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