SOUTH AFRICA: Hunt Number Two With Chamanzi Zulu Safaris

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by 30winmag, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. 30winmag

    30winmag AH Enthusiast

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    Greetings all! Im Back to share my experiences from my recent hunt in Natal Provence South Africa. This is going to be a bit lengthy, so I thought I'd post the semi-standard hunt report and the hero shots first. so here goes...

    Country: South Africa, Natal Provence

    Dates: 23 June-2 July

    Type of hunt: Plains game

    Method of hunting: Rifle

    Outfitter: Chamanzi Zulu Safaris

    PH: Johann Muller

    Locations hunted: Chamanzi Safari Camp, Brakfontein Farm, Magdelena Ranch. All in Natal Provence South Africa

    Species hunted: Kudu, Eland, Wildebeeste, Impala, Bushbuck, Blesbuck

    Trophy quality: On a very poor, poor, average, good, very good scale; good.

    Species seen, population and quality of game seen: Impala: 229+, good quality. Nyala; Mature males; 16, immature males; 12, females; 79+. Quality; good to very good. Kudu: Mature males; 11, immature males; 14, cows; 88+. Quality; average to good. Red Hartebeeste: 2. Zebra: 34+. Giraffe: 11. Cape Buffalo: 20+. Blue Wildebeeste: 128+. Quality; good to very good. Bushbuck: 6. Quality; good. Duiker (common and red) 7. Warthog: 34. Quality average to good. Blesbok: 70+. Quality; average to good. Mountain Rheebuck: 1+. Leopard: 1. Black Wildebeeste: 35+. Eland: 7 Quality; good. Ostrich: 20+. Waterbuck: 6. Common Rheebuck: 5. Jackal: 2.

    Lodging: Stone rondavel

    Food: Plentiful, with lots of game. We ate Beef, Lamb, Chicken, Wildebeeste, Kudu, lots of Impala accompanied by potatoes, grits, squash, green salads and plenty of fruit.

    Activities: Two day side trip to St. Lucia. Visit to Hluwehluwe game reserve, trip to the Indian Ocean, tour of the St. Lucia estuary.

    Travel methods: Toyota Hilux Dakar, Toyota Land Cruiser.

    High points: Being the only hunter in camp, an exceptional quantity of game, an opportunity to see the big 5. Too numerous to mention.

    Low points: Periods of cold, incredibly thick cover, dense grass. All of which made for difficult hunting.

    Things to improve: Besides perhaps hunting later in the season, I wouldn't change a thing!

    Overall rating: 8 out of 10.

    Would recommend to a friend: Yes!

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  2. 30winmag

    30winmag AH Enthusiast

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    All right, now on to the more detailed report. This is going to take a while so keep watching.

    June 23, Chamanzi Safari Camp, 545 am.
    Calm, 52 degrees, steady barometer, clear.

    After the usual endurance race that are the flights to get here, Lincoln Ne to Minneapolis Mn, to Atlanta to Johannesburg, it is the first day of hunting. Since my last visit the drought has broken and the rain is a double edged sword. The country could surely use the rain, but the bush was thick last time and now it is extremely dense. This is going to be an added challenge to be sure. That being said, life doesn't get much better than drinking coffee in the morning watching the sun rise and listening to the bush babies.

    1215pm. Light wind from the N, 0-3mph, 70 degrees, rising barometer, 41% humidity, clear.
    A slow morning hunting. After traveling to the Eastern part of the property, we had seen a herd of perhaps a dozen impala and a very nice Nyala bull. While working our way back we saw a group of Kudu comprised of three cows, two immature bulls and one mature bull. After a brief time glassing we started a stalk but head high grass and too many Kudu eyes failed us and the Kudu won this one. Continuing the rest of the morning we spotted two more Nyala bulls, a herd of 8 or 9 female Nyala and a herd of 7 or 8 Kudu cows with an immature bull shadowing them. After nearly an hour of glassing we were unable to spot the mature bull that almost had to be there. Hopefully this afternoon brings better luck.

    800 pm. Calm, 50 degrees, steady barometer, 55% humidity, clear.
    Going out this afternoon to the high veld on the hilltops above and to the south of camp we saw much more game. We spotted a group of 6 Giraffe, who were photogenic as always. We also encountered two herds of 25+ wildebeest and a bachelor herd of 3 bulls. We also got a brief glimpse of a herd of buffalo as they headed for thick cover. while we were encountering lots of animals, nothing was really hunt able. This continued when we spotted more impala, a bushbuck and a bachelor herd of 3 immature Nyala bulls.
    After heading back to camp for a sundowner and an amazing meal of Impala steaks and sausage, scalloped potatoes, corn bread and salad its time for bed and hopefully to find a shooter tomorrow!

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  3. 30winmag

    30winmag AH Enthusiast

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    June 24, 530 am.
    Light breeze from the N, 42 degrees, steady barometer, clear, 56% humidity.

    It actually feels cold this morning to summer acclimated me, so its time to break out the silk weight long johns (gear list at the end of this) and carry on. Hopefully the game will be moving when the sun comes up. They have been holding tight in cover and with this terrain that is bad news for hunters. In the dense areas there could be a T-rex 10 yards off the road and nobody would ever know. Well off to keep pursuing a Kudu and one particular lone Wildebeest bull that is proving to be nowhere near as dumb as they look.

    1150 am.
    S wind at 3-5 mph, 69 degrees, rising barometer, clear, 42% humidity.

    A successful morning. After heading out and seeing the hang-around-the-camp impala we returned to where we had seen the herd of Kudu cows the day before to see if there was a bull with them. Spotting them in the same vicinity at a distance of approximately half a mile we began glassing to see if there was a bull with them. We spotted one and after continued glassing to make sure he was mature and had trophy potential the stalk was on. having to deal with a large number of wary cows put us at a disadvantage and the stalk became a continual slip to our right to try to cut off the bull as he and the cows worked their way towards a canyon and some of the heavy bush I described earlier.
    After covering roughly 3/4 of a mile in 30 minutes, the stalking equivalent of a run, Johann Frisco the tracker and I paused behind a 6ft tall conveniently leafy bush. The herd of Kudu paused and a quick pop-around look showed the bull about 50 yards away facing us. After a very fast whispered conference and a silent 3 count fresco set the sticks and i got on the sticks and fired. The whole process of setting, getting on and firing lasted about 4-5 seconds, which was absolutely all we were going to get. An additional difficulty was the tall grass, which pretty much hid everything on the bull from the top of his chest down. I had a target that was a lot like shooting at a shoulder mount of a Kudu. The 270 grain Spire Point went in at the base of the neck, about half an inch left of center. It took out a batch of blood vessels over the heart, one lung and pretty much obliterated three or four vertebrae. The bull dropped in his tracks and was DRT when we covered what was paced off as 47 yards between us. He later taped at 50 inches, maybe not a giant, but he's the best Kudu I've ever shot.

    845 pm.
    Calm, 58 degrees, steady barometer, light overcast, 56% humidity.

    Another slow afternoon. We went to the Southeast area of the property over drastic elevation changes and some incredibly dense bush to classic veldt. At the upper elevations we encountered a couple groups of Kudu and in some bushveldt further along we saw a herd of 6-8 Nyala cows with a respectable bull. Still nothing on the "to do" list. So on the way back we spotted a Duiker, a couple sizable herds of Impala, a group of Nyala cows with a mature bull, and an immature Nyala. Have I mentioned that this is very good Nyala country? After another excellent meal at the lodge and a sundowner or two around the fire its time to get a good nights sleep and go after it again in the morning.

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  4. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Nice trophies so far, just love KwaZulu/Natal !
     

  5. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats and thanks for sharing! Look forward to more!
     

  6. 30winmag

    30winmag AH Enthusiast

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    25 June 520 am.
    Calm, 44 degrees, rising barometer, fog, 61% humidity.

    It looks like a cold front came through last night. The South is the cold wind here, that takes some remembering. It also takes some remembering that despite the green trees, its midwinter here and hunting goes accordingly. Animals are moving later in the day when it warms up. Yes 40's aren't really cold for us Northerners, but someone please inform the animals of that.

    630 am. Dense fog has moved in and visibility is limited.

    1220 pm.
    S wind at 1-3 70 degrees, steady barometer, 47% humidity

    This morning was a climb out of the fog. One advantage of having an area to hunt that has 500 ft. elevation changes is you can almost avoid localized weather events. Heading up visibility ranged from about 200 yards to about 12 feet. We almost collected a wildebeest with the truck out of a herd of about 12 that was crossing the road. Reaching the veld atop the hills we could look into the valleys and feel like we were hunting above the clouds. After passing a herd of wildebeest we spotted a nice impala ram and started a stalk. We were doing great until the three Kudu cow heads popped up out of the grass. One bark later we were done stalking. We then continued on and spotted a bachelor herd of Impala and decided to put a stalk on them. On unfortunate thing about this stalk was it involved traversing a fairly deep canyon. Beautiful scenery, and a cast iron bitch to climb in and out of. After having the impala vanish on us a long walk is a lot longer when you go back empty handed. There not being any shortage of Impala, within the hour we were putting the stalk on another group. After stalking through one of the more open thickets we caught up with them. I got on the sticks and waited for one of the two better rams to present a shot. Finally one turned from feeding directly away to quartering away and I took the shot. The bullet went in behind the near shoulder angled through the chest, took out both lungs and the top of the heart and exited in front of the far shoulder. He dropped right there. On the way back, almost within sight of camp, we spotted a lone wildebeest bull and unsuccessfully attempted a stalk on him.
    After lunch and the midday break, we were out again. We spotted a lot of game but nothing with stalking. Again on the way back we again saw the lone Wildebeest bull again, put a stalk on him again, and he gave us the slip again. After a delicious supper of Impala sausage, the filets from my Kudu, Impala and Wildebeest skewers, grits, corn and a very nice red wine we had a couple sundowners and its time to get ready for another day.



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  7. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congratulations.well done.
     

  8. 30winmag

    30winmag AH Enthusiast

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    Thanks Nyati. I'm pretty find of it myself!
     

  9. 30winmag

    30winmag AH Enthusiast

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    Thank you reedy. Hang in there there is plenty more!
     

  10. 30winmag

    30winmag AH Enthusiast

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    Thank you johnnyblues. I'm hoping I can do the hunt justice.
     
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  11. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Great hunt so far! I’m enjoying seeing pictures of an area I haven't had an opportunity to visit.
    Thanks!
     

  12. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Nice pics and a good write up. Looking forward to more.
    Bruce
     

  13. 30winmag

    30winmag AH Enthusiast

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    Thank you Ridgewalker! I'll be sure to include some terrain photos for you. Just remember, photos don't do steep justice.
     
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  14. 30winmag

    30winmag AH Enthusiast

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    Thanks Bruce. I promise, I do occasionally shoot something.
     

  15. 30winmag

    30winmag AH Enthusiast

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    26 June 535 am.
    Calm, 48 degrees, rising barometer, clear, 61% humidity

    The start of another day that is better than most. Today focuses on glassing for Bushbuck. Which in these parts are shy and scarce, and possibly settling one of the two lone Wildebeest bulls that are also amazingly shy and almost becoming a personal challenge. Coffee and toast for breakfast and then off to it!
    630 am. Weather Note: Clouds have rolled in, barometer is dropping, humidity is up to 70%. It looks to be threatening rain.

    425 pm.
    S wind 1-3 mph, 63 degrees, rising barometer, partly cloudy 51% humidity.

    An interesting morning. After two hours of glassing a slope that was known Bushbuck territory, we had spotted three bushbuck. A female an immature male and one decent buck approximately 300+ yards away. Unfortunately, also on this same slope was a Leopard. The first time I've heard one, and also first wild one I've ever seen. The sound is very distinctive to say the least. Having determined that the bushbuck were a phrase that is almost extinct today, out of range, and having to battle a rain shower we moved on to keep looking. The Bushbuck kept up the whole scarce and shy routine and we rolled a donut on the day. But its still better than almost any day at work!

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  16. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I haven’t worked in 19 years, but I do remember the worst days in the outdoors hunting were better than most high stress days in the office!
    If I got to see a leopard in the wild, it would be one of my best days outdoors! I am so jealous!
    Please keep the hunt going!
     

  17. cls

    cls AH Fanatic

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    Enjoying the read, thanks.
     

  18. Dewald

    Dewald AH Senior Member

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    @30winmag, great report and congratulations on some beautiful animals.
    Johan runs a good show with Chamanzi. The bushbuck can be tough there on the slopes, but seeing and hearing the resident leopards there whilst hunting is priceless.
     

  19. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Beautiful kudu! Can't wait to read the rest of the hunting report!
     

  20. 30winmag

    30winmag AH Enthusiast

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    27 June 540 am.
    Calm, 38 degrees, rising barometer, partly cloudy, 63% humidity

    A cold morning. It is in the high 30's and feels colder it's going to be a tough morning in the truck until it warms up. The plan for today is to go after wildebeest. One of the wary old loner bulls is going to end his run today hopefully.

    1000 pm.
    Light S wind, 45 degrees, rising barometer, haze, 60% humidity

    An interesting day. After breakfast, Johann, Frisco the ticker and I discussed how to go after one of the lone and extremely spooky wildebeest bulls we had been seeing and that Johann had been pushing for nearly a month. After an extremely cold truck ride to the approximate right aerate spotted a lone bull in some light brush, which was rarity in itself. He was on a hill nearly a mile away and there were no doubts he was one of the ones we were after as he was the only wildebeest in the vicinity. After a quick conference, we closed the distance to within a half mile and started a stalk. After a long, cautious stalk we were sure we had him. The wind was right, we were behind a slight rise so he couldn't see us, all we had to do was pop up to the top of the rise and set up the sticks and shoot him. Two out of those three things worked perfectly. Frisco set the sticks, Johann and I cleared the ridge crest, I got on the sticks and aimed, and saw absolutely nothing. Well, right up until the Wildebeest, who had laid down, blasted out of the three foot tall grass. This started the familiar chain of trying to close the range with hi and having him evas=de us and stay just out of comfortable rifle range. This game of cat and mouse actually took us back past the truck, which the Wildebeest passed and was standing within 50 yards of at one point. As we watched him pass through a black wattle planting we veered somewhat to the right of his path. Having gotten the instructions of " If you see him and he's in range, shoot him" from Johann we moved through the panting then along the far side. We cleared a slight bend and spotted the Wildebeest looking at his back trail. I could see him and he was in range, safety off, rifle up, take the shot, Wildebeest drops in his tracks. A quartering to shot at 78 yards, the bullet went in in front of the near shoulder, absolutely destroyed the front of the heart and broke the far shoulder, stopping in the met just under the skin.
    This fellow proved that Wildebeest are tough and nowhere near as dumb The most notable as they look. An uneventful rest of the day. The most notable event being spotting 5 immature Kudu bulls in a bachelor herd. Thats a lot of Kudu in a small area!



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