BOTSWANA: Hunt Of A Lifetime For Everyone With Tholo Safaris

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by Jeff Schaeffer, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. Jeff Schaeffer

    Jeff Schaeffer AH Member

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    I returned recently from first safari at Tholo. I think there is little I can say about the quality of the hunting that has not been said by others and I will talk a bit about it, but there some aspects to Tholo that should be more well known and that will be my focus.

    We went as three grad school friends (the hunters), our wives, and a brother and sister. One of our hunters lived in Africa for years, and recommended Tholo because he knew what a quality hunt looked like and knew how to find it. He did. We hunted plains game, had many days filled with adrenaline, and all filled out packages with high quality or even trophy class animals via classic stalking hunts on free range animals. I have a few hunting stories to share in the future to give you an idea of what it is like to hunt there, but let's just say that I almost did not do a review because I had a strong desire to keep Tholo as much of secret as possible so that I could return whenever I wanted without having to compete for reservations. The day after the hunt I woke up at sunrise and spent hours scheming how to get back as soon as possible, and two days later a return visit was booked. Whoever cancelled, I will owe you a great debt because I was despondent over having to wait for a traditional reservation. It was that good.

    But a huge part of the enjoyment was that we had both hunters, and non-hunters. We were hoping that our wives enjoyed the trip as much as us, and Tholo pulled out the stops to show them a good time. We asked them to help us find and book a guide, and they found Garth, a PH who does both hunting and game viewing. He had a beautiful classic safari vehicle with jump seats, and they had a fantastic time. There was game viewing, birding, bushwalks, night drives with spotlights, and even a day spent with women from the camp who did a workshop on San Bushman medicinal and subsistence plants. There were pop rock seeds under tongues, water squeezed from giant roots dug from the ground, and other fantastic stories. There were also tales of frequent drives out to the pans for sundowners. I heard nothing but positive comments and my wife loved the experience. It is a pretty camp, and one could have good time just sitting under the veranda by the waterhole and watching the animals come and go. There was a lot of that as well. If we got back to camp at an odd time I could usually find someone down there with binocs, a good book, or both, and some libation that had some from somewhere.

    But this added to my hunting experience because each day I could head out with the knowledge that my wife was being cared for lavishly in my absence. Those of you who are married know that is important and counts for a lot.

    And, Garth was not alone. The other PH's interacted with our group when not hunting and helped out with some of the evening activities. One night PH Christo even led an astronomy workshop that involved a military grade laser to point out all the southern starts and constellations. Hunters and guides by day, social directors by night.

    Tholo sort of mentions this on the website, but they do not go into the details of the full range of activities that are possible, how cool they are, and how they spoil guests in every way possible 24/7.

    I plan to share actual hunting reports via stories, but wanted to put this out there. I still feel that my words do not convey the quality of the experience and the fun we all had. Some things can't be measured.

    Thanks,

    Jeff
     
    Edge, brandondd24, Thomasrey and 5 others like this.

  2. lpace

    lpace AH Veteran

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    Jeff,

    Thanks for that report. You said a mouthful with the statement "this added to my hunting experience because each day I could head out with the knowledge that my wife was being cared for lavishly in my absence." That is always top of mind when hunting in Africa and my wife is there. We have had experience where what you said was not true and it had a significant impact on my ability to enjoy my hunt. My wife doesn't hunt, doesn't even participate in the hunt at all (it breaks her heart so see an animal die). After a couple of trips to Africa and another trip in the planning stages, she has developed the opinion that she 'doesn't belong in a place like that' (an organization designed around hunting). All that to say, thanks again for your report. It gives me renewed faith!

    Looking forward to your hunting stories! :)
     

  3. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats, seems like you had a good family experience. I also took my wife to SA twice and she really enjoyed it.
     

  4. Glenn Slaven

    Glenn Slaven AH Member

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    I’m counting down the days. 9/2/19 I’ll be there. Glad to see a good report of a place I’m going!
     

  5. gesch

    gesch AH Senior Member

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    Probably an ignorant question—I thought Hunting was banned in Botswana? Can you explain what is and is not possible? Thanks
     

  6. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Hunting has NEVER been banned on private property. Ranch hunting for Plains Game is going on as always.
     

  7. PARA45

    PARA45 AH Fanatic

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    Congrats on a wonderful trip; looking forward to reading your hunt report.
     

  8. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Good start to your report.
     

  9. Jeff Schaeffer

    Jeff Schaeffer AH Member

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    Just wanted to clarify something from a PM. Our group hired Garth through Tholo. We asked for guide and vehicle, they chose him for us and set it up. His services were not included in our hunting/observer packages and were extra. A bargain for what we got, but it is something to be arranged beforehand.

    Thanks,

    Jeff
     

  10. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I have heard they run a first rate operation. Thanks for the recommendation!
     

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