SOUTH AFRICA: Karoo Wild Safaris Hunting Report

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by Neale, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. Neale

    Neale AH Enthusiast

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    Location- Karoo Wild Safaris Eastern Cape
    PH and Outfitter- Victor Watson
    Dates- 9 - 23 may 2015
    Firearm- Ruger 77 280AI Leupold 4.5 -14 VX3

    I was going to write this report when the wet season set into my part of the world but we are currently experiencing below average in northern Australia. Therefore I decided to make a start and do it in installments. This text is taken from my diary notes so I appologise for some ramble.

    Well my mate and myself are on our way for our first hunting safari to Africa. Something I have dreamed about since I was a kid. We had been planning this trip for a couple of years and were in communication with Victor for over 18 months prior to our trip. We asked him many questions and were always promptly answered. We arrived in Johannesburg at 4.30 am and had no trouble clearing firearms. (The advantage of ariving at that time of day) We then took the 10.45 flight to Port Elizabeth.
    Victor met us on arrival and we were soon on the road and into the Eastern Cape countryside.

    Typical landscape we were to hunt
    [​IMG]


    We knew we were in the right area by the spoor signs
    [​IMG]

    A good give away was also this
    [​IMG]

    We arrived at Haaspoot lodge where we settled into our accomodation. It was a spectular setting for the lodge and very comfortable.

    View over Haaspoort lodge
    [​IMG]

    View from the accomodation

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Victor and his wife Lindsay were terrific hosts and we could not have asked for better.

    Our normal hunting back home is from a basic camp
    [​IMG]


    After we were settled into the lodge we went out in the afternoon to check the rifles and have a drive around.
    We sighted Waterbuck, Impala, Blesbok and Red Hartebeest.
    A few cold beers and a lovely meal and it was the end of day 1

    DAY 2

    After a restless night it was breakfast time and off hunting. We drove for a while an stopped in a dry creek bed and decided to walk along the creek. The objective was to maybe shoot a couple of cull animals first to get our eye in and gain some confidence. We had not gone too far when Victor spotted a young Nyala bull that had poor horn shape and he said that I could take as a cull. The Nyala was onto us and did not offer a shot so we continued along the creek and walked up a hill to get a bit of elevation and see if we could spot something. After glassing for a short while a good impala ram was spotted on the far side of some thick vegetation that grew along the creek. The ram was onto us and ran into the thick vegetation only to come out on our side and stopped in an open area. I lay down and set up for the shot. Victor called it a good ram. I was so nervous as this was my first African animal and it was a down hill shot at 220m. I tried to remember Kevin Robertsons " perfect shot placement". I squeezed the trigger and there was a thud and the ram took off back the way he had come. A cold feeling came over me but I was confident of the shot. We hurried down the hill and to the spot where the ram was standing. There was blood on the ground and it was not long until Mitchell ( Victors tracker and right hand man) found the ram in some thick vegetation about 40m from where he was shot. This was my animal taken as well as my first trophy and I was over the moon. So much for taking a couple of culls to settle the nerves.

    Impala Ram
    [​IMG]



    We hunted in the afternoon and took a cull impala ewe. It was the end of a memoriable day.

    Day 3

    We had breakfast and drove out to look for game. We had not travelled very far when Mitchell sighted some Blesbok feeding around the back side of a hill. Victor and I went around the other side and stalked into a position that provided us a view of the valley. We waited in position for the Blesbok. It seemed like we had been waiting for hours when Mitchell came over the radio to say that the blesbok were not moving very fast and some had even bedded down. Victor and I waited in position as some Hartebeest fed through the valley. It was not too long when the first of the Blesbok came into view. By this time my back was starting to ache as I was lying in a down hill position. A good Blesbok ram was in the mob and Victor said to take him when I had the opportunity. The 160 gr Northfork did the job and the ram went straight down at the shot. We loaded him up and back to the skinning shed. A good morning and another trophy.
    Later in the morning my mate Steve took a good Impala ram.

    Trophy #2 Blesbok
    [​IMG]

    To be continued as it takes forever to down load my photos
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2016

  2. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Great start on the hunt report! I still think blesbok are pretty, look at the hide, very nice.
     

  3. Tony Baker

    Tony Baker AH Member

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    Very nice mate.(y)
     

  4. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats and nice report!
     

  5. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Thank you fir sharing your hunting adventure!
     

  6. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Great start....:A Popcorn:
     

  7. Neale

    Neale AH Enthusiast

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    After taking a nice old Blesbok ram it was Steve's turn for an Impala. Steve had shot at but failed to take a cull impala the day before so his confidence was not a 100 percent. Victor and Steve walked around a hill and up a spur and could see some Impala feeding down in the valley. I stayed put and they moved forward to get into a shooting position. When the ram came into view it was a difficult shot through some vegetation. Steve lined up on the ram but his shot missed and the whole mob ran up the hill towards us. As they ran past Steve took a fast off-hand shot at the passing ram and took his first trophy. By this stage his confidence was pretty shattered as he is normally an excellent shot but things were not coming together. I really felt for him. It is amazing how much your mind can affect your performance. If I can offer any advice to the first timer to Africa it would be to make sure of your very first shot you take on the safari and if it does not feel 100 % comfortable then do not take the shot as the enjoyment for the rest of your safari depends on it.

    Steves Impala
    [​IMG]


    In the afternoon I went with Mitchell and Steve went with Victor to seperate ridge systems to wait and spot Kudu as they fed down from the hills. We waited in a suitable position concealed by some Speckboom. As the afternoon wore on we started to see a number of young Kudu bulls and cows on the ridge opposite. A couple of Hartebeest came out of the thick gully and fed into the open hillside. It was getting very cold with the sun setting and a strong breeze blowing so I was somewhat glad when Mitchell said that we will go back to the lodge for cold beer and a hot meal.

    Day 3

    This morning we travelled to another concession to hunt Kudu. We walked along the base of a hill that was covered with thick Speckboom. We had not travelled too far when Mitchell spotted Kudu up on the ridge. Victor and Steve moved forward but the Kudu were too far up the ridge and the cows were onto us. They eventually spooked and disappeared. This was to be repeated on a number of occassions that morning. We did put a couple of good stalks in on some young bulls and at one stage the head and horns of a good Kudu was sighted in the thick speckboom but no shot was possible. By this stage the morning was warming up and we decided to have lunch and head for another area on the same property.

    Lunchtime
    [​IMG]


    In the afternoon Mitchell and I walked up a valley system and Victor and Steve walked in another direction. The plan was to hunt up our respective areas and meet back at the vehicle. Mitchell and I walked for about an hour and topped a ridge and glassed the surrounding area. A kudu bull was spotted about a kilometer away so we started to stalk towards him for a better view. We managed to get within shooting distance but he was a young bull and had a bit more growing to do. Besides, we were seperated by the deepest, thickest,steepest valley and we would not have been able to recover him before dark. Michell and I decided to start walking back toward the vehicle. An hour or so later we heard two shots and some static on the radio. When mitchell and I eventually made our way out of the valley system we were able to contact Victor and he said that Steve had bagged a good Kudu and he was going back to get some help for the recovery. We walked out and got a lift back as Victor was returning with the vehicle. When we arrived back to Steve he explained that Victor and himself were waiting on a saddle in the ridge when they spotted some Kudu making their way along the edge. As they stalked to get a better shot a Kudu cow barked and Steve was once again presented with a less than ideal shot. He managed to pull off two running shots and had his Kudu. I was so pleased for him. His Kudu was a magnificant animal with a large body, swollen (in rut) neck and had a perfert cape. A fitting end to a perfect day.

    Steve' Kudu
    [​IMG]


    Day 4

    Today we travelled to Victors brother inlaws place which was about one and half hours drive. We had just pulled up when Mitchell spotted a Gemsbok at the edge of some thick Acacia.We used a drainage line as cover and stalked towards the gemsbok. We finally caught sight of him but he was young and not a shooter. As we continued along the acacia thicket we saw a small group of Springbok feeding in the semi open area. We decided to see if we could get closer for a shot. We managed to close the gap to about 100m and 4 Springbok werestill feeding. There was a reasonable ram and Victor said I should get ready. I lay down and set the rifle up on the bipod and waited for the ram to come into an open area. The 160gn accubond was on its way and I had a good Springbok to add to the collection.

    Common Springbok
    [​IMG]


    The rest of the day we spent trying to stalk Gemsbok without success. It was a good day and the landscape in this part of the Karoo was magnificent. It was back to the lodge for more beer and another lovely meal. I think I am putting on a few extra pounds.

    Day 5

    With breakfast finished we travelled south to a property to hunt black Springbok.We drove to an area that was fairly open and started to stalk a small group of springbok. The lack of cover and the large number of springbok in the area made stalking them extremely frustrating. We decide to walk up a small ridge that gave us some cover but could not get close enought for a shot. The area was open grassland unlike the rocky hills we had been hunting for the last few days. A new plan was devised. Victor and I were to wait on a small rise and Mitchell was to drive to the opposite end of the property and hopefully the springbok would settle down near us or at least if they ran they may come within range.
    As we waited a few rams were headed in our direction. I set the rifle on the bipods and as the lead ram stopped at about 230m I sent an accubond on its way. The ram tookoff and ran about 50m and fell over dead. Springbok 2 of my list list.

    Black Springbok
    [​IMG]


    After the springbok was caped we drove to another property and had lunch on an elevated hill overlooking a large expanse below. It was the perfect lunch camp and allowed us to glass the area below. After lunch we continued to glass the area and spotted a dark body Nyala bull. Victor and I made our way down the hill and into the thick vegetation. It looked a whole lot better from up on the hill. It wasn't too long before we realised that for us to see a Nyala in this vegetation was a real challenge. We continued to stalk through the area and did see a couple of nyala ewes. Eventually we came out into the open and made our way back up the hill to our lunch spot.
    We continued to glass the area below when a magnificent Kudu bull was spotted following a cow that was in season. Victor and I immediately skirted around the side of the hill to get into a shooting position. The speckboom was very thick and made our stalk difficult. We were just getting into position when the cow with bull in pursuit made it into some thick vegetation and disappeared. We waited for the bull to maybe show himself again but we never saw him. It was impossible to follow up in the thick vegetation. He was a fanastic bull and a missed opportunity. That's hunting.
    Victor and I continued our way around the hill and when we got around to the northern side there was a Nyala bull feeding in the open next to the track that we had driven in on. I set up on the sticks and fired. The shot hit him well but he did not go down nor did he run,so I quickly reloaded and shot him again.He went down with the second shot. I ran as best as I could down the hill and went over to him. What a magnificent animal.

    Nyala
    [​IMG]


    While all this was happening Steve and Mitchell were still on the top of the hill glassing the Kudu we had seen previously. I was happy with my Nyala and maybe we could return another day and try and find the big Kudu.
    We took the Nyala back for caping and on they way out we saw a good Waterbuck bull. We went back to the lodge with memories of a good days hunting and the thought of returning for an appointment with a Waterbuck or Mr Kudu.

    To be continued
     
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  8. Lee M

    Lee M AH Fanatic

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    Well done. Looking forward to part 3!
     

  9. Sand Rat

    Sand Rat AH Fanatic

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    Great report, keep it coming! Really like both those Impala Rams.
     

  10. Neale

    Neale AH Enthusiast

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    Day 6

    We went for a drive in the morning and spotted three Gemsbok on a far hill. Mitchell and I walked down the hill and started up the other side towards the Gemsbok. The climb gave the legs a good work out but as we were getting close to the summit and along the rim from the Gemsbok they spotted us. If only we could get a little closer. We tried to close the distance but they were getting nervous and then all of a sudden they took off down the hill. They are certainly sure footed animals and what took us an hour to climb they travelled in seconds. Last we seen of them were as they topped the ridge on the other side of the valley. Apparently they galloped to within 50m past where Victor and Steve were waiting. I think they eventually stopped somewhere up near northern Namibia. With a blown stalk under our belts it was back to the lodge for lunch and a rest. Early in the afternoon we drove to the same area where we had seen the good Kudu the day before. On the way Victor dropped Mitchell and I off and we walked up the northern side of the hill to get a bit of elevation and wait for the afternoon heat to subside. We were waiting for about an hour and the thick vegetation was starting to come back to life. We glassed a number of Nyala ewes and young bull, a very good warthog but no Kudu. We then got a call on the 2-way from Victor who was further up the hill to say that he had spotted a good Kudu and we should make our way up to him. When we got there Victor and I walked down the opposite side of the hill and left Mitchell to spot for us. As we got down to within range of where we suspected the Kudu was our visibility was obscured by the thick speckboom in the foreground and the lay of the land. We tried to get to a better position many times without success. Victor was whispering to Mitchell on the radio trying to get directions. ( all in Afrikaans “ his left, my right, your right, my left, how far, close, far ?????) Eventually it was narrowed down that the bull was lying down directly opposite our position. When we finally pinpointed the approximate position of the bull it was now a waiting game. I set up on the sticks and had ranged about the only open spot about 200m away. The afternoon was coming to an end and still we waited but no movement. Victor said that I should wait where I was and he would try and move around the hillside to see if he could spot the bull or maybe make him move off in a favourable direction. That was the plan that I was to find out later that Victor rated it with low success. Victor had not gone for very long when I heard a sound of movement and the Kudu bull came into the small opening that I was already set up on. I couldn’t believe my luck and a quick look through the scope confirmed he was a good trophy. I squeezed the trigger and the 280 broke the silence. The hit was good and the Bull went straight down. Inside I was jumping for joy and couldn’t get down the hill and across quick enough. As I drew closer to where I thought the bull was standing when I shot it all looked different. By this stage Victor had joined me and it was decided that I should return to where I took the shot and guide Victor to the correct clearing. After a few frantic hand waves Victor yelled out that he had found him and he was a beauty. I raced down to find an absolutely magnificent Bull Kudu. He was in very poor condition though and had a damaged back off-side hock that was swollen and infested with screw worm fly. He smelt bad but the sweet smell of success was over whelming. The hunting gods were smiling on me.

    Many beers consumed tonight and Victor presented us with our Kudu caps.

    (Note; remind Victor to get more beer)

    Kudu

    [​IMG]


    Day 7

    We drove to a property to the south to look for white Springbok. The countryside was fairly open and grassy and there were plenty of white Springbok sighted. The problem was, how to get close enough. We walked a fair way in pursuit of Springbok but they were onto us and as far as you could see they were running or looking in our direction then running. We used a little bit of cover and stalked toward where some Springbok and sheep were grazing. After finding a suitable position it was decided to set up and wait and wait and wait. A springbok ram eventually came within range but was obscured by some low bushes. I was watching him through the scope and he bedded down behind the bush. We could not move from our position and the morning was starting to heat up. After an hour or more he was still in the same position and not looking like moving till the afternoon. We decided to make some noise by hitting some rocks together, quietly at first and then louder. Eventually we started talking amongst ourselves in the hope that he would get up and move into a shooting position. When he did finally rise, even though I had been watching him through the scope I was not ready. I made a hasty shot and saw him stumble and go out of sight. We waited just in case he came out the other side but after he did not appear we made our way forward. He was lying about 5m from where he was shot and I was probably lucky as I had to make a fairly quick shot as he walked through between two bushes. A magnificent little animal and the completion of my Springbok slam.

    White Springbok
    [​IMG]


    In the afternoon we went to Victor’s farm where there were some common Springbok. It was Steve’s turn to take a Springbok and we saw some on a ridge. We walked along a dry creek bed for cover and closed the distance. I stayed back during the last part of the stalk and Victor and Steve moved forward. Steve was set up but it was a difficult shot as the springbok kept walking and Victor was calling which one to shoot. Steve took the shot but hit it in the front leg and it took off with the rest of the mob. It followed his mates along the side of an open hill and Steve and I followed. We tried to get closer for a shot but they just kept out of range. Victor returned to the vehicle and to cut a long story short, Victor made a very good shot from 270m with his 243 to finally put him down. I think at this point Steve was wishing he was put down. I felt for Steve as I had never seen him shoot without the highest of confidence and now it was shattered.

    Hope Lindsay got more beer today



    Day 8

    Victor’s father Harry took us for a day visit to Addo Elephant Park It was a great day and we saw many animals including Elephant, Buffalo and Lion. Harry was good company and loves his Kudu.

    The highlight of the day was when we were stopped to watch a male Lion sleeping under a small tree. A group of Elephant were making their way down to the water when they caught scent of the Lion and chased him into the bush in a cloud of dust and loud trumpeting. The visit to the park was well worth it and it topped off a fantastic week.

    Can’t wait to get back to the lodge and drink more of Victor’s beer

    Elephant at water Addo
    [​IMG]
    Variety of animals at Addo
    [​IMG]

    You could spend all day watching these fellows
    [​IMG]


    Day 9

    Back to the hunt

    Victor and I decided to put in a stalk on the Gemsbok that had returned from Namibia and were now back on the hill on the southern side of the property. We started up a spur that leads to the top of the hill about a kilometre from where the Gemsbok were resting. Making our way along the last section was slow as the cover was starting to get less and a kudu cow had already seen us and made her retreat. We continued down a shallow saddle that offered cover and slowly made our way towards a tree that was to become our final destination. Slowly making it to the tree the target Gemsbok was a shade over 200m away. I got a lean on the tree and hit him well with the first shot but he did not go down, reloading I sent another shot in his direction. He ran about 60m and stopped but although he was staggering he would not go down. As we got closer the Gemsbok took off and I fired an offhand shot that creased him along the neck. The next shot put him down but not out. A finishing shot was required. These are tough animals. I looked at him and he was a perfect trophy with long heavy horns. I was so happy until Victor and I looked at each other and realised the closest vehicle access was way down there!!!

    Gemsbok
    [​IMG]

    We have to get him down to the base of this hill
    [​IMG]


    Victor called his father and Harry brought over a team that were fencing on the farm and eventually the gemsbok was carried/dragged down the hill.
    [​IMG]


    In the afternoon we went looking for a Kudu cull. We set up and waited for the afternoon for the Kudu to come out from the thickets. Just before dark we had only seen a kudu cow and as we were walking back to the vehicle a suitable Kudu bull walked into a small clearing. I set up on the sticks and he started to move. I made a hasty shot and they took off. We went to the spot where they were but could not find any blood. I felt disappointed with my ability but it was getting dark so we went back to the lodge for more beer to drown the disappointment.

    To be continued
     
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    Vanguard2279 and Hunter101 like this.

  11. Lee M

    Lee M AH Fanatic

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    All three of the animals are mature good looking animals!
     

  12. fishuntDeHaan

    fishuntDeHaan New Member

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    Just signed up to AH and was looking over the site & put in my info. This is my first post. When I saw hunting with Victor & Karoo Wild Safaris, had to stop and take a look. Hunted with Victor in May 2014 with my son Jake and will be returning in May 2016 again with Jake and my future daughter in-law Lauren. I know you had a great time and what wonderful trophies you have. Question, when are you going back? Had the pleasure of meeting both of Victor's parents and sharing an afternoon with them.
     
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  13. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Great read!

    And I'm really pulling for Steve. I like which side of the rifle his bolt is on. :)

    And man, have we all been there with shooting confidence. You've got to just shake it off, but it is hard to do sometimes.
     

  14. Neale

    Neale AH Enthusiast

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    Hi FishuntDeHaan,
    I would love to be going back again tomorrow but the Aussie $ is not worth much and my bank account is much the same. I am sure you will have another great experience with Victor. Do you need someone to carry your bags?
    I think I would like to see another landscape or even another country, maybe Namibia next time.
     
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  15. fishuntDeHaan

    fishuntDeHaan New Member

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    I am sure we will have a grand time hunting with Victor again. Already have a bag & gun barer, my son Jake. 2nd trip in two years and bringing the love of his life, Lauren - does he ever owe his father. Both are wonderful young folks and are counting down the days until early May. This trip we hunt with Victor for two weeks and we are off to NAMBIA for two weeks. Thanks for the reply.
     

  16. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for the update! Having a great time, nice trophies and memories!
     

  17. Karoo Wild Safaris

    Karoo Wild Safaris SPONSOR Since 2016 AH Enthusiast

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    Welcome Keith!!

    It's great to have you on the forum. We're all looking forward to seeing you Jake and Lauren in May. Happy dance... :)
     

  18. Karoo Wild Safaris

    Karoo Wild Safaris SPONSOR Since 2016 AH Enthusiast

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  19. Bos en Dal Safaris

    Bos en Dal Safaris SPONSOR Since 2014 AH Elite

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    This my friend is what true hunting is about. That bull would probably not have lived another 3 weeks and then he would have died there in the bush all by himself. Now you can share in his life story as you took him on the end of his days!! Congrats with a true trophy animals
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2016
    Royal27 likes this.

  20. Neale

    Neale AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2015
    Messages:
    426
    Video/Photo:
    100
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    Location:
    Cape York, Queensland Australia
    Member of:
    SSAA
    Hunted:
    Australia, South Africa ( Eastern Cape, Free State, Limpopo,KwaZulu Natal )
    Day 10

    We were after a cull kudu again this morning and after some driving around and spotting some good Kudu we were not able to locate a suitable cull animal. Eventually a Kudu was spotted across a small gully and with a good rest I was able to put him down with a single shot. The recovery was a bit difficult with the thick vegetation but eventually we got him to a location where he could be loaded in the vehicle.

    In the afternoon we were off to try an locate another trophy kudu as I now had “Kudu fever” and the disease was setting in. Could I sell something to pay for this, kidney maybe? ( note : a small bank balance does not cure the disease, in fact it makes the symptoms worse) Luckily nothing turned up and we were back to the lodge for, yes, more beer.

    Day 11

    Today and the next we are going to spend on concessions near Port Alfred on the coast. It was a pleasant drive and changing landscapes. We arrived at a property and immediately started to see numerous game. Very good Impala along with Rhino and Buffalo.

    We attempted a stalk on a Waterbuck and it was un-nerving when an adult Rhino and her calf crashed through the bush next to us. (Did I sign up for this? I wish Victor was carrying the only firearm between us and not me) I must admit it was an exciting hunt with Rhino, Buffalo and an extremely large bull giraffe in close proximity. The waterbuck eluded us but it was a superb property and a real adrenalin rush.

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    In the afternoon we went in search of bushbuck. We walked up a large grassy hill and started glassing the fringing bush. After a couple of hours the only sighting was a couple of bushbuck ewes and a couple of Oribi dashing around. We made our way off the hill and down along an overgrown track through the thick coastal bush. We managed to see a young Bushbuck ram and a number of ewes. By this stage it was getting dark and we decided to call it a day. That night we went to a local pub and had an excellent meal washed down with a few beers. The ostrich steak was particularly delicious.

    Day 12

    This morning we travelled north towards Grahamstown and hunted on a concession that had a variety of landscapes. The hills were very steep and covered with thick vegetation. There were areas of open country and game was common. We saw a range of very good trophy animals and an exceptionally good Sable. Today though we were hunting Waterbuck and Bushbuck. The road network was very good which allowed us to drive close to suitable locations and glass the valleys below. At one particular lookout we could see a good Waterbuck bull across the river and a stalk was planned. We had not gone too far when another group of Waterbuck were spotted on our side of the river and in some semi open country. A good bull was sighted hence, Plan B. Victor, the local tracker and I set off down the hill using the available vegetation as cover . When we got near the bottom of the hill the cover started to thin out and we were deciding on our next move. All of a sudden the Waterbuck started coming into view at about 200m and we were stuck at our position.

    I stalked a little further forward and set up in a good position on a small rise. The Waterbuck bull stepped into an opening and paused in a perfect side-on position. I took careful aim and when comfortable send another accubond on its way. A solid hit was heard and the Waterbuck took off and ran about 80m and reared up and fell over dead. He was a fantastic trophy and I so sooo happy. What a great hunt and final outcome.

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    We loaded the Waterbuck into the vehicle and drove to the farm house where the waterbuck cape was removed and salted for the trip home. (Am I starting to call Victor’s place home?)

    Victor decided to head back the way we had come and drive through the property and then back to the lodge. We had only travelled about 3-4 km where the track skirts around a dam. As we were passing the dam there was a good Bushbuck feeding on the green grass at the water edge. Victor continued to drive and we stopped further along the track and quietly got out of the vehicle. We used a slight ridge to gain some ground back towards the dam. Slowly we may our way forward and we could still see the Bushbuck grazing and facing toward us. I got a good rest on the bipod and aimed between his horns at a spot between his shoulder blades. At the shot he dropped cleanly on the spot and I had my final trophy for the trip ( or so I thought). A magnificent Bushbuck.

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    We took him back to the farm house and they were as surprised to see us as we were to be returning. Processing complete and it was back to the lodge for a hot shower, good meal and a few beers.

    Day 13 Last hunting day unfortunately

    In the morning we went back over to Victor’s farm to see if Steve could get some revenge back on Springbok. This was not to happen and there was some Deja Vu going on ( maybe even some Voodoo). I think when he returns to Africa he will be taking some automatic weapon of the very biggest calibre (600 Nitro min) and just concentrate on ridding South Africa of their national animal emblem. I am sure he is now not a fan of their rugby side. What are they called again.



    In the afternoon I asked Victor if we could go Kudu hunting and so we headed back toward the hills in search of a Kudu bull. We were glassing from a small ridge when Mitchell spotted a Kudu bull two ridges further over. Victor and I skirted around a hill and made our way along a gully at the base of the hill that the Kudu were on. Mitchell stayed back on the first ridge and spotted for us. We tried to get into a better position to see the kudu but the hill was too steep and we were too close to the base to get a sighting. We moved around the base of the hill a little further and it was getting late. We could still not see the Kudu above us. We attempted to get around a little further and a couple of Kudu cows spotted us and gave a bark. Victor told me to get ready if the bull showed himself. I had a lean against a tree and waited for any movement. Suddenly the bull appeared in a small opening and I took quick aim and the 280 roared for the last time in Africa. The bull took off in a cloud of dust and then the sound of breaking branches stopped. I walked up the hill and Victor guided me to his last position. About 20m from where I had shot him lay a magnificent Cape Kudu Bull. He was in exceptional condition with a large neck and perfect chocolate coat. By this stage it was getting dark and by the time Victor and Mitchell got up to me it was after dark. Victor decided to cape him where he was and bring some help in the morning to recover the meat. Mitchell completed the caping in torch light and it was back to the lodge for the very last night.

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    That night I think Steve and I drank all of Victor’s beer as well as a few more of his beverages that he keeps hidden on a shelf behind the bar.

    What an end to the perfect 2 week safari.

    ( The last photo was taken the evening before not next morning as it would appear)



    Postscript

    I cannot recommend Karoo Wild Safaris highly enough. Even though it was my first safari to Africa and I don’t have any other experience to compare, it was all positive. Victor and Lindsay run a professional operation and Mitchell, Harry and the camp staff were a pleasure to be around.

    I used Universal Trophy Services in Pretoria to pre-tan my capes and they are currently safely at an Australian Taxidermist. I have not seen them yet ( next month) but UTS were very good to deal with.
    Hope to post the trophy taxidermy photos when complete

    I am no authority on these matters but here are few things that I think may help others

    · Practice a lot with the firearm that you are taking on safari and be confident with it

    · A bipod was a great asset to me at times but that is a personal preference

    · Practice off some sticks or even using a lean on a post so that shooting standing up is comfortable

    · Practice some longer shots out to a range you feel comfortable. The opportunity for a trophy may only present itself at an extended range in hilly country

    · Take your time and be settled before taking the shot. A missed opportunity is far better than tracking a wounded animal

    · Do a bit of walking to get fit as the whole experience is better if you have a bit of stamina

    · Keep diary notes after each day so you can refer back to them when you get home

    · Most important, enjoy the countryside and ask your PH a lot of local questions when travelling. They really love answering stupid questions multiple times



    Since returning home I have developed a severe case of the disease with symptoms such as; impulsive purchasing books on Africa hunting, searching websites for “free African hunting safaris for Aussies” ( without success yet), I have even thought about giving up smoking so that I can save some money for another trip. Serious condition!!!

    END
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2016

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