SOUTH AFRICA: 2018 Limpopo Buffalo Hunt With Kemp African Safaris - The Proper Way To Hunt Buffalo

One Day...

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"Please look at this video; this is very exactly what I do not want!" said I when forwarding to Dawie Kemp, owner of Kemp African Safaris a YouTube video showing Ferdinand the bull and promptly thereafter Betsy the cow, red and yellow ear tags included, being sadly executed by a "hunter" "guided" by Joe the farmer and a couple of his buddies, all discussing and laughing loudly, with cars driving on the highway in the background, and a placid herd of Cape Buffalo milling around peacefully among the irrigation lines on a well manicured pasture, and not even running away at the shots. "If this is buffalo hunting in South Africa, I would rather pass" I added. This is how my email conversation, and my friendship with Dawie Kemp started. We had some good email laughs together about this "hunt" and shared some commiseration about the heroic Nimrod so proud of it that he posted the video for all to see, and we both agreed that this is fine if others like it that way, but that we would do it differently, the "proper" way.

I wanted a traditional buffalo hunt, on foot, in dense bush and tall grass, with a .470 NE double rifle fitted only with iron sights, picking up a spoor at day break, following it as long as it would go and to wherever it would take us, and culminating in a close shot in the 20 to 40 yd range. Dawie liked it and was eager to organize the hunt: "this is the proper way to hunt buffalo" he said.

So, I booked a week long hunt with Kemp African Safaris and started dreaming. The dream could not have been more exciting, but it paled in comparison to reality. Picture yourself in a remote lodge with a huge veranda where they could have filmed Out of Africa, impeccably catered to, among a wide diversity of plains game unafraid of hunting trucks because they are never shot from trucks, sharing the tall grass with ever watchful herds of buffalo and groups of monster 'duga boys', and hunting the way they did it in the golden days...

This is your view when Dawie Kemp, owner of Kemp African Safaris, personally guides you at the Afrika Barrel and Bow concession owned and operated by Marco and Francesca Du Plessis...

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Did I say Out of Africa?

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And this is what awaits you...

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One Day...

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Dawie wanted a very specific bull taken. It was fully mature, with hard bosses, but not especially wide, and he was apparently (judging by his numerous scars) pretty feisty and probably performed a fair share of the breeding. It would be both an exciting hunt, and a management hunt, so Dawie made me an offer I could not refuse.

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Not an exceptionally wide bull, but an old fully mature bull, with a hard boss full of character, nice curves, and well worn tips.

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A feisty old boy, with the numerous scars to prove it, falling to a single .470 NE double-lung shot at ~30 yd. He was so obviously stone-dead when we approached him that Dawie did not ask me to fire the proverbial 'insurance shot.'

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A perfect performance from the new Hornady 500 gr DGX Bonded .470 NE bullet. We recovered it under the skin on the opposite side.

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Flawless performance from the Kreighoff Classic Big Five, as you would expect.
 
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gillettehunter

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Some more hunt details would be great. Love to hear about your stalk. Congrats on a nice buf.
Bruce
 

One Day...

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I will add to this report over the coming days/weeks, but in the mean time this short video hopefully captures in a few minutes a long and fascinating hunt. Dawie Kemp guiding in front, Marco Du Plessis watching our back and filming.

 
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One Day...

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Some more hunt details would be great. Love to hear about your stalk. Congrats on a nice buf.
Bruce

I will be happy to provide a narrative and answer any question, but in the meantime, here is a day's hunt in pictures...

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Dawn at the Afrika Barrel and Bow lodge...

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Dawie Kemp, sitting on the hunting truck aptly named 'buffalo bars' and spooring as we progress slowly in the early morning. The name of the game in dense bush where the buffalo are unlikely to be seen, is to find the fresh tracks of a good bull and follow them, for however long and to wherever they lead.

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This is a good candidate. Large, deep, with crisp ridges inside and out. The .470 NE gives an idea of scale...

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Hunting alternatively the Limpopo long grass and dense bush, with an occasional 'vision of Arizona'.

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Dawie tries to see the old boy's horns in the failing light, while I keep a close eye on a young bull too curious for its own (and our) good.

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Sunset on a marvelous hunting day. We did not shoot, but if we are careful leaving silently, we know where to pick the spoor tomorrow...

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In the distance, a bush fire burns...
 
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Nyati

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Congrats, a very nice bull !
 

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Congrats on the bull! Thanks for sharing with us!
 

Shootist43

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A proper Buff hunt for sure. Congrats for doing it "old school." Looking forward to the rest of the story.
 

Neil Molendyk

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Great bull on a great hunt, old school, congrats
 

enysse

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I loved hunting with Marco, he is a very skilled PH and hunter. Dawie runs an excellent operation. Very nice cape buffalo! I loved the lodging and food! The scenery was breath taking. Thanks for your hunting report!
 

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Thanks for sharing! The video was an excellent idea! One fine hunt!
 

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Congrats on a successful Buff hunt. Nice bull, enjoyed the video
 

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I will add to this report over the coming days/weeks, but in the mean time this short video hopefully captures in a few minutes a long and fascinating hunt. Dawie Kemp guiding in front, Marco Du Plessis watching our back and filming.

Well done!
 

Bob O

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That was a nice shot! Thanks for sharing, he's definitely a Madala! What a nice animal. Great photos too; I hope to get a nice Buffalo like that when I go back in two years.
 

One Day...

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I loved hunting with Marco, he is a very skilled PH and hunter. Dawie runs an excellent operation. Very nice cape buffalo! I loved the lodging and food! The scenery was breath taking. Thanks for your hunting report!
Yes, both Marco and Dawie are first class PHs and operators.

But it would be unfair not to also talk about Francesca, Marco's wife. Francesca is the one who runs the lodge and she also cooks, and can she cook! I really enjoyed her South African specialties, among them her fried bread pockets with either meat & veggies, or jam & syrup, and her braii (i.e. BBQ). We had impala, nyala, and my buff's tender loin by the fire pit, and all were awesome.

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Marco is an outstanding PH. We hunted together for 3 days and he was both safe, persistent and very keenly in tune with the buff, not to mention totally committed to success, and not above climbing trees on a regular basis to spot the buff in the long grass.

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As to Dawie, you may like to know that he was a pro-rugby player. This is him, here under, in control of the ball ... of course. If you know anything at all about rugby, and a little bit about South African rugby players, this says a lot about him. Superb athlete, team player, dedicated to win, self assured, yet truly modest and friendly.

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After breaking his neck (yep, you read right, his neck!, and he has the operation scars to prove it) he had to let go of professional rugby, and he decided to continue in the hunting family tradition. His Dad is a PH, his Sister is a PH, his Brother in law is a PH, and the list goes on... He is a .416 Rem Mag fan, and he shoots it from a grand classic Winchester 70 CRF with iron sights. He got me to within 100 feet of a herd of buffs one time, and calmly waved them off when a cow became too inquisitive and came to nose us to 30 ft. "You have to leave yourself enough space to shoot if they decide to come" he said. yeah, 30 ft, I guess that's enough... LOL

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We ended up finishing hunting one day ahead of schedule and Dawie hosted me at the family house in Pretoria and took me sight seeing (Cultural Village, Union House, Voortrekker Monument, Souvenir shops, etc.). Nonce of that, of course, was included in my original quote, and Dawie simply would not talk of adding it in. He just graciously did it. All I could was buy him lunch that day, and still we had to fight for the check. A really first class guy.

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Dawie will pick you up at Arrival at the airport, will walk you through gun clearance formalities etc., and will get you back all the way to Security, after gun check-in on your way out. This really takes a lot of potential stress out of the process...

I cannot say enough about the Kemp Safari and Afrika Barrel and Bow lodge team. They are simply best-in-class. I highly recommend you check them out at http://www.kempafricansafaris.co.za/ before booking your next safari.
 
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cagkt3

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Congrats on the bull, love the character.
 

johnnyblues

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Nice bull congratulations!
 
 

 

 

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