BOTSWANA: Papa & Tori's Adventure At Kanana


AH enthusiast
Feb 7, 2012
Reaction score
Hunting reports
Member of
South Africia, Botswana, Alaska, Canada, Most Western US, Kyrgyzstan, Namibia
Kanana Safari Botswana 2013
Upon return from my first and successful safari to South Africa in May of 2012, I wasn't planning on a return until 2014; this is until I saw a post on AH by Kanana Safaris in Botswana that offered great prices on a plains game hunt with an extra bonus that caught my interest. They were offering a youth hunt for a hunter under 18 to accompany the paying hunter at no additional cost and the youth hunter could take a Gemsbok and other animals at no additional fee.
I took advantage of the offer and booked a short 5 day hunt to be conducted in early September 2013 with Kanana for myself and my 14 year old granddaughter. The hunt was for Kudu, Zebra, and Eland for me and the Gemsbok for my granddaughter who had never hunted before.
The first order of business for me with a year to go prior to the hunt was to improve my shooting off sticks, (which I had trouble with on my first hunt) and to decide on what rifle or rifles I would bring for the hunt for both of us. As my granddaughter had never shot a high power rifle before we needed to practice a lot prior to the hunt.
I decided to hunt with one rifle for both of us, and that rifle was my Remington Sendero in 300 Ultra Mag. There were a couple of reasons for this selection, First, I love the rifle, it is a ï½½ MOA tack driver out to 600 yards and beyond, and although distance is not needed that kind of accuracy really helps build confidence in ability for shot placement. Second, Remington makes a reduced recoil load for the 300 Ultra that mimics the ballistics of the 30-06. Point of impact at 100 yards between my 180 grain Socorro load and the 150 grain for my granddaughter is almost identical. Lots of practice was taken by us during the next months and by our last range session she could shoot better than I could at 100 yards off the sticks. It proved to be a great plan.
The next part of the planning was deciding how to get from Phoenix AZ to Maun Botswana. The route I decided on was Phoenix to London and London to Johannesburg via British Airways, Johannesburg to Maun via South African Airlines. This route requires no overnight layovers. Arrangement were made by Gracy Travel and everything went great, British Airlines was great with the firearms, permits and meet and greet handled by Gracy was excellent. Assistance by Kanana Safaris in getting through the paperwork in Maun was also great.
Heathrow airport London (640x360).jpg
Last edited by a moderator:
that's so cool taking the grand daughter on a great offer like that Arizona,
you will live forever in her memory mate
l like your choice of firearm aswell
Of course I read with great interest all the hunting reports coming back from Kanana, everything seemed positive and everyone had a great time. The constant flow of positive glowing reports and photos stoked me for the trip.
To the Report:
Where- Kanana Safaris Botswana September 2-8 2013
Tracker Morlan
Driver: Will Thornhill Apprentice
Animals Hunted Eland, Kudu, Zebra, Gemsbok
Animals Taken Eland, Kudu, Zebra, Gemsbok, Jackal

As we were a little late arriving at camp, delays for goats, donkeys, cattle, Kudu, and Warthog in the road on the way, and a time spent with the checkpoint where we had to dip our boots for disease control, it was too late to check the rifle, so a much needed shower and a great meal with multiple Castle beers and the travel days had ended for a while.
This was our Greeter as we approached the Lodge the greeter upon camp arrival (800x600).jpgsunrise at Kanana (1024x575).jpg


  • fire pit  (606x1024).jpg
    fire pit (606x1024).jpg
    321.1 KB · Views: 114
Hunting Day One

Day one:
Day one had Tori (my granddaughter) and myself with the crew to the rifle range to check out the rifle zero and of course to show JP how we handle the rifle. A few shots each and our confidence in the rifle zero confirmed, and as usual Toriï½´s shots were slightly better than mine. I thought to myself I know sheis ready and capable, but never having shot anything larger than a rabbit before,

I know the real test is coming; will she have a good clean shot and kill? (I was hoping, and also not completely sure she would even pull the trigger on an animal when the time came.)

We set off to see if we could find an animal on my list, I was totally blown away by the amount of game I saw, Kudu, Wildebeest, Waterbuck, Eland, Giraffe, Hartebeest, Zebra, Springbuck, Impala, and Jackal. We made stalks on Zebra, Eland, and Kudu, the first day all unsuccessful, but lots of fun, made a mental note of the obvious, Zebra and Eland just keep going, and going. Tori decided she wanted to wait at least a day before her hunt started. After a great meal and conversation around the fire we were treated to the African sky at night, and what a show it is. Went to sleep listening to Wildebeest going by the camp in their usual noisy way.
warthog at camp (1024x768).jpgwaterbuck  (1024x912) (800x713).jpgtracking day one (800x600).jpg
Hunting Day Two

Day Two:
Our weather the entire trip was very similar to what we had at home in Arizona, absolutely clear skies, not one cloud, cool in the morning by mid-afternoon it was hot. JP asked my preference in hunting methods and I prefer spot and stalk hunting, so off we went for Zebra, after two failed stalks (the next person that tells me shooting Zebra is like shooting a horse is getting slapped,) we spotted a group of about 8 Zebra after a 50 minute stalk on this constantly moving herd I finally had an opportunity and took my Zebra at about 140 yards off the sticks, shot thru the heart, through and through penetration and it went only 15 yards before it went down for good. It will be a nice rug for my Man-cave. This was the first large first animal that Tori had seen killed, she handled it well.

zebra  kanana (1024x680).jpgJohn w Zebra (1024x703).jpgtori on truck.jpgJP Will and tracker, zebra (1024x768).jpg

After taking the Zebra back for skinning, the afternoon was spent at a waterhole taking photos, watching birds and Will the apprentice getting lessons on bird identification. I go some great photos at the water hole and in the late afternoon a BIG Kudu came in, my first look at his horns, he looked like a shooter, JP pointed out he had a broken horn on one side, and I passed on him.

broken horn kudu (1024x957).jpg

Mr. Lucky
Later the waterhole was visited by a group of Impala, one of the rams, a mature male came to get a drink, and JP pointed out that he had something on his neck, a close look showed that what he had on his neck was a part of an Impala horn stuck in his neck. I was a horn broken off, what was visible appears about 6-8 inches long. The remarkable thing about this was the Impala didn't seem to have any ill effects from being gored in the neck. He was drinking normally, chasing females around showing his dominance over the other impala, and appeared in good health, as he seemed healthy and I didn't want an Impala we took photos and let him go on his way. He was named Mr. Lucky for his survival of the horn in his neck as well as his luck in not being injured in a way that we would have to harvest him

Mr Lucky one at watew (1280x1011).jpg
We will hear more from Mr. Lucky later in the report.
After the return to camp, JP prepared our first taste of Zebra, it was quite good, Tori reluctantly ate some also, and (there were more exotic tastes in store for me later).
great start Arizona you have my complete attention mate
I know what you mean with wondering if the girl will squeeze the trigger or not , it brings back memories of the time my daughter ,when only 12 said she wanted to hunt her first samba deer .
Day Three - Tori's Gemsbuk

Day Three
This was Toriï½´s day to hunt Gemsbok, I must say that when she initially arrived in camp she was very quiet, as the days went on she became more and more open. Especially with the young apprentice in camp Will and George she made friends.
An example of her humor, as the truck was being driven by Will to pick up the Zebra, Tori was on the back of the truck with JP騾橸スエ pointing stick doing an also perfect imitation of JP giving Will orders on directions and telling him he had to shower at least on Tuesdays. All done with a passable Afrikaans accent

We started out looking for Gemsbok and spotted one a ways off the wind was right so the stalk was started, after 30-40 minutes she was brought into position by JP. The Gemsbok was about 150 yards away, JP was great with her setting up the shot, telling her where to hit the Gemsbok, and Tori at 150 yards off the sticks, drilled the Gemsbuk with one shot, it went down within 25 yards. No additional shots were needed, a clear, perfectly placed one shot, no tracking necessary first big game animal. The entire trip was a success right then. I was and am one proud Papa.

tori Gemsbuk 1 (1280x850).jpgtori with gemsbok (1280x960).jpgcrew with Gemsbuk (1280x960).jpg

Everyone was so excited, back to the skinner with Toriï½´s trophy and a quick lunch and out again.
We went back out to try Eland again, and a spot and stalk Eland hunt is very often a marathon of walking and stalking a very wary animal. Stalking a big bull for the remainder of the day was not successful; we just could not catch up with him. Really put on some boot miles. This is a definitely one of my favorite hunts.

Snake Eagle snake eagle close (1280x934).jpg

Springbuck springbuck (1280x960).jpg
more to come, need to take a break.
a succsessfull trip it is

congratulations to the young huntress
and of course to the grand papa of the year
looking forward to the rest of it
a succsessfull trip it is

congratulations to the young huntress
and of course to the grand papa of the year
looking forward to the rest of it
Thanks bluey, I will pass on your praise to Tori
Your adventure with your granddaughter has gotten off to a incredible start. You should be proud introducing Tori to hunting. You are creating memories than will never pass. Congratulations. Super job Tori.

I also enjoyed the Kanana experience earlier this year. Can't seem to get it out of my head. Not that I am trying...

I can't wait to read the rest of your report.
Great start arizona. Doesn't surprise me about the impala, seen the same sort of thing with a horse once. I'll have to tell you that story in person, perhaps at SCI or up at Usery Pass?
Great report so far, keep it coming. The wife and I had such a great time hunting with J.P. that we booked another hunt for the end of April next year. That impala would have been a hard pass and a beautiful mount (with the horn left in the neck). I hope you tell us in the next report he was added to the salt. Congratulations to your Granddaughter as well!
Day Four

Day Four:
Eland/Kudu were on the list, and after a few hours a nice Kudu was spotted, and a stalk was started, and this proved to be my shortest stalk of about 20 minutes, the Kudu was about 90 yards away, only presented the top half of his back for the shot as there was heavy bush just in front of him, I found a spot in the brush still a little higher than I like but the 180 grain Swift sirocco went thru the lungs and exited, he went only about 10 yards and he was done.
Kudu Kudu john (1280x960).jpgKalahari Bush (1280x960).jpg Kalahari Bush

The afternoon was still open but very hot, so we decided to take a PSE crossbow out to a waterhole that afternoon, during the practice session with myself, Tori, JP and Will all shooting practice shots as a target before we went out, Tori again proved she could shoot anything, then the smack talk started between Tori and Will as to who was the best shot, after a lot of good natured banter and prodding Will agreed to have a shooting contest with Tori after we were done hunting. They would use the 300 Ultra Mag.
We found nothing to shoot with the crossbow but had a great time none the less. Crossbow at waterhole crossbow (1280x960).jpg

JP and Will had an exercise in primitive weapon making and the rock sling was a success, however, proficiency was highly lacking. No animals or birds were hurt or even scared during the rock launching :small:
Will primitive weapon day (1280x960).jpg
Day Five

Day Five:
JP decided to get an earlier start this morning as we were going to concentrate on Eland. As before we spotted Eland early, a good bull was found, and started another marathon stalk. Stalking in the Kalahari sand and brush is not easy, especially on an old guy like me, (I will be 69 later this month) but I got into to very good shape for this hunt.
The stalk lasted around 1 ï½½ hours or more, but my chance at the bull came at about 110 yards, quartering towards us; I shot once and hit him hard, he turned broadside and took one more shot hit him hard again, then we could not see him anymore. He was located after a short search, what a trophy, a great old bull, with a nice hair tuft on his face blue in the dew lap and neck
Eland photo Botswana (1280x720).jpg

More later, have a grandson's football game to go too.:happywave:
Awesome Arizona! I just got home from an errand, it's already getting warm, so hope it isn't too hot for the game. I have one tonight to go to, but after the sun goes down.

It looks like those are well placed shots on the Eland, two no more than an inch apart. We really need to meet up sometime at Usery, you have got to be the only one I've known that could get the Scirocco's to fly with accuracy!
Great hunt with your grand daughter. Thanks for sharing the experience with us.
Awesome Arizona! I just got home from an errand, it's already getting warm, so hope it isn't too hot for the game. I have one tonight to go to, but after the sun goes down.

It looks like those are well placed shots on the Eland, two no more than an inch apart. We really need to meet up sometime at Usery, you have got to be the only one I've known that could get the Scirocco's to fly with accuracy!


it was getting warm but grandson's team won, so it's all good. We will have meet to go to Usery, I am looking at a new rifle now, can't have too many.
both your kudu and eland are crackers Arizona.
what did the zebra taste like?
bagged out with half a day to go
Day Five continued

JP prepared another culinary delight for me that evening of Eland testicles. Not too bad really. Not real good either, but I have always been willing to try anything one time anyway.

In the afternoon we went looking for cull animals to shoot and I had one chance to show my long range skills at a Gemsbok at 480 yards, I shot just over his back; no other opportunities presented itself that afternoon.

vultures (1280x1060).jpg

Mr. Lucky
Turns out the Impala Mr. Lucky was misnamed. While on the road back toward the lodge, we spotted some vultures circling and a few landed in trees about 200 yards off the trail and we decided to take a look at what they were there for. JP located the object of the vultures attention, it was an Impala kill made by a Cheetah I checked it out, and it was Mr. Lucky with the horn still lodged in his throat that the cheetah had taken. A few minutes later we spotted a Cheetah the tracks around the kill indicated a mother with 2 cubs. This was a true lesson of nature at work, and something none of us that were there are likely to forget.

Mr Lucky after (1280x819).jpg An uncropped photo if an animal kill bothers you don't open Lucky full photo (1280x960).jpg

The Shooting contest
As previously arranged, the shooting contest between granddaughter Tori and Will was done at the shooting range using 3 shots at a target at 100 yards, and 1 can of Coke for each contestant set at 150 yards. JP was the judge, with tracker Morlan and me as observers. Tori fired her three shots then Will shot his three at 100 yards, next came the 150 cans of coke, both Tori and Will hit the Coke can on the first shot at 150 yards, with the tie breaker being Tori declared the winner at being closest to the center of the bulls eye with her 100 yard shots. Truth is they are both very good shots, I did remove the muzzle brake for one of Wills?ï½´ shots when he was not looking. (It was JPï½´s idea Will, really)

Forum statistics

Latest member



Latest profile posts

JG26Irish_2 wrote on WISafariHunter's profile.
About Lon's Elephant hunts w/Tokoloshe? I hear Lon is battling cancer? What is his long term prognosis? I am already booked to hunt Africa in 2024 2025. Might consider 2026 for another African hunt. I want to hunt a more wild open region devoid of civilization. Concern is the risk that I book f/2026 then find poor Lon has passed on? Does Lon have any assistance to carry on the business in his absence?
Life is Short live it how you want...
jgraco33 wrote on 85lc's profile.
Is your 22HP still available? If so have the original case?
tacklers wrote on ianevans's profile.
Hi Ian, I'm contemplating my first outing, leaving UK via Dubai to Africa, taking rifles as you did.

I presume it went okay for you, would you have done anything differently? Cheers, Richard East Sussex
A.A. wrote on Msprenger!'s profile.
Are you still looking for a 375 H&H?