching two bulls spar, I haven't even seen that with whitetails! Finally the fight breaks up and I watch as the winner quarters toward me at 200 yards. With the light beginning to fade I get ready for the shot as the loser moves off squeeze the trigger and it looks like a good shot. A call on the radio back up the hill and it is confirmed that he only went thirty yards. He also indicates that from the vantage point up on top of the ridge he could see at least nine bulls in valley! We move in to recover the bull and it is then that I realize how big an animal they really are. The skinners make quick work of him and off to the lodge for some Hartebeest stew and a whiskey before another day comes to a close. The next day would see us after Bontebok.
    Day 4 zebra trophy (5).jpg Day 4 Kudu  (19).jpg
     
  12. RickB

    RickB AH Fanatic

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    So far so good! Good to see your wife enjoys hunting as well. Patiently waiting for the next installment!
     
  13. adgunner

    adgunner SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Day 5
    Up early for Bontebok and not long after starting glassing we spot a good Bontebok and the first stalk is on. As we approach closer we realize this is not the one and slowly back out, I can't help but look around continuously as I know there are Cape Buffalo in this area. We spot a Bontebok from the top of the ridge surrounded by a group of Impala sentries this one isn't going to be easy. We start down the ridge and get close, but quickly run out of cover. It seems there is always some branches between me and him or one of his Impala escorts. Marius decides we will manoeuvre closer and into the crawling position we go as we inch closer. Finally the Impala escort gives us a chance as they step out of the way only to reveal a y branch directly over his vitals. It appears the Impala are getting ready to move on to greener pastures and take the Bontebok with them doubt begins to creep in when he inches forward only to reveal his vitals and the hunt is over. Undoubtedly the best stalk of the trip! After loading him up it is off to lodge for some lunch and some fruit tasting that I am sure my wife will not forget anytime soon. The afternoon sees us getting up close and personal to some Cape Buffalo that is one mean looking character and I know sometime in the future I hope I get the chance to cross paths with him again. Some Warthog pie for supper and the whiskey chaser and the day comes to an end.
    The next two days are spent hunting Warthog and a visit to a Bushmen cave complete with paintings and one cannot help but put yourself in their shoes and wonder what the hunting would have been like then. The last night is spent enjoying Bushbuck for supper and in the morning we head out to the taxidermist and finally to the airport the part everyone hates going home.
    I have been in Africa several times, but this was my first hunt there. It turned out to be everything I expected and more somebody wrote on this forum that once you have gone you will want to go back, so deal with it. I now fully understand. I cannot thank our hosts at KMG safaris enough, if you love to hunt than these are the guys for you. They went the extra mile always and their hospitality was second to none. I had a fantastic time and learned a lot about a whole new world of hunting far away from North America. You can bet I will be back for more. So to sum it up a special thanks to Marius, Kim, Hendrik, Loew and the rest of the staff, happy hunting!

    Day 5- Bontebok  (5).jpg
     
  14. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Congrats to a great hunt with a great host and great trophies. sadly:( like your hunt so does the story come to an end and I was really getting in to it, you need to call Marius and get you another hunt booked right away we need more chapters, and I believe there's a warthog there with your name on it. Thanks for a great report and pictures.
     
  15. tay50

    tay50 AH Member

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    Adgunner,
    Thanks for the report, I'm booked with Marius next May taking my wife with me also, we both can't wait as this is our first time to Africa. I hope my trophies are as nice as yours, I have kudu, zebra, impala and bushbuck on my list plus one or two others I'm sure. So thank you again for the pictures and report, next June you can read my hunting report and see my pictures. Kurt
     
  16. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    Congrats for a great hunt, and thanks for sharing !
     
  17. adgunner

    adgunner SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    tay 50, You will have a great time I am sure, one of the other hunters in camp took a monster bushbuck while I was there, hopefully he will post a report soon and include the photo.
     
  18. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Congrats with a great hunt and thanks for sharing it!
    I believe you and your wife arrived the Port Elizabeth airport the same day as I left it :)

    Marius is a great outfitter, PH and hunter and I plan to book a hunt with him again as soon as I know when I will have the time and money to do so.
    I will write a short report from my own hunt as soon as I get some pictures from Marius, as my own didn't turn out so good.
     
  19. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I'm glad you and wife had a great time. Thanks for the hunt report!
     
  20. adgunner

    adgunner SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Norwegianwoods, too bad we couldn't have crossed paths, looking forward to your report!
     

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