Location: Thabazimbi, Limpopo, South Africa Outfitter: Limcroma Safaris Hunters: Myself (Ross Reamy) Wife (Dana), Friend (Bob) PH: Henno Smit Tracker: Andres Manager/Owner: Hannes Els Dates: July 1 – 11, 2019 Area hunted: Near Rooibokkraal, Limpopo Rifle: Suppressed Weapon Systems MISB chambered in .308 Win topped with a Swarovski Z5 5-25X52, Ruger M77 All-Weather .223 Rem with a Yankee Hill LT suppressor topped with a Nikon 4-16X50 w/ illuminated reticle. I was shooting hand loaded 168 gr. Barnes TTSX traveling 2600 FPS out of the .308 and Black Hills 55 gr. soft points out of the .223. Animals taken: Myself: Zebra, Sable, Bushbuck, Waterbuck, Monkey, Steenbok, Jackal, Warthog Dana: Warthog, Honey Badger, Civet, Bush Pig, Nyala, Genet Bob: Zebra, Impala, Warthog, Sable, Steenbok, Blue Wildebeest, Kudu, Blesbok, Gemsbok, Red Hartebeest, Giraffe My wife and I made our first voyage to the Dark Continent in May 2017 and officially got bit by the bug that is hunting in Africa! We were already planning our 2nd trip before we ever left the 1st. We were completely blown away by Limcroma’s attention to detail and service that we did not even entertain the thought of booking with anyone else. Below is the link to our first hunt if anyone is interested in reading it... https://www.africahunting.com/threa...fari-with-limcroma-safaris.39042/#post-367184 While we knew, good Lord willing, that we’d again be hunting in South Africa with Limcroma, we didn’t know exactly when it might be. Fast forward to January 2018, a buddy of mine, Bob, called asking about whom we hunted with and if we were happy, etc... Without even really thinking about it, Dana and I decided we’d just go again with Bob, so we booked then for July 2019. Like it does, time slowed down anticipating another hunt, luckily we got the finished taxidermy back from our ’17 hunt in November ’18, so that helped take our mind off the upcoming hunt for a short time anyway. Well it finally arrived; it was time to jump on a Delta flight for an eventual landing in Joberg. We flew Delta from DAL to ATL, then the 200 flight to JNB. The flight didn’t get any shorter but for some reason my wife and I both felt better when we arrived in Joberg. We once again utilized Riflepermits.com pre-approved permit & VIP services, which I highly recommend. We overnighted at the Afton, had a nice steak dinner, drinks with @sheephunterab and his wife and another couple joining them and called it a night. A contracted van picked us up the next morning along with another couple guys and we made the drive to Thabazimbi where we were picked up by our friend and PH Henno Smit. Henno had a big bag of biltong already in the truck, what a way to start the trip! We would be staying in the Three Rivers lodge this time around instead of Sable Valley where we stayed last time. We made it to camp and were greeted by Maryke who runs the lodge and is instrumental in preparing all the wonderful meals. We were given the traditional handwashing ceremony by the sweet ladies who would be cleaning and laundering for us all week. Maryke had drinks and the first of many wonderful meals prepared for us, we stuffed ourselves and then went to check rifles. We brought along two different calibers this year, Dana’s Suppressed Weapon Systems MISB .308 Win which is integrally suppressed for the larger animals and my Ruger M77 .223 Rem for all the smaller critters. Both rifles were right on the money; think we moved Bob’s just a little. 7/1 Henno informed us we would walk along the Krokodile River that afternoon, one of our favorite ways to hunt. We’d be on the lookout for bushbuck and warthog. We hadn’t bene walking long at all when we got within 50 feet of a beautiful dark coated Limpopo bushbuck. He was nice but a little young, especially for the first day so we let him walk. We walked a little farther when we came upon a really nice warthog rooting down by the river. Dana was quickly on the sticks and made a perfect heart shot on this old boar. I should back up and say Dana’s warthog and bush pig were the top priority animals this trip, we hunted hard for both last trip and struck out. So what a huge relief for everyone to have a priority animal down within the first hour of a 10 day hunt! We took the obligatory picture along the bank of the river and made our way back to camp all smiles. 7/2 We were up the next morning for breakfast at 0600 and quickly on the road to check game cameras on a couple gut piles. For those that don’t know, bush pigs generally take a ton of homework and preparation before the hunter even arrives, and I’ll forever be thankful to Henno for working his ass off to ensure us the greatest amount of success possible! We saw we had several target species on bait, civet, genet, honey badger and the elusive bush pig! Talk about being excited! After checking cameras we went to another property to hunt zebra. Eventually Andres, Henno’s excellent tracker, cut some zebra tracks and we were on the hunt. We setup several times on different roads cutting the blocks but each time the zebra either didn’t stop on the road or stopped behind trees/brush. So we eventually admitted defeat and went back to the lodge for lunch. After lunch Dana was feeling the jet lag so elected to stay in bed for the evening hunt, so I made sure to get permission to take the zebra if given the opportunity because we’d discussed Dana taking this zebra. Dana knows you must take what Africa gives you so she gave me the green light. Off Henno, Andres and I went to see what we could find. We hadn’t been driving around 15 minutes when we stumbled upon a group of zebra who must’ve been snoozing on the side of the road because the big stallion stood just long enough for me to slip a 168 gr Barnes TTSX just in front of the onside shoulder which embedded into the offside shoulder. He went maybe 20 yards and went down in a big cloud of red dust! What a gorgeous animal! This one will be a rug I’ll enjoy for the rest of my life. Zebra are one of my favorites to hunt, and I’ll hunt them every chance I get. We take the nice trophy pictures that Henno is so good at, load the stallion and mount back up on the bakkie to see what else we could get into. An hour or so later we come upon a pair of gorgeous sable bulls and quickly bail off the truck to try a stalk. Lady luck was smiling as the wind was just right, we sneak up to within 80 yards of the most regal antelope, they’re slowing easing away but the one we want stops to check us out one time and I send another TTSX his way, hitting him on the shoulder. He makes it 75 yards and piles up right beside the road. What an afternoon! I couldn’t get over just how beautiful a sable is. I was on cloud nine and it was only the first full day. We quickly get pictures taken; the sable loaded on top of the zebra and make our way to the cleaning shed as we’ve got a long night ahead of us in the pop up blind overlooking a gut pile. We stop by the lodge to pick Dana up and grab some warmer clothes, because it doesn’t take it long to start cooling down once the sun sets. We get settled in the blind right at dark. We were sitting over the gut pile that the bush pig had been coming to. We’d been sitting an hour or so, me dozing off and on because of the jet lag, when Henno says the magic words, “the bush pig is coming in”. Talk about firing on all cylinders in an instant. We had a thermal to spot the animals approaching but we’d be shooting with the aid of a red light once they reached the gut pile. It took a while for the pig to make it to the gut pile and it was being extra spooky, which is typical for them. Dana readied herself on the stick and Henno hit the light, but Dana couldn’t make out the pig in the grass thru the scope, and the pig instantly spooked at the light so Henno switch it off. This is typical; sometimes it takes a couple times of the light going on/off before the pig settles down. We could see in the thermal it was just off to the side of the gut pile. All of a sudden we heard a truck behind us getting closer and closer, maybe half a mile away. The pig didn’t like this and slowly made its way back into the bush. Henno is furious, as are Dana and I, thinking we just lost any chance of getting our bush pig. Turns out it was a farm worker checking some irrigation equipment. We calm back down and decide to sit a little longer. It isn’t long before a trio of honey badger take command of the gut pile; we’ve got a permit for them this time so Dana makes a perfect shot on the biggest of the three. We make our way down to collect him and the other two do not want to leave the buffet of fresh guts, it took some throwing of bones and waving around to convince them at least ease off enough for us to grab their fallen comrade. What a badass little animal! We take some good pictures and make it back to the lodge in time for dinner. WE were happy about the honey badger but a little disappointed about the bush pig fiasco. 7/3 We’re up the next morning for another great breakfast and off to again check game cam pics and take another walk on a different stretch of the Krokodile. We discover civet and genet tracks around this gut pile, bingo! We make a long walk along the river, such a cool place. We get to see a pod of hippo, and then hear some baboons somewhat nearby. We decide to head their direction to see if we could bag one, along the way I catch a glint of sunshine off the horn of a bushbuck tucked back in some thick brush. I get Henno’s attention and he determines it’s a nice ram, we should take him! He’s in some really thick vines and the only shot I have is a spinal shot, so I bear down on the sticks and make my shot count, down he goes! We hurry over to him and give him one from the .223 to quickly ease the pain. What a gorgeous animal, just so cool with their dagger like horns and spotted hide. I got lucky and mine happen to have the chevron on his snout. We take some good pictures, get him loaded and have a Castle Lite to celebrate the occasion! Then head back to the lodge for another great lunch. We head back out around 1430 to look for a steenbok ram, we see quite a few but not of the quality that Limcroma insist on but it’s still a blast riding around and seeing the amount of game that we did. Successful evening even without pulling a trigger. We head back to the lodge and gear up for another sit in the blind where we saw the bush pig. We see a lot tonight, jackals, honey badger, and even a brown hyena but the bush pig is a no show. I begin to worry if it’ll come back after getting spooked last night. We head back to the lodge for another great dinner. 7/4 It’s July 4th today and Maryke wishes us all a happy Independence Day at breakfast which was a nice touch, and very much appreciated by myself and others. We spent the majority of the day today checking game cam pictures and “freshening” up gut piles and it’s decided we’ll sit tonight in the blind where we saw the genet and civet tracks. During the day we look for waterbuck and steenbok but no luck with that. We head back to the lodge around 1700 to gear up for another night in the popup that we’re getting so accustomed to. We don’t really have much on the pile until around 1900 Henno says there is a civet on the pile. Dana gets the .223 on the sticks and gets ready for the shot. Henno hits it with the light and it stands perfectly broadside, Dana fires and typically with a suppressor it’s very evident if it’s a hit or miss and the shot didn’t sound good to me, but we’re not sure so we quickly go to the pile to look. I’m scanning the nearby tree line with the thermal when I spot something that sure looks like a civet to me, I get Henno’s attention and we start making our way to the critter, we get fairly close and with the spotlight determine it’s our civet, so I let him have a .223 in the shoulder. I didn’t see that Dana hit it initially but could have. We take some picture of this unusual yet beautiful animal that looks like a coon/cat cross and make it back to the lodge for dinner! 7/5 We’re up for breakfast early and head to another concession to hunt nyala. This place is quite a bit thicker than the other places we’ve hunted so far. It was another beautiful cool morning on the back of the bakkie. We come upon a young nyala ram and we’re admiring it when Andres, who’s driving, points left over the cab, and there stand a really nice nyala bull! We drive past and then bail off to attempt a stalk, it’s so thick that we’re able to get fairly close but can’t get a shot thru the bush. The bull spooks a little and we approach from a different direction and sneak our way up to a good clear shot, Dana anchors him with a high shoulder shot from the MISB. What a gorgeous animal they are up close, with the spiral horns, long hair, almost orange legs. We get pictures taken and him loaded to continue hunting a waterbuck or steenbok for me. We see a few of each but not old enough to take so we make our way back to camp for a lunch of wildebeest burgers and fries. We head back out around 1500 to a property just down the road from the lodge. It turns out to be an afternoon I’ll remember for the rest of my days of this Earth. We go thru several gates before we reach the area of the property we’ll be hunting. We quickly start seeing huge piles of dung in the road, rhino dung! I quietly think to myself how awesome it’d be to see a rhino up close. Well I’m quickly awaken from my day dreaming by not one but probably 10 rhino. What a special sight to see such a huge almost prehistoric looking animal. Behind the rhino was a huge herd of monster buffalo along with a big dark bull giraffe. It was like taking a step back in time to see so many awesome animals. As I’m sitting there in awe I’m quickly brought back to reality as a heard of waterbuck start trotting off from behind a brush pile, and with them is the biggest most majestic waterbuck bull I’ve ever laid eyes on. Andres quickly starts maneuvering the truck to set me up for a shot, I have a long shot but there’s rhino in my scope so I’m not comfortable with that shot, the bull is following the herd which is now moving pretty quickly across this awesome setting. He stops again but I can’t shoot there because he’s in front of the buffalo. I hold off as he begins to moves again, finally clearing all the other animals. Henno is whistling trying to get him to stop but he’s not having it, I decide to take a walking shot as I lead him just a bit from 200 yards away. He instantly goes down at the shot from a neck/shoulder shot, we quickly get up to him and I put in a finisher TTSX thru his shoulder blades. Unbeknownst to me, while I’m focusing on the waterbuck the curious rhino are chasing the truck and as we set up the waterbuck for pictures the buffalo come to within 75 yards to investigate. Someone pinch me to make sure this isn’t a dream! It was truly one of the most special moments of my life. Amongst all the chaos I still can’t get over the majestic waterbuck bull I’ve just taken, exactly the wide almost white horned bull I wanted! Whew, what a wonderful life it is! I celebrate the occasion with a big bottle of Black Label, damn good beer I might add! We get him loaded up and dropped off at the skinning shed to prepare for another long sit in the bush pig blind. We get our warm clothes on and get settled into the popup. We don’t really see much tonight right after dark as we have the previous days. I’m resting my eyes thinking back on how awesome the day has been and how blessed we are when I hear the magic words again come out of Henno’s mouth, “the bush pig is coming in…”. Talk about going from 0 to 100, we all were 100% focused on the task at hand. When he first saw the pig thru the thermal is was probably 200 yards away, and slowly working its way to the gut pile. Dana quietly got comfortable on the sticks and pointed her barrel towards the gut pile and waited, once the pig got close to the pile Henno handed me the thermal, we had a system figured out where I would let him know when the pig was out of the grass and broadside, so he would know we to switch on the spotlight. The pig actually came even closer than the pile, like it wanted to go into an oat field next to us, but once It cleared the grass I let Henno know, on comes the light starting way high and easing down onto the pig, the pig just froze rather than do it’s normal spook, Dana centers up on the shoulder and squeezes, the pig instantly drops and doesn’t move. Needless to say there was a huge celebration in the popup, hollering and screaming then Henno and I make a mad dash to the pig forgetting about my poor wife in the blind... haha I turn around and help her get out then we all run down to admire this well-earned trophy. What a cool pig it was! We hog hunt with thermal almost weekly in Texas, killing around 300 every year, but this pig was completely different and special and I was so proud of Dana for making a good shot and so thankful to Henno for putting in all the hard work! It was a very special moment for me, one I’ll never forget, and I could tell Henno was proud that his efforts paid off, and probably relieved that this crazy girl from Texas will finally shut up about a damn bushpig! I got to admit I teared up a bit while Dana and I were waiting for Andres to bring the truck up, thinking back on how much effort went into this hunt and how much we’d talked about and wished for a bushpig! We get it loaded up after getting some good pics, and make our way back to camp where every came out and admired Dana’s pig, really awesome stuff! 7/6 Well we slept in a little the next morning after celebrating the success over the bush pig last night. After breakfast we went for a walk on another section of river to see what we could make happen. We’re not even to the river yet and a troop of monkeys are making a dash to the bush. We find a big male and I send a 55gr soft point towards him and it found its mark, I’ve finally got my ol’ blue balled Vervet monkey! Really cool little animal, can’t wait to have him hanging in our house with his manhood showing! The trip really took a relaxing turn after the bush pig, we’d pretty much got everything we wanted and anything else would be just icing on the cake so to speak. This afternoon we ran around on the place Dana got her kudu in ’17 looking for a steenbok. We saw quite a few but either too young or didn’t hang around long enough to get a good look, it was still a blast riding around looking at all the game and enjoying a few ice cold Castle Lites! After dinner we did a little spotlighting on yet another place on the Krokodile River, this place was a sure enough legitimate farm with two very large irrigation ponds for this area which were filled by pumping the from the river, there was a field of oats and a field of alfalfa. We were barely in the gate when we start seeing heat in the thermal and eyes in the spotlight. We spot civet and honey badger quickly then a little farther up spot a nice steenbok ram, so I take him with the .223. After pictures we continue to ride around to see what the night will give us when we roll up on a jackal mousing in a cut milo field, I give him a lip squeak which instantly gets his attention and quickly send another .223 soft point his way, jackal down! I got a jackal in ’17 but didn’t do anything with it and have regretted that, so this one will be a full mount. We head on back to the lodge but everyone is asleep by the time we got there. 7/7 We slept in a little the next morning, and had a relaxing walk along a stretch of the Krokodile late morning, nice lunch and prepared for another sit in the blind. We got in the blind right at dusk and weren’t there 5 minutes when a nice warthog boar came by, they’re always on the “list”, but he didn’t hang around so no shot. Other than the warthog we saw absolutely nothing tonight, when we got back to camp we realized the pressure was high, maybe that had something to do with it, along with the moon starting to get brighter. Made it back for dinner and drinks around the bush TV! 7/8 Today is “giraffe day” as my buddy calls it, we both decided to try taking female giraffe to help with the numbers and have a nice trophy. I was looking forward to a rug. We went to a property 45 minutes or so from the lodge and it didn’t take long to find a herd mixed with cows and bulls, it took a while to get situated for the shot though, Bob would be taking a frontal chest shot instead of the neck shot with his .300 Win Mag since his shooting had been a little off up to this point… haha (Hope he reads this..) He made his shot count on a big cow giraffe though with a perfect frontal chest shot, she went maybe 20 yards and piled up. What a beast of an animal! I couldn’t get over how solid and heavy boned in was... It was cool getting to watch and help in the process of getting pictures and loading it up on a trailer. We took it easy most of the day/afternoon, and then went out spotlighting after dinner to see what the bush would offer up. We saw civet, white tail mongoose, and bushbuck on both properties we checked. When we got down closer to the river we see a set of eyes in a tree, genet! It climbs down before Dana can get on it, so we quickly get off the truck with the spotlight and thermal to try and find it. It had quickly climbed up another thorn tree and we could barely make it out in the top branches, I was able to sneak a .223 in thru the tangle, large spotted genet down! Really neat little critter! 7/9 We hunted giraffe all day on another property, seeing several bulls but couldn’t find the cow I was after. It made for a great story though, people hardly believe when I say we hunted giraffe all day and struck out. You wouldn’t think a 15’ animal could hide that well but evidently they can. Between the morning and afternoon giraffe hunt we came upon some warthogs in a cut corn/milo field, and there was a nice boar in the group. They were probably 275 yards away, getting spooked and making their way to the brush so I quickly got on the sticks and sent a TTSX towards the boar, he’s hit and running slow when I send another round his way, we hear a distinct slap again but he makes it thru the neighbors fence.. I’m a little disappointed in myself, I take a lot of pride in my shooting and have yet to lose an animal in South Africa and I sure didn’t want to lose this boar, but Henno thought we’d find him no problem the next morning. Most of the landowners have no problem with the PHs coming over to retrieve animals that have crossed fences, so we phone the guy to ask for permission and of course as luck would have it my pig crosses a grade A asshole’s place, who threatens to sue if we even think about getting on his place… lol What a prick.. No worries, that’s hunting and that’s people. 7/10 Our last full day, we sure hate to see our time at Limcroma come to an end. We spend most of the morning sitting in a blind hoping for a baboon, while we don’t see any baboon it was still great getting to see so many animals up close and personal, the monkeys especially kept us entertained all morning, climbing on the blind and peeking in the door.. After the morning blind sit, Henno had us a brai on the river planned. Couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend our last day, grilling boerewors over a camel thorn acacia fire, drinking Castle Lite, listening to Texas country all while on the banks of the Krokodile river, somebody pinch me! After our relaxing afternoon we headed back to the lodge and just took it easy, took care of the paperwork since Henno had another group coming in tomorrow, and just enjoyed everyone’s company. 7/11 We took our time packing up this morning, had brunch around 0930, took some pictures at the skinning shed, and Bob’s PH Kenny hauled us to Thabazimbi where we met the van that would take us back to reality. We had an absolutely incredible time at Limcroma, and just like the first trip, we were already making plans for the next visit not even half way thru the current one. It won’t be in 2 years like this trip was but I’m thinking for my 40th birthday I’ll celebrate by going after my lifelong dream of hunting buffalo, and Dana has a rule that I can’t hunt buffalo unless she can hunt a spotted hyena, so I’ll leave the logistics of all that to Henno.. I also wanted to mention that we got to share camp with some great folks as well, @lpace and his lovely bride along with his longtime friend Therrin (sp?) and his sweet wife. As well as a dad/daughter combo from Minnesota, and a couple other brothers from Texas. And as always I really enjoyed shooting the bull around the fire with all the PH’s, reminds me of my buddies back home giving each other shit constantly! From the bottom of our heart we want to thank everyone at Limcroma for making our trip such a special moments in our lives, and something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. Hannes, you run one hell of an operation and you’ve got a hell of a team working with you to make it all happen. Maryke, thank you so much for all the incredible meals, although I did have to let out my belt one size while I was there, and don't get too rich off that video of me "singing" around the fire... haha Henno, thanks again my friend, the only reason we were as successful as we were was because of all your hard work and dedication, when I met you in 2017 I knew it was the beginning of a lifelong friendship and I can’t wait to see what all we get in to in the years to come! If you have any desire whatsoever to hunt Africa, I encourage you to make the leap. I can assure you if you go with a reputable outfitter, like @Limcroma Safaris , it will change you for life, and you’ll try to figure out how to get back as often and as many times as possible!