SOUTH AFRICA: 1st Africa Hunt With Molopo Kalahari Safaris In NW Province South Africa

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by Brian Williams, Sep 2, 2017.

  1. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams New Member

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    Hello All,

    I have posted a few time asking questions regarding ammunition and safari prep. I've learned an immeasurable amount from all of you and from this site so I thought I'd post a brief safari report from my first Africa trip. One of my concerns prior to the hunt was what type of ammo to use. I settled on 180 grain norma Oryx with my 300 wsm. The oryx performed well, with 4 of 6 animals dropping with the first shot.

    I booked a hunt with Rudolph Graupner at Molopo Kalahari Safaris through a local SCI chapter banquet. It was a bit nerve wracking to set up something like this without any prior experience but it turned out to be an unparalleled experience for myself and the other three guests.
    From the start, Rudolph and Marelna Graupner were extremely welcoming and helpful. They arranged for pre approved import permits for our rifles with the SAPS. They also pre arranged an overnight with Africa Sky guesthouse in Johannesburg upon our arrival in South Africa. The whole process was remarkably smooth. We were met outside baggage claim by two representatives from the guest house who helped walk us through picking up our rifles. The whole process took about 30 minutes with their help. A short ride later we were at the guest house for a delicious meal and a good nights sleep before the 9 hour drive to the hunting property the next morning.
    After arriving at the camp, we made a quick trip to the range to confirm zero for our rifles and then a nice meal and off to bed to get ready for the hunt. We also were introduced to our guides who would be assisting us on our 2 on 1 hunt for the next week. Since we were 2 on 1 we basically alternated stalks unless we spotted an animal only one of us were after. This was somewhat unusual to the ph and to Rudolph. We were told that many people were unhappy after a 2 on 1 hunt that they didn't get as many opportunities to shoot as they would have liked. All 4 of us were in agreement that we have nearly as much fun watching a buddy stalk and shoot an animal as we would hunting our own.

    Day one was a bit windy, we got on a stalk after a nice kudu early on, but my inexperience with the process led to us spooking it off before we could get a shot off. To be honest, I never saw the kudu until it snorted and ran away. We saw many animals the first day but had no other opportunities to shoot.

    Day two started out with my friend taking a nice kudu after a 45 minute stalk. Then myself finding a nice 55 inch kudu bull after lunch after a short 20 minute stalk. My friend added a blesbok late on day 2. The other two with us got two zebra and 2 impala on day 2.
    DSC00257.jpg

    Day 3 had us moving to a different property nearby that wanted some zebra harvested. I ended the day with an impala, a zebra, and a black wildebeest while my friend got a black wildebeest and an impala. We got our wildebeest out of the same herd about 15 minutes apart. After my friend shot his, the herd moved off a few hundred yards and as we were beginning to look for it, I asked the ph if there were any other bulls worth taking in the herd. His response was "yes, sorry I didn't think of it first!" My buddy also missed a shot at a massive blue wildebeest that day that will haunt me for awhile.
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    The fourth day was also windy and I was more selective. I was looking for a gemsbok but was reaching the limits of my budget so I didn't push too hard to shoot anything. The wind and an overnight full moon made hunting harder and we finished the day with nothing but a nice long walk, but it was a wonderful day anyway.
    Day 5 ended up the best for me personally. I hunted with my father in law this day, who is 70 years of age and still going strong. He took a nice blue wildebeest bull early in the morning and I got my goal of a nice gemsbok in the late morning as well. I had come to Africa with a kudu as my number one desired trophy, but the gemsbok turned out to be my favorite because of the difficulty in stalking them and after I saw it on the ground I was just amazed with the majestic look of the gemsbok.
    [​IMG]
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    Day 6 I was feeling like I had overdone it a bit so I was mostly following my brother in law that day, who was looking for a blue wildebeest and a blesbok. He ended up getting his blesbok, and then we both shot "management" blue wildebeest out of the same herd as the sun was going down. The blue was the toughest animal I encountered, taking three hits from the 300 wsm to go down. The first was a frontal shoulder shot that broke the left front leg, then a running shot that hit him in the pelvis. He went down for about 30 seconds and then got up and limped off. About 15 minutes of stalking got me a nice broadside shot through both shoulders but he still ran another 100 yards before he went down for good. Admittedly not my best shooting of the week.
    [​IMG]

    Day 7 I was pretty much done and only went out to help my friend look of one last animal, he was after either an oryx or a hartebeest. Unfortunately we had no luck that day but had a wonderful day anyway.

    All in all it was an amazing experience and I cannot wait to go back. Between the 4 of us who went, we shot 23 animals, 4 kudu, 3 zebra, 3 blue wildebeest, 2 black wildebeest, 3 springbok, 3 blesbok, 4 impala, and 1 warthog. The next trip for me will be for sable, which seemed to present themselves for easy shots the entire week, a waterbuck, which we looked for but were never able to get a shot at, and a red hartebeest which were also rather elusive. The accommodations were amazing, the hunt was amazing, and the food was amazing. If I could eat gemsbok, springbok, kudu, or sable I'd never buy beef again.

    I was also very impressed with the complexity of the operation running the ranch. Once the ph understood that we were interested in the biology and husbandry involved he was a fountain of information regarding the day to day operation of a hunting ranch. He would stop the truck to show us birds, trees, and non game animal and spend time talking about all of it. He frequently stopped to show us immature animals that looked like they would be trophies in a few years. Rudolphs father Eric, a retired biologist was also happy to speak at length about how they worked to maximize the health and biodiversity of the ranch. It was a great learning experience in addition to being an amazing hunt.
    We were treated like family the whole time and I couldn't recommend Rudolph and Molopo Kalahari Safaris more. I will be going back.

    Cheers, and thanks to everyone here for the wonderful information

    Brian
     

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  2. Neale

    Neale AH Enthusiast

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    Brian, thanks for your hunt report and photos. You guys got some nice animals and some fond memories. It would also appear that Africa has claimed another victim to her infectious disease.
     

  3. stug

    stug AH Fanatic

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    Looks like you had a great time and got some nice trophies n
     

  4. rinehart0050

    rinehart0050 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Congrats on your trophies and your safari. I'm sure you'll be back for more!
     

  5. reedy0312

    reedy0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Very nice, congrats and thanks for sharing!!
     

  6. cls

    cls AH Fanatic

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    Congrats on a great hunt and thanks for the report.
     

  7. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Thanks for sharing the report. It looks like your group did very well. Congrats on some nice animals. 9 hr drive from Jo-berg is quite a distance. I'm surprised that they didn't ask you to fly to a closer airport. Bruce
     

  8. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Two amazing black wildebeest in the picture above!
     

  9. Dr Ray

    Dr Ray AH Elite

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    Thank you for this article. Really nice to read.
    Congratulations on a nice hunt.
     

  10. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Thank you for sharing the report. 55 inch kudu is a great trophy!
     
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  11. Nosler guy

    Nosler guy AH Veteran

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    Great report Brian - I bet that your outfitter was pleasantly surprised by your attitude about 2X1, often turns into a headache for the PH as Murphy's law often takes over and before long, it seems like one hunter is getting all the chances ...
     
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  12. cagkt3

    cagkt3 PLATINUM SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Congrats to your and your whole group!
     

  13. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for the report.
    Congratulations.
     

  14. jacques smith

    jacques smith AH Enthusiast

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    Sable,waterbuck etc etc. yup I agree with Neale, Africa has claimed another victim. Sit back and enjoy. Nice trip by the way, serious kudu. Jacques
     

  15. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats for a great experience and very nice trophies !
     

  16. Heeler75

    Heeler75 AH Veteran

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    Many congrats to you and your group on a fine hunt. It's a mind opening experience for sure.

    @gillettehunter - I hunted in that same part of the NW a week later. The only town of some size is Vryburg and it's nowhere near big enough for an airport. That being said, for the most part the paved roads in that area are in pretty good shape.
     

  17. dory

    dory AH Fanatic

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    Well done .
    Nice animals .
    Please tell me what the left handed rifle is in the last photo ?
    I love the thumb hole stock on it .
    Cheers Dory
     

  18. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams New Member

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    Thanks for the nice comments.
    Regarding the long drive, we had the option of flying to Kimberly, but it still would have been a 4 hour drive from there - so it probably would have only saved us an hour or two after all the airport bs. I had read during my research that transferring firearms on flights within SA was more arduous than just picking them up in JNB, so we elected to take the drive. It wasn't terrible, and we got to see parts of SA that we wouldn't have otherwise. Much of the landscape during the trip looked remarkably like Nebraska or Oklahoma to me.

    Dory, the rifle is a Blaser R8 with a professional success stock. My first Blaser after lusting after one for many years.

    Brian
     
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  19. PLM

    PLM AH Enthusiast

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    Great hunt, great trophies, and great report! Thanks for the good read.
     

  20. kathy

    kathy AH Fanatic

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    Beautiful trophies, thanks for sharing. Forrest
     

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