SOUTH AFRICA: 5 Weeks In Africa! Report #1 With Bushmen Safaris

jpomazi

AH veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
220
Reaction score
513
Media
225
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
SCI lifetime, RMEF lifetime
Hunted
Namibia,South Africa, North America, Canada
After much planning and lots of overtime it was finally wheels up on Monday August 30th. I would be joined on this 5 week adventure by my wife Barb and 14 year old twin girls Mattie and Charlee. We would be flying Alaska Airlines from Portland to Seattle then Qatar to Doha then on to Johannesburg.
This will be are 5th trip to Africa and safari’s #6,7 and 8. We used Qatar on the last trip in 2019 and were very pleased. I booked everything without a travel agent and had no issues. I did the same this time but was wondering if maybe that was a mistake in the COVID era. I guess we‘ll see?
1A890D33-1CDA-451D-9BF3-E9FA9496C1E1.jpeg
 

jpomazi

AH veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
220
Reaction score
513
Media
225
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
SCI lifetime, RMEF lifetime
Hunted
Namibia,South Africa, North America, Canada
Alaska flight was probably changed 15 times prior to leaving but never anything major that affected us. Booked Qatar back in January and itinerary never altered.
My only worry was that due to work schedules are COVID test was 70 hours old prior to the first flight. Within the 72 hour time frame but when we get to Johannesburg in 2 days is it going to be an issue? At Seattle I showed Qatar ticket agent my negative test. She was fine with it and didn’t care to see Barb’s or the twins test.

Told us the flight was not full and gave us an empty seat between. Girls were in front of us and had the same thing. The statement flight was not full was truly an understatement!
60F86570-F338-4781-81BA-6FBDEB2DA344.jpeg
C90D49D1-39B4-4F77-836D-6679FA1A0BF2.jpeg
8213D16C-A191-4FC4-B58B-AEBEF77ED7E7.jpeg
 

jpomazi

AH veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
220
Reaction score
513
Media
225
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
SCI lifetime, RMEF lifetime
Hunted
Namibia,South Africa, North America, Canada
Short layover in Doha. Just enough time to stretch the legs and board for another 8 hours. Arrived in Johannesburg at 4 am. Before getting in passport control line lady was taking temperatures and health questionnaires. Didn’t ask for Covid tests though. Huh. Went to booth and showed passports and again no mention of test result. Oh well. Off we go to retrieve luggage. All bags present. For the last three trips I put my bow in a padded duffle and avoid them thinking it’s a rifle in a hard case.

Afton House is there to pick us up and so far things could not have gone any smoother.
5C7D6DBD-3ACF-4283-93FB-1CBB9698C6AA.jpeg
656AF8D1-51C5-46D6-8637-F1554420BD4C.jpeg
 

jpomazi

AH veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
220
Reaction score
513
Media
225
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
SCI lifetime, RMEF lifetime
Hunted
Namibia,South Africa, North America, Canada
Arrived at the Afton House around 6:30. Got settled in the room and of course can’t sleep. Went to breakfast and met the other hunters who will be leaving this morning. Brandon Gleason, an AH member, and his buddy were off to Limcroma safaris along with another couple from Montana. They knew my wife‘s cousins over in eastern Oregon. Small world!

Gert and Shani from Bushmen safaris will arrive tonight and then we will leave tomorrow morning. Lounged around and got some sleep. Had the steak dinner and solved the world’s problems around the fire with Richard, owner of Afton, along with Elize, Gert, Shani and a couple from Arizona. A great start to an epic trip.
64FCE902-5477-4FFD-85B9-2CF0FFF84281.jpeg
0F456260-A0D7-4870-BF37-F5F17C144824.jpeg
 

jpomazi

AH veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
220
Reaction score
513
Media
225
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
SCI lifetime, RMEF lifetime
Hunted
Namibia,South Africa, North America, Canada
ActionBob, I found your trophies and they are looking good! Hope you don’t mind but the wife was getting a little out of hand so I found a use for your elephant tail.
338FED69-1288-465E-85A8-D33C58C6D18D.jpeg
325B0AAD-8A0E-411A-8C7A-FC12845C5DA0.jpeg
06C8BF06-3314-4918-9077-A8B8B625E019.jpeg
33AE28BD-BB11-4DA2-B77E-98B53C34747F.jpeg
73373679-8F56-4663-8DC0-D373BFE9F226.jpeg
 

jpomazi

AH veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
220
Reaction score
513
Media
225
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
SCI lifetime, RMEF lifetime
Hunted
Namibia,South Africa, North America, Canada
Outfitter: Bushmen Safaris
Dates: September 2-13
PH: Gert
Bow: Matthews Helim, Wicked Ridge M-370 crossbow

Left the Afton about 7:30 for the 4 hour drive to the lodge. It’s located northwest of Pokowame close to Botswana. It is actually owned by a company in Idaho. Nic and Lydia Van Zyl along with their son Shannon manage it. Shani is their granddaughter and married to Gert. Great people. They only have groups once a month during the dark of the moon. We are the only group and have the camp to ourselves. Lots of huge boab trees and just a beautiful property.
F483ABD1-C7B2-478D-9EC5-83889FA00612.jpeg
A57ABA3F-FAB5-4EBB-A72A-F357184E8080.jpeg
BBFBA3E3-6DD0-48AB-A45F-44E50AC988D8.jpeg
326EC337-FD80-40CD-AEA7-1F16062C0957.jpeg
210DA9B7-9B30-4179-BE7A-1F454EAAF4DD.jpeg
6AF2058B-E33B-4A55-956A-4FE5062B433B.jpeg
19EF8987-236C-4594-A1F8-D73986119386.jpeg
 

jpomazi

AH veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
220
Reaction score
513
Media
225
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
SCI lifetime, RMEF lifetime
Hunted
Namibia,South Africa, North America, Canada
Excited for day one. Barb and I go to an elevated blind named giraffe. Big deal for her since she doesn’t like heights. Saw 107 animals including duiker, kudu, impala, oryx, blue wildebeest, waterbuck, warthogs and monkeys. Nothing we wanted to shoot today but non stop action made the day go by fairly fast.
C5A24867-DEB4-488B-9349-F8E5A2D815C1.jpeg
EE6627AF-B4BB-4B4A-8185-96A104B26DFC.jpeg
7F5C7F57-ADCC-4F92-95BF-7B6149BC532E.jpeg
C0B61A5F-CCE4-4EC8-90EA-1F8417FE662F.jpeg
 

jpomazi

AH veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
220
Reaction score
513
Media
225
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
SCI lifetime, RMEF lifetime
Hunted
Namibia,South Africa, North America, Canada
Bushmen safaris is 22,000 acres with no interior fences and has been archery only since 1986. All natural water holes. I would say some 400 level bow hunting as the shots can be 30 yards or more across the water. Plus many times there is no shot as they face head on and then turn around and leave without presenting one. I really liked it though and found it challenging. They have just the standard plains game animals along with Cape buffalo. None of the exotics. I’ve shot all the species they have so just looking for something big or unique. I gave the twins the opportunity to do all the hunting at this stop but they were fine just observing and hanging at the lodge.

Saw over 100 animals again on day 2. Had some zebra out at 60 yards coming in but think I spooked them moving the crossbow in position for Barb. They keep the windows open in the blinds and use ozonics. Don’t know if I’m a believer but figure it can’t hurt. Had an old red heartebeest show up. Horns were almost smooth with no ridges. Also saw maybe 15-20 waterbuck bulls. Old black wildebeest showed up late afternoon and then some baboons right before dark. Great day but elected not to shoot anything.
352A99F4-1A69-4E3D-933F-5CABCF367F3B.jpeg
870D66CB-179A-475C-81F0-DC41618BE185.jpeg
68C1D489-F5F0-4E47-B46A-FFF452B72EF9.jpeg
D6FF8317-362B-4CE1-9112-4285E3C24C2C.jpeg
 

jpomazi

AH veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
220
Reaction score
513
Media
225
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
SCI lifetime, RMEF lifetime
Hunted
Namibia,South Africa, North America, Canada
3rd hunting day and Barb has a tooth that is bothering her so she stays in and Charlee comes with me. They have some huge female warthogs here. I actually would of shot a couple but the only females that are fair game are zebras. 5 blesbuck rams came in and I would of shot one but there were a couple giraffes on there way and I didn’t want to scare them off so Charlee could see them. Saw about 120 animals but again nothing I wanted.
I figure Gert is going to say something when he picks us up and sure enough he does. He wonders if I need him with me to judge animals or anything. I tell him I’m being choosey but don’t worry I’ll shoot animals!
200582E8-6A4B-4B6A-A620-AE658547F416.jpeg
1165ED55-30ED-46DC-962F-A825E130B514.jpeg
57B207D7-E7A6-472D-A788-5828828E0547.jpeg
428AA4E9-FE66-4BEA-822C-6BFC525C9036.jpeg
 

buck wild

Bronze supporter
AH elite
Joined
Oct 14, 2015
Messages
1,329
Reaction score
2,517
Location
Texas
Media
345
Articles
3
Hunting reports
Africa
5
USA/Canada
1
Member of
SCI Brush Country Chapter
Hunted
Kalahari; Limpopo; Omay, Zimbabwe; Mexico; Texas; New Mexico; Colorado
In for it all
 

jpomazi

AH veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
220
Reaction score
513
Media
225
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
SCI lifetime, RMEF lifetime
Hunted
Namibia,South Africa, North America, Canada
Day 4 and it’s very windy. Gert says they’ll hold up in the brush until it stops and warms up. Mattie is with me today. Couple eland in the morning and then nothing until around 11:00 when the wind finally stops. Couple impala show up and one is really nice. I shoot him and after reviewing video it looks good. Call Gert to come in. He ended up only going 40 yards and piled up. Later Gert says he’s the biggest impala taken this year. Close to 25”. Later through the day I see 4-6 very nice impala. One maybe bigger then the one I shot. Wish Barb was here to shoot one. Had a giraffe with her baby come in that Mattie enjoyed.

Close to dark had a herd of eland come in with 3 zebra. Zebra are always on my list! Those suckers stayed on the far side of the water and used the eland as a shield. Never could get an open shot. Ughhh. So frustrating. Had a broken horn duiker come in and I’m going to shoot him. Worried Gert is going to show up any minute and instead of letting him settle in and drink I draw on him and he busts me and spooks. Great day though with lots of action.[

B394D37B-2FBC-4FB2-A250-EB26D12BE245.jpeg
09666F74-0D7F-4056-9CB2-6A8948B253C8.jpeg
29DFDD39-FF4A-4A14-8697-ED0D222DC522.jpeg
302607D4-8C7F-418A-9126-1530501AF860.jpeg
B8221685-E55E-40B9-8DB3-A0708A0131C9.jpeg
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Buffalo1

AH veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2009
Messages
228
Reaction score
372
Media
2
Member of
Pope & Young Club; DSC; SCI; MS Bowhunters Assoc
Hunted
2
Keep it going John !!
 

jpomazi

AH veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
220
Reaction score
513
Media
225
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
SCI lifetime, RMEF lifetime
Hunted
Namibia,South Africa, North America, Canada
Day 5 and the halfway point of this Safari. Hard to believe how fast it goes. As luck would have it Nic, Lydia and Shani are going to the dentist in Pokowame today so Barb is going along to have her tooth fixed.
Unfortunately lots of poachers set snares on this property and there’s a few animals limping around with them. Gert says if you see them at the water please shoot them and put them out of misery. Sad, but I never see any of them. Apparently the drought in 2016 was quite severe. They hired people to come pick up the skulls and bones. They collected 3,500 animals all together!
Today I’m back at the Rhino blind with Mattie and Charlee. This was the day 2 blind with all the waterbuck.
You never know what you’ll see at these blinds but the highlight today were a couple Cape buffalo bulls. Man they are big. Took up the whole waterhole. Close to dark had an average duiker come in from my left. Decided I’d take him and let fly at 22 yards. Didn’t video because I was in a hurry and would of had to move the camera. Shot seemed good and he bedded down 50 yards away by the road. Stayed alert though and never put his head down. Lots of the blinds I can WhatsApp Gert from but not this one. Had to get out of the blind to radio him. Thought about taking a 50 yard shot to finish him but he busted out. Didn’t look real healthy and once Gert showed up we found him 40 yards farther and finished him off. Not a monster but I wanted one with a bow. The girls managed to nap through the whole thing.
8A24FB44-C7D1-4A84-BCCD-073328B71380.jpeg
8398B12E-0169-4AFD-93BF-51835FA88EF4.jpeg
0824DC8D-2B4D-4981-914F-156405739622.jpeg
DEF8F9CD-3651-4659-8AF3-483719D63C55.png
 

jpomazi

AH veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
220
Reaction score
513
Media
225
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
SCI lifetime, RMEF lifetime
Hunted
Namibia,South Africa, North America, Canada
Barb’s trip to the dentist was a success. The conversation went something like where are you from the states? Sandy, Oregon but we work in Portland. Rioter!! No, actually we work in the justice center and had to put up with them trying to burn the place down for 200 days. Must of felt pity for her because no charge to fix a crown.

Off for eland today in an elevated blind that Barb wouldn’t like so I’m solo. Windy and cold today. I’m having a hard time with these solo blue wildebeest bulls coming in and not shooting them. I WhatsApp them to Gert and he says I can do better. Guess I’ll know when a truly big one comes in. Pretty slow but not surprising with the weather when finally about 11:00 a huge herd of around 30 eland come in. They had a young sable bull with them that apparently thinks he’s an eland also. Had a really nice bull in the group and I decided to take him. After awhile he gave me a shot and it was perfect! Watched him fall down and die 40 yards away.

After taking pictures and all that stuff went to another blind for the afternoon in hopes of zebra. Stayed slow. Did have a nice blesbuck ram come in but no shot opportunity. Later on a nice duiker but I let him walk.
Slowest day so far but a great eland. Gert said a cross between cape and Livingston as he has some white on him.
C86184DC-5597-450B-B3FD-F144B91E4B43.jpeg
45CAA397-F9F8-4278-B0AD-0FA1F1EF8A89.jpeg
3D6D9956-2B09-41C7-A64D-525E261CB24F.jpeg
2952B32A-6656-4E2B-B205-763B8A93AF82.jpeg
561E3EE8-C0A1-4764-97BE-6B6F34F77BFE.jpeg
 

jpomazi

AH veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
220
Reaction score
513
Media
225
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
SCI lifetime, RMEF lifetime
Hunted
Namibia,South Africa, North America, Canada
Back to the impala blind with Barb for today. Couple jackals come in and I get a 28 yard shot at one. Expected him to jump the string but he doesn’t. Not a great shot and it’s a clean miss. Cool again today so don’t expect much. Late in the afternoon we have 8 kudu bulls come in and then 15-20 blue wildebeest with a couple shooter bulls. The one I have my eye on is running around the water acting crazy. After a couple laps he finally stops and gives me a 25 yard quartering away shot. In hindsight I should of let him settle down and start drinking which he eventually would of done. At any rate I don’t think he jumped the string but rather was ready to run some more. There’s no worse feeling then expecting your shot to hit where your aiming but instead seeing it hit square in the ass. It was one of those oh shit moments followed immediately by surprise. The shot knocked him down and as he got up blood was pouring out of him. Obviously a femoral shot. WhatsApp Gert and explain the deal.

Ten minutes later a nice impala comes in. I ask Barb who’s not paying attention if she wants an impala. She finally figures it out. He’s facing head on but I tell her where to shoot with the crossbow. Looks like a devastating shot and the arrow is almost completely through his chest at a downward angle. Gert arrives and we figure to track the SURE thing first. No blood! Tracked and found the arrow with stomach matter. Shot was a couple inches high and missed vitals.
Turns out after shooting the crossbow the next morning it was a couple inches high at 30 yards. Don’t know if it got bumped or what. Not really her fault but Barb was devestated as she had never lost an animal before. They’ll continue to look for it tomorrow so it’s not over yet. Gert goes after the blue wildebeest and we get back in the blind. Both kind of down after the recent circumstances.

Close to dark and the broken horn duiker returns. Decide to take him with the crossbow since it’s set up and ready. He’s at 26 yards so I split the difference of the 20 and 30. Shoot right over his back. Not that experienced with crossbows. Gert says out to 27 or so just use the 20.

On the bright side the blue wildebeest is found but overall a really rough day. I’m not one to sugar coat stuff so I’m going to call it like it happens. If you bow hunt and haven’t made bad shots then you’re either the greatest shot alive or haven’t shot many animals. I’ve lost 2 animals in 6 safaris which were mostly archery. It’s not something I’m proud of and actually a testament to the trackers ability, but it happens. All we can do is practice a lot and do our best.
9DDD72FF-7A0D-42C2-A37A-9A8F007ADBD3.jpeg
F829AF53-68E7-41F2-96BD-A2732BF9C659.jpeg
BA9E98AC-2914-4E30-B734-889432C119A5.jpeg
13A477E3-55F7-4EA2-A8A5-3C7626009F51.jpeg
 

jpomazi

AH veteran
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
220
Reaction score
513
Media
225
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
SCI lifetime, RMEF lifetime
Hunted
Namibia,South Africa, North America, Canada
Working doubles this weekend so I’ll try and finish this up next week.
 

gillettehunter

AH legend
Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Messages
4,038
Reaction score
5,068
Location
WYOMING
Media
109
Hunting reports
Africa
7
USA/Canada
6
Asia/M.East
2
Australia/NZ
1
Hunted
Namibia, Kyrgyzstan(2) South Africa(4) New Zealand Zambia(2)
wonderful Impala. Not sure if its angle or what, but the blue Wildebeast looks huge. Congrats!
Bruce
 

Hunting Hitman

AH veteran
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
205
Reaction score
588
Media
25
Hunting reports
Africa
1
If you have ever hunted with archery equipment for any length of time it’s bound to happen to you. Keep your chin up and keep flinging arrows! Can’t wait for the conclusion of your hunt.
 

Shootist43

Gold supporter
AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 25, 2015
Messages
6,636
Reaction score
7,351
Location
Grosse Ile, Michigan
Media
28
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
NRA
Hunted
Michigan, Texas, Missouri, Limpopo Province South Africa
Great story John. At 78 I'm down to crossbows only. I just can't draw my 70 LB. Matthews back anymore. I sight in my Excalibur Matrix every year prior to hunting with it. Sometimes no adjustment is required other times I need to make one. I'm enjoying the story. I'm hoping to see that your girls "dirty" their hands before heading back home.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
40,444
Messages
791,183
Members
73,658
Latest member
Tieane
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

trstallone wrote on HUNTROMANIA's profile.
I've Hunted So.Africa, love to try Romania
Clifford Johnson wrote on Mark A Ouellette's profile.
Mark, How did your hunt go with Wayne in Zimbabwe?
Cliff
Spartan2473 wrote on tnshooter's profile.
Hey buddy,
Have a great hunt in West TN. Looking forward to planning this next safari with you.

we’ll talk soon!
Hello thanks for acceptance to the group, I live on baffin island. Anyone ever hunt in the Arctic?
 
Top