Africa 2015 Pre-hunt

gillettehunter

AH legend
Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Messages
3,682
Reaction score
3,649
Location
WYOMING
Media
83
Hunting reports
Africa
6
USA/Canada
4
Asia/M.East
2
Australia/NZ
1
Hunted
Namibia, Kyrgyzstan(2) South Africa(4) New Zealand Zambia(2)
So I have avoided doing this for a variety of reasons. Probably the best excuse is the pics are all on my computer at work. So I didn't want to come in on a day off. I also didn't want to type forever to try and get it all done. I type slowly.......Soooo I'm going to give you my reports that I e-mailed home to family and friends. I'll add a few pics, some of which I have posted before. MaryAnn is my wife. Kirsten is a friend on her first big game hunt that gets along well with us. I hope you enjoy:

Arrived safely in Jo-berg yesterday. Almost 15 hours from Atlanta. 2
meals and a snack onboard. I slept some. MaryAnn and Kirsten both
watched movies almost non-stop. Good flight and lost no baggage. Customs
went smoothly
Had a great meal and nice accommodations at the African sky guest
house. Flew via British air into Victoria Falls today. Had to check a
couple of small roll ons as they only allow 1 per client in economy.
Dead last off plane and a 40 min wait in line for visas. Driver
waiting and took us straight to the lodge. Monkeys and Impala seen on
the way.
This place is rather nice. About 12-15 min from the falls via car. We
are in the national park. Water hole about 300 yds below the lodge. This
aftn there was a bull elephant there ! Got MaryAnn and Kirsten rather
excited. Also some warthogs and storks there.
P1020286.JPG

On the way to walk around the falls we got a very good look at some
Impala. Have seen some monkeys several times. The falls are at high
water. More impressive, but harder to see due all the mist. Spent about
1.5 hrs at the falls as the sun went down. Clear day. Had a good
rainbow. Have to use a raincoat at parts because the rain and mist from
the falls gets rather heavy at times depending on the wind.
P1020291.JPG

P1020330.JPG
P1020349.JPG
Then went to see the grounds of a 5 star hotel next to the falls while the full moon came
out. Lots of mounts... Some very good ones too. Kirsten may of added
blue wilderbeast to her animal list.....
Then back to Vic falls to see the elusive "moonbow". Very few places in
the world have enough mist to get a "rainbow" caused by the moon.
Maryann got some good pics.
Got back to lodge for,dinner at 8:45 or so. Rather late. They have a
spotlight on the waterhole. 6 elephants there for 45 min. w hile we had
dinner. Then a rather good looking kudu snuck thru. Heard a hyena
"barking". Rather odd sound. Busy day today. Tomorrow off to a village
for pics and to deliver some school supplies.

Sometimes you get lucky and have one of those magical days. Maybe you
only get one every few years. Today was one of those. Got up early for
breakfast. Watching the waterhole while eating was cool. We saw
3 Impala Rams, 7 crocodiles, a warthog and lots of storks and egrets.
Plus a big flock of guinea fowl.
P1020398.JPG

Went to visit a local village with no electricity.
Floors are made of compacted cow dung......... They burn elephant turds
at night inside their boma as a mosquito repellant. Rely on mostly
grown crops for food. No real sugar. Makes one grateful.
P1020417.JPG
P1020428.JPG

Weight bench/workout center...
Then on to the village school. About 300 kids. 2 semesters. Costs $10
/ child per semester. Today was the first day of school. Only 2 had
paid. Everyone sent home to get the $$. Average worker in this part
of Zim earns $400/ month. Small regular houses in town cost $450/
month to rent. So often 3 families in each.
P1020438.JPG

This is a typical classroom. No chalkboards. Learning English was considered important so they could be employed in the lucrative "tourist trade".
On the way to the village we bought some groceries to give for thanks
for showing us their home. Everything is in U.S. Dollars. Their
currency is so bad as to be basically worthless. So they use the dollars
for most purchases. Interesting to see 1kilo bars of wash soap for
clothes.
I'll continue on the next page so I don't get too many photo's to upload at one time....
 

gillettehunter

AH legend
Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Messages
3,682
Reaction score
3,649
Location
WYOMING
Media
83
Hunting reports
Africa
6
USA/Canada
4
Asia/M.East
2
Australia/NZ
1
Hunted
Namibia, Kyrgyzstan(2) South Africa(4) New Zealand Zambia(2)
Then went on a lunch cruise on the Zambesi river. We went to an island
for lunch. Saw a pod of hippos on the way there. The captain made a
nice pass as close as he dared. About 80 feet. Then we got a great
look at a egret, on the river irredentist green on it .
P1020467.JPG
Lunch was ok.
Had a 8 ft termite mound next to it.
P1020481.JPG

After lunch we went down the river. Found a pair of fish Eagles. Got to
watch them mate. Great pics in the tree.
P1020501.JPG
Then I spotted another, bigger
pod if hippos. Got some more good pics. Saw a croc, but no pics of him.
P1020520.JPG

Back to the lodge. They had just fed the vultures and storks the scraps
next to the lodge. Good close pics of the storks and vultures. MaryAnn
and I went to the room for 40 min. Went to check and see if there was
anything at the waterhole. Just outside the room was a troupe of
monkeys. We spent over 45 min playing with them. Kirsten got to barely
touch one. One stole her cell phone!!! Only got about 15 feet and we
got it back. Had one nursing at 20 feet. Sat down and had pics as close
as 3 feet..... Lots of fun.
P1020657.JPG
P1020737.JPG
The old male was a little grouchy. Then a
young "teenage " one was acting aggressively with Kirstien. She named
him Ralph. More to follow when I have time. Bedtime. Chobe game park
all day tomorrow. Let's say the warthogs and bushbuck were also rather
tame.
 

gillettehunter

AH legend
Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Messages
3,682
Reaction score
3,649
Location
WYOMING
Media
83
Hunting reports
Africa
6
USA/Canada
4
Asia/M.East
2
Australia/NZ
1
Hunted
Namibia, Kyrgyzstan(2) South Africa(4) New Zealand Zambia(2)
The monkeys were for the most part a lot of fun except the teenager that
was somewhat aggressive w/ Kirsten.
P1020595.JPG
Kirsten had seen a couple of
bushbuck females and a herd of warthogs. So we went to see if we could
find them. Found the boar warthog on the grass. Interesting critter.
Down on their front knees to feed.... Closer to the ground. Mature boar.
Got to 30 yds or so before he spooked.
Then we didn't get 250 yds from the front of the lodge and there were
2 Chobe Bushbucks. One ram and one female. Absolutely beautiful. Could
approach to about 10 yards..... The ram was a "shooter" with horns
about 14-15 inches long. Great coat on him. The female was sleek and
good looking. Spent 1/2 hour with the. Really a great photo shoot. They
posed nicely for us. My camera battery was dead. So I need photo's from my wife....
Then spotted a bunch of warthogs on the grass another 150 yds from the
Bushbucks. Their were 2 families on pigs there one dominant boar that
we had seen earlier. Then 2 females with piglets. We focused on the
closer group. The far group had perhaps 6 pigs. The closer group had a
sow and 7 half grown piglets. We got close to them and then they fed
right up to us 10 feet or so. Too close for Maryann's big lens! Then
the boar thought maybe the sow was in season. He started to sound like a
old tractor.... Owing, oink every second or two with his nose right up
the sows exhaust system. She kept walking and the boar just followed she
probably went 200 yds before he decided that maybe she was rights and
wasn't ready yet. Funny as could be. All across the lawn oink oink......
Then back to our rooms to get ready for dinner. Kirsten opened the
sliding door on her balcony while getting ready. Came out of the
bathroom to find a monkey had came in to see what she could take. Then
didn't want to leave.... We knocked and she left the room.
Dinner included a drum show. Buffet style meal. The crocodile was very
good. The impala was gamey. The pork was quite good. Lots of desserts to
choose from. The evening was marred somewhat by a group of rude Russian
tourists. They wanted out front row table. We didn't give it up......
Then they dropped a glass and broke it. Loud mouthed. Still a nice
meal with interesting food.
 

gillettehunter

AH legend
Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Messages
3,682
Reaction score
3,649
Location
WYOMING
Media
83
Hunting reports
Africa
6
USA/Canada
4
Asia/M.East
2
Australia/NZ
1
Hunted
Namibia, Kyrgyzstan(2) South Africa(4) New Zealand Zambia(2)
Today is Chobe National park in Botswana. Went to b-fast at 7. Temp was cool. Someone
else had found some birds huddled up together. Perhaps for warmth overnight?? Bright green and yellow.
Perhaps the size of our swallows. 9 in a row. May be one of my best
shots. African bee eaters. Gone by the time Kirsten got there.
P1020741.JPG

The drive to the border was perhaps 50 min or so. Crossed over and got a
new driver. Went to a company for a river tour. We had seen several
warthogs and Impala as we went over the border. Elephant droppings on
the hiway.
Loaded up on a double decker pontoon boat. Foldup chairs down each
side. Captan and 2 assistants. Cast off and headed up the Chobe river.
Saw several different crocs up to about 7 ft. Close up. Like 12 feet.
P1020915.JPG

Saw 2 different moniter lizards.
P1020759.JPG
Lots of birds. Fish Eagles were abundant as
were Egyptian geese. Saw some more of the bee eaters too. Saw hippos,
elephants, Cape buffalo in small numbers. They were old Daga boys out on the islands to keep away from the lions.
P1020939.JPG
Saw some Puku as well. Nice bull
waterbuck.
P1020830.JPG
Some Kudu including one good bull. Also some Lechwe. Saw
them on the way back. Had asked the captain if we might see some. Said it
was unlikely cause the grass was too tall. I found them and had the captain turn around for a look!
P1020972.JPG

Hippos were hard to get a pic of. Always in the water. Not out enough
for a good pic. Saw 8-10 herds of Impala. One had close to 50 in it.
The ram was trying to keep all of the younger Rams away from his
females. Lots to,see. Good numbers of elephants in sight. Never got
closer than about 40 yards. They would pull up the grass and then toss
it back and forth to get rid or the mud. Then into their mouth.
P1020843.JPG

One of the more interesting birds was this heron. He spreads his wings to make shade in the water. When the minnows come to the shade he gets a meal.
P1020954.JPG
Then back to the dock and lunch. Next up was a game drive in the park.
Went down along the river. Started near where the boat trip ended. Saw
lots of Impala. All over the place.
P1020877.JPG
 

gillettehunter

AH legend
Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Messages
3,682
Reaction score
3,649
Location
WYOMING
Media
83
Hunting reports
Africa
6
USA/Canada
4
Asia/M.East
2
Australia/NZ
1
Hunted
Namibia, Kyrgyzstan(2) South Africa(4) New Zealand Zambia(2)
Caught a group of Kudu coming to water. Nice big shooter bull. Maybe
mid 50's in length?
P1030105.JPG

He came down with a herd of 7 cows and a smaller bull. He was
interested in a cow getting close,to,being in season. Got to within 25
feet or so of the truck. Some great pics of him. More waterbuck too.
Another nice bull bedded out in the open.
Saw probably a dozen pods of hippos. Up to 20 in a group. Then the
singles and small coalitions of younger Bulls kicked out of the pod.
Lots of them around.You can see the scars on this one.
P1020956.JPG

What we really saw most of was elephants. Like 70,000 in the park.
Getting over the carrying capacity. Had a herd come on both sides of the
truck. Could,of touched elephants on either side with a modest length
fishing rod. Cows, calves, Bulls. Young and old. Hundreds of them. All
over the place. In the water and the bank. Saw several youngsters
probably less than 6 months old. About as good as you can get for pics.
P1030059.JPG
P1030232.JPG

Coming back we ran right in the middle of a herd of Cape Buffalo. Cows
calves and Bulls. Couple of pretty good ones.
P1030282.JPG

Kirsten's favorites were the giraffes. Found 3 out in the open grass by
the river. Really cool to see they walked past within probably 40
yards. Also saw a jackal. Fun to see him. Saw a large group of mongoose. Cool looking critters.
P1030036.JPG
Saw the giraffes in the
trees again and then some on the way out of the park. Plus one by the
hiway on the blacktop back in Zimbabwe.
Driving home we also saw a couple of groups on baboons. Right on the
shoulder. Got close for some pics. Made for a great day
 

CAustin

Bronze supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
May 7, 2013
Messages
14,499
Reaction score
11,856
Media
258
Hunting reports
Africa
7
Member of
Courtney Hunting Club, NRA Life Member, SCI Kansas City Chapter
Hunted
South Africa, KwaZulu Natal, Kalahari, Northwest, Limpopo, Gauteng, APNR Kruger Area. USA Georgia, South Carolina, Arkansas, New Mexico, North Carolina and Texas
Thanks for sharing your report.....it's a good one so far!
 

cpr0312

AH ambassador
Joined
Jul 21, 2011
Messages
10,174
Reaction score
13,582
Location
North Carolina
Media
349
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
7
USA/Canada
1
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
NRA Life Member
Hunted
US (All over), New Zealand, South Africa(Northern Cape, Northwest), Zimbabwe, Zambia
Very nice, thanks for sharing! Vic Falls is on my list for sure! Love all the pics
 

Wheels

AH ambassador
Joined
Dec 23, 2012
Messages
6,564
Reaction score
10,313
Media
115
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Hunted
Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe
Thanks for sharing your experiences around the falls Bruce.

Beautiful and neat.
 

gillettehunter

AH legend
Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Messages
3,682
Reaction score
3,649
Location
WYOMING
Media
83
Hunting reports
Africa
6
USA/Canada
4
Asia/M.East
2
Australia/NZ
1
Hunted
Namibia, Kyrgyzstan(2) South Africa(4) New Zealand Zambia(2)
Sad to see this day arrive. Have to leave Victoria falls. Been so
nice it's almost surreal. Got up early to finish packing. Then off
to take a helicopter ride around the falls. Very different from the
air. Had no clue that the gorge zig zagged after the falls. Quite
striking. Less than 15 min, but a great deal of fun.
P1030443.JPG

Then back to pick up bags and check out. Then on to the market. MaryAnn
was in her element. Brought a bunch of T- shirts to trade as well as
some hats. A few dollars and a shirt got you a wood carving that might
cost $30 otherwise. Maryann would make her best offer and walk away.
They would usually cave in. Very interesting place. Felt like you got
swarmed.
P1030516.JPG

Kirsten just about shut down. Too much going on. Too many people
demanding her attention. Didn't know it would be hard for her.
Then off to a high class store. MaryAnn got some nice perfume. Kirsten
some jewelry. Then off for permits for the ivory jewelry. Little late
to airport, but it all worked out fine. Then flew back to RSA ( republic
of South Africa).
 

BRICKBURN

Super moderator
Contributor
Lifetime titanium benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
23,030
Reaction score
17,676
Location
Canada
Media
412
Articles
24
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Europe
1
Hunted
Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Canada, USA, Mexico, England
If you are not prepared for the swarm it can be daunting.

The water course is amazing to see. Have to love geography/geology.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
37,743
Messages
722,134
Members
67,552
Latest member
CharlesGrilm
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

I did a little housekeeping in my shop and found some .500 Jeffery ammo that I no longer need. Superior Ammunition and Hendershots loaded them, along with AHR (American Hunting Rifles). Several Woodleigh/A-Square solids along with lead bullets in both 535g and 600g. Message me for any details.

IMG_8092.jpg
IMG_8091.jpg
IMG_8090.jpg
IMG_8094.jpg
pam308 wrote on TOBY458's profile.
Just saw your listing for a winchester 70 458. Is it still for sale? I want it!!! pam308
flatwater bill wrote on john stroud's profile.
Leopard Legend....................Hi John.............I see that you have not visited AH in awhile. Hope all is well. I am looking for a hunt in Namibia..............would like to ask a few questions about your hunt.............all the best..............................Bill
Cervus elaphus wrote on Bob Nelson 35Whelen's profile.
Hi Bob, how's things going in Wyong?. Down your way a couple of years back but haven't been in NSW since Ebor for the fishing. just getting over some nasty storms up here in Qld, seeing the sun for the first time in a few days. I'm going to NZ in the spring and hope to clean up a few buns while there and perhaps shake the spiders out of my old .303LE (currently owned by my BIL). Cheers Brian
A couple pictures of the sable i chased for miles in Mozambique, Coutada 9!! We finally caught up to him and I had the trophy of a lifetime. Mokore Safaris, Doug Duckworth PH
sable Coutada 9.JPG
sable 2 - Coutada 9.JPG
 
Top