SOUTH AFRICA: 10 Amazing Days With Motshwere Safaris In South Africa

Outdoorbound

AH member
Joined
Jan 24, 2019
Messages
38
Reaction score
120
Location
USA
Media
15
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Hunted
Limpopo
Well its a trip that had been 2 years in the making and it has finally arrived. After the covid shutdown of 2020 we moved our hunt to March 20th through the 30th of 2021 and what an experience it was. My wife, 10year old son and I were back in Africa and excited to be there.

Outfitter Werner Lewis Motshwere Safari's
PH Christo
Hunt Dates March 20, 2021 through March 30, 2021
Jennifer at @TRAVEL EXPRESS took care of the travel
Airlines were American and Qatar
A variety of plains game were on the list for the trip
Rifle used was a Savage model 10 in 308
Ammo was Barnes TTSX in 168 gr

The trip got off to a bit of an eventful start. The flight from SLC to LAX was uneventful but when we arrived at LAX things took a turn for the worse. It appeared that all was in order after we checked our rifles in with Qatar and proceeded through security. We arrived at the gate only to find out that US CBP wasn't happy with the paperwork and was requesting that we head back to their office for a discussion. Right out of the gate they told us that all of our paperwork was incorrect and we would likely miss our flight. They first started to tell us we were missing a form but Jennifer at at Travel Express quickly corrected them letting them know that the form they were requesting was for permanent export. After that failed attempt they now started to tell us that our 4457 was not acceptable because it was done in Utah and that it needed to be completed at the last port we were leaving from. We argued back and forth for some time while they were pulling our bags from the check in and getting them back to the CBP office. After some time of arguing the officer that was leading the group of now 6 or 7 officers, let me know that they were just going to let us go and that we should take this as a learning experience and let our travel agent know to do a better job in the future. At this point I was pretty mad, we were going to be cutting it close in getting to the gate so I said thanks and we moved quickly to the gate. While in route to the gate I jokingly called Jennifer to let her know CBP was requesting her to do a better job at her job. This was my first time using Travel Express and man am I happy we did. I cant say enough good things about Jennifer and all of the help she gave us. I honestly believe that CBP would have kept us there if it was not for Jennifer's help.

The lack of direct flights made for a brutally long trip but having now traveled with Qatar I wouldn't hesitate to do so again. The first leg of the flight was 15 hours from LAX to Doha. We had a 3 hour layover in Doha and then it was back on the plane for the last 8 hour leg of the trip from Doha to JNB. Flight's were uneventful and we arrived at JNB at 4:00 am. We met the rep from Motshwere and headed to the SAPS office. Motshwere provides a rifle prescreen service and we were in and out of the SAPS office in less than 10 minutes, money well spent. Out to the van we went and started the 4 hour drive to the Motshwere lodge. The drive is a bit long but the country is amazing and that helped to pass the time. First thoughts on arrival were man this place is as nice as it looked in the pictures. Grounds were very well maintained and the accommodations were great.
Lodge 1.jpg

We arrived at the lodge early enough that we had a bit of lunch and then headed to the range to check zero on the rifles, glad we did. took a few rounds to bring the rifle down the 5 inches it was high and we were back to zero. We didn't waste any time heading out to see what we could find for out first day there. First impression was man the grass is tall. They had a ton of rain this year and everything was thick and green. The hunting area was large and right out of the gate game was abundant. It wasn't long before we spotted a small herd of Blesbok that had a great looking ram in the group. The chase was on and after about 45 minutes my son was set up and ready to take his first shot in Africa. The ram was standing broadside at 165 yards with a smaller ram in the way. My son was patient in listening to the PH and waited for the smaller ram to clear. He let one go with the 308 and the ram spun and ran about 20 yards before expiring. He had his first African animal in the salt and I couldn't have been more proud. He had worked hard to shoot well in the 2 years leading up to the trip and he did a great job making his first shot count. As a father I couldn't have been more excited and proud. The smile on his face was priceless and one I will never forget.
Blesbok.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Outdoorbound

AH member
Joined
Jan 24, 2019
Messages
38
Reaction score
120
Location
USA
Media
15
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Hunted
Limpopo
Day 1 afternoon gave me my first chance to get on the sticks. After we dropped of the blesbok we headed back out to see what the bush would offer us. It wasn't long before we located a heard of black wildebeest and the chase was on once again. This was my first time chasing black wildebeest and man those things never sit still. It wasn't until shortly before dusk that we had a group of 5, with a good looking bull, stop just long enough to give me a 265 yard shot. I let the 308 go to work and anchored the bull right where he stood. What an amazing first day with 2 animals in the salt. We called it a day and headed back to the lodge for a shower and steak and potato dinner. Dinner was amazing as it was throughout the trip. After dinner and a few drinks we headed back to get some rest before out 5:30 am wake up.

Black Wildebeest.jpg
 

flatwater bill

AH elite
Joined
Jun 16, 2013
Messages
1,906
Reaction score
2,874
Media
24
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Asia/M.East
1
Member of
NRA endowment member/Life member
Hunted
NAMIBIA, RSA, KYRYG, KAZAKSTAN, MOZAMBIQUE,MEXICO, BOLIVIA, PERU, BRAZIL, ARGENTINA, CANADA, NEW ZEALAND, AUSTRALIA, SPAIN,
Both fine trophies.....really like that black. Props to Travel Express and a lad that is already a good shot.......................enjoying your report.............FWB
 

Ridgewalker

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
6,869
Reaction score
8,231
Location
Colorado
Media
231
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
3
Hunted
South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
Oh my how proud you must be of your young hunter! Great shooting!

Man would I have been blowing a valve with the CBP at LAX! They must have been the dregs of LA education!

Looking forward to the rest of your Africa adventure!
 

gillettehunter

AH legend
Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Messages
3,615
Reaction score
3,562
Location
WYOMING
Media
83
Hunting reports
Africa
6
USA/Canada
4
Asia/M.East
2
Australia/NZ
1
Hunted
Namibia, Kyrgyzstan(2) South Africa(4) New Zealand Zambia(2)
Great start to the hunt. Sounds like to me the CBP group needs to be reported. They need their act cleaned up.
Bruce
 

DGGardner

AH member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
15
Reaction score
20
Location
Southern California
Member of
SCI
Glad to see you guys had a great trip and happy to see your son had a successful Hunt. How did the .338 do?
 

Outdoorbound

AH member
Joined
Jan 24, 2019
Messages
38
Reaction score
120
Location
USA
Media
15
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Hunted
Limpopo
After a great nights sleep we were up and at if for the morning of day 2. Today we were visiting a neighboring property in search of zebra. Breakfast was short and light and we were off for the morning. The drive was short, less than 5 minutes, and we were in search of zebra. Shortly into the drive we stopped for a minute to admire the sunrise and some curious giraffes. My wife was able to capture this amazing picture, after a sight like this I'm not sure there is any possible way to have a bad day.
Sunrise.jpg
It wasn't long after we left the giraffes, that we made our way to a large clearing that was full of wildlife. A few short minutes of glassing and we had several zebra spotted. We grabbed the sticks and the stalk was on. We had closed the distance to about 200 yards when a warthog with 3 babies caught wind of us and busted, game over, everything was now on the run. We headed back to the truck and off we went to see if we could find another herd. After about 20 minutes of driving we located 2 zebra mixed in with a group of blue wildebeest, off the truck with the sticks we went again. The stalk was a bit difficult, the brush was as thick as could be and we were constantly getting beat up by all the thorns and stickers. As we approached the clearing that the zebra were in, we relocated them and made a plan to get low in the tall grass. Our goal was to reach a tree that was about 130 yards from the zebra. The plan worked wonderfully and I was back on the sticks. I took a second to relax and started to gently squeeze the trigger of the 308. The shot went off and you could hear the hit. I reacquired the zebra in my scope and it was apparent that he wouldn't be going far. A short 50 yard run and I had my second animal in the salt. What an amazing morning. We took some photos and got him loaded up and it was back to the lodge for an amazing brunch.
Zebra.jpg
 

Outdoorbound

AH member
Joined
Jan 24, 2019
Messages
38
Reaction score
120
Location
USA
Media
15
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Hunted
Limpopo
Sorry to keep adding bits and pieces but I try to add a bit more between meetings now that I had to come back to the real world. after a nap on the afternoon of day 2 we headed back out to see what the bush had to offer. Although were able to view many wonderful animals, we just didn't see anything large enough to get us excited. Back to the lodge for dinner and it was an impala stew, it was a great meat and we headed to bed with a full stomach.

Day 3 was set to be a big day. We would start the day searching for golden wildebeest for my wife. This was the one and only animal she wanted to hunt on the trip. The morning started out full of action, we located several goldens quite early and spent some time searching for just the right one. it took an hour or so before my wife was on the sticks for a 230 yard shot. The wildebeest was near perfectly broadside as she sent one from the 308. It was easy to hear that the shot had found its mark and the animal hunching up at impact lead us to believe it would be a short walk to recover, boy were we wrong. We watched the animal head into the thick brush and after some time we gave chase. It was clear that the front shoulder was broken but man this thing could still run. it was nearly 2 hours later that we had the animal located and our PH walked my wife in for a second shot. By this time I had the PH's 303 British just in case the animal presented me with an opportunity. I had stayed back at the truck to watch through the glasses as they approached. It wasn't long before the animal realized that something wasn't right and again took off running. Fortunately it ran straight towards the truck where i had positioned myself for a shot. at 150 on the run I missed the first shot but the second found its mark and the animal was down. This is where things got a bit interesting. Upon inspection of the first shot we found that the Barnes bullet had impacted about 2 inches low of a perfect shot and strangely the bullet made a straight 90, exited out the back of the shoulder and made a cut on the hide as it traveled parallel to the body. This was the first time I had seen a Barnes bullet perform like this, a one in a million bad luck situation. we felt blessed that the animal had been recovered and admired the beauty of such an incredible animal. We paused for a moment to give thanks and to apologize to the animal for the long chase. I have always tried to teach my children to express appreciation for the life that was taken and this was a moment where my son realized what that was all about. We loaded him in the truck and headed back to the lodge for lunch and a nap and a great nap it was.
Golden Wildebeest.jpg
The afternoon plan was to take my son out chasing eland. I have read many a story about the proper rifle for hunting eland and was a bit nervous that he would be under gunned with the 308. The PH and I had discussed that we needed to get him in close and were hopeful that the shot would be less than 50 yards. Before everyone starts giving me a bad time about a 10 year old hunting eland with a 308 I want to let you all know that he has been shooting this rifle for nearly 2 years and is quite comfortable with it. I was clear with him before we hunted that if he couldn't keep 5 shots in a baseball at 100 yards then he would not be hunting. He worked hard, cost me a lot in ammo but by the time we left I knew he was ready. He had studied shot placement and was as confident as could be that he could make a great shot. I was pretty specific with the PH that horn length wasn't as important as the bull having a large thick tuft of hair on the forehead. As we searched we passed on a few younger bulls that had nice long horns but lacked the hair on the forehead. At he end of day 3 we had chosen to pass on 3 decent bulls in hopes of finding just the right one. Another fantastic dinner and a few drinks and we were headed to bed for a 5:30 am wake up call to begin the search again.

Day 4 started early as we began the hunt for just the right eland. We were well into the morning and then, there he was! I could see the excitement on my sons face and the nervous anticipation was starting to set in. What we thought was going to be an easy stalk ended up turning into a 3 hour game of cat and mouse. My wife, who isn't one for long stalks and patient waiting, was about ready to hang the both of us. The eland had run and the tracker gave chase, she must have told me a dozen times that we were wasting our time looking for a needle in a haystack and that we needed to head to the truck and go on the lookout again. The PH assured us that we were in a great spot and was confident that the bull would pass through our area if we just exercised patience. I won't lie, it felt like an eternity but then, there he was, we could see him coming. My son got on the sticks in hopes that the bull would stay his course and present a shot. That 45 seconds felt like an eternity as the bull approached and I was probably more nervous than he was. As the bull passed into the small opening at 60 yards my son found him in the scope and boom, he sent one from the 308. It was clear the the shot had hit the animal as he hunched up and started to run. He quickly chambered another round as we moved into a position for a second shot. Just as we cleared some brush and he got back on the sticks we watched the bull start to get week in the legs and collapse. A single shot from the 308 with a Barnes 168 ttsx and he was down in under 100 yards. As we rolled the animal over for some photos we could see the Barnes bullet facing backwards poking out on the opposite side. Kind of strange to see if facing backwards but after we removed it we found that it had mushroomed perfectly and must have spun as it was exiting. Couldn't think of a better way to end this amazing morning and I was as proud as a dad could be.

Eland 2.jpg
Eland.jpg
Eland 3.jpg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Ridgewalker

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
6,869
Reaction score
8,231
Location
Colorado
Media
231
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
3
Hunted
South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
We paused for a moment to give thanks and to apologize to the animal for the long chase. I have always tried to teach my children to express appreciation for the life that was taken and this was a moment where my son realized what that was all about.
This is outstanding!
Your son has an excellent example for a father with your respect for game, training regime, and just spending the time with your family! Well done!

Thanks for sharing your family adventure with us!
 

Rare Breed

AH enthusiast
Joined
Dec 23, 2018
Messages
334
Reaction score
456
Location
Atlanta GA
Media
21
Hunting reports
Africa
2
Awesome and congratulations on a great family, animals and making precious memories!!!
 

rinehart0050

Gold supporter
AH legend
Joined
May 24, 2015
Messages
2,311
Reaction score
2,357
Media
304
Articles
6
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
1
Australia/NZ
2
Hunted
New Zealand, South Africa (NWP, Limpopo, Eastern Cape); USA (NE, NC, MD, AZ, TX)
Great report and congratulations on all the great trophies!
 

Vanguard2279

Silver supporter
AH enthusiast
Joined
Feb 29, 2016
Messages
367
Reaction score
1,171
Location
Las Vegas, NV
Media
125
Hunting reports
Africa
7
Member of
NRA Life, SCI Life
Hunted
South Africa (Limpopo, Northwest & Eastern Cape), Namibia, Nevada, Newfoundland, Zambia
Great story so far. I'm glad that I'm skipping LAX as a stopover on my trip in May and going through Houston. However, this is something that I've encountered on my last two trips, at least with counter agents demanding to see my Import permit. Fortunately, neither have been for the international legs of the flight. I've had to tell them to check my baggage/firearms to the next destination where I've collected them and checked in with the international carrier. I have a feeling that what you experienced is trending with CBP and it may be something many of us wind up dealing with. I look forward to the rest of your adventure.
 

enysse

AH ambassador
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
11,751
Reaction score
4,343
Media
136
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
1
Member of
Northeast Wisconsin SCI chapter, Lifetime member of NRA,RMEF
Hunted
Namibia, South Africa (East Cape, Guateng and Limpopo)
Excellent, good to see the whole family hunting!
 

Trophyhunter01

AH veteran
Joined
Feb 5, 2020
Messages
157
Reaction score
254
Location
Texas
Media
29
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SCI
Hunted
Namibia, Canada BC, US- WY, CO and TX, Limpopo SA
Nice trip, good read. Congrats to the whole family.
 

Nyati

AH ambassador
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Messages
7,938
Reaction score
3,407
Location
Madrid, Spain
Media
117
Hunting reports
Africa
6
Europe
1
Member of
RFEC, RFETO
Hunted
Spain, Finland, RSA ( KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo, North West, Northern Cape, Free State ).
Congrats for a great family hunt, and thanks for sharing !
 

Outdoorbound

AH member
Joined
Jan 24, 2019
Messages
38
Reaction score
120
Location
USA
Media
15
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Hunted
Limpopo
Day 5 got off to an early start, we were headed to a large tribal concession to search for impala. It was a short drive and after an amazing ram was taken a few days prior by another member of our group, I was excited for the day to get underway. We knew, upon arrival that we would be hiking to the top or a small mountain where we would have a view for miles. We positioned ourselves throughout the top of the small mesa where we were able to see in all directions. It didn't take long before we started to see game all over the place. Shortly after getting set up we spotted a few Kudu bulls, our PH estimated them at upper 40's so we just enjoyed watching them as they worked their way through the area. Impala were abundant, we were waiting for just the right one to show himself. As we continued to glass, we spotted a small herd of gemsbuck but nothing large enough to get us super excited. We were a few hours into the morning when our PH radioed and said he had spotted a large impala ram on the other side of the mountain .We quickly cleaned up and headed that way. When we arrived the ram had disappeared. He had been chasing some of the smaller rams off and this time he had gone quite a ways. As we continued to glass, he showed himself again and it was clear that this was a ram we were going to attempt to harvest, a beautiful, large bodied ram with his tips flaring out, just the look I was hoping for. It took some time before the ram put himself in a position where we had a good shot. Well I'm not going to lie, this is where my excitement led to some poor shooting. The first shot was a clean miss and the second was a non lethal hit. The ram took off and headed out to 300 yards where I proceeded to miss 2 more times. You can see the ridge we were shooting from in one of the photos, sharply downhill and I kept shooting over his back. The ram moved out to 468 yards and presented me with one more opportunity. By this time I had positioned the rifle with a solid rest both front and rear. I took a deep breath and began to squeeze the trigger. The shot went off and the ram dropped in his tracks. Finally it was over and we were headed over for our first look at this amazing ram. It's tough to write about poor shooting and i certainly could have just said that i made a great 465 yard shot but i figured i would add the details as a reminder to control yourself under exciting circumstances, I didn't and it lead to poor shooting and a wounded animal for a few minutes. Although difficult, we owe it to the animals to take our time and make the first shot count. As we approached the ram, I was speechless! for me, this is was a trophy of a lifetime. A large, mature impala ram was high on my list and I couldn't have been more excited. We took a moment and expressed appreciation to this amazing animal and give thanks for the life taken. A few photos and we started to pack him to the truck. We had decided we wouldn't be returning to the lodge for lunch, we were staying out all day. We headed to a large water hole to see what, if anything would come in for a drink. It was a pretty slow afternoon with nothing but birds coming in for a drink. It was nice to just sit and relax all afternoon and I wont lie, I snuck in a little nap before the day was done. We cleaned things up at dark and headed back for another amazing dinner. I'm not one for tape measures but was told the ram was in excess of 24", what an amazing trophy.
Impala 1.jpg
Impala 4.jpg
 

Ridgewalker

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
6,869
Reaction score
8,231
Location
Colorado
Media
231
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
3
Hunted
South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
Oh yes! One very impressive ram!
 

huntermn15

AH fanatic
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Messages
846
Reaction score
545
Location
Anchorage, Alaska
Media
8
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA, SCI, AK SCI
Hunted
U.S.A. NJ, TX, AZ, AK. Limpopo and the Kalihari in South Africa. Eastern Cape RSA 2017.
Thank you for sharing. What a great way for the family to make memories! That is a great Impala. I was fortunate to take 2 over 24" my first safari. But yours looks amazing!!
 

cls

AH elite
Joined
Jan 27, 2014
Messages
1,773
Reaction score
1,286
Location
Alberta, Canada
Media
65
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
SCI, AHEIA
Hunted
Canada(AB, BC, SASK, NWT)), USA (WY, MN, TX), South Africa (Limpopo and Eastern Cape), Zambia
Congratulations to all on a successful hunt.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
37,313
Messages
711,085
Members
66,434
Latest member
BriannaPar
 

 

 

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

KCharl wrote on MAdcox's profile.
Hi Madcox
I trust you are well?
Are you perhaps on instagram ?
cal pappas wrote on Mnelson2's profile.
Nelson. Is this message a PM format. I want to send you my email, but don't know if this is the cirrect way to do it. I'm at <pappas@mtaonline.net> Send me an email with your phone and I will call you about a skull I have. I went to school in Boston and am from Bernardston in the west part of the state. Moved to Alaska in 1984 adn never looked back.
BeeMaa wrote on Justbryan's profile.
Sold a Blaser scope mount to him. He was a pleasure to do business with.
BeeMaa wrote on 375Fox's profile.
Sold a Blaser scope mount to him. Was a pleasure to do business with.
Tundra Tiger wrote on Alaska Luke's profile.
Hi Luke. Just saw your message. I am in Dillingham, and have been since 2002. I took an elementary teaching gig here, taught here five years, and then got a job with Togiak National Wildlife Refuge as their education and outreach specialist. Recently I just got a promotion and now I'm the Visitor Services Manager. Prior to DLG I spent 6 years teaching for Lake and Pen in Nondalton.
 
Top