MOZAMBIQUE: Dream Hunt With Chapungu-Kambako Safaris In The Niassa Reserve Block B

matt vejar

AH veteran
Mar 5, 2016
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Hunting reports
Where do you start when you finally have everything go your way? Derren Ellerman a Zimbabwean PH and his two trackers Chrispen and Kattela would probably be it. However, the entire staff at Kambako camp on the banks of the Lugenda River have to be commended for top notch service with a smile!
It’s a mission to get there. Virgin Atlantic SFO to Jo’berg. Airlink to Pemba, Moz and then a company Cessna to camp 1.5 hours flight and the airstrip 1 mile from camp.
I used a company gun, a warhorse Winchester Safari model 70 In 375 H&H with Schmidt Bender 1 by 4. Very clear scope. Like the saying goes “if it could only talk”. Felt just like my Pre64 just a little heavier. One bullseye off the sticks at 60 yds and let’s go hunting!
Hunt was for plains game specifically for Red Duiker, Sharpes Grysbuck, Zuni, Eland and Bushbuck, but with plenty of quota things took a twist!
Day 1 we headed out at around 5 with daylight breaking around 4:30. Immediately you start seeing game usually Impala, Waterbuck and Kudu. We drove in the direction of a hotspot for the tiny antelope as they had high priority on this hunt. At an hour or so from camp we started seeing lots of Zuni and several red Duiker but most were not quite big enough for day 1. We did some walking down the road here and there and saw one pretty good Zuni. Around 10:00 we were crossing a midsize river maybe 40 yds wide and saw a red Duiker on the the side. We got out and sat down but it turned out to be a female which also have much shorter horns. Babboons we’re around which is always a good sign. We decided to go for a walk and as we looped back towards the river a no doubt Zuni appeared and even I could see his long horns. Derren had the sticks up and despite the crunchy leaves he stood at 20 meters broad side and one 300 grain Barnes solid behind the shoulder a bit had him down! Center mass shooting is all that’s required on the dinkers!


We call for someone to pick him up as we drive back towards camp at some crossroad. We continue hunting till dark but see no shooters. Probably saw 20 or so Zuni and a dozen red Duiker. Great day. First night dinner was Eland steaks cooked to perfection by chef Angelo who has been at Kambako Camp for 10 years. He and his helper put out great dinners and lunches that are terrific by any measure! Had some drinks and conversation at the bar and off to bed.
Day 2 early rise and we’re headed toward some springs by the big mountain range maybe 10 miles from camp. We pick up a lone bull track and off we go. Immediately the tracking slows as it takes 2 hours to go 300 plus yards in tall grass and meandering bull. Once they sort it out and he leaves onto burned of areas the tracking speed picks up and 2 hours later we’ve closed the distance and everyone is on high alert as it is close to moon and he’s looking for shade I hope. Maybe 30 minutes later we sort through some tall grass and up and along a creek bank the trackers Duck and I duck. Derren is pulling me up - I slipped my ear muffs on - can’t here get on the sticks! The bull was lying down behind a big tree and pivots as it stands maybe 70yards away and the rodeo begins. He starts to run and I step in front of sticks and start throwing lead! Miss all 3. - running load miss at a 100yds but bull turns left and gives me one last shot before going over the rise and I punch him on the shoulder!! Derren catches up to me as we look over the rise and the bull is down maybe 70 yds away. It’s better to be lucky than good or as Derren said back at camp that night “ he was to close at first!” My first free range Eland is the one I’ve always dreamed of!
Everyone in camp is fired up about the Eland when we arrive back at camp just after dark. Going to be eating good for the next 10 days.
Day 3 we head up the Lugenda river looking for tiny stuff and Bushbuck. We leave around 7 as everyone is beat up from the whole Eland recovery. Derren had told me the Grysbuck would be the toughest to get and I should take the first one I see. We hadn’t driven an hour from camp when we see a big male from the road. A quick shot and my most worrisome animal for this trip is down!! Unbelievable jubilation as I kinda thought maybe I may not get one. Needless to say we saw a good population of them after I shot mine but with all duikers seeing and getting a shot is two different things! I was on cloud 9 as we headed back to camp and called it a day.
The lunch was great and we rested pull side as everyone could get ready for buffalo and the 3 am wake up the following morning.
I’ll finish tomorrow as I’m on Africa time and it’s 3am in California.


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amazing so far
great trophies
Super animals that Suni is out of this world.
Congratulations! :A Thumbs Up:
Awesome! Congrats, look forward to more!
Looks like an exceptional Sunni and a wonderful eland. Congrats
Day 4
Up at 3:30 am get to the spring around 5. Pick up 3 tracks leaving. We drive to another spring a few miles away to see if more activity but find nothing. Back on the tracks and away we go. Fast pace for two hours. Finally they slow and feed. It takes Chrispen and our new tracker Lariano an hour plus when Chrispen waves say they left this way. Kattela had fly back to Zim for an emergency in the family. We don’t go far and again the track disappears in the tall grass and everyone is looking for the exit tracks as the buffs feed in tall grass. Finally, Lariano sees where they spooked from the wind and ran. As I look back the wall of brush is so thick I can’t see Derren walking towards us at 20 yds. We take a 30 minute break as it is now 10:00 and we’ve been on track for 4 hours or so. Darren says will follow up once and if we spook them will let them as in this area they tend to run far and the heat has really picked up on this day. By 10 it’s 90 degrees. And the cool morning is heating up fast. We follow quickly and maybe 300 yds later we pass a group of Sable. Anothe couple hundred yards and Crispen crouches down. I see the buff standing. 70 or so yards away. Wind is not the best but we get to an anthill around 35 yds away and they have no idea we’re there. The sticks go up and the buff I want is now lying down. Darren says to let him stand. Within a minute the bull senses something and as he stands and turns his head I touch one off! As he runs I shoot again and I see him miss a step. Darren asks how I feel and I say I smacked him good and also hit him with the running shot. We let him rest as Darren says he was quartering two and maybe I only caught one lung but shakes my hand as he says good shot. We take up track after 20 minutes. Maybe 30 yards from shot We pick up the first drops of blood. As we come over a rise the young bull whorls around and around at 80 yds and Darren says don’t shoot . I’m wearing his Walker headphones now after the eland rodeo. I’m getting a pair! The old bull appears out of no wear and is facing me at 70 yds or so and off the sticks I hit him a little left of center and he drops at the shot. He try’s to get up and now facing away laying down I send another one. He can’t get up and at 20 yds I put a finisher in his spine. Happy times! It’s an old Dugga boy with polished boss and lion marks on his shoulder. Handshakes all around, it’s 10:30, so 5 hours of tracking/ stalking come to an end with a fine trophy takin in a Proper Buffalo hunt. At Kambako safaris your only allowed to hunt Dugga boys. No herd bulls of any species are taken. They must be alone or in small groups of mature animals as appropriate for species and must be old showing secondary growth on antelope species.
The second shot brokehis left leg about 8” up from hoof. First shot is covered by his left horn about 4 inches from tip. It takes them 2.5 hours to return for recovery and around 2 we’re headed back to came it’s hot and everyone is exhausted from this great hunt. Tomorrow will be a late start again. Cheer’s all around but everyone sacks out by 9 pm. What a Buffalo hunt.
That Eland is outstanding !
Good start, beautiful eland and suni taken.
Sounds like a wonderful hunt so far-I love all you have collected to this point!
Day 5 we have breakfast around 8 and head out for red Duiker and bushbuck along the Lugenda river heading towards the Letulle camp in block A. Block B has some 35 miles of Lugenda river frontage and it is the western boundary of Block B. We saw lots of game but a superb bushbuck gives us the slip and the day ends without firing a shot. Again a great day of hunting. Tonight we have oxtail for dinner and it’s superb. The food is fabulous. Snacks at the bar everyday are biltong and popcorn and after a swim they taste great with your favorite beverage. Another PH named Kim loves to talk bow hunting and fishing. His pictures of Giant Trevally from the surf near his home in Moz are incredible. 30kg class. Also giant tiger fish from lake Caborra Bassa excite my fishing fever. I hope someday to fish with him.
Day 6
We’re back on the 4:30 wake up. We head out for bushbuck and red Duiker up the Lugenda river road. Where a river enters we park the truck in the shade. We head into the thick riverine growth and soon see lots of baboons and bushbuck females and some red Duiker. We sit down in an opening and watch. The red Duiker and bushbuck walk within 10 meters of us after a 30 minutes or so but all are females. The baboons just watch us and are very calm which helps keep game moving from the river to us maybe 60 yds away. Finally, we move up 80 yds or so and sit again. This is one of Darren’s favorite spots so my anticipation is high. The morning is cool and animals are all around us. After 30 minutes Derren and Krispen catch movement about 50 yds away it’s an Chobe ram and the sticks go up. Slowly I ease on to them from my sitting position as the ram moves behind heavy cover. As he appears at a hard quartering away shot Darren says to aim for opposite shoulder. It’s a tough hold in the thick cover but I squeeze it off and the ram sprints away. Shot felt good. We walk maybe 70 yds and Derren spots the downed ram. What a trophy and a near perfect shot with the Barnes solid. Derren congrats my shot.

Shot hit just in front of opposite hip. Kim has been sick but meets us to pickup ram so we can continue hunting for red Duiker. Everyone helps out at this camp to insure client has best chance for success. We continue on and maybe an hour later a red Duiker male is walking in thick brush as we pull up out of a river crossing. The shot is point blank in thick stuff as he crosses a one foot opening. I see his leg flip over and yell I got him! When everyone walks over I see them not picking up anything and the “oh shit” crosses my mind. I tell them I must have broke his leg and that’s what flipped over not his whole body. As we stand Krispen gives the their he is signal but I can’t see him. We look at Lariano some 20 yds away and he is pointing. Derren moves to the right and puts up sticks, I see ram at 30 yds facing away. I shoot at center mass and the soft point blows him away. Now it is OMG as we inspect damage!! I don’t care as this should have been a lost animal. I tell Derren don’t worry my taxidermist can fix it?

Anyways we head back to camp and call it a day. That evening I thank Kim for picking up bushbuck as it allowed us to get Duiker and we have a great evening!
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Wow, what a great hunt so far!
wow what a great bushbuck.....your littles are awesome as well.
Fantastic hunt. Congrats on your animals
You sure got excellent trophies from the largest to smallest critters.
Incredible bushbuck!
Well done. Great hunt. Fun to be in an area where the PH's goal is to find you the best possible animal in the time allotted as opposed to a certain size category. The Suni and Eland are exceptional.
Great trophies, but that eland is exceptional. I keep looking at its photos. Really great report so far.

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You’ve got an interesting screen name. Will the Thrill provided lots of great times for me as a lifelong Giants fan. Even though I never met him, a number of buddies either duck hunted or shared a dugout with him. He’s a great guy according to those guys. Cool screen name and if that’s your real name, it’s a great one.
in-between all the bush fire, hunting and work on the hunting area its hard to find time for fishing as well
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is the 505 gibbs still for sell? Thanks!
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I ran across a message from you a couple of years ago while I was going through old emails. I have arranged a second bison hunt in Nebraska in September 2024, about 6-years after the first, when my supply of bison meat was exhausted. My email is [redacted].
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If those Schells rings fare still available, I could use them. I'm willing to pay for the shipping.