Most surprising/had to have animal on your first Safari

Backyardsniper

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With the way the world is today I wanted to get those taken care of, especially the elephant before something crazy happens and you can't do that stuff anymore. Alas, nobody cares about the poor plains game, you'll be able.to shoot them until the end of time, but we must save the elephants. They're more special than the other animals for some reason. It must be something similar to why my wife thinks its fine to shoot a turkey but she won't shoot a deer because they're "too cute". I'm glad they don't view people that way, I would be screwed for sure. Ha ha
 

johnnyblues

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My first safari leopard was my primary quarry. But that didn’t work out so my back had to have was eland. That worked out well!

943FCE67-E6FC-4EAF-B5A7-115ECA060192.jpeg
 
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fourfive8

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Hindsight will provide a different perspective on hunting there for sure. Each experience will be different than expected if even by a small amount. One day you might drive up to a small group of zebra with a big mature stallion standing broadside at 75 yards, hop down off the cruiser, set up the sticks and pop him. Next 7 days never see a zebra or never see a zebra standing still and never get even a marginal shot. The same might happen for the tuskless elephant. One day no real hunt and no issue with a shot and dead elephant. Next day only rear ends and never a shot or the opposite experience... get a charge from no where that the PH has to handle and you never get to shoot because that particular elephant is one of those tuskless cows that has a big attitude like some do and decides on an ambush at that moment. Guaranteed all will be somewhat different from the pre-conceived and as many on this forum have posted in the past- relax, go with the flow and enjoy what is offered. I'll say it again... don't underestimate hunting eland nor how impressive they are when you walk to one you just earned after a difficult track! :):)

Zim Eland .jpeg
 
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Art Lambart II

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Waterbuck without question.
 

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Hindsight will provide a different perspective on hunting there for sure. Each experience will be different than expected if even by a small amount. One day you might drive up to a small group of zebra with a big mature stallion standing broadside at 75 yards, hop down off the cruiser, set up the sticks and pop him. Next 7 days never see a zebra or never see a zebra standing still and never get even a marginal shot. The same might happen for the tuskless elephant. One day no real hunt and no issue with a shot and dead elephant. Next day only rear ends and never a shot or the opposite experience... get a charge from no where that the PH has to handle and you never get to shoot because that particular elephant is one of those tuskless cows that has a big attitude like some do and decides on an ambush at that moment. Guaranteed all will be somewhat different from the pre-conceived and as many on this forum have posted in the past- relax, go with the flow and enjoy what is offered. I'll say it again... don't underestimate hunting eland nor how impressive they are when you walk to one you just earned after a difficult track! :):)

View attachment 419315

Totally agree, a tracking hunt for
Eland is a great hunt. IMO the greatest hunting value I have experienced in Africa.
 

Randy F

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Waterbuck wasn't on my list...until I saw him. Then he flew to the top...and to my wall.
 

Doug3006

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I feel much the same way about the Eland, very cow like. The Kudu I think is the most beautiful and the gemsbok are also pretty striking. I also want to leave some stuff to still be really excited about for another trip. I assume this whole once you go to Africa you have to go back again thing is real so I'm just going ahead and planning for that now.
I tagged along with my friend on his Eland hunt in Namibia. It was a pure tracking hunt...and we loved it. The trackers saw its tracks at a waterhole just at daybreak. They tracked him (lord knows how...we never could discern what they were seeing!) for a couple of hours. Slowly walking through the brush at daybreak and early morning. It was beautiful and cool (June hunt.) Straining to catch a glance. Then we heard it...their hooves making that clicking sound. Finally we caught the heard of bulls and my buddy got a shot at a magnificent blue bull...old with long, thick broomed off horns. Those things are huge! And the best part was the venison. The best tasting meat of any kind I've ever had. The back straps from an Eland are 3 feet long and delicious. I hope to get my own Eland some day.

I totally understand how some animals make it to your wish list and others don't. I am not very interested in a Roan, but I know I'm in the minority.
 

JHT

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Plains game wants for my first trip were kudu, impala and sable. Eland and waterbuck were nowhere on my radar but will be at the top of my PG list upon my return. My chobe bushbusk was an impromptu after I saw my PH's face. Your PH's reaction to animals of which you have limited knowledge will tell you which you should add.
 

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Doing some hard core saving to be able to make sure I can hunt the animals that I want on this first safari. Luckily the wife is onboard with the safari budget. Gonna be about 18 months worth of Ramen noodles and Milwaukee's Best to get it done but you know how it goes. If you want it bad enough you can make it happen.
Good luck- I’m on board with that myself.
 

zip4644

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Drink more Mill Best, because the Nyala is worth the cost of admission, was not on my list but after seeing them I knew I needed to take one home.
 

Vintageguy

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Zebra is one and then my next surprise animal was Red Hartebeest. The zebra was a "have to" after seeing a rug and the Red Hartebeest was a chance encounter on the way in one night that I blew by wanting him but not being clear about it, I was being polite by not wanting to cause a bunch of work at the last minute of daylight. As it turned out I ran across, I believe the same exact one, the last sundown of the last day and the stalk went perfectly. The only animal I took the whole trip on the first attempt.
 

Proneshooter

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Here are my thoughts for what they are worth.
1) Take what Africa gives you, it's your first hunt there and it is quite different than hunting in the US. You may start your day hunting one animal and end up shooting something entirely different.
2) Having shot 2 really nice Eland I now want to shoot one at the beginning of each trip. Why you ask, then I know what I will be eating the rest of the time there. Eland is exceptional on the dinner plate and really can be a difficult animal to hunt. My first Eland in 2017 took 2.5 days to get. My second in 2019 we just bumped into on day 2, I will ALWAYS take a nice Eland if the opportunity presents itself.
3) I did not see if you said how many days your were going to hunt, but based on your initial list I'm guessing 10 days. Buffalo and tuskless can really eat up some time so you will need to temper your list due to that. My first Buffalo took 6 days, my second took 2. Spent the rest of that trip chasing tuskless and never found the right one. Many of the animals mentioned are not available in the Save. If your PH tells you it's a REALLY nice animal, take it you can always come back.

C3573FD6-FA8F-4FE9-B8DE-0ECFB54DE708.jpeg

My first Eland taken in 2017 Sengwa Wildlife Research with Mokore Safaris

E9BCD0D1-0340-4296-93B0-45AEB2C1768A.jpeg

My second Eland taken in 2019 Save Valley Conservancy with Mokore Safaris.
890360B1-785B-402E-985B-958333C99891.jpeg
 

Backyardsniper

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I'm hunting 12 days and it'll be in the Omay North with Dalton&York Safaris. Deposit is paid and we are officially booked. 1st-12th of July 2023 unless we have to move it a few days one way or the other. The eland is more and more interesting but I would guess like you said it will be mostly a case of Buffalo and Tuskless and then whatever other chance encounters we have.
 

Tanks

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I'm hunting 12 days and it'll be in the Omay North with Dalton&York Safaris. Deposit is paid and we are officially booked. 1st-12th of July 2023 unless we have to move it a few days one way or the other.
With the way the world is today I wanted to get those taken care of, especially the elephant before something crazy happens and you can't do that stuff anymore.

If you feel the urgency, why not hunt in 2022?
 

Backyardsniper

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Money and they don't have any spots available at the specific I can go. The wife is a school teacher so she is only off in June and July and I need the extra year to save up enough money to pull this off. Plus I'm going to the Arctic to hunt caribou in August of 2022
 

Wiley64

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The first animal that I took in Africa was a klipsringer with my bow, nothing will ever top that. I didn’t even know what it was until my ph told me to shoot it.
 

Newboomer

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I'm hunting 12 days and it'll be in the Omay North with Dalton&York Safaris. Deposit is paid and we are officially booked. 1st-12th of July 2023 unless we have to move it a few days one way or the other. The eland is more and more interesting but I would guess like you said it will be mostly a case of Buffalo and Tuskless and then whatever other chance encounters we have.
Go with an open mind. A list is good but don't pass up a good "target of opportunity". Sometimes they make the best trophies and memories. On my first hunt I had my list: Gemsbok, springbok, kudu, zebra, impala. When we saw a nice waterbuck, well, the list just got longer. Same with black and blue wildebeest, nyala and hartebeest. Africa has an amazing variety of wonderful animals, all beautiful in their own way and very hard to resist.
One more thing: Once you go there, you are hooked and the hook sets deeper every time you think about a return trip. Best of luck and enjoy.
 

CBH Australia

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Here are my thoughts for what they are worth.
1) Take what Africa gives you, it's your first hunt there and it is quite different than hunting in the US. You may start your day hunting one animal and end up shooting something entirely different.
2) Having shot 2 really nice Eland I now want to shoot one at the beginning of each trip. Why you ask, then I know what I will be eating the rest of the time there. Eland is exceptional on the dinner plate and really can be a difficult animal to hunt. My first Eland in 2017 took 2.5 days to get. My second in 2019 we just bumped into on day 2, I will ALWAYS take a nice Eland if the opportunity presents itself.
3) I did not see if you said how many days your were going to hunt, but based on your initial list I'm guessing 10 days. Buffalo and tuskless can really eat up some time so you will need to temper your list due to that. My first Buffalo took 6 days, my second took 2. Spent the rest of that trip chasing tuskless and never found the right one. Many of the animals mentioned are not available in the Save. If your PH tells you it's a REALLY nice animal, take it you can always come back.

View attachment 427489
My first Eland taken in 2017 Sengwa Wildlife Research with Mokore Safaris

View attachment 427490
My second Eland taken in 2019 Save Valley Conservancy with Mokore Safaris.View attachment 427492
And I thought they said that Sable are great eating.

I don't know a lot as my operator saved prime cuts etc from previous hunts and ran a buther shop too so meat was all good.

I think it was Gemsbok I thought might be best, it would be hard to top the Lamb Roast on arrival, just like an Aussie one and cooked to perfection.

The sausage was pretty good and for what it's worth the food is part of the experience.
 

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