Sorry this is so long but I think its a cool story about how this happened for my wife and I.
My wife and I recently returned from a perfect hunt with Henry Griffiths Safaris. We had an unreal experience with Henry and his wife, Tanya.
To completely understand how great this trip was you need a little bit of a back story........
It started way back in October when my wife, Catie along with her mom and sisters headed out to LA to do some work and went to The Price Is Right. My wife had this part of the trip planned way in advance and had been watching the game show after work as she recorded it every morning. She made spreadsheets of the value of the different things each show had and analyzed them for weeks leading up to the show. She had an idea of what the show was looking for in the people they picked to actually participate. After making matching t shirts the girls were off to California.
The day of the show comes and low and behold Catie gets picked in the first group of bidders and proceeds to get outbid by a dollar numerous times. I guessed the analytics were working. It comes down to the last bidding session and she outbids the highest bidder and wins a camera some other things. Note: they have not played for a car in the second round of games so you got an idea of what happens next........
Here it is, she is on The Price Is Right and playing for a car. It was a game that was very luck based. No use for analytics here. 5 die and all have a car symbol on one side with three roles to get them car side up. She empties out the bucket and all five roll down and, Boom!, all five car side up!
She wins the spin off and is in the showcase showdown!
She passes on a sailboat, She is the big winner after all, and next comes a TV, game system, trip to Mauritius, and a trip to Iceland. You know where this is going...... She WINS!
In planning the trip to Mauritius(which is amazing) we decide that if the travel agent will work with us we can fit in our first safari and maybe get the plane ticket paid for. As luck would have it we worked it and the planning began. This site is amazing in helping a first timer take on a task of planning a safari, which at times can be very overwhelming. After sorting through lots of greats deals, I had a couple of conversations with a couple members here decided to go with Henry Griffiths Safari.
Henry was very easy to work with and never failed to answer any of my questions regardless of the time of day. After a short email thread we were booked and the countdown had started.
The day had arrived and we were on a plane headed to Mauritius. only one more to wait for hunting in Africa!
My wife made me promise that I would not talk about hunting all week and would enjoy the island. It was hard but I did the best I could. The big black marlin we caught did help to have something else to think about but hunting was very much on my mind. Henry was expected to meet us at O R Trambo and he was right were he said he would be. My biggest fear was that someone would get my money and be a no-show. This was not happening here. After a 5 hour drive to the hunting camp, 3 hours on a rough sand road we were there. The most off the grid place I have ever been to. It was just what I wanted. Our chalet was a nice brick structure with thatch roof and hot water.
Upon arrival Tanya had biltong and salt and vinegar chips waiting for us, which is staple in my diet. I knew that I was in the right place. Every meal that she prepared was just as good as the next. It was good home cooked wild game that was perfect for the setting. After a few rum and cokes around the camp fire we had a plan for the rest of the week.
The first day would be dedicated to kudu and gemsbok. After a few unsuccessful stalks we came upon a heard of cows and young bulls, one which was a very very nice young bull. Henry made the right decision to let him walk. The size and mass of this bull who had not reached his full potential dominated the camp fire talk the rest of the evening. The lone sore spot on this hunt was the gemsbok that got away from the wife. It is a story that I promised to not tell. I will say that Henry and his staff worked very hard on finding this animal.
No kudu the first two days as the second day was dedicated to zebra, impala, and wildebeest.
The second day was very fruitful as we took a 25.25 inch impala, a beautiful zebra mare, and very nice old wildebeest bull. The wildebeest gave me a good lesson in the toughness of plains game.
After a busy day and plenty rum and cokes we decided to get after a sable for my wife on day three. The sable was a very interesting hunt to say the least as my wife had what us mid westerners call buck fever. Eventually she got it under control and made a nice shot with a follow up shot to finish off what might be one the most amazing animals I have ever seen.
Last but certainly not least on our wishlist was my kudu. We now had the remainder of our trip to focus on the grey ghost. We made a few stalks on nice bulls, but we could never get it just right. One time I had a split second shot on a mature bull with nice deep curls and just as I was about to pull the trigger a cow much closer than the bull walked in the cross hairs and he was gone.
Then HE was spotted. Previously I was cussing myself for not being quick enough on the trigger because I could not take my eyes of the horns. During this stalk I made a pact with myself that I would not look at horns til the hunt was over. My trust level with Henry was very high at this point. As we got in position on the bull he walked perfectly broadside just over 100m and I squeezed the trigger of Henry's 300h&H and it was a decent hit. We got in position for follow up shot and the grey ghost was down.
My first safari was in the books and after a few celebration drinks in the bush I sat in awe of what has to be the most impressive thing I have ever saw. 52.5in long and 46in wide. As I walked up I kept expecting ground shrinkage but he was getting bigger. It was crazy to see this beast laying there. A mature bull with amazing horns.
Overall I had a wonderful time with Henry and his staff. Professional, personable, and very knowledgeable how his job.
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