SOUTH AFRICA: I'M BACK! from Spiral Horn Safaris

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by ThomasBeaham, May 9, 2010.

  1. ThomasBeaham

    ThomasBeaham BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    I have just returned from RSA and my hunt with Louis van Bergen Of Spiral Horn Safaris.
    I can say without a doubt it was the best ten days of my life.
    It is rare that your experiences mirror your expectations.
    This first time safari met and surpassed every expectation I had dreamed of for 30+ years.
    I am busy playing "catch up" with bills,e-mail,snail mail, etc. and readjusting to our time clock.
    I will be in the big city with access to a high speed internet server to post my hunt report in the next week and am looking forward to sharing with all of you my hunt of a life time.
    Stay tuned........:D
    Cheers!
    Thomas "Ty" Beaham
     
  2. RogerHeintzman

    RogerHeintzman AH Enthusiast

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    Thomas,

    Glad to hear your hunt was a success. Wait till your second trip, you'll really be pumped. What did you harvest this trip? Can't wait for the pics.

    You'll have plenty to catch up on here at AH too.
     
  3. ThomasBeaham

    ThomasBeaham BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Hi Roger!
    I harvested 2 impala rams, an old Blue Gnu, a Huge Cape Eland bull, a super old giraffe bull and........after 8 days and 50 miles of walking,crawling,crouching,duck walking and a comedy of errors..... an old Zebra stallion!
    All exceptional and very special as they were all firsts for me. I'm hooked for life!
    Ty
     
  4. ThomasBeaham

    ThomasBeaham BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    OH!..........
    and some fine eating Francollin of the Crested, Swansons, and Natal variety! LOL!
     
  5. Billy Stewart

    Billy Stewart AH Senior Member

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    Thomas great to here i am very happy for you. Cant wait to see some pics and hear more about your hunt. I cant wait for my hunt with Niel of Leeukop. Keep us posted talk to you soon!
     
  6. ThomasBeaham

    ThomasBeaham BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Hello Billy!
    I just finished reading your post about your sons accident and your bout with pneumonia. We are all grateful to the Big Guy upstairs that you both are doing better and on the mend. I had a troublesome bout with pneumonia in 1982....it almost killed me!
    Stay well, Niel needs you in good shape so you can concentrate on taking it all in. You are in for the time of your life my friend.
    Best wishes to you and yours.
    Sincerely,
    Ty
     
  7. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Welcome back Ty! Can't wait to read your hunt report. I have already seen the few pictures that you uploaded, thanks for sharing. I hope that someone can post the video of that Puff Adder prank! Thanks to Louis for making this the best ten days of your life.
     
  8. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I have seen the pictures already, You shot some awesome animals, that eland is a monster, all of your animals look very nice! Congradulations!
     
  9. billrquimby

    billrquimby AH Veteran

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    welcome back

    Tom:

    Your life will never be be same again. There's a saying, and unfortunately it is true, that once you have tasted the water of Africa you must return again and again to drink.

    Looking forward to reading more about your trip.

    Bill Quimby
     
  10. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Hi Thomas,

    Congrats for a great safari with Louis , I bet the experience must have been enthralling , waiting for the trophy snaps & the hunt report. I am hunting with him in July , cant wait to be there.

    Monish
     
  11. ThomasBeaham

    ThomasBeaham BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Thanks all for the warm welcome home.
    Jerome, I have a feeling the Puff Adder prank clip will be "coming soon to a theater near you" LOL!
    Enysse, glad to hear you got a sneak peek. It is nice to have friends in high places.
    Bill, I had a feeling that would be the case... Now I have to figure out a way to get to Zambia for 14 days!
    Monish, you will have a ball. Guaranteed.

    Ty
     
  12. Shallom

    Shallom AH Enthusiast

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    Ty,
    good to have you back and full of smiles and fond memories... Looking forward to hearing all about it. Well done on your African Safari and congrats on some fine animals, but most of all, for giving Africa a chance and letting her in. She rarely disappoints and is damn good at keeping the romance alive and adding wood to that burning desire for more. Cheers!
     
  13. ThomasBeaham

    ThomasBeaham BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Thanks Ryan, and AMEN!
     
  14. milford

    milford AH Veteran

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    Thomas great to hear your hunt was the best , I am goin in 355 day I hope i have half as much luck getting mine can not wait to see your pics
     
  15. ThomasBeaham

    ThomasBeaham BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Hello Milford,
    So 355 days to go. But who's counting? Love it!
    My sister has a count down application on her I-phone. She loved tormenting me with it before I left.LOL
    When it got down to 10 days 17 hours and 12 seconds I thought my head was gonna pop!
    Where are you going to be hunting?
     
  16. ThomasBeaham

    ThomasBeaham BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Saturday April 24th
    After 4 months of planning and careful preparation departure day is here! Delta flight 1026 from Phoenix to Atlanta lifted off and the landing gear tucked away. About 2 hours into the flight we experienced a simultaneous bright flash and big bang. Someone in the row behind me guessed outloud that we had been hit by lightning. Curiously, the flight attendants quickly and quietly stowed their service carts and buckled into their seats for the remainder of the flight. Upon landing in Atlanta the pilot came on the PA and told us we had indeed been struck by lightning. He said we had lost electronic systems and not to be alarmed when we saw the fire crew waiting for us at the end of the runway. It was funny, EVERYBODY clapped and whistled. Several of the flight attendants even gave the thumbs up. One in particular looked frazzled. LOL ! The fire crew gave us the once over and with their OK we taxied to our gate. Whew! My next leg went without incident. It was long (18 hours) but I knew it would be.

    April 25th
    Landed at Tambo International, made my way through passport control and was relieved to retrieve both of my bags. Louis and his girlfriend Carien were waiting for me. Finally we get to put names to faces! The drive to the overnight B&B was interesting. This driving on the wrong side of the road is going to take some getting used to. After a short drive we arrived at the Du Du Lodge. The lodge is located in a quiet residential neighborhood in Lynwood Ridge in the east of Pretoria. It is gated and secure. We rang in at the front gate and were met by the owner, Kamilla and Louis' brother/pilot/gourmet cook Pieter. After introductions we situated my gear in my room with in-suite bath, then took the tour. The lodge is quiet and nicely decorated with African art. Kamilla served us some good coffee on the patio and we all discussed the plans for the next morning and took care of some formalities. Louis and Carien treated me to a seafood dinner at a restaurant in the largest mall in Pretoria. After dinner, back to the lodge. Louis will pick me up at 5;40 and we will meet Pieter at Wonderboom airport
     
  17. ThomasBeaham

    ThomasBeaham BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    April 26th
    I'm up at 5am after a restful sleep. I was just zipping up my bags when Kamilla knocked and asked if I would like a cup of coffee. We sat and talked a bit while I waited for Louis. Kamilla moved to RSA from Namibia, her husband is a commercial pilot who incidentally was Pieter's former flight instructor. She talked about her hopes for the upcoming World Cup of Soccer and tourism etc. I spoke a bit of my home in Arizona and of my excitement about this trip. I enjoyed my stay at the lodge and would recommend a stay there if you need to overnight in Johannesburg on your next trip. http://www.du-du-lodge.com/
    Louis rang the bell and we loaded my bags and were off to meet Pieter and his girlfriend Jolene. We loaded our gear in the plane and Pieter asked if I wanted to fly in the right seat. Of course I did! After a preflight check we taxied and took off. Climbed to 8K feet and above the cloud ceiling the weather was beautiful. Approximately one hour flight and there were a few holes to peek through. I was REALLY happy we flew. All the roads below looked like rivers. If we had driven there was a good chance we could have spent a couple days in a muddy roadside ditch. When we took a drive off the farm a couple days later the roads were a complete disaster. We began our descent. Pieter pointed out Thabazimbi Mountain (mountain of iron) Shortly after we dipped below the clouds and that was the last we saw of the sun for several days. On our approach to the farm I spotted Gemsbuck and Giraffe. Louis spotted 2 Kudu. This was the first time I had landed on a wet dirt strip.Fun Fun Fun with a slight pucker factor. Juan (PH) met us at the big Camelthorn "hanger" and we unloaded gear and goods for the next 10 days into the bakkie. After a short drive to camp we met the camp staff. It is so beautifully green and the air is nice and fresh from the rain. I got the short tour of the camp facilities then we loaded up and drove back to the strip to shoot Louis' German made Sauer chambered in Whby .300 mag. 2 shots,2 adjustments (Louis is left handed left eye doninant I am right handed right eye dominant) 2 more shots,2 adjustments I jerked the 5th and nailed the 6th. Let's go huntin'!
    Loaded up and took a drive.Louis saw an impala cross the road from right to left and we stopped the truck and got out. Louis set up the sticks and said what I thought was "there he is"...I put the rifle on the sticks and said "I can't see him"...Louis said to the left to the left. He said hold on let me check him. I looked through the scope and what did I see but a Jackal! Surprise! OK shoot! Bang! I think you got him,we heard him yip! He's running away and Louis said shoot him again! He didn't have to ask me again. Bang! and the Jackal disappeared. We walked to see if we could find any blood. Nothing... Dang, I missed. We all had a laugh about our miscommunication. Loaded up and drove down the road. We saw kudu cows, impala, and some warthogs. I was in heaven!
    We were pretty wet by this time so back to camp for coffee and some brunch. Excellent. After brunch we loaded up and went for another drive. Saw African Yellow hornbill, crested francolin then Louis spotted some impala. Parked and walked a short distance and Louis saw a ram hiding in the bush. I had the rifle on the sticks as Louis checked him. Most of the horns were hiding. I wiped off the lens with my bandana and got a decent view and waited while we watched the ram chew his cud. Cool factor x10! Let's move a bit to get a better look.... Louis says he's better than I thought you should take him. I slid the rifle on the sticks and..the ram was off to the races! ARGHhh!
    Back to the truck. We were driving when one of the guys saw zebra. Parked and put a really fun stalk on a herd in the rain. We got semi close and a couple good glimpses before the wind swirled and they winded us and were gone. fun fun fun. We drove around for a bit more and saw Guinea fowl and Swansons francolin while checking for more impala and a blue wildebeest.We were all wet and cold again so back to camp for some coffee and to dry out. After we had warmed up Louis offered to go back out but I told him I was happy to stay in camp this PM out of the weather. I was still a bit jet lagged.
    We had an excellent dinner. Braaied lamb chops and boerewors along with a favorite staple pap, a corn porridge type dish with the consistency of mashed potatoes (sort of) and the flavor of corn tortillas. Served with a nice brown gravy. YUM. We enjoyed after dinner coffee and talked till about 11 pm. I went back to my chalet and sorted out my gear and sat down to write this. Right now a francolin is raising a ruckus outside. This is sooooooo......COOL! What a great first day experience. Many firsts today burned into my head for the rest of my life. Thanks God!
    OH,...........and I have a debt to settle with a jackal. HaHaHahahahaahah!
     
  18. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    Can't wait to hear more!
     
  19. Leeukop Safaris

    Leeukop Safaris AH Veteran

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    Well done Thomas, great to hear how much you enjoyed it! Excellent work Louis!

     
  20. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Thomas ,

    WoW !! I bet you had BALL of a time hunting with Louis , I am just crossing the dates on the calender slot to be there with him hunting the PGs soon. Had to postpone my trip for August. Could you settle your scores with the Jacky boy ?? Great discription wish to read more, waiting!!!!!!!!!


    Monish
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2010

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