MOZAMBIQUE: Short Hunt Review Kambako Niassa MOZ


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Jan 4, 2022
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Hunting reports
Location: Niassa Reserve block L8/L9, situated in Cabo Delgado Province, Mozambique

Outfitter: Chapungu-Kambako Safaris, Hosted by Travis Baker of WTA

PH: Jumbo Moore

Rifle: Winchester M70 .375 H&H, Nightforce Nx8 Scope

Ammunition: 300g Swift A-Frames and Barnes RN solids

Flight Qatar, Business, SEA-DOH-JNB; Airlink JNB-POL, Charter to camp

PWP Travel: Patrick Wright/ Tricia Works, Fixed my self-made travel arrangements

Lodging at JNB with AfricaSky. Gilbert picked me up and made short work of the rifle paperwork

Harvested: Cape Buffalo, Common Duiker, Red Duiker, Sharpe’s Grysbok, Suni, Impala, Bushpig, Crested Guineafowl, Helmeted Guineafowl, Crested Francolin

I have a much longer journal, but just no time to edit/ articulate to the degree I would like. Thought I’d just post a quick review, vice risk never sharing anything...

Just returned from a 10 day hunt with the Kambako crew and a few other American clients. This was brought together by WTA as a hosted hunt. As far as WTA goes, I would neither endorse nor discourage use of their services. I would personally use WTA again under the right circumstances. I would fully endorse and am considering future trips with Kambako or one of the greater Chapungu-Kambako properties. All the PH’s and staff I interacted with were very accommodating and service oriented. Food and lodging were excellent. I was blown away by the quality of African game meat. The meat tended to be the centerpiece, as that was obviously what most of the clientele were interested in. However, Kambako has a nice garden to compliment the main courses, in addition to an eclectic collection of imported and homemade offerings.

Each day we saw good amount of wildlife. Though not pressured by my PH in the least, I was probably frustratingly selective in my quarry. I do not tend to get excited and shoot non target species, preferring to hunt what I set out to hunt. I believe we daily saw shootable Kudu, Waterbuck, Impala, and other game, not on my list. For more selective hunters I believe the trophy potential is there as well. They did harvest a record Eland (Livingstone) a few years prior. We did see some very nice animals I somewhat regret not pursuing. After initially hesitating on a very deep curled Kudu pushing 60” I spent a few days trying to find him again, only to see some of his scions. I did not get my Niassa Wildebeest, only saw 1 young bull. 1 mature bull was harvested while I was in camp.

I told Jumbo my primary goal was an old Buffalo and for the most part, age was my primary concern. I explained to him that I had it all figured out and that my bull would be a smooth, broken down and battle-scarred 13+ year old. Ideally it would be sub 25 yards, front spinal shot. In the end my bull didn’t end up being quite as old and Jumbo was reluctant to let me take that initial (30 yard) frontal shot opportunity.

When Jumbo first put up the sticks, I had the old bull looking straight on at me. I told Jumbo that I wanted to put one under his chin for a front spinal shot. “No, the only shot you have is a brain shot”. I had studied the “Perfect Shot” books and felt otherwise, but agreed “I’ll shoot him between the eyes, I’m confident”. “How confident?” he asked. “Very confident” I replied. After a pause he said to wait. Eventually the bulls, 3 mature dugaboys, turned back and disappeared into the thick bush. It had taken me 3 days to get that shot and I was crushed that he didn’t give me the go ahead. Undeterred, Jumbo and our trackers made a quick plan that brought us in a large loop around to the direction the 3 bulls were traveling.

After another thirty minutes or so we found ourselves in the tall grass peering back in the direction we first confronted them. Sure enough my bull showed up apparently still believing we were pursuing them from the same direction. The bull stood nearly broadside head turned back the direction he came, as if to see who was following. After months of studying the anatomy and shot angles of the Cape Buffalo I was confident in both my shot and placement, but a thick red branch covered the point where I wanted to aim. This led to a bit of a “Who’s on first” moment as Jumbo gave me the go ahead to shoot, while I thought I must be looking at the wrong animal as I had no shot. I finally understood, yes that was indeed the bull Jumbo wanted me to take. The sight picture I had of the animal protruding from the tall grass had me convinced the shot, on his left side no less, was sure to hit him in the stomach. Jumbo patiently confirmed again that I had a good shot, but needed to aim just under the red branch. After some hesitation I grudgingly deferred to Jumbo’s decades of experience and took aim just behind the red branch as instructed. The trigger broke clean, crisp and I cycled another round, but the animals had disappeared into the brush. Abel (senior tracker) and Jumbo indicated it was a good hit, but I was still not certain it wasn’t a stomach hit. After a while, with no bellow, we eased a bit closer and found blood. From this new vantage we could see two bulls coming back, evidently waiting on their companion. We gave them some time hoping the two remaining bulls would ease off as we cautiously moved forward. We found him little more than a hundred yards from where he was hit. He lay there encircled by an arch of thick pink blood snorted out as he went down.

I keenly examined the entry and exit wounds of a perfect broadside shot. The depth and dimensions of the animal, particularly in thick brush was misleading to my novice eyes. Had I aimed where I wanted, the shot would have been too high and far forward. I would have bet money that the spot I was inclined to aim for, was the very spot my PH convinced me to hit. At this point it occurred to me that studying photos from a book is apparently not an equivalent to examining an animal in the field…Everyone shook hands, and got to work taking pictures, clearing a road, and loading the bull.



After my main objective, were the tiny guys. I actually had a Klipspringer in my sights as well. Although I knew it was big, I didn’t know how big that klipspringer was until Jumbo said “I am not kidding you, that is the biggest Klipspringer I have ever seen”. I jokingly pleading with him to just tag him as a graysbuck or duiker or anything else we might be able to pass it off as. When we got back to camp and compared it to the current SCI record Jumbo said the bases were not quite as thick on ours, but that he was a couple inches longer. I ended up taking 4 of the tiny ten. Don’t know where or how I will end up settling on a Klipspringer now…

I would jump on the opportunity to hunt with Jumbo or any of the PH’s (Darren, Ryan or Paul) I spent time with, without hesitation. I also had the chance to meet and lunch with Jaco and his men in Litule Camp and was left with similar positive impressions. I would love to make it out that way again and hunt with any of those men.

Common Duiker.jpg

Logistically there were some hiccups with the airlines, or more accurately the ground crews in Pemba and Johannesburg, but with proper attitude, patience and a good logistics team (Kambako, AfricaSky, PWP) everything was minimized and sorted out. Looking forward to my next visit.


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It looks and sounds like you had a great trip! Did you do the fowl shooting at the end of your trip?
Congratulations! I don't know how you can ask for a better buffalo than that one......old, bald, scarred up....just a great bull. It would seem you overnighted in Joburg before making flight to Pemba. I will be hunting next year in L9 with Jaco Strauss @KWALATA SAFARIS and looking at using Qatar to get there too.
It looks and sounds like you had a great trip! Did you do the fowl shooting at the end of your trip?
Yes last couple days. Had I understood there were like 5 species of Francolin I might have started shooting earlier. Jumbo and I like soup for breakfast and the guineafowl made a fine broth!
Congratulations! I don't know how you can ask for a better buffalo than that one......old, bald, scarred up....just a great bull. It would seem you overnighted in Joburg before making flight to Pemba. I will be hunting next year in L9 with Jaco Strauss @KWALATA SAFARIS and looking at using Qatar to get there too.
I ended up overnighting on the way in and the way out. Apparently, they misplaced my rifle someplace in JNB, and Qatar didn't want to let me on my return flight. Worked out in the end.

I also got to check out the Litule camp in L9, though I think they might have another camp opening by next season too. Cool camp a little more intimate than Kambako camp, which the introvert in me kind of prefers. I got the impression the Jaco and his crew would be fun gents to hunt with and the area is fantastic. My ideal buffalo country.
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Great old buffalo! Congrats! The Niassa is a special place with lots of cats as well.
Congrats and thanks for sharing!
I agree that the three D study of the shot placement is always different than the flat images.

Congratulations. That Suni is a dandy to.
Awesome trophies, and it sounds like an awesome experience! AfricaSky is a great place to lodge, and Gilbert really does make quick work of the rifle paperwork. It's worth the money to do permits through them IMO.
Congratulations on some very good animals. Thanks for the report and pictures.
Congratulations. Was this your first African hunt? I’ve heard nothing but good things about this area in Mozambique. I’m really surprised you were not particularly interested in a kudu.
Yes, first trip to Africa. I am not sure why, but the Kudu just didn't interest me, until that particular one walked away. Then once I realized how nice he was I tried to catch up with him again over the next few days. Saw some nice ones, but none as big/ old. A couple bulls that had the same deep curls, jumbo suspected were his offspring. Had I known more about the Eland I would have added one to my list. If I am ever fortunate enough to make it out again Eland and Niassa Wildebeest will be at the top of my list. I am plotting some trips to finish up the tiny ten, so I figure I'll have more chances at a decent Kudu.
Congrats on a great hunt, and thanks for sharing !
Glad you got to hunt there and congrats on the great hunt. Only problem is you’re gonna have a hard time topping their camp/hunt. I hunted with Derren last October! Like he said it’s the “Rolls Royce”. I agree completely!!! Go back and get your Eland, Bushbuck, Sable ,Nyassa Wildebeest and another buff is my advice!!!
Great report..did you see any elephants?
I didn't get any pictures myself, but did see a few young bulls and a cows here and there. Our host Travis got the below pic. I think he was hanging around not far from camp a few days. The elephant are pretty skittish there.
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Thank you! I am trying improve my limited skills. I used a Sony a7RII, with Sony 24-70mm f/4 Vario-Tessar T FE OSS. I really could have got some better shots had I brought along a proper telephoto lens. I just didn't think I would want to haul it around. I so wish I could have got the lioness' eyes as she peered at me from the top of the river bank or that really large Kudu bull, but I couldn't pull them off with that lens. Photography is another thing I wish I had more time to really dive into. I feel like there are some parallels with hunting, in what it takes to consistently get really great shots. I am only just now really making an effort to learn and improve.

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Badjer wrote on Dunderhead's profile.
Hello, I'm in Pewaukee. By the 5 O'Clock club, if you know where that is.
big Eland spotted on the plains this morning!

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