SOUTH AFRICA: Incredible First Safari With Limcroma Safaris

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by Ross Reamy, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. Ross Reamy

    Ross Reamy AH Member

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    Location: Thabazimbi, Limpopo, South Africa
    Outfitter: Limcroma Safaris
    Hunters: Myself (Ross Reamy) Wife (Dana), Wife’s Uncle (Gil)
    PH: Henno Smit
    Trackers: Andres
    Cameraman: Bruwer – Bush Bro. Productions
    Manager/Owner: Hannes Els
    Dates: May 19-29, 2017
    Area hunted: Thabazimbi, Limpopo; Vaalwater, Limpopo; Swartruggens, North West
    Rifle: .308 Win – Remington 700 AAC-SD topped with Swarovski Z5 3.5-18X44 w/ Yankee Hill LT Suppressor, Weatherby Ultra Lightweight Mark V w/ Leupold VXL 3.5-10X50, both shooting handloaded 168 Barnes TTSX at 2600 FPS
    Animals taken: Myself: Impala, Common Blesbok, Black Mamba, Jackal, Blue Wildebeest, Gemsbok, Zebra, Black Wildebeest

    Dana: White Blesbok, Red Hartebeest, Kudu, Springbok

    Gil: Sable, Black Impala, Steenbok, Zebra

    Additional Animals seen: Nyala, Waterbuck, Ostrich, Cape Eland, Cape Buffalo, Hippo, Giraffe, Limpopo Bushbuck, Sable, Bat-earred Fox, Duiker, Aardvark, Aardwolf, Boom Slang, Vervet Monkey, Warthog, Tsessebe, Brown Hyena, Honey Badger, Civet, Spring Hare


    Hunting in Africa has always been a dream of mine, ever since I was a young child, so I made myself a promise that I would make that dream a reality before the age of 40. My dad and I planned on going together, and it was something we talked about many times. Thanks to my dad, I've got what some may classify as an unhealthy obsession with the outdoors, guns, and hunting, and I thank God every day that my dad ignited that passion/obsession at a very early age. So, of course the conversation of hunting the “Dark Continent” got brought up hundreds of times, in deer stands, duck blinds, deer lease road trips, etc…


    Well, skip forward 20 something years, life was starting to make some drastic changes. Some for the better, but one major life event brought my dreams of ever hunting Africa with my dad to a screeching halt. 2015 started off great, I married the girl of my dreams, Dana, on the beach in Mexico surrounded by our family and friends, someone that shares my passion for hunting and the outdoors in general, life was great. But on November 1, 2015 my great happy life was turned completely upside down, I unexpectedly lost my dad, my best/favorite hunting buddy. I was completely lost of course at first, but as events like this will sometimes do, it completely changed my outlook on life, and I like to think for the better in that regard.


    There would be no more just talk, we were going to start making these big adventures realities. Life is way too short, and as I learned, the ones you love can be gone in the blink of an eye, fortunately you’ve got memories, but you’ve also got regrets of not doing some things that you wish you would have made time for. So, at the 2016 DSC show, after a short discussion with Hannes we booked a safari with Limcroma Safaris for May 2017, at the suggestion of Tim McManus. Tim is a representative for Limcroma, and good friends with my wife’s uncle, Gil, so I had complete faith that everything would be to my liking. Gil had hunted in South Africa 3 years prior, and would be joining us on this hunt as well. It was comforting having someone going with some experience.


    The months dragged by but luckily Africahunting.com made the wait bearable getting to read all the hunting reports and just picking up all kinds of knowledge of hunting Africa in general. I also enjoyed reading basically all Ruark and Capstick’s books on the subject.


    Finally, May 17th arrived, the day of our departure. We flew Delta from Dallas to Atlanta, then hopped on that lovely 15 some odd hour Delta 200 flight. I’m not going to church it up, that flight absolutely sucked but knowing I’d be hunting Africa soon made it all worthwhile. We used Riflepermits.com’s VIP and rifle permit services, can’t brag on them enough. A young man met us as soon as we got off the plane, walked us straight to the front of the customs line, got our bags and took us to Anna, who then made the rifle permits process absolutely effortless. From there we went to the Afton Guest House, settled our bill, and went straight to bed exhausted. The Afton has recently changed hands, but we experienced zero issues, and enjoyed the great breakfast. Around 9 my wife and I’s PH from Limcroma, Henno, picked us all up and we began the roughly 4-hour drive to Limcroma’s lodge. Henno was a standup guy from the get go, and he answered all our silly questions on the drive in that I’m sure he’s answered hundreds of times. We stopped in Thabazimbi for fuel, and I mentioned to Henno I really wanted to try some biltong so we stopped at the local butcher shop and he picked some up for us. Talk about addicting, it makes you want to throw our US jerky in the trash. About an hour or so outside of Thabazimbi we arrive at Limcroma’s newest lodge, and we’re all impressed at the accommodations. We’re greeted by Thespina, the lodge’s exceptional chef, with a drink and a quick bite of lunch. After lunch we get changed into hunting clothes and head to the rifle range to see how bad the airlines handled our cases. Dana and I both brought 308s, my Remington 700 AAC-SD with Yankee Hill LT suppressor topped with a Swarovski Z5 3.5-18X44 and my dad’s Weatherby Mark V Ultra Lightweight topped with a Leupold VXL 3.5-10x50, both shooting hand loaded 168 gr. Barnes TTSX traveling 2600 FPS. My rifle needed to be moved 2” left but the Weatherby was right where we left it. Gil’s rifle was a custom 300 WSM with a Proof carbon barrel, Silencerco Harvest can, all topped with a Leupold VX6, his rifle was on as well. I forgot to mention we elected to have our hunt filmed, so we’re introduced to our cameraman Bruwer, super nice guy who worked his butt off getting all our shots on film.


    After the range Dana, myself, Henno, Bruwer, and our tracker Andres all pile into the bakkie and head out for our first afternoon hunt. To say we’re excited would be a tremendous understatement… We’re not on the farm 5 minutes and we begin seeing animals, impala, eland, kudu, you name it. We around a corner and spot some gemsbok and decide to put on a stalk, but ended up getting busted by some giraffe. We play cat and mouse with some more gemsbok, blue wildebeest, and impala but they’re either too young or give us the slip. No problem, this day has been amazing without even pulling the trigger on an animal.

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  2. reedy0312

    reedy0312 AH Ambassador

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    Looking forward to more and some pics!
     
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  3. Ross Reamy

    Ross Reamy AH Member

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    Day 2 begins with an excellent breakfast prepared by Thespina, our first African sunrise in the bush and we’re quickly on the road to begin our first full day of hunting. We travel to a farm not far from the lodge, and begin stalking thru a rather open field near the front gate. During the stalk, I hear one of the most impressive sounds I’ve ever heard in the wild, the grunt of an impala ram. I’ll never forget that sound. I thought it was cool enough just to hear it, but Henno says to get on the sticks just in case. As luck would have it, this impala ram comes barreling out of the brush and spots us and freezes, Henno says to take him. All I have is a frontal shot, and there’s a T post exactly where I want to shoot, so I pull just right of the post and send a 168 grain Barnes TTSX thru his boiler room. Having a suppressor helps to hear the thud of the bullet impacting. I’m confident in the shot, but of course I’m nervous watching him run thru the brush. But my nervousness was unfounded, as Andres finds him piled up not 50 yards from where he stood. My first African animal is officially in the salt, and I couldn’t have been more proud. I was even able to recover the bullet which was lodged in the hide just in front of the hind quarter, the picture perfect Barnes with all petals attached. We take some great photos and continue hunting, as it’s not even 7AM yet. Henno tells me there’s some white blesbok on this property if I’m interested, while I wasn’t planning on a white I did want a common, but what the hell, if we see a nice white we’ll try to take him (he may have taken advantage of me in a moment of euphoria! Haha). We drive around for an hour or so and spot a heard of common blesbok and quietly slip off the bakkie and make a stalk. The wind is right and we get within 75 yards of the herd of both common and whites, I get on the sticks aiming at a white but a huge common slips out and I get settled on him, he instantly drops at the shot and the rest of the herd freezes, I reload but the nicest white isn’t in a clearing for shot. Animal #2 and we’ve barely been hunting an hour, just incredible. We set him up for some pictures and continue on. We see a beautiful sable as we’re driving around. After another couple hours, we spot 2 white blesbok rams and get off the bakkie for a stalk. Somehow my wife has decided she needs to be on the rifle this time, so of course I don’t object. The 2 rams we originally saw don’t cooperate but slowly make their way back to a larger heard of blesbok, we play cat and mouse for a while, the wind isn’t great, but we’re persistent and Dana finally gets on the sticks for a shot. The ram walks into a clearing and she smokes him with a double lung shot. He runs dead on his feet 50 yards and he’s done. So proud of my wife on her first African trophy. What a morning this has been! After pictures we decide to call it a morning as it’s starting to warm up. We drop the animals off at the cleaning shed and head back to the lodge for a wonderful lunch and nap. We head back out around 3:30 for the afternoon hunt. As we’re driving around the farm hunting, suddenly Andres slams on the brakes, “mamba” he yells! Henno says to shoot him, so I aim for center mass and let her rip. The snake quits moving, so I’m confident I’ve hit him good. So Henno climbs down to investigate, somehow I’ve not only hit his body but a TTSX completely took off his head. (I missed my chance to brag here, should’ve said of course I was aiming for the head, but after reviewing the video he happened to swing his head the instant I went to shoot…) Henno gives him another one from his .357 for good measure, you could tell these guys take these snakes seriously, just as I do our rattle snakes. After that excitement we’re back on the hunt and it isn’t too long before we spot a really nice red hartebeest ram and decide to give him a go. Somehow Dana has claimed this trophy as well so I’m just an observer but it was a great stalk. The wind isn’t perfect so we take our time and fortunately the ram takes a turn which makes the wind situation more preferable. We ease up to him but he’s walking away and I’m not sure we can catch up, but again lady luck smile upon us, and he simply turns around and starts walking our direction. Dana gets on the sticks and lets him get as close as we dare, maybe 50 yards, and he stops and stares our direction offering a quartering to frontal shot. Dana puts a TTSX on the point of the shoulder, he walks 5 steps, and is down for good. What a strange looking but beautiful animal. Of course, we get some great pics, and then continue hunting. We see a lot more of the animals we’ve already taken except for right at last light we spot something in the road, jackal! He’s close to 175 yards out so I lean hard on the truck bench and dial up the Swaro, and smoke him right in the chest. What an end to our incredible first day in Africa!

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  4. reedy0312

    reedy0312 AH Ambassador

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    I'd say you had a helluva first day!!!
     
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  5. Ross Reamy

    Ross Reamy AH Member

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    Day 3 begins the same, wonderful breakfast and a wonderful sunrise. We’re headed to another farm today and kudu is on the brain. Somehow Dana claimed this trophy as soon as we booked the hunt, so I’d be an observer today as well. We drive around a while without seeing much more than warthog and waterbuck. But we head to a different area of the farm and spot some kudu cows, Henno says there should be a bull with him, and sure enough Dana spots him. She notices his ears first, then we all see he’s a very nice bull. The hunt is on! They slip into the brush so we try to get in front of them. We find them again but they give us the slip, I completely understand the term ‘grey ghost’ now. We’d see them for a second but he wouldn’t be clear for a shot or we couldn’t tell if there was more than one bull or not. They then literally disappeared on us. We even sent Andres around them to see if he can spook them our way, no luck. I pretty much give up on them at this point. We get back in the bakkie and suddenly spot them in an area they shouldn’t have even been able to get to without us seeing yet there they are, we drive pass them, get resituated in the truck and drive back by. Right as Dana is about to shoot they begin to move again. We head towards where they’re heading and spot the cows but no bull. Suddenly he steps out behind the cows, talk about a majestic sight! Dana gets on Henno’s shoulder to take the shot right at 200 yards, we hear the thud of a good hit and he runs off out of sight in the opposite direction of the cows. The grass is long where he’s standing so we have a hard time finding blood or tracks, but Andres being the tracker he is finds a tiny speck of blood and we’re back in business. I’ve got a lot of confidence in Dana’s shooting but must admit I was a little nervous being such a quick shot at that range but again I had worried for nothing. We find him 60 yards from where he stood with a perfect double lung shot exiting thru the opposite shoulder. I knew they were beautiful animals, but pictures don’t do them justice like being able to put my hands on one in the flesh. We were very fortunate to have gotten such a wonderful trophy so early in the hunt, as it turns out we’d need all the extra time we could get. We call it a morning and head back to the lodge.

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    For the afternoon hunt we hunt the property that the lodge is situated on. We see lots of game of course and make a few stalks but either get busted or the animals are young. One particular stalk was really special though, right at last light we’re stalking down the side of a road and finally ease out into the road and get on the sticks. We’re checking out some zebra and gemsbok, but all in the same road is hartebeest, jackal, warthogs, just an abundance of game. We ease out and get back on the bakkie for a few more minutes, Andres hears a porcupine while driving but he gave us the slip. We finally head back to the lodge and have another incredible meal.
     
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  6. Ross Reamy

    Ross Reamy AH Member

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    haha No doubt, couldn't imagine it being any more perfect than it was. Truly a once in a lifetime experience.
     
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  7. reedy0312

    reedy0312 AH Ambassador

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    Nice kudu! Yeah you might have had the day of all first days in Africa for a first timer!
     
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  8. Ross Reamy

    Ross Reamy AH Member

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    Day 4 begins a little earlier as we’re hunting a property 45 minutes from the lodge, so after a light breakfast we’re on the road around 6am. I was shocked at the difference of the property just a short drive away, it was almost identical to my deer lease near San Angelo after the last few years of good rains. Short thorn brush and thick grass, only difference being this is sand instead of rocks. We’ll be on this property all day so we packed a lunch and some chairs for a midday sit around a waterhole. After dropping the chairs off, we almost immediately see a huge lone blue wildebeest bull and get down for a stalk. He knows something is up but curiosity almost led to his demise, as we’re stalking in he’s staring us down from 200 yards but we can’t get a shot at his vitals, he’s huffing at us but doesn’t leave. As we’re maneuvering for a better shot angle, an impala ram starts blowing at us as well and this is too much for our bull and he eases away. We get back on the bakkie and in no time, spot another herd of wildebeest, we drive past and get down for another stalk attempt. We ease up on them without them spooking but they’re in a really thick clump of brush and there’s no shot besides a head/neck shot. I stand ready on the sticks for at least 20 minutes when they finally start easing toward a clearing that would allow for a perfect shot. The wind hasn’t been great while we’ve been waiting but just as they begin to move I feel it hit the back of neck and legs and off they go. Well after that defeat we load back up and it isn’t 5 minutes when we run into a completely different herd of 20 bulls and cows. I get on the bench of the truck and wait for Henno’s call as to which one to take, he says the bull on the far right, so I swing far right, find a rest, put the crosshairs on the point of the shoulder as he’s angling towards us and squeeze. He bucks at the shot and runs for cover, I’m confident in the shot and he’s not running full speed despite their reputation for being tough. We get down, discuss the shot, and start looking for sign. Andres finds the tracks, then a short time later good blood, and 60 yards later we’re standing on top of my bull. What a huge, beautiful animal with his worn down horn tips and brindled hide. This animal was ever more special to me because I took him with my dad’s favorite rifle. We finally got African blood on the Weatherby, I know he’s proud. We take some great pics and drag the beest back to the truck utilizing the tarp I’ve gotten so familiar with, and I quickly realize just how big this sucker is as my out of shape self gets winded pretty quick…


    After getting him loaded and us rehydrated we’re back on the hunt. Nothing peaks our interest too much and we decide to stop for lunch overlooking a waterhole that a farm worker has been seeing some gemsbok at. Andres will take the beest to the onsite cooling room, to cape and quarter him while we eat lunch. While enjoying some kind of really tasty sandwich on a hotdog bun we watch wildebeest and impala come drink and eat but the gemsbok are a no show. We start getting restless and decide to drive around some more and create opportunity instead of letting it come to us. We immediately start seeing game, including many gemsbok youngsters and a herd of zebra that gets us excited but also gives us the slip. While driving, we encounter a monster waterbuck bull that gets both Henno and Bruwer excited, and I contemplate adding him to our “list”, but decide we better save him for next trip. We continue on and I’m beginning to wonder if we’ll encounter a shooter gemsbok or not, and somewhat wishing we’d have taken one of the bulls earlier. But Henno knew what he was doing. We near a waterhole and a monster gemsbok bull slips towards the safety of the bush, but makes that fatal mistake of stopping for one last look at what spooked him. The sun is directly behind him, so I don’t have the clearest sight picture, but I come up the leg what I think is the right amount and squeeze. We hear that loud slap that only comes when using a suppressor, and he runs off. I feel confident in the shot, but that feeling of doubt is hard to shake. We ease toward where he has standing and look for sign. Andres spots the tracks, then blood, and not 50 yards later my bull. What a day this has been! This is the animal I’ve looked most forward to taking even before booking this hunt, and what a fine representative he is. He’s got a huge body and heavy horns, what a trophy. My shot was perfect, right thru the shoulder and heart.


    After getting some great pics in the sunset light and a Castle Lite toast we get back on the bakkie, clearly on cloud nine after this great day of success. Dana being one to thrive on success and excess pops off, “…wouldn’t it be cool if we were able to get a zebra on the way in”, and the three of us guys just kind of laugh it off. Well as luck would have it as we’re driving I spot a zebra silhouette in the road 300 yards or so away, Henno doesn’t even have his binos, so I grab them from Andres in the truck for him and he quickly determines it’s a shootable zebra but we want to get closer. As we ease up we quickly determine it’s a herd and there’s a really nice stallion that we need to take. They spook and starting running for cover, but again as luck would have it the stallion stops for one last look. The first day of the hunt Henno mentioned the Barnes TTSX does well thru small brush, well I took that to heart and decided to take the shot knowing I was shooting at the shoulder with brush covering it. We hear the slap we’re getting accustomed to hearing and off they go. Henno listens and thinks he hears the stallion fall, but we’re not sure. As we get off the truck to track I walk to where he was standing and sure enough, there’s a ¾” limb with a perfect .30 caliber hole thru it. I must admit I was a little nervous but still confident. We immediately pick up the tracks and good blood, not 75 yards later we find him. What a beautiful animal, I’ve seen them all my life here and there but until I put my hand on this dark stallion on African soil I’d never given them the respect they deserve. Just perfect animals, the stripes different on every one like our fingerprints. What a special moment and what an incredible day. Dana and I are beside ourselves, we can’t get over how her little comment about the zebra actually came true. It was great, because you could tell Henno & Bruwer were excited about how the day had went, hell even Andres was cracking a smile. What a day. We had to do a little rearranging to get everything in the back of the bakkie for the 45-minute ride back to the lodge. As became customary in the evening, we jammed some good ol Texas country on the way back. We got back to the lodge, ate a wonderful meal, and sat around the fire pit enjoying plenty Castle Lites.

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  9. Ross Reamy

    Ross Reamy AH Member

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    Day 5 was very special to me because it was Dana and I’s second wedding anniversary and I couldn’t imagine a more appropriate place for us to celebrate the occasion. After yesterday’s incredible hunt, we decided to sleep in on our special day and had a wonderful breakfast around 9am. Thespina even made us special heart shaped omelets and toast, along with mimosas. After breakfast, we took it easy around the lodge, had a great lunch, then around 3pm we headed towards a property on the Crocodile River. We were on the lookout for warthog, monkeys, or baboons. We spotted some monkeys but couldn’t get a good enough look to determine if it was a male or not so we passed. We then drove to a beautiful spot overlooking the river where Henno really made our anniversary day special. We had a light picnic on the banks of the Crocodile River, and Thespina even made us some homemade sangria (the best Dana’s ever had). We took a round of Amarula shots to celebrate and enjoyed all kinds of great sweets and snacks including droewors, fig preserves, cream cheese with the ever popular sweet chili sauce and other good stuff. Everything was just perfect with the sunset and the hippos in the background, I couldn’t have imagined a more enjoyable way of celebrating our special day and I especially want to thank the Limcroma team for making the effort for us. We went back to the lodge, had another incredible meal, time around the fire and headed to bed for the next adventure.

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  10. Ross Reamy

    Ross Reamy AH Member

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    Day 6 had us up extra early because today we would be making a 4hr journey to the North West Province in search of black wildebeest and springbok. It was very interesting to watch the terrain change while at the same time getting to witness another fabulous South African sunrise. We stopped for fuel in Swartruggens and then a short drive later we were at the hunting area. Our shooting had been excellent up to this point, something I take a lot of pride in considering I’m a self-diagnosed gun nut, so I thought Henno might be exaggerating when he said to bring plenty of ammo for this hunt, well turns out he was right… We hadn’t been on the property 5 minutes when we drive up on a herd of springbok and decide there’s a shooter ram in the group. Just as we’d suspected they start looking at the truck around the 400-yard mark, start walking around 300, and haul ass once you’re 200 or so from them. They stopped and gave us a look at 200 yards but Dana couldn’t get comfortable for a shot and they ran off. No worries, not 5 minutes later we spot another shooter ram. Dana takes her first shot at 275 yards and shoots high, then another miss, the springbok then runs towards us and she connects at 200. We quickly get over to the ram so we can experience the smell I’ve read so much about, and just as Henno described, it smells like cotton candy. Slowly the hair falls back to its normal position. So cool and special to see and smell it in person.


    Springbok down, now time for black wildebeest. I see a huge herd of something in the distance and just think it’s black cows, nope that would be wildebeest. It was a scene you’d see in National Geographic. We ease towards the herd and they start getting antsy, we see some bulls on the edge of the herd and decide one is a shooter. I get comfortable and in my head range him at 400 yards, I put the 400-yard mark on my Swaro BRH reticle on his heart and squeeze. He drops instantly at the shot; I think for a second well this didn’t take long. I’ve never been so wrong before in my life... He begins to attempt to get up, and finally gets back on his feet and runs like there’s no tomorrow. Turns out he was closer to 300 yards and I hit him high in ‘no man’s land’, stunning him initially but no worse for wear after he regained his footing. Well the highs I’d been experiencing just came to a crashing low. No one enjoys making a bad shot on an animal, especially one you’ve made a 4hr journey to hunt and had really looked forward to. We pursue our bull and he does exactly what we don’t want him to do, join a herd of other bulls. We phone the owner of the ranch and update him, he tells Henno the herd should kick him out once they smell the blood, what an incredible herd defense mechanism. We study the herd from a distance trying to find him, but it’s incredibly hard to see quickly drying blood on a black animal. Deflated, we decide to take Dana’s springbok to the cooling room, have a bite of lunch, and go back to find our bull. On the way, we spot a herd of red hartebeest with one black wildebeest among them, strange. We ease closer and the beest takes off like a bat out of hell but we can’t tell he’s injured and sure can’t see any blood but we’ve got a hunch it’s our guy. We follow him to a clump of trees and get out for a stalk, Andres stays at the bakkie to see if he goes to either side of the brush. We get all the way to the only clump of bush in sight and he's mysteriously vanished. So again, we got to take Dana’s springbok and again we spot a wildebeest in with the hartebeest!


    After gutting/caping the springbok we get serious. We stalk towards the hartebeest and the wildebeest goes in an all out run, we get back on the bakkie, and he begins to run back to the hartebeest, his path will take him within 100 yards of us but it will be a running shot because he has no intentions of stopping. I get ready for a shot and as he comes by my sporting clays skills take over, I match his speed, swing ahead and squeeze. He rolls to a halt; I’d like to think it was all skill but there was no doubt some luck involved. I’m so happy we’re able to finish the job I started this morning, and give the animal the respect he deserves. It’s not the way I would have ever preferred a hunt to go, but if you hunt long enough you’re going to have some shots that don’t go according to plan. I appreciate everyone involved sticking to business and accomplishing what we set out to do. We were all mentally and physically exhausted, and that 4-hour drive back on some of the roughest roads I’ve ever been on didn’t help... But we safely made it back to the lodge in time for supper and decided we’d sleep in a little the next day.

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  11. Ross Reamy

    Ross Reamy AH Member

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    Day 7 began like all the rest with a wonderful breakfast prepared by Thespina. After breakfast, we took a quick down to the river to look for warthog and primates but no luck there. We head to the skinning shed and pick up a drum full of guts for bait. We come back to the lodge and get our gear packed up, we’re heading to the Vaalwater region to pursue the elusive bushpig. This is Henno’s hometown and we can tell he’s excited to hunt the area, which was special. I should mention Dana was just as excited, if not more, for the pigs as she was her kudu ever since booking this hunt. We hog hunt a lot at home and she’s got huge plans of having three different species of pigs mounted above our kitchen cabinets… We stop for a nice lunch in town, then get settled into where we’ll be spending the night. It was/is a huge cattle ranch, which now has cottages available for rent. A really special place with an incredible view. We change clothes and head to the bush pig blind right down the road, we dump the guts (pretty rough!) and get settled into the blind (which had an awesome view by the way) for the wait until dark. Henno said to bring plenty of clothes, and I thought he was being a wuss, turns out it gets colder at night in Vaalwater than it does in Thabazimbi! Glad we listened and brought plenty clothes! The bushpig had been on camera every night between 6-8pm. Everything on our hunt up to this point had went just as planned, but the bushpig hadn’t gotten that memo. We sat till 10pm, but saw nothing except a civet which was still cool. We got up the following morning to see if any warthog would come to the pile, no luck there either. We went back to the cottage where Henno and Bruwer cooked us up an awesome breakfast, then just took it easy until around 4:30 when we would head back out for another bushpig blind sit. Well this was a repeat of the night before, no bushpig. Dana was disappointed but she completely understands it’s hunting, not shooting. We call it quits at 10pm and make the long drive back to the lodge, pulling in around midnight, all exhausted and defeated.

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  12. Ross Reamy

    Ross Reamy AH Member

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    Day 8 began with an early 7am breakfast even though we didn’t get in until midnight. We would head back down to the river in hopes our luck would change with the pigs and primates. We saw a lot of young warthog, just no trophies. Also, got to see the hippo again, along with plenty of bushbuck. The monkeys gave us the slip and we heard some baboon but never got to see them. On the way back to the truck Henno tells Dana he has a plan B for bushpig, and that it’s a long shot but worth a try. They’ve been seeing some bushpig near the lodge so they would sit on a gut pile until 2-3am and see what came in. Me being the borderline narcoleptic I am decided I would let Dana have at it, and I would ride around with her uncle Gil and his PH Aart for the evening hunt. Gil and Aart had been hunting hard for a nyala on the property the lodge is situated on, so it was enjoyable getting to join in on that. Also, I told Aart if we saw any decent warthog boar that I would definitely take him. We didn’t get a warthog but did see the nyala and what a beauty he was, but just as he had done for several days, he gave us the slip again. We went back to the lodge for dinner, and then loaded up for a spotlight hunt, right up my alley! Right at camp we got to see some jackal, springhare, and civet. The jackal was too quick, we didn’t have the permit for civet, and my .308 probably would’ve evaporated the spring hare. On into the hunt we spot what Gil was specifically after, a monster steenbok. One shot later with his .300 WSM he was more than down. A great trophy, and such a cool little antelope. Dana says she got in around 3am but I sure didn’t hear her come in. Turns out they saw some warthog on the bait during the daylight but only young boars. They did get to see a honey badger and a brown hyena on the bait that night, but her nemesis the bushpig never made an appearance.


    I went ahead and posted the photos of Gil’s other trophies along with his huge Steenbok. I wish I could’ve have seen the sable up close, they sure are majestic animals on the hoof.

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  13. Ross Reamy

    Ross Reamy AH Member

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    Day 9 found us sleeping in because the rest of my group had such a long night. We ended up having breakfast around 9 then just hung out at the lodge until heading out for the evening hunt around 3pm. It was a kind of sad feeling knowing this would be my last afternoon hunt in Africa on this trip, but we’ve already been planning trip #2 for several days now. We’re hunting a property 2 farms back from the lodge, where there’s an old airstrip. As soon as we pull onto the airstrip we spot a very nice roan bull, what a majestic animal. This property is loaded with giraffe as well. We drive around just enjoying the day but don’t see any trophy warthog so we decide to get into a blind around 4:30 and sit until dark to see if a warthog will come to water. We aren’t in the blind any time, when a group of warthog come in and one of the boars looks good enough to me, but I’m no judge on trophy quality and Henno says he’s too young. We see several more groups, which was cool in itself because they were no more than 15 yards from us. But darkness comes and no trophy is to come in. I take a few moments to soak up my last African sunset and moon rise before climbing into the bakkie. We spotlight on the way out and see an African wild cat, which was special. We make it back to the lodge and enjoy our last incredible dinner prepared by Thespina and then stay out a little later around the fire pit enjoying everyone’s company.

    Day 10 begins as the others, great breakfast then off we go. We’re going to a place on the Crocodile River we haven’t yet been on in hopes of connecting on a pig. We see plenty youngsters and Dana gives a hail mary shot at a monkey but no luck. We get on the bakkie for one last drive before giving up on our pig/primate quest. Just as we’re about to call it quits a sow runs across the road, any other time I would have gotten on the scope to check her out and I don’t this time, as soon as she runs away a decent (last morning shooter for sure) boar steps into the road, but I don’t have that 2 seconds I need to get on the gun, and he slips under the neighboring property fence. I knew and warned Dana that the bushpig would be a challenge, but I sure underestimated the warthog, monkeys, and baboons. But that’s why they call it hunting, not to mention the whole experience has been one epic learning experience. We’ll get those pigs and primates next time come hell or high water!

    We head back to the lodge, handle the necessary paperwork, pack up our belongings and have a great lunch before getting in the bakkie one last time for that long road trip back to Joburg. We do take one detour in Thabazimbi to get some more biltong for the long haul! I cannot put into the words the appreciation I have for everyone associated with Limcroma Safaris. From the first conversation I had with Hannes in January 2016 to the moment Henno said goodbye at the Delta ticket counter everything has been absolutely outstanding! I personally want to thank Henno for putting up with our endless questions, Dana’s incessant desire to kill a pig, and my black wildebeest fiasco. I met Henno as a customer, but definitely felt as if we left as lifelong friends, and I can assure if the good lord is willing I will be back to hunt with him soon. I want to thank Bruwer for doing an exceptional job on filming our dream trip, and not missing a thing. So many of the shots happened so quickly and he was always at the ready, him being a PH himself it was like we were hunting with 2 PHs. He’s also a gun guy so we had great conversations about ballistics and all that useless knowledge guys like us thrive on. I’d also like to thank Andres for all his hard work, fortunately he didn’t have to track a whole lot, but he worked his butt off from before sunup to after sundown. Dana was happy we finally got him to crack a smile after the zebra was down… Again, everyone associated with Limcroma has been amazing to work with, and I recommend them wholeheartedly. I’d also like to thank Tim McManus with Safari Time Hunting for recommending Limcroma to begin with.


    As I mentioned earlier, hunting Africa has been a dream of mine for as long as I’ve been dreaming and I’m so thankful for everybody that made this dream a wonderful reality. I couldn’t have asked for someone better suited to share the experience with than Dana, she hunted her butt off and was rewarded with some beautiful animals and some memories that we’ll cherish forever. I most definitely “married up” and consider myself so fortunate to have found someone that shares my passion for the outdoors, and someone I truly look forward to spending the rest of my life with.


    If you’re on the fence about hunting Africa, do yourself a favor and make it happen. We worked our butts off, saved the money we needed to do it, and don’t regret one single thing about the entire adventure. It’s a lot of money no doubt, but when you break it down per animal and then add in the experience itself, it’s a bargain. Like I said earlier, we’ll be back to hunt with Limcroma soon no questions asked.

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  14. Mike B

    Mike B AH Veteran

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    sounds like tons of fun!!
     
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  15. rinehart0050

    rinehart0050 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Great report! Great trophies! Reading about your time at Limcroma brought back fond memories of our own first safari last year.

    Also nice seeing more US hunters bringing their suppressors along. I was a bit nervous before our trip, but didn't run into any issues and really appreciated not needing to wear hearing protection the whole time.
     
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  16. reedy0312

    reedy0312 AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for sharing and congrats!
     
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  17. cagkt3

    cagkt3 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Great stuff and congrats!
     
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  18. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Great trophies!!! The Africa hunting addiction starts.........:whistle::whistle::whistle:
     
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  19. kathy

    kathy AH Fanatic

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    Awesome hunt. Forrest
     
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  20. Josh Neal

    Josh Neal AH Veteran

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    Great read! great pictures! 32 days and counting until my 1st Africa experience with Limcroma.
     

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