Elephant Hunt in Tanzania

morioc

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Elephant hunt in Tanzania

A Good Elephant from the Selous in Tanzania.
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Beginning of September, Risto from Finland was coming for Elephant. We were hunting a very nice block in the south of the Selous game reserve where the dry Luhaniandu River meets the running water of the Luxegu River. Elephants, buffaloes, hippopotamus and lions are really plentiful. One part of the area is very hily with deep and thick korongos where the bulls like to spend the hot hours of the day. The north part is more or less flat, this is the miombo, the restaurant !! Smart old bulls don't mix up with the females and young, they live on their own or with 2 or 3 other bulls in their feeding world.

A few Buffaloes...
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Mom and baby Hippo going to the river... I am three meters away perched in a tree!
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Hippo depigmented on the nose.
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Hippo with malformation of the canines, huge trophy...
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The very first afternoon we drove quite fast to a waterhole I had checked the previous day where I saw some good fresh tracks. As we were walking carefully towards the water we see one TEMBO coming slowly to the pool. We all stood still, thinking no it can't be that easy !! but when your luck is here, take it..... The big bodied elephant stopped in the open some 80 meters from us. The dark ivory is too short but really promising. I used these few minutes to show to Risto where to aim and get him in condition; it is his first elephant in the wild, quite impressive and disturbing.

Too small...
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Too young!!
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The next morning we went to the hily side of the area, a good idea as we find a huge elephant track (48 cm) on the road, not very fresh, from the night but good enough to follow, it is so big that we must go... He was going south, up and downhill until he reached a very thick korongo where he ate, lied down, drunk, rubbed against the tree. At this time, I must say, we did not feel very good as the korongo was very narrow, so narrow that we could see the mark of his belly on the bank.... Barely just enough room for the elephant, we were hoping to see him later !!! In fact, 4 hours later we lost him, no more visible tracks, like he was never here, gone, just disappeared.... I was already thinking of coming back the next morning to try to cut the track but when I looked behind me at the immensity of the hills I said to myself: where should I start, it is too big, too many korongos where he can hide. Maybe one day I will catch up with him again.....

In the miombo...
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He will be good in 5 years...
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This one sees us...
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Sunrise over the Luwegu river in Tanzania
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The third morning, very early when it was still chilly we started following a good size smooth track.

Elephant track
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One hour later of an easy tracking we found him resting under a big green tree surrounded by tall grass. The huge beast was showing his backside and we could see the high shoulders and the hipbones were sticking out, sign of old age and may be big ivory !!! Now standing sideways, we could see his very big head and the big holes on his forehead but the tusks are still hiding in the tall grass. Let's go closer I said, he looks good !!! some 30 meters away and after some long minutes he decided to move so that we could finally see two black, very thick and very short tusks (about 30 inches outside). We turned back disappointed but very excited by the clos encounter with this old bull. We saw two more bulls that day while driving back to camp later that afternoon. One stood 35 paces from the truck, looking at us like " should I charge your car or not" It was a mono tusker but no big enough. The second elephant was quite impressive with very long ivory, I think 1,40m outside but bery thin and still a very young bull.

Head...
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Very close encounter...
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Mock charge!!!
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Mock charge...
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The fourth day was a dead elephant day, nothing, no bull tracks, we saw only females and young. So we went on buffalo and bagged a nice old one. In the later part of the afternoon my main tracker, Kiroumas ( an Ndorobo) said to me "tomorrow we shoot the elephant !!" I said" well let see what we find!!" He said " no, I am sure, we will get one tomorrow before lunch time, God said to me !!!!! " right" I said. What else can I say?

The old bull with smooth horns and deep curls...
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We found the tracks at quarter past eight that morning, very fresh, the dung was still warm. Quickly we packed up, I took the GPS point of the 4 x 4 and off we went. The two bull's tracks joined the tracks of a herd and there, we start to turn around and around, we are only 200 meters from the car... Risto stayed there while we looking for the exit... dung, broken trees, big and small tracks all over, they spent a long time feeding, walking on top of their own tracks. We are circling further and further when after two hours I heard the saving whistle from one of my trackers. He found the spoors more than 3 kilometers away !!! Very good, we are on the trail again. My main tracker, Kiroumas, was concentrated like I have never seen him before, there was no expression on his face, close ... All of us understood that he could not lose the tracks and we just let him go. Suddenly the wind turn and we see one of the two bulls running to the left, outside of the wind to join and take his friend away... I ran in parallel to try to see them, too late, I could only see a cloud of dust. We took the tracks again and after one kilometer we see the big bull standing in a clearing at about 200 meters, on his tracks, checking, nervous. Difficult approach as it is quite open, from tree to tree we managed to get close enough to judge the ivory but the bull moved in a patch of tall grass. I went on the left side and Kiroumas on the right side very cautiously because now he knew that something was wrong. He raised his trunk, swaying his head from side to side and ready to run for good. Kiroumas said to me " njo, piga ( come shoot)", when I saw the left very dark, thick and long tusks and the huge head of the elephant I took Risto for a few more steps to get in a good shooting position. A quick look at the hunter to be sure he is not too nervous and I said "3 inches in front of the ear hole". Very calmly he raised his 375 HH and fired. A brilliant brain shot that dropped the bull on his tracks. Once again, as we walking toward the elephant I realized what we did and we caressed the 25 kg of ivory again and again.

1,80 meter - 25 kg Elephant
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It is now 11h45 and the hunt is over, just before lunch time, thanks god.......

Some elephant pictures...

Big Elephant...
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A nice Elephant, 1,86 meter...
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Elephant in Tanzania
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Elephant sleeping!!
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Dust shower...
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Elephant drinking
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On the way to the water...
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Long ivory...
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Maybe good...
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Long ivory...
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He will be good in 5 years...
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Female and calf...
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Catching the wind...
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Scratching his bump!!!
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Ivory...
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Ivory...
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Cow and calves...
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Dark ivory...
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This one sees us...
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Bye bye ....
Elephant at sunset in Tanzania
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Christophe
 
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PaulT

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Superb, as per your usual work Christophe.
 

Rastaman

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Great photos. I would love to enlarge and frame that last one if you would allow me to.
 

morioc

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Hi Rastaman,
you welcome, take what you want and enjoy..
christophe
 

giampaolo

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Wonderful photos and well written story, hunting with Cristophe would be a great experience
 

morioc

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Thank you Giampaolo, you know Tanzania is still a great hunting ground, the Selous is wild and remote with plenty of game and you can expect to get elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and hippo on a 21 days safari. Cheers
 

Bobpuckett

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Great Photos and Story gives one something to dream about.
 

morioc

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Thanks Bob, yes hunting Elephant is always something special... Cheers
 

sondhi470

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wow really enjoyed that ........I have now in my armoury a holland double375 where would you recommend I go for my first safari
 

edward

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excellent photos,excellent story,excellent elephant,excellent results!!!! edward
 

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