A little background -- bought this hunt at a local SCI Banquet auction in March 2017. At the time I'd just started looking into Africa hunts and really had no clue what I was getting into. Thought it would eventually make a great graduation gift for my then 15 year old son. As things turned out, this hunt went relatively inexpensively at the Auction and, in a little bit of shock, I ended up being the last bidder with his card up. My son was with me at the Banquet and I looked at him and said "Well, you better graduate, because I just bought your graduation present!"
Booked the hunt almost immediately for June 2018, and the next 17 months flew by as I read everything I could (a lot of it on this site) and planned out the hunt, with a lot of help from our outfitter, Fanie Steyn. It was amazing how quickly the time went by.
Fast forward to June 8, and we were on our way. Flew Chicago to Frankfurt, then on to Johannesburg. Overnight there, and then quick flight to Polokwane the next morning. Arrived in Polokwane on June 11 and were met by one of our PH's (1X1 hunt for 2 hunters), Wian. Loaded up our stuff in the bakkie and off we went for the 2 hour drive north, as Thaba Mmoyo is located outside Waterpoort, a short distance from the Zimbabwe border.
Arrived in main camp a little after 2, unloaded our stuff and met our other PH, Schalk. It was quickly decided my son (the kid) would hunt with Wian, as Wian was 23, and the old men (me and Schalk) would hunt together. Great decision -- the "boys" as they came to be known hit it off immediately and Schalk and I were a great match as well.
Checked the rifles quick and we were off on some bonus hunting our first afternoon in camp. That was possible, because as soon as you drove out the gate from the main lodge, we were on Fanie's 20,000 acre farm. We all hunted together the first night and not more than 10 minutes after siting in the rifles we were running into waterbuck. Wian was off the vehicle and immediately spotted a "monster old bull." Really wanted us to take him, but we had 7 days and waterbuck wasn't on the list, so we took a pass. Drove on seeing many waterbuck, several kudu, impala, steenbock and duikers. Ended the night sitting in a blind on the top of "Pride Rock," overlooking a part of the Sand River valley. Saw many waterbuck, nyala, warhogs and a duiker, but nothing we wanted to take on the first night. So, back to camp at dark for a blesbok dinner.