Awesome buddy and I'm glad you had a great time! Andri is an awesome PH and a wonderful friend. I absolutely don't mind talking to anyone if that want more info and I can generally get ahold of him within an hour or two if need be by calling him. I'm glad you had a great hunt and Beans is certainly an outstanding ph and friend also.Day 5
Woke up to heat and high winds already. Andri thought the animals might go to water early so the decision was made to go to Addo Park. Andri told me on the way there, that the lions are almost never seen and usually you only see an elephant or 2 but most times just their backs above the brush. We got signed in and drove to the entrance. A very exuberant young lady told us there had been a lion sighting at the first water hole, so we headed there. We had only gone about 1/2 mile when we came across a big cape buffalo bull right next to the road. Got a couple pics, but as he picked his head up, you could see his eyes were a bit blood shot and Andri said he didn't like being that close and we moved on. He was about 6ft from usView attachment 159197As we made the next corner we could see an elephant off in the distance out in the open. Andri wanted to try to get ahead of him before he crossed to the waterhole. We made it and got some good pics, then realized the lions were right there as well. Next thing we knew the elephant charged the 2 adult male lions and ran them off! Again, something you never see. It was too far to get good pics with the lense I have but it was awesome to witness. Not far down the road we had a whole herd of elephants come out of the brush right beside us. There were so close we had to back up to keep from being run into. If I had leaned out any further and reached my arm out I could have touched one! They even had a little baby with them, which was cool to seeView attachment 159198We drove on for a bit seeing warthogs, zebra, kudu and jackal. When we came to the next waterhole there was a huge herd of buffalo milling around with a pair of young male elephant heading to the water. We figured they were siblings by their behavior. Shortly a large male elephant came to the water and I happened to get a National Geographic worthy photo of him drinking by pure chanceView attachment 159199It was awesome to witness these huge animals so close. In all we saw about 30 elephants on the day, most very close up. We drove on for a while more, continuing to see many more animals and made our way out. Addo is well worth the trip even if you don't get as lucky as I did, it is a beautiful place. Andri said he had never had a trip there where so many different animals were seen and in those quantities. It was a great way to spend the bulk of a very hot day!View attachment 159200 View attachment 159201 View attachment 159202 View attachment 159203After leaving the park we made a quick trip to the coast for lunch at a quiet little beach bar, where I realized South Africa had some of the best beaches I had ever seen, with almost no one on them! I'm sure sharks, have something to do with that!View attachment 159204We then headed back to the lodge to wait out the rest of the heat. Just before dark we headed back to the orange pile, but before getting there I saw a warthog out in a cut road. Andri said to shoot it, and I dropped it right there at about 125yds. Since it didn't take off making a racket and the rifle was suppressed we decided to continue to the oranges but circle around to the other side. On the way I jumped a few Kudu cows, proving the shot hadn't bothered the rest of the wildlife. As we got set up I noticed a duiker out in the open about 100yds out. I glassed it and as I dropped the binos, I caught the movement of a young bull kudu's head at the edge of the brush, just 30yds away! Before I could get the rifle up he jumped twice and was gone from the clearing. I continued to watch the duiker as it slowly fed towards me and shortly noticed movement out past the oranges. I put up the binos just in time to see a nice bushbuck zipping by. Nothing else was seen, but the duiker eventually fed to within 50yds of me before going back into the brush. For me Duiker would have been a pretty easy animal to get this trip had I wanted to go for one! Andri got the truck and we went to get my pig. It was only about 60lbs, but Andri was happy to have one less mouth packing away precious resources in the current drought. I had my 4th African species. We didn't get a chance to take pics of this one as it was late and dinner was waiting.
Today we again headed to a different area, open and more flat than the mountains we had been hunting. We were after Springbok. This property the owner had been away for a while and warthogs were being a problem. We were told we could hunt the springbok here but we had to shoot any warthogs we saw first. I had no problem with that. When we got there I got up in the back with Michael and it wasn't too long before Andri hollered out that there were pigs, and off we went bouncing across the field in the rig. Andri stopped and jumped out. He looked up at me and asked why I wasn't shooting. Not seeing anything I asked where they were. He pointed them out and I had to laugh as I told him I thought those spots were some of the big birds in the area. I had assumed he was trying to get closer to them and had barely given it a glance when I saw them. He just wanted to get some elevation for a better shot and told me they were 280yds out. I lined up and dropped the first one. As the second took off running we both fired at it a couple times, always too far behind it. After collecting my pig we drove to the top of the rise and spotted the springbok in the distance. While looking for a male Andri hollered out to reload as there were more pigs out to the left. Off we go, bouncing across the field once again. This was a group of three and they cut back to the same area we had shot the first one. Andri hit a smooth 2 track and gunned it. We went ripping across the bottom then quickly cut up and found we had gotten in front of them and they were still heading straight toward us. Problem was it was on the wrong side of the truck for me. Twisting, I had to wait as Michael tried to get clear. Once he was clear I took an unsteady shot and missed, but it turned him and he headed in front of the truck. I jacked another shell in and shot, dropping him on a dead run at 70yds. It was a perfect heart shot and so immediate he literally did a nose stand, skidding across the grass. As I shot I heard Andri's .375 go off and assumed he was shooting at the same one as me. I looked up and Andri hollered that one was going behind us. I turned and shot just as Andri jumped around and fired. We watched the pig cartwheel 3 times before coming to a rest. I reached down and high 5'd Andri, then got out of the truck and headed towards the big pig. Andri hollered over that there was another one in the area, and sure enough about 50yds to the side was another dead pig. This was the one Andri had fired at while I dropped the big one, meaning we had managed to get 4 of the 5 pigs in a total of about 3 minutes of hot shooting. Now I have no illusions to this being a hunt- it was pest control, but it sure was fun! We had bullets and pigs flying everywhere, and everyone was laughing and smiling. This is when I really came to appreciate the suppressors on both rifles. Between us we had fired probably 15rds between the 2 events, in close proximity to each other with .300 WSM and .375 H&H. Neither of us experienced any discomfort or issues with hearing after this.
Once we loaded all the warthogs we set out after the springbok. After all that shooting they were in constant motion once we found again found them. Andri talked me through the mess of animals to which was the male we were after. Once I had him in the scope he kept constantly moving further to my left which caused me to have to reset and I lost which one he was. After finally finding him again I realized he had squatted down to mark his territory. I knew this was likely to be my best shot even with him him basically facing me. I lined up on the crease on the left of his chest as he was slightly angled and squeezed off the shot. It hit right where I wanted and exited just ahead of the offside back leg. Andri said great shot, then ranged him at 300yds! That was my best shot of the trip and the furthest I have ever shot anything. Pretty good considering at that angle I had about a 4in. target!View attachment 159205 View attachment 159206 View attachment 159207After the mornings excitement we had a lot of animals to take care of. Once done at the meat room we headed back to the orange pile. Again only the cow and calf showed. The Kudu bulls really seem to hate hot, windy weather!
Having taken all my animals, we met up with Beans from Tootabi, who happens to be good friends with Andri, for another try at Kudu for meat. I was setup overlooking a large field with a ridge along the back. Shortly before the drivers started I watched a herd of cows working down the ridge, but no bulls. It wasn't too long before they heard the drivers and it was interesting to watch how they moved in relation to the line of guys. Initially they took off at a trot away from them as expected. But they then just held still until the line got close to them. Once it did they cut back across and stopped where the furthest guy from them was. As he changed direction and headed straight for them, they only went into a small bit of bush and hid. It wasn't until he was right on them that they then bolted about 50yds to a big patch of thick brush. I never saw them come out of it, ever when one of the guys went thru it. My guess is they were slowly circling away but staying in the same patch just continually working around it. Gave me a new respect for how smart these animal can be. It was a very cool show.
For the afternoon Andri dropped me off at Scotia reserve. This was one of the highlights of the trip, with many cool sightings. It was here I got to see mountain reed buck, which they said they hardly ever see, as well as the king stud of Nyala, that left me wishing I had hunted them after all. Also had my first close up encounter with a huge male lion, that was none too happy we interrupted his post meal nap. They had a very cool boma,which is huge, that they served dinner at. We then we went out with spotlights to see the night life. Very worthwhile trip!View attachment 159209 View attachment 159210 View attachment 159211 View attachment 159212
This was my last day and we decided to give it one more try for Kudu. We went to a new property and saw many cows as we drove but no bulls. This was supposed to be for a church fundraiser and they wanted to get a bull to get the most meat. It just wasn't happening however, so Andri phoned the landowner, who said we could shoot 2 cows instead, but it had to be on the other side of the property. After driving for almost a half hour we got to the area he had said and located some in a small patch of bush. We circled around and Andri got me setup where he thought they would come out. He, Michael and the dogs went around to try and jump them. It wasn't long before DeeDee his female dog started barking like crazy and I could hear the thundering hooves of a running kudu. I got ready and a cow burst out of the bush with the dog right on her tail. They were about 70 yards out and I swung and shot, dropping it. As I was walking to it another cow came barrelling out into the open. I should never have shot at this one, but I just reacted and pulled up, offhand, with no rest at all and shot, dropping this one too- at 200yds on a dead run. I will freely admit the luck in this one and am just glad it ended well! So concluded my hunt and time in Africa. After dropping off the Kudu we went back to the lodge and I started packing to leave. Dinner was again good, but bittersweet as we said our goodbyes. We had become good friends (In my mind atleast) in a very short time and I was sad to be leaving.
I can honestly say this is one of two times in my life that were was close to perfect as can reasonably be expected. I honestly don't know if Andri made any money from me being there, as he was so set on making sure I had a great time, he kept adding things on. I had gone there planning to go after 4 animals and came out with 9! I had so many great experiences I had never hoped to get, it is almost hard to believe it was real. Though they were park/ reserve animals, I never thought I'd be 6-12 FEET from fully grown lions, cape buffalo, rhino and elephant. These things are huge and truly magnificent. Most people think Andri only does lion, buffalo, and elephant hunts, but he is equally as good with plains game and has access to millions of acres with great trophy quality. His home is in the East cape but he has areas all over the place to hunt and can cater to just about anything. One of the things I found the most interesting with how he does things is the fact that he won't mix hunters- meaning he only takes groups of friends and family but will not have 2 different groups in at the same time, even though he has the PH's and lodging for 16 people. He truly cares about his clients and their experience in Africa, and is willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen. Andri truly is one of the greats in Africa, and one of the best PH's you could ever hope for. His wife Erica is a great cook and makes sure you are very comfortable during your stay. The 2 of them together make a great team and you feel like part of the family. Since Andri travels a lot and is busy most times, he doesn't get on here as much as he would like. If you message him and don't get a quick response you can feel free to contact me and I will get in touch with him via whatsapp to pass along your info. If you just want more info on him and his place also feel free to contact me. I'm sure Eric ( @gizmo ) on here would be willing to talk as well since he had a great hunt with Andri too. No one should have any worries or hesitation when looking to book with @Andri Fox Safaris as they will more than get their moneys worth and likely one of the best experiences in Africa with him. As you can tell from the length of this report, I simply cannot say enough good about Andri and Erica Fox!
Thanks, Eric. I figured you would be ok with me mentioning you, and between the 2 of us we should be able to get any interested parties in touch with him pretty quick, if he doesn't happen to be on the net that day! I enjoyed meeting Beans and he seemed like a good guy to me. I would definitely call Andri a good friend now, and would be proud if he felt the same about me!Awesome buddy and I'm glad you had a great time! Andri is an awesome PH and a wonderful friend. I absolutely don't mind talking to anyone if that want more info and I can generally get ahold of him within an hour or two if need be by calling him. I'm glad you had a great hunt and Beans is certainly an outstanding ph and friend also.
I am very happy with all the animals I got, but each one was literally the first mature male we came across. That shows the quality Andri has there, imagine if I had been picky what we could have gotten! As stated in the report, I saw many larger examples of each species after having filled my quota. This didn't bother me one bit however, as it was my request to shoot the first good one we sawFantastic write up! Trophies all look great to me, and I think anyone would have them on their wall. Glad you go to live out a dream!
Glad people are getting something out of it! I am no writer, there are certainly better story tellers on here, but I did my best. Owed atleast that much to Andri for everything he did to make sure I had the best time possible.Albert, many thanks for sharing your African experience with us, and letting us live vicariously through your writings.