SOUTH AFRICA: Bos en Dal SAFARIS June 6-28, 2021

Mark Biggerstaff

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First off: I decided to start my report while still on safari with Gerrit and his team at @Bos en Dal SAFARIS. This is a 21 day trip with them.

Bos en Dal Safaris, North West Province, SA
Ph’s Gerrit Van Vuuren, Louie Mare and Frikkie Snyman. Camera man Marcel Botha with African Safari Films.

Travel: Jeniffer at @TRAVEL EXPRESS handled bookings. Flew Qatar from Houston Doha Johannesburg. Henry with @riflepermits.com handled firearms paperwork and meet and assist.

Weapons:
CZ 550, 458 Lott with Leupold VX5 HD 1-5
500 gr Swift Aframe factory loads.
CZ 550, 375 HH, Leupold VX5 HD 2-10
300 gr Federal Swift Aframe factory load.


Travel day June 4
Arrived Houston Bush Airport at 3:00 pm. Check in was smooth with Qatar. They were waiting for me to check in. Check in was easy, they had me remove ammo case from bag and weight it. Then place back in bag and took total weight of bag. I had all the paperwork pre filled out that was said they needed. Well, they didn’t! They had what they wanted and had me sign Firearms surrender form was all. Looked at Covid test and was escorted to TSA for firearms check in. TSA guy was nice and he checked everything and Qatar Rep took photos of case as it was put on conveyor. Qatar then escorted me to lounge since I was flying business class.

Boarded flight and was on way for long 15 hour flight to Doha. Business class was very nice with Q suite. I had a light dinner and got comfortable for the long flight. I did use my CPAP Machine with no issues. Slept about 10 hours of the flight.
Arrived in Doha and met up with Scott in lounge and we visited till boarding time.
Flight from Doha to Johannesburg was smooth. Had a drink and light meal and slept half the time.

Arrival time was 3:45 am in Johannesburg.
Henry’s meet and greet was waiting when I got off plane. Quickly moved thru Covid screening and customs then to baggage carrousel. Baggage was slow coming off plane. Finally my checked baggage arrived and we were off to main hall. Riflepermits and my PH Gerrit were waiting there. Guns were awhile arriving and Henry’s people were constantly checking to see where they were. The meet and greet guy went and found my case and brought back a picture of it on his phone. So we knew it was back there. SAPS was taking there time bringing up. Mine was the first case to arrive luckily. All done and we were off to Bos en Dal camp!

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June 6
Arrived at camp about 8:30 am. Unloaded and settled into room. Gerrit has recently remodeled the camp and added more rooms with each its own private bath.
We had a great breakfast and headed to rifle range to check rifles. Guns were still spot on and we made a drive thru to see what we might find.
We saw lots of game moving about but nothing that just interested us.

This is my third trip with Gerrit and I am being picky. Looking for unusual animals or extraordinary animals. This is a get way vacation, not let’s see how many we can kill hunt.

We came in for a nice lunch and then back out again to see what the bush had to offer.
We came across all kinds of game and made a couple stalks on Kudu and Impala. Just nothing came together or was what I was looking for.
Back to camp for dinner and bush tv

June 7
Up at 5:30 am
We had a light breakfast as I am not much on a big breakfast.
We set out about 7:00 am.
Not long after we left we came across an old Blue Wildebeest all by himself. We got a look at him and mad a plan. Stalked to within about 80 yards and the sticks went up. The 375 HH hit him solid and he bucked and disappeared in the thick bush. We have him about 20 minutes and then followed up. Blood trail was an easy one to follow. He ran about 150 yards and collapsed.
Very nice 27 1/2 inch old Bull in the salt!
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We loaded him up and off to cleaning shed.

We came in early for lunch as Gerrit had some errands to do.

PH Frikkie would be my PH this afternoon.
Frikkie new where there was a really nice Black Impala hanging out and a plan was put together to go after him.
Thew plan worked perfectly. We spotted the ram and made a long stalk on him. Got to about 45 yards as bush was thick. Sticks went up and shot was perfect. Dropped in his tracks.

Black Impala in the salt!
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We returned to skinning shed and dropped off.
We then went up to the top of the back mountain looking to see what we could find.
Saw a lot of game the rest of the afternoon but nothing that just interested me.
Came back to camp at dark for dinner and some sleep. The jet lag and time change was setting in and I was feeling it.
 
June 8
Started out at usual time. Left camp at 7:00 am and we drove and looked to see what we could find. Today would be only a 1/2 day hunting the main camp. We spotted a few animals and made a couple stalks. But nothing came together. We can in about noon for lunch.
The rest of the afternoon was spent sorting thru gear and getting ready to leave out the next morning for the Kalahari.
We had a great dinner and to bed early for long drive the next day.

More to come as time permits.
Headed out again to see what’s moving!
 
Wow! A great start! Keep it coming and congrats.
 
Thanks for the travel detail, Mark. Very reassuring for this soon-to-be first timer.
 
Been waiting Mark!
 
Oops! Need to edit June 8.
We were not getting ready to leave for Kalahari yet. I had missed a day of note taking!

June 9
We headed out about 7:30 to see what the bush would offer! Gerrit had a plan to make a pass thru and see what we could find.
About 10 am we came across a herd of Red Hartebeest. There was an old male in the herd that looked promising.
We put a plan together and made a stalk into about 110 yards. The 375 was on the money and he went only 35 yards and piled up!
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We got loaded and headed to skinning shed, dropped off then back to camp for lunch.
Then we started packing for early leave for Kalahari.
 
Today is travel day to the Kalahari. We were up at 5:00 am and served a big breakfast before we departed as we would not be stopping till we arrived. Myself, Ph’s Gerrit and Louie along with Marcel from African Safari Films loaded up and were off by 7am. Trip was uneventful thankfully and we arrived at the Kalahari Camp about 1:30 pm.

We were met by PH Arrie van Niekerk and tracker Joseph. PH Arrie will be lead on this hunt. We were shown the camp area and our rooms. We unloaded and settled in and served a nice warm lunch.

Camp pics
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After lunch we loaded up and went to check all rifles. All rifles were spot on.
We then loaded up and started driving the sand roads looking for fresh tracks with Joseph riding on the front.
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It was amazing watching Joseph sort tracks as what was days old to what was hours old.

We found some fresh tracks and started working a grid pattern. This concession is broken into 100-200 acre blocks criss crossed by roads.
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As the afternoon wore on we had pretty much had a lioness narrowed down to an area but it was getting to late with sun setting to follow the tracks into the thick bush.

We were headed back to camp when we came across a heard of Gemsbuck. As that was also on my wish list we found a nice 40 inch Female in the herd that had a bad limp. As it didn’t matter to me as if I took a bull or cow we decided to put a quick stalk on her.
At about 75 yards the sticks went up and the 458 Lott woke up everyone when I squeezed the trigger.
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We took some pics loaded her up and off to camp.

We had a nice dinner and settled in for a good nights sleep.
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June 11.
Up at 5:00 am and started getting ready for the day. Light breakfast and we loaded up about 7:30 and were off to find fresh tracks. Not long after we left camp Joseph spotted were a lioness was chasing an animal across the road. We started working another grid pattern and found where she had drug a kill across the road.
We unloaded off the truck and everyone got there rifles in order and plans were laid out.
Joseph would take the lead with the rest following close behind.
The brush became very thick and as we closed in we bumped her off her kill! She was eating on a Springbuck she had just taken.
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We started tracking her and after awhile Joseph said she was circling us and headed back to her kill!

We back tracked to the kill and she had been back there and we had bumped her again. The bush is thick and hard to see very far ahead.

Joseph picked up the tracks and we started following. After about an hour he decided she was leading us around in a circle again and was going to go back to the kill.

We sat up at a road crossing to wait on her to cross.

Well that did not plan out like we thought it would.
She came in from down wind of us and Louie spotted her at our backside at about 40 yards.
She turned and ran off to our right into some thick stuff.
We then heard clawing and tree limbs breaking! Close to us. Yes Lions can climb trees! We spotted her about 80 yards away up in a tree watching us! That was her mistake!
Sticks went up and I told Louie to give me his shoulder for an elbow rest.
I had a frontal shot on her the way she was standing on the limb. The 458 Lott did its job!
She rolled out of the tree, we have it about 10 minutes for all to settle down the approached the tree. She was laying there under the tree!!
What a relief to know I had placed a perfect shot on her.
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She had bitten her own foot when she was hit and fell. We moved her out for some pics and to relive the hunt that just happened

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We got her loaded up and then off to camp for skinners to do there work and we had a nice lunch and relaxed a bit.
 

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Life is Short live it how you want...
jgraco33 wrote on 85lc's profile.
Is your 22HP still available? If so have the original case?
tacklers wrote on ianevans's profile.
Hi Ian, I'm contemplating my first outing, leaving UK via Dubai to Africa, taking rifles as you did.

I presume it went okay for you, would you have done anything differently? Cheers, Richard East Sussex
A.A. wrote on Msprenger!'s profile.
Are you still looking for a 375 H&H?
 
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