ZIMBABWE: My 10 day Buffalo and Plains Game hunt with Sango Safari's

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports' started by drew416, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. drew416

    drew416 AH Senior Member

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    Myself and two friends completed a 10 day Buffalo and Plains game hunt in the Bubye Valley Conservancy, Nengo Camp, with Sango Safari's. Our PH was the very capable Mr Craig Robinson, a through and through Rhodesian gentleman and expert in his trade.
    The three of us flew from Queensland, Australia directly into Bulawayo and returned without any drama's. Flights married up perfectly and no hassles carrying firearms and ammunition once permission was granted and all paperwork done.
    Met at Bulawayo Airport by Craig and straight to his house to swap vehicles and on the road to the Conservancy. No time wasted, we were given the option of whatever we wanted to do but time was a limiting factor and we all agreed that we wanted to look around the bush more than the city.
    It can never be said that Craig didn't earn his day rate.He is also a very ethical hunter and reflects with everything that happens on safari. This man works hard to make sure you get the trophy that you are after, and then some. Same could be said of the camp staff who did an 'over the top' job of making sure our stomachs were filled to bursting point with excellently prepared and fresh meals.
    About the only thing that marred an excellent trip was the Zim Customs officials that we were greeted with on arrival in Bulawayo. We had all our paperwork completed and in order before we even landed, when we handed everything to the official who made the point of "greeting" us as we got off the tarmac, we were sent to the back of the line. We were then approached by another official who asked" can I help?". We said "no thanks, we have everything we need and it;s all filled out". We were given the run around for nearly 45 minutes. Whilst constantly being asked"did we need any help". Our PH was standing behind the arrivals muster wall and we could here him arguing with the other officials outside. Anyhow after nearly an hour of "do you need any help" question for the 50th time and being ignored by officials when we presented passports and documents, we all "donated" $10 each and like clock work everything started to happen and were allowed straight through, amazing! Same thing was going to happen on our departure but Craig ignored officials and accompanied us into an area out the back and tore strips off of the officials in Shona. They were the same guys who processed on arrival and unbeknown to us neglected to fill out some of their paperwork correctly which directly related to the cash brought into the country by us to pay Trophy Fees. We had no dramas then departing, in fact the official didn't even look me in the eye when he looked and stamped my passport!
    That incident would not stop me returning for another Safari. It is always easier second time around. On completion of our Safari Craig took us to Metabeleland Taxidermist in Bulawayo and were given a guided tour of their workshop and showroom by the second in charge, Dawn. Impressed by the price and quality all our trophy's will be prepared by them.

    All in all a very memorable first Safari and am planning a return trip for 2015. I would recommend to anyone who wants a hunting trip, not a shooting trip, to visit Zim whilst it is still possible.

    Attached Files:

  2. flatsghost

    flatsghost AH Member

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    Congrats on a successful safari, you've got some excellent trophies, I love that old buff, and an awesome eland
  3. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Well done drew! That's one very old buff, love it.
  4. drew416

    drew416 AH Senior Member

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    Thanks. He took 2 hours of stalking through the mob to pick out and another hour to get into a shooting position and wait for him to stand up( the mob of 70 or so were parked up in the shade of the late morning sun chewing their cud).
    Photos are taken where and how he dropped.


    View attachment 21824 View attachment 21825
  5. drew416

    drew416 AH Senior Member

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    Thanks I love the old buff too. The Eland was the hardest trophy to take. They are a wonderful and very large animal. He took tested my PH's tracking ability to the max. View attachment 21826
  6. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Awesome trophies.

    I am glad you had a proper hunt.

    Thanks for sharing your report and pictures.
    I'd like my next Buffalo to be in the same category.
  7. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Sounds great! Wonderful eland and an ancient buff. Good stuff!
  8. Sand Rat

    Sand Rat AH Senior Member

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    Is that a plains or mountain Zebra? It looks like a plains to me and if so the prettiest I've ever seen!
  9. bluey

    bluey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    good stuff drew
    cracker old buff bloke ,bet hes got some scares

    l really like that zebra ,and what an eland
    you had a good trip mate
    your p.h sounds like he was a great host
  10. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    Spectacular Buffalo! Thanks for sharing your hunt report and trophy pictures!
  11. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    No mountain zebra in Zim.
  12. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH Fanatic

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    That is one old Buff. Looks a great Eland. I really liked the look of your Zebra. He is probably the darkest one that I have ever seen. Not a lot of white on him. We'd love to hear stories of the stocks on your animals. Bruce
  13. gi jane

    gi jane BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Congratulations! All of your animals are top-notch!! The zebra is stunning. I have never seen one like that... I had the good fortune of being in camp with Craig in November 2011. He took great care of his client. That man worked his ass off!! Craig was a joy to be around, I don't think I've laughed that hard in a long time. He knows his music!!! He's a good man for sure and will go to hell and back for his client from what I witnessed. Craig R. also tried to save a scout and the man would have lived if not for the sh*& treatment he received when he was admitted to the hospital. Craig was understandably devastated upon hearing the news of the scout's eventual demise. It was a horrible event. He could have been saved had he had proper care. Your PH is a hero in my eyes, and a very decent fellow...
    Jane
  14. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for the hunt report and picture, outstanding safari!
  15. drew416

    drew416 AH Senior Member

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    My thanks to all. In regards to the Zebra, he is a normal plains variety. I am going to start another thread about him and a cracker Impala. All taken on our trip, but shot at long range (280m plus) with my 8mm Rem Mag. Not much is mentioned about the 8mm, a very overlooked and magnificent cartridge, hence why I will start the thread.

    All of us who hunted are not trophy hunters as such. We could not give a hoot about sizes and getting your name in some SCI or other record book pages. We were all interested in older, mature bulls that were not in their prime and who had more than had the opportunity to pass their genes on down the bloodlines through out the herds. This is how Craig feels too and was why we all sort of just "clicked" which made it a very enjoyable time for all, even when just sitting around camp after lunch or in the evening after dinner.

    In spite of our, size doesn't matter trophy ideas, we all were able to take excellent animals. None of which were immature or second rate. This is just a testament to the talent of our PH. Believe me the Bubye Valley was full of game of many species and all were in great condition. I don't mean from a record breaker point of view, all animals were fat with shiny coats and with few parasites on and in them. What we saw and what we believed would have been a good animal to take was greeted only by Craig's phrase-"oh ya, he's a good'on, but why don't we wait till we see his Dad!".

    This was my cherry trip and admit I still don't know half as much as what many board members here would about Africa in general.After about day three I learnt that when Craig said shoot at an animal, it was a good one and to line him up in the sights as quick as possible, or get into a better position to take a shot. A first safari for me was always going to be a memorable occasion. But having someone like Craig on your cherry trip made me hooked for life. Repeat trips coming up as soon as can be paid for.

    I scanned through many articles here before we departed for Zim and got the most important advice, Listen to your PH and follow. We really lucked out having Craig as our first PH. I know he was my first but we did encounter other PHes with clients along the boundaries of our camp and at the Base Camp. We could see they were doing things differently and were then glad we were doing things the way we were doing them because it felt better and made more sense once we had something else to compare hunting styles too. But hey everyone is different.

    OT- I am having a hell of a time trying to upload photo's. I am trying to attach my mates buff photo. Shot whilst grazing in late afternoon. Craig gets you so close you can feel their hot breath!

    Attached Files:

  16. Wheels

    Wheels GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Your buff is an old warrior. Someday I hope to get a zebra as black as yours. All the trophies are great. Congratulations.
  17. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Awesome trophies, age not inches fantastic!!! thanks for sharing
  18. Stan-Elephant Trail

    Stan-Elephant Trail AH Veteran

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    Congrats.

    +1 for age not inches.
  19. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Stan looking forward to your next Elephent Trail.
  20. Stan-Elephant Trail

    Stan-Elephant Trail AH Veteran

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    Bobpukett,

    I am afraid there is not much to report. I hunted in Namibia in May for twenty three days, walked my legs off. The longest distant we walked this trip in a day were 36.7 Kms (22.8 miles) after a lone bull, but his tusks were small. There was one night that a big old bull came one meter closed to my tent for water in the toilet bowl. I woke up by the noise the old bull broke off some branches and I had to shout to make him go away. I told Felix early that morning and we did take his track. We caught up with him after two hours. He was a very old bull in sixty pounds class.

    We saw an old bull with one tusk that would easily make 80 lbs, four more bulls over 70 lbs and several bulls over 60-65 lbs, mostly in the first half of the safari. I had only one permit this year, so I was holding off for my hundred pounder. My plan was to come back again in November if I did not see what I wanted. However, I could feel that Felix had enough of me already, so I ended up shot a bull with a very long pair of tusks in 60 lbs class on the second to the last day. I did shoot an old roan too.

    A client that came after me shot a nice old bull though. Felix wrote me :
    " The bull weighed left tusk 86.1 and right tusk 84.3. Measurements are: left tusk length 193cm; circumference 51.4. Right tusk length 184cm
    Circumference 52cm." A happy hunter.

    Off to Zim in October.

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