I had left Denver on July 20, 2016, and had met Simon at 10:30 PM on the 23rd in Maputo.
The Maputo VIP Grand Hotel is not too shabby a place to stay. In the evening, the Hotel bar is a quiet and comfortable place to quench your thirst, they have a free, full breakfast in the mornings, and it’s not too crowded to hang out by the pool.
Simon and I explored some of the city near our hotel. One of our stops was a huge enclosed “Farmer’s Market”. Just about any kind of fruit, vegetable, fish, or meat was displayed in large quantities throughout the center of the market. Without refrigeration, the smell in that market was quite strong, and we didn’t linger going through it.
Outside of the enclosed market place was a crowded maze of little shops, each full of just about anything you would want to buy.
Simon and I rode back to the hotel in this little 3 wheel “taxi”.
That evening, we found a good looking outdoor restaurant just a few blocks from the hotel that served a great dinner of barbequed shrimp…
After our two days in Maputo, we were more than ready to go on to camp. Our scheduled flight from Maputo to Lichinga was scheduled to take off at 7:00 AM with one stop on the way to Lichinga with one intermediate stop, but we didn’t actually take off until 8:30, and we had two intermediate stops.
We finally arrived in Lichinga where Courtney and Tiaan, Simon’s two apprentice Professional Hunters met us, and we began the 6 hour drive to camp.
A little over half way to camp, we stopped to clear the dust from our throats
When we finally made it to camp, the camp entrance was a familiar and welcome sight, and the Old Glory that I had left in camp last year was proudly flying on the first flag pole.
The rest of the camp was also just as I remembered it from last year. Some new maze fences had been put up,
And they put me in a different tent (look familiar Wayne?)
July 24th, Sunday morning. Finally, the start of my hunt. Like I mentioned earlier, Simon’s concession is 690,000 acres, and he basically only hunts the southeast corner of it. Simon employs 15 or so young men from the local village to keep his two track “roads” open. Many of the roads that we had driven on several times a day last year were now completely grown over with high grass and other vegetation.
Simon’s method of hunting is mostly driving these roads to spot the Sable or other animals, then to get off the bakke and stalk in for a shot. The problem this year was that they had a very wet spring which made very thick and high grass that resulted in it being very hard to spot the animals, and much of the grass is still very green. We were able to spot Sable every day, but not in the numbers that we saw last year.
As I was the first hunter in Simon’s camp this year, they basically didn’t have any camp meat. So my first day hunting, we found the last dumb Duiker on Simon’s concession. Most of the time, when you see a Duiker, it is in high gear, heading for the next zip code. But this Duiker just stood there, maybe thinking we didn’t see him. He provided some very welcome and good eating for both us and the camp staff.
That night we feasted on Duiker fillets that Simon cooked on the BBQ.
Monday morning. Again we’re up at 5:00 AM and leave camp by 5:30. We see Sable, but not the grandpa that I came for. On the way back to camp about mid-day, we came across some Warthogs, and although none have trophy tusks, I put one down to increase our camp larder.