SOUTH AFRICA: Limpopo, South Africa with Africa Sport Hunting Safaris

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by BigTexMan, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. BigTexMan

    BigTexMan AH Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2013
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Odessa, Texas
    Member of:
    NRA - Life Member, Texas State Rifle Association Member
    Hunted:
    USA, South Africa
    On June 20th a friend of mine, his sons, my wife, and I headed toward South Africa to fulfill a life long dream. There were a couple of bumps in the road (flight delays) getting to Washington D.C., but we made our international flight and were on our way. The only thing I can say about the trip getting to Joburg is that I was very glad when it was over. Our party had taken our outfitter's (Kiley Matthews) advice and had arranged for Riflepermits.com to greet us and assist with the importation of our rifles. Everything went smoothly and I was completely satisfied with their excellent service.


    Kiley had also arranged transportation to the Linga Longa guest house where we spent the night. Salo and Graham were wonderful hosts. The rooms were clean and neat and we enjoyed a beer at the outdoor bar while waiting for supper. The cool evening was a nice change from the triple digit highs we'd been having in west Texas. We met my PH, Chris Lordan, and his lovely wife Wilma there. The supper Salo cooked for us was outstanding!! We were all tired and didn't spend alot of time visiting afterwards. A quick shower and a good nights sleep was just what the doctor ordered.


    We had a very nice breakfast, thanked our hosts, loaded up our things, and headed out the next morning. The drive to our lodge was nice, as we had time to visit with Chris and start getting to know him. None of us had been to Africa before and we must have asked him a thousand questions. After a year and a half of planning it was hard to believe that we were finally there.


    After we arrived at the lodge we unloaded our gear, met the two other PH's who would be with our party (David Thomas and Christian du Plooy), and went to check our rifles. I brought a Savage 116 Weather Warrior in 338 Win. Mag. It came equipped with the accu-trigger and accu-stock. I topped it with a 3 X 9 Trijicon scope and had developed a hand load for it using 225 gr. Barnes TTSX bullets. I could usually keep 3 shots in one hole at 100 yds and had sighted it in to be dead on at 200 yds. We made a couple of minor adjustments to our scopes and returned to the lodge for a great supper of oxtail soup, pap, salad, vegetables, and malva pudding with custard on top for dessert. Kiley had said our meals would be top notch and she didn't exaggerate. We had drinks around the fire pit, looked at the stars (making sure I could find the Southern Cross), and headed off to bed.


    The next morning we were in the kitchen at 6 for a quick breakfast and ready to head out around 6:20. My wife Christy, Chris, Phineas (our tracker), Beryl (Chris' Jack Russel terrier tracking dog) and I left in Chris' truck for a short drive to the first property we were going to hunt. We picked up the land owner’s son, Stephan, and started hunting. My hunting list had kudu, impala, warthog, blesbuck, zebra, gemsbok, and blue wildebeest on it. Chris said we were going to start hunting for the kudu and take any of the other animals if/as we had the opportunity. From reading before the trip and talking to Chris once we arrived I knew that getting a good kudu bull in seven days could be to be tough.


    As we made our way to a high point on the property to glass we stopped and hung ¼ of a zebra in a tree that Chris had been baiting for an upcoming leopard hunt. Chris had asked me if this was OK earlier and I had readily agreed. This was going to be a wonderful adventure and I wanted to soak up every experience I could. We glassed from the top of a hill and saw some game, but nothing we wanted to pursue. Driving around the property we saw many different species, including kudu cows with their calves, but didn’t find anything to shoot. At lunch time we returned to Stephan’s house where we relaxed on the patio and had a sandwich lunch.


    After lunch we drove to a water hole where Chris, Christy, and I set up under some trees. One of the trees had a low branch that made a perfect rest for my rifle. We saw impala ewes and lambs, kudu cows and calves, warthog sows and piglets, and nyala cows and calves. After about an hour a nice impala ram came in. I took aim and let the bullet fly as soon as Chris told me it was a shooter. The ram took off like the proverbial scalded ape. I felt good about the shot, but was nervous because of the lack of reaction and speed that the ram took off. We found it dead 80-100 yds from where I shot it and I enjoyed my first congratulatory hand shake. My shot had went right where I’d aimed. I was on cloud 9!! We took pictures, loaded up my trophy, and returned to our spot to continue the hunt. We didn’t see any other animals worth a shot and got back in the truck later that afternoon.


    We started driving the property again. I am still amazed at how large some of the properties are. Later in the afternoon we saw a fantastic red hartebeest and was offer the chance to stalk it, but declined. Chris had in mind to return to a hilly part of the property where we had seen some kudu cows and calves that morning, but Stefan told him he had seen a couple of nice bulls in another area. We went in the direction Stephan suggested and eventually spotted a nice kudu bull in the path along the fence about 500 away. I got my rifle up and ready as Chris evaluated the bull and we crept forward. The bull saw us but didn’t take off, as there was another bull across the fence on a different property that he really wanted to lock horns with. When we got to about 225-250 yds away from the bull Chris had Phineas stop the truck. I took a good rested aim over the cab of the truck and squeezed the trigger when Chris told me. I reloaded and when I got my scope back on the bull he had turned and was walking into the brush beside the road. He came out of the brush about 25-35 yds from where he’d walked into it. I fired again and the bull walked behind some more brush. We drove up to where the bull had been when I took my first shot. We tracked it to where it had been when I fired the second time and saw it laying dead 25-30 yds away. I said a quick prayer of thanks and accepted another congratulatory hand shake. Both of my shots had been spot on. My first bullet had come to a stop just under the hide on the off side shoulder and the second one had completely penetrated. We set up, took pictures, measured the bull, and got it loaded just as the sun started going down. Chris had originally estimated the bull at 52-53” but realized it was bigger as we walked up. The longer horn measured 56” and is a fabulous trophy!!! If I had been on cloud 9 before, I was on cloud 10 now. It was still hard to believe that I was hunting in Africa, let alone that I had taken 2 great trophies the first day.


    After returning to the lodge we enjoyed a supper of Moroccan soup, wildebeest casserole, homemade bread, beer muffins, potato salad, beet root salad, vegetables, spicy rice, and citrus cake with custard for dessert. We enjoyed some drinks and story telling around the fire before turning in for the night.


    I’ll post more of the hunt as I have time to write it up. DSC04486.JPG DSC04495.JPG
     
    AfricaHunting.com likes this.
  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,154
    Likes Received:
    218
    My Photos:
    396
    Member of:
    KZN Hunters Assoc
    Hunted:
    Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Canada, USA, Mexico
    Cloud 1o it is!
    Nice trophies.
    Thanks for posting your report* !
     
  3. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,968
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    Russellville
    My Photos:
    27
    Member of:
    NAHC Life Member, NRA Life Member,SCI, Buckmasters
    Hunted:
    USA(from Coast to Coast and Alaska), Germany, South Africa, Canada
    Those are Awesome! Keep it coming and thanks for sharing.
     
  4. tay50

    tay50 AH Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2012
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    9
    My Photos:
    8
    Member of:
    Ducks Unlimited
    Hunted:
    Canada, USA, Michigan, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, RSA
    Big Texman,
    Very nice animals my friend, can't wait to read the rest of your adventure. I went on my first African hunt this year also shot some very nice animals still can't believe I went and can't wait to go back. Are you hooked now? I am.
    Kurt
     
  5. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2011
    Messages:
    561
    Likes Received:
    184
    Member of:
    NRA
    Hunted:
    USA, South Africa
    Nice critters! Congrats. Looking forward to more.
     
  6. hunting4sanity

    hunting4sanity AH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2013
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    5
    My Photos:
    19
    Member of:
    RMEF, DU, SCI, NRA
    I'll be checking back, this sounds great so far! Looking forward to your mamba tale, but very glad we only saw one, safely from the vehicle back in March.
     
  7. EMMANUEL SAFARIES

    EMMANUEL SAFARIES New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Member of:
    PHASA:SAJWV:SAGA
    Hunted:
    RSA
    Great trophies.You must really be chuffed.Waiting for the rest off your experiencce
     
  8. accipiter

    accipiter AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2012
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    29
    Hunted:
    South Africa, USA
    Congratulations on that monster kudu!
     
  9. BigTexMan

    BigTexMan AH Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2013
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Odessa, Texas
    Member of:
    NRA - Life Member, Texas State Rifle Association Member
    Hunted:
    USA, South Africa
    Thanks yall! And I am HOOKED!! I want to return one day. There are a couple of trips I'll have to take my wife on before I can even talk about going again, but it's definitely something I want to do again.
     
  10. BigTexMan

    BigTexMan AH Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2013
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Odessa, Texas
    Member of:
    NRA - Life Member, Texas State Rifle Association Member
    Hunted:
    USA, South Africa
    On the second day of my hunt we were up early again, had breakfast, and headed out. Since I had gotten my kudu the day before, we were going to start hunting for a gemsbok. Once again we would also be looking for the other animals on my list. We headed to a different property and this one was only about 10 minutes from the lodge. This property was smaller than the first place we’d hunted, but the brush was very thick.

    We had been hunting for about 30 minutes when we came around a curve and saw several blesbok. The one closest was about 45 yds away and had long horns. Chris said that if I wanted a blesbok this was the one. From my vantage point it was facing me almost straight on, angling just slightly to my right. I hesitated because I was afraid of only wounding it with a straight on shot and asked Chris about the correct aim point. By all rights they all should have been on the run by now, but they just stood there looking at us.. Chris told me “Just shoot it!” I kept my cross hairs slightly to the left of center and squeezed the trigger. All the blesbok took off running at the shot. Beryl hopped down off my wife’s lap and started searching. Because of the tall brush we saw it before she did, but after a minute of circling she was on it. It had only ran about 30 yds. Another congratulatory hand shake for me!! Chris commented on the size of the horns and how I must be the luckiest hunter he’d hunted with in a while. This blesbok had the biggest horns he’d taken in around a year and a half. The longer one measured just barely under 18”.

    My bullet did not exit. It was somewhere in the guts but wasn’t recovered. I really would have liked to have seen this one. The bullet that had been recovered under the hide of my kudu had mushroomed well, but had lost 3 of the 4 petals. This is not normal for a solid copper Barnes bullet as they normally don’t lose any of their mass. My theory is that the kudu bullet must have struck a heavy shoulder bone and that caused the petals to shear off. I wasn’t there when it was gutted and skinned so it will always remain a theory.

    We took pictures, loaded it up, and continued hunting. We saw our first giraffes in the wild this morning and also saw caught a glimpse of a white blesbok. As we went along there were quite a few impala, some ostrich, and some female gemsbok and wildebeest with their young, but no shooters. When lunch time came around we dropped the blesbok by the landowners barn (he wanted the guts for leopard bait) and headed back to the lodge for lunch.

    There was tuna fish salad, homemade bread, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, and beet salad for lunch. Once again we ate well! We drove back after lunch and started hunting again. We came across a huge eland bull early in the afternoon. I had never realized just how huge those things are!! We made several stalks that afternoon after both wildebeest and gemsbok, but never got a chance at either. We did spook several giraffes during one stalk. They sure look funny running away.

    We collected my blesbok and went back to the lodge as the sun was going down. We had a few drinks by the fire and enjoyed some time with our friends and the other PH’s. My friend and his sons had some success, but some difficulties too. On the first day my friend had hit a waterbuck low and had not been able to recover it. They searched for hours the second day and found blood and other sign, but never were able to locate the animal. His middle son wounded a wildebeest the second afternoon. They didn’t find it but made plans to search again the next morning.

    Supper that night consisted of a salad, oxtail stew, baked chicken, homemade bread, baked butternut squash, and potatoes. I can’t recall what we had for dessert and my wife didn’t write it down in her journal. We lingered longer around the fire that night and my wife fell completely in love with Amarula Cream. She was afraid that she wouldn’t be able to get any in the states but was relieved when she found some at the local liquor store after we returned home.

    The third morning I got up and got ready to go, but my wife had other plans. With our safari package Kiley had included a spa day with for any non hunters, so Christy got to sleep in a bit. Chris, Phineas, and I headed back to the same property we’d hunted the day before. We saw the same types of animals but by lunch still had not found anything to take a shot at. We returned to the lodge and I got to visit with my wife and have lunch with her. We had butternut squash stuffed with impala, coleslaw, and a rice dish. Once again everything was tasty.

    During lunch Chris had talked to another property owner and wanted to try our luck there. The road to get there was full of potholes. This made me thankful for the very good roads we enjoy here in the US. As it turned out this third property was the biggest yet. We drove around the rest of the day and saw only a portion of it. We did see a lot of game, but it wasn't my day to take anything. It was still a great day and a reminder that we are hunters and hunters don’t always get their quarry.

    My wife was treated to a facial, a massage, a manicure/pedicure, and I don’t know what else. Needless to say she enjoyed herself. Although she didn't wish me any bad luck, she was glad that she didn't miss seeing me taking any game. My friend's son's PH and tracker has searched for hours for his wildebeest, but unfortunately were never able to find it.

    Supper that night was the best yet. We had grilled kudu steaks, wildebeest sausage, bean soup, spinach, pap with tomato sauce, mashed potatoes, garlic/cheese toast, and corn on the cob. Dessert was malva pudding with custard. I must admit that I over ate a bit that night. The kudu was outstanding!! It was extra special because the steaks came from my kudu.


    More to come later.
    DSC04498.JPG
     
  11. ROCKET

    ROCKET AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2014
    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    Cordoba, Argentina
    Hunted:
    Argentina Bolivia Paraguay South Africa
    Heyyy BigTex.......that Blesbuck is a great trophie.......and I dont have wards for the Kudu Bull........congrat´s and keep going with the hunt.......!!!!!
     
  12. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,645
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    Madrid, Spain
    My Photos:
    40
    Member of:
    RFEC, RFETO
    Hunted:
    Finland, RSA ( KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, North West ), Spain
    Congrats Big Tex Man, good trophies !

    Keep writing.
     

Share This Page