5 Day Plains Game Hunt With Game4Africa I just returned from my hunt with Game4Africa in the Eastern Cape and would like to share my experience about my hunt and the outfitter itself. This trip was rather a “spur of the moment” decision, as I found myself booking the trip only about a month in advance. I am currently working in Luanda, Angola and decided I wanted to spend my 30th birthday doing something I’ve always wanted to do. I looked around AH and saw a Kudu and Bushbuck package hunt offered by Game4Africa and after a few emails back and forth the deposit was paid and everything was good to go! The original package offered was a 7 Day, but due to limited availability they were still able to fit me in. Flights in and out of Luanda are limited so I had an overnight in Johannesburg. I would definitely recommend taking the extra night for anyone traveling from the US as it starts the trip off a bit more relaxed, and if you have jet lag you can sleep it off. I stayed at the Radisson Gautrain, which is in Sandton, conveniently located near the train station and Nelson Mandela Square. For those of you not familiar with the area, it is a large shopping area with many restaurant options. I took the train from the airport ($12 USD), checked in to the hotel, and then went to grab some lunch. I walked around the mall for a bit, went back to the hotel & rested before dinner. I went to dinner at Trump’s steakhouse where I got a large bone in sirloin and some good red wine. What a great way to start my vacation. The next day I took the train to the airport and flew to Port Elizabeth. Upon arrival Wik, my PH, greeted me at the airport. We loaded up in the Land Cruiser and headed out towards Grahamstown. After about an hour and a half drive we arrived at the Coetzee’s property. I was greeted by Wik’s mother and Grandmother and then shown to my accommodation. I would be staying at a nice chalet adjacent to the main lodge. The lodge and two chalets are newer buildings on the property and the accommodation was second to none. After dropping my bags off and getting settled, Wik and I went down to the range to take a couple shots on the Sako 7mm. I chose the silenced option, which was well worth it. I only took a total of 3 shots at the range. The first two shots sitting at the bench and the third from the sticks. All three were within a tennis ball of each other and near the dead center of the target. I was feeling pretty good, as I hadn’t shot a rifle in a least a couple years. Being from Texas my main hunting occurs every Labor Day which is opening day for Dove season, so my main firearm of choice is the shotgun. After the range Wik and I headed back to the main lodge to watch the South Africa vs Ireland rugby match. It ended up being an exciting second half as RSA came back from a significant deficit to beat IRE. After a delicious dinner I called it a night early as my alarm was set for 6am. Day 1 After a light breakfast of freshly made muffins and coffee Wik, X & Elliot (our trackers) and Rambo (the dog) headed out in search of Kudu. After a short 10 minute drive we parked the land cruiser and headed out on foot at the top of a cliff, or “Kloof” in Afrikaans, overlooking the valley below. We spotted tons of game from the spot, including Kudu, Impala, Nyala, and Water Buck. The first Kudu we tracked ended up going in to the thick, THICK, brush and we lost him. In the process a young Kudu male walked right in front of us and had no clue we were there. After a short hike along the kloof we spotted two good looking Kudu males roughly 2km in the distance on the side of a ridge. One Kudu on the left side of the ridge, and one on the right. We set off for the male on the left hand side. We finally got close enough undetected and got ready for our opportunity. This great looking Kudu was feeding just behind a large tree with brush covering in front. We could see his horns bobbing up and down as he grazed on the vegetation. We sat and watched this guy graze for 2 hours as we waited for him to come out into a clearing for a good shot. At 11am just after the two hours of waiting, Wik radioed X to see about the Kudu on the right. After confirming he was still there, Wik got up to go have a look. Upon returning, we both decided to give up on this male and head off for the other. After walking for about 5 minutes Wik looked back to see if the first one had moved and he finally had moved out into an opening. We rushed to set up the sticks and in a panic I took the shot, and missed high. I quickly reloaded trying to get off a second shot. The Kudu started running up the ridge and he paused at the top briefly as I took the second shot. Again, a clean miss. Quite upset with myself that after waiting 2 hours I missed both shots, 1st at 200yds and the 2nd at 280yds. I was sure I had scared off the second Kudu and it would be time to head in for lunch. However, as we walked towards the second Kudu he stood still staring straight at us. He was also covered in front by thick brush but I could see just his left shoulder in the open. This time I took my time and steadied my aim and took the shot. It hit, he jumped, and disappeared in the brush. Wik got on the radio and called for the trackers and Rambo. After just a couple minutes Rambo started barking loud, which to me was music to my ears. I sighed in relief that the animal was down. We took the afternoon off and relaxed around the camp. After a delicious dinner I called it an early night as we set out for Bushbuck the next day. Day 2 We headed about 15 minutes from the lodge to an adjacent property to hunt Bushbuck. It is amazing to me how vast the landscape can vary within just a small radius. This property was quite hilly with steep drops and thick brush. We drove along the top of the ridge and periodically got out and glassed for Bushbuck. We spotted a few different animals including jackal. After about an hour and a half we spotted a bushbuck on an opposite side of a ridge. We headed down the steep slope to get a closer look. After making it to the bottom of the valley we set up and stalked the bushbuck. After seeing he was a good size we patiently waited for an open shot. We waited for about an hour and a half for him to present himself. He was behind a tree and some thick brush. Finally I had an open shot at 200yd and took aim, then hit. He started to run and ended up sliding down the steep slope out of view behind the brush. Wik called the trackers and dog and we waited for them to arrive. After what seemed like forever, only 20 minutes, they met up with us and headed out. I was quite thankful I didn’t have to head out looking for this one. The hill he went down on was much steeper and was about half way up the ridge. After just a short few minutes I heard the dog bark and the tracker confirmed on radio he was down. Wik and I shook hands excited we had gotten this one. As this was my first hunt in South Africa, I was off to a great start. Day 1 Kudu and Day 2 Bushbuck. Was it really this easy? Wik told me about his previous hunt where they tried for a couple days to find Bushbuck but didn’t succeed. I guess I am just lucky! So Day 2 ended like the first. We went back to the camp, had a great lunch and then relaxed all afternoon. I was able to log into work and get some emails done. I wouldn’t normally do this on vacation, but I was able to not have to take vacation days, which I enjoyed. I was now in a dilemma, I came to only shoot a Kudu & Bushbuck, which I did on the first two days. I still had 3 full days of hunting! My wife is very much an animal lover and was a vegetarian for a few years. It was going to be a tough call with her to tell her I wanted more. After a disagreement, it was understood I needed to not blow the budget and to be reasonable. Day 3 We headed out Day 3 with a game plan of looking for Impala and Blesbuck. We drove around the Coetzee property along ridges just taking it easy. It was a really cold morning, so we stayed in the truck all morning. Upon coming over a ridge we saw the most Kudu I have ever seen in one area. There were I would say 20 Kudu all along a ridge. We parked the truck and just observed. After 10 minutes or so Wik looked over to me and said “you want to take a shot?” Of course I did. We hopped out and he told me we needed to take a Kudu female cull. She was an old one and he said if I wasn’t going to take the shot, he was going to. After a quick set up of the sticks I was on the female. I took quick aim at about 100yd and took the shot. I love the silencer on this gun. Shot fired and so quiet you hear the impact. She jumped out and ran just a few yards. We drove over, hopped out, and after 5 minutes found her. We drove around the rest of the morning and got to see just how big their property is. We saw quite a few different things but not any Impala or Blesbuck. We headed in and had lunch. At about 3pm we headed out again. We parked the truck and walked most of the afternoon. I definitely needed a long walk after all the good food they had been serving. I had more than I should each meal, but hey, its vacation. As we came over a small hill we spotted a group of 3 Impala. It was nearing dusk and we were up against the sun. We waited patiently to scope out which of the 3 was the best to take. Wik advised me to take the one on the far left, and we slowly stood up to set up the sticks. The Impala were aware we were in the area, as the wind had changed. They were on alert and we trying to be a silent as possible. I got the sights set on the right Impala and took the shot at 120yd, Hit! This time he dropped where he stood. This excited me, as that is how I like it to be. I didn’t want to have to worry about tracking this one as it was almost dark. We raced to get the Impala set up for pictures and luckily the sun was up just long enough for us to get a couple good ones. Day 4 Today we are looking for Blesbuck. We headed out to the top of the ridge nearest the lodge and glassed for some Blesbuck. After spotting Kudu, Impala, Zebra, Giraffe, and Nyala we found a group of Blesbock 5km or so away. We headed down the ridge and drove over the area where we spotted them. We walked about 1km and spotted the group. They must have heard us because they scattered. We continued walking and after 20 minutes or so we caught up to them unnoticed. Wik identified the one to take and set up the sticks. I took aim at 160yd and took the shot. Perfect shot and dropped where he stood. Another great feeling! My shots were getting better each time. After only about 2hrs of hunting we were setting up for pictures. I was having the best time on this trip! We came back to the lodge for an early lunch. Again I was in the same dilemma. I had taken what I was “allowed” by my wife to take. With this in mind we took a relaxing afternoon and then Wik offered for us to go out and shoot some Warthogs. So at about 4pm we headed out for some Warties. These were actually a lot of fun to hunt. The first group we came up on, I missed about 3-4 shots. So much for my streak of great shot accuracy, haha. As we pulled around a wooded corner out to an open grass area I couldn’t believe my eyes. It seemed like a huge party of wild animals. I saw my first Sable, which was amazing. There were Kudu, Nyala, Impala, and others I can’t remember. I looked over at Wik and asked how much the Sable was. This is one great looking animal, and anyone lucky enough to afford it, should do so. Unfortunately for me, this was too rich for my blood, so I humbly passed. On an adjacent open grass area we spotted 2 hogs on the far side. We set up along the tree line and watched as they ate on some grass. This was a longer shot and I missed. The Warthogs proceeded to sprint from right to left along the open grass field. I took aim on one and shot, hitting it mid-sprint in the back leg. It continued to run and I took another shot dropping it. I then set aim on the other one and led it a bit too far and missed. That one ran off into the brush before I was able to take a second shot. We continued our hunt for Warthogs and after driving to a different area, parked the truck and walked out. We spotted a group of 4 opposite a ridge and we headed out. We went after them and looked for a good 30 minutes without finding them. Wik called the tracker to bring the truck around, as we hadn’t spotted them again, and it was getting dark. We hopped in the truck and as we drove around the exact same area we had been looking, all of sudden, they ran across the road right in front of the truck. We immediately jumped out and rushed to get set up before they were out of sight. I quickly took aim and took several shots. I thought I had hit two of them, but only ended up hitting one. After a quick search we found the one that went down and headed back into camp. Tonight I remember having a great evening. The Coetzee’s had some guests over for dinner and we all enjoyed some drinks and conversation. This also meant that they were grilling even more meat than normal, which suited me just fine. Day 5 Today is my birthday and I turned 30! After discussing with Wik the night before, we had decided that today we would head out for Springbuck. This specie likes the open plains, so we woke up much earlier in the morning, as we had a good hour and a half drive to a different property. It was amazing to me just how different this landscape was just one hour away. The Eastern Cape is definitely an amazing area with so many options to hunt. We arrived at Van Wyk’s Kraal which was the property owned by the dinner guest the night before. We parked the truck and walked out close to the tree line looking for the Springbuck. We spotted a large group of them, but had no opportunity to sneak up on them. Hunting these pose a different problem, as they see you coming, as the landscape is completely flat open plains. They immediately saw us and started migrating away. We continued approaching them along the fence line, but we weren’t able to get close enough for a shot. We continued following them for a while and then Wik made a call to the tracker. The plan was for us to lay low and have the tracker drive the truck around in a big loop and try to drive the group towards us. We watched as the truck approached the group from a while away and sure enough the group started heading towards us. Once they were approaching in range Wik set up the sticks and I shot from a sitting position. Another 1 shot drop! Just shortly after another one ran right up close to us and he asked if I wanted another, so hey, it is my birthday, Why not!? Another one shot, drop. Happy Birthday to me! Well, since we had driven almost two hours to get to this new location I decided we should look for something else to take. Wik gave me some options and I decided we should go for a Mountain Rhebuck. We drove around the property and scouted. We got to the top of a ridge and decided to walk for a while. After about 30 minutes of walking we stopped and glassed over a ridge. Wik spotted a Rhebuck resting under a tree in the valley below, so we hiked onwards. After navigating our way through the terrain we stopped behind a tree as he was in sight. Wik set up the sticks and I took the shot. Clean one shot and never moved. On a side note we didn’t see that one of his antlers was broken off, but will make a good bottle opener or something, we’ll see. After taking some photos we had a nice lunch in the field and then headed back to town. We stopped at the Coetzee butcher shop where I picked up some. After eating a few of the cuts, I have to say, this is some damn good meat. At dinner I was surprised with a birthday cake with a picture of me and the Kudu. This barely scrapes the surface as to describe the type of service that they provide their guests. Each meal was absolutely fantastic. We enjoyed grilled meat at every dinner. I never got tired of the food and have zero complaints from my trip. I highly recommend this outfit and look forward to hunting with them again in the future Dinner One Night: Warthog Ribs….Damn good I do the same thing in Texas: Cannot Wait to come back!!