2012 Hunt report-Touch Africa Safaris Zimbabwe
Outfitter: Touch Africa Safaris
PH: Jonathan Collett
Booking Agent: Terry Wagner
Species hunted: Management Buffalo Bull, Eland, Bushpig, Warthog.
Species Harvested: All of the above.
My wife and I returned from a 10 day hunt with Touch Africa. (pics to come)
We were met in the Bulawayo airport by Jonathan Collett (Owner and PH) after a relatively smooth flight from Toronto Ontario via London. After a quick stop for supplies we continued on to the camp and arrived just before dark. The camp was ready for our arrival and soon we were enjoying a nice dinner after a few drinks around fire. The accomodations were tented chalets with ensuite and were quite comfortable.
We hunted buffalo the first four days and saw plenty of animals but the management bulls were tough to find. I saw a few trophy quality bulls and plenty of soft boss bulls. The management bulls are full grown mature old bulls with hard bosses that aren't going to reach more than about 36" in width. They're usually between 32-36". On the fourth morning we connected and took a management bull. It was a nice old 35" bull with hard bosses and lots of character. After a brief rest we headed out looking for the other species on my list above but mainly concentrated on the elusive eland. In the meantime, a nice old warthog presented itself and we harvested him.
After 3 days of eland hunting, many hills climbed and several unsuccessful stalks (damn zebras), Jonathan put me on a nice mature bull that was feeding below a cliff. We managed to sneak within 120 yards and took him down.
Back to camp to celebrate and the next morning we were after bush pig.
After two days of hunting, Jonathan, Philimon(sp) the tracker and I climbed a goma(sp) to take a look around. We had seen some bush pig in the area a few days before but couldn't get a shot. Jonathan went to the very top while Philimon and I watched the valley below. He ended up whistling from above to let me know that a pig was running towards me. It ended up running by only 20ft away and I managed to put him down. It was a nice old boar and a great trophy.
My wife and I spent the rest of the time fishing for largemouth bass in the dam on the property and looking at the abundance of wildlife on the concession. We saw a wide variety of animals including wild dogs and leopard as well as the more common game like impala, giraffe, kudu (saw quite a few shooters), waterbuck (several mature shooter bulls), wildebeest, bushbuck, etc. There were lots of animals for sure. I kept the rifle with me just in case a bushbuck popped out and low and behold on the last evening, we spotted a male feeding along the shoreline of the dam. We got in close and realized he wasn't quite there so I passed him up and watched him in the binoculars as the sun set.
The food was excellent and we ate game every day as well as a few feeds of fish from the dam. They had two or three Braai's (tenderloin from the various game, sausage, etc) and also served appetizers while we were having our evening cocktails.
The camp was well run and organized. The staff put the effort in to make sure we were happy and everything was in order. Jonathan worked hard as my PH and put me on the animals I wanted. I rented guns from him and they were well maintained Winchester model 70's with Trijicon scopes. (375 h&h and 30-06).
At the end of the hunt, Jonathan transported my wife and I across the border at Beitbridge to meet up with our pre arranged ride so we could begin a photo safari in Kruger. I really appreciated this gesture as that border crossing is an experience to say the least. As he was familiar with it, it went really smoothly.
All in all, we had a great time and I would recommend Jonathan if you're considering a Zim hunt.
I'm still organizing my pics so I'll add them later.