The planning for this safari began not long after getting home from my first safari to the Eastern Cape with Karoo Wild safaris. I did write a report on this 2015 trip. https://www.africahunting.com/threads/south-africa-karoo-wild-safaris-hunting-report.26036/ After my first trip I had contracted the Africa disease and had to try and get back. I decided to sell some stuff including a custom built 257 Weatherby and the biggest and hardest decision was to give up smoking. Cigarettes in Australia are extremely expensive and I decided that if I could give up smoking I could save about $4000 per year. There lies my objective, Give up smoking and book myself a trip to Africa. I must admit that if I did not have this as my objective I do not think I would be have been able to cope. ( have I mentioned how many South Africans smoke and how cheap it is) I decided early that if I went back to Africa I would like to see different parts of the country and new landscapes. I had seen a Cull hunt advertised by White Lion safaris and thought that this would be a good opportunity to get some skins for the floor and experience the Free State. I also wanted to return to hunt a really good Southern Kudu and SS Pro were advertising a good package deal for some trophy animals and a Kudu in Australian dollars. This was a good value and I thought if I added a few more days to the package I would have a good chance in a once in a life time Kudu. I love Kudu hunting and already had two nice Eastern Cape Kudu. Lastly I wanted to go to KwaZulu Natal and hunt Nyala in a free range situation and Chumlet safaris were well positioned to offer this type of hunt. With much communication between these outfitters, dates were set and my dream of a return started to become a reality. All up it was going to be 31 days in Africa. Now only 12 months to wait....wait....wait. I spent far too much time reading hunt reports on AH during the wait period and the anticipation was building. This trip I was going to take my Remington 300 WSM with lightweight McMillan stock loaded with 180 gr Accubonds and Woodleights. I had shot the accubonds out to about 400 m and had taken it on two deer hunting trips during 2016 and it had performed very well. At the last minute I decided to also take my old Ruger 280 AI loaded with 160 gr accubonds as a backup as it has never let me down and I am confident in its ability. Both firearms have Leupold VX3 4.5-14 with CDS. At last Thursday 4th May 2017 has arrived and I am driving for 12 hours to get to the airport. I fly out of Cairns in Queensland and then to Brisbane and Perth. Then board the South Africa Airways flight to Johannesburg. We arrive at Johannesburg about 5am but they cannot get the airbridge to work so we are stuck on the plane. After about 40 minutes they decide to get stairs and by the time we are in the clearance area there has been another two international flights come in so the area is packed. I had already arranged for a meet and greet and firearms pre-approval with “Hunters Support” and was glad I did as I had a connecting flight to Bloemfontein at 0800. All went well and I was soon on my way to White Lion safaris. Sunday 7th May 2017 Arrive at Bloemfontein and am picked up by Jaco who will be my PH for the next week. We immediately hit it off as he is an avid gun nut and likes his long range shooting. He had only just given up smoking and I gave him some moral support by saying that it is not easy and I still feel like having a smoke. ( Did I mention that most people in SA smoke) It was about an hour and half drive through open grass land and corn fields. Finally we started to get into some hills and pulled into the driveway. I was met by Ricus de villiers and his wife Nelia. They made me feel most welcome. Ah, the smell and sound of the African bush, this is why I have returned. I can already feel the disease symptoms subsiding. I settled into the accommodation and Jaco and I then went out to test the guns. Both were fine and I had a few shots at the 300m gong as some long shots may be required. We then went for a drive and walked up a small hill, on the other side we could see some Zebra feeding uphill and some springbuck behind them. I had 4 springbuck on my list so we waited on the sticks for the springbuck to feed closer but they were very mobile and never gave a shot opportunity. I did not want to take a marginal shot at my first animal and besides couldn’t we find something bigger and closer for my first shot?? This hunt was a cull hunt which included 1 x Blue wildebeest, 2 x Black wildebeest, 1 x Warthog, 4 x Common Springbuck, 2 x Common Blesbuck and 1 x Impala. We walked around the hill and over the next ridge and spotted some Blesbuck feeding on the flat below. We stalked to within 230m and they started to become restless. I got onto the sticks and took a ewe with a well placed heart shot. She fell on the spot and I had my first African animal and it was not even day one yet.