SOUTH AFRICA: Kingview Safaris Review October

darrack10

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Kingview Safaris Review Long read Oct 12-20th

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This will be a long write up but it is my daily account of what I remembered each day. We heard about Kingsview on a hunting forum and from day 1 on emails Jono was very upfront and honest. He always responded promptly and was easy to get along with on our back and forth questions. We flew from El Paso to Atl. Atl. to Joberg and stayed at Afton Guest house that night, Then to Port Elizabeth the next day. This is my first review and time to Africa so sorry in advance for anything out of the ordinary. Ill try to give as much detail as possible.

day 1

Flight was 15.5 hours from Atl to Johannesburg. We left El paso with so much excitement and anxiety on my part. I have been dreaming of this for most of my life and never ever believed it would be a possibility but here we are. We get to ATLANTA and are hungry and look up restaurants as this airport is full of them and as we all know, there are decisions to be made when the wife is hungry. There is a bunch of fancy joints to go to and tons of shopping but we settle on a little place called Nature's table bistro. It's a small place but AWESOME. The food was great and they serve a ton. Not to mention the best peach tea in the world.

We soon boarded the massive plane to Johannesburg. I've never seen anything like it. I saw them loading all the supplies and it reminded me of a cruise ship before debarking. When buying the seat, we upgraded to economy plus, this includes 3 inches more space, upgraded food menu, and unlimited drinks, wine and mixed included. We didn't get to use much of this except the space but it was well worth it. (I think it was 199 per person each way). Soon we meet our neighbors in rows 30 and 32 and we are off. I thought we were going to run off the runway, it took forever to get off the ground but once we did flight was great. Food was actually good and service on Delta kicked ass. American Airlines sucks and I will defend that opinion to the fullest extent. I hate them and Delta reassured me 10 fold that there is better companies out there than American. sorry for the rant, but back the flight. We were able to watch a couple movies before we got tired and soon tried to go to sleep. This was not easy. It took awhile, Vero had a really hard time but soon fell into a deep sleep. We woke up with about 2 hours left in the flight, I was really surprised we slept so long. We arrived and I was a bit anxious, someone was supposed to be meeting us to help with luggage and my gun transfer but I haven't actually talked to them on the phone only by email. Also there was all the stories of everyone stealing things from bags. We were both on high alert but all for nothing. We were met and guided through everything promptly with no issues what's ever. Mr. X, from Afton, assisted us with the SAPS office. Took all of 3 min, but there was no body else there so im not sure what the difference would of been if there was. He took us outside to meet our ride and Marius took us to Afton guesthouse for our over night stay. It was neat driving on the wrong side of the road and seeing all the differences in Africa. I did see Vero get quite concerned as a homeless man approached our vehicle at one point. He appeared very sick and she appeared very nervous. I just laughed. We made it to AFTON safe and sound. Ari met us and made us a fire and a great steak dinner with Greek salad and the best red wine I've ever had. It was Merlot but definitely not the dirt Merlot I've had from the US. This was awesome. We meet a few other folks that were also staying at Afton. A white couple with an Armenian accent from Vietnam. Weird. And another guy from South Carolina who has lived in south Africa for 27 years. They were all really nice but much older than us. This didn't matter much as we all had something in common and they were all very interested in our first safari. It was funny as they asked us about Trump and Hillary. They hate Hillary here in South Africa, at least the few we met, and call Trump a clown, but he would still be there vote. It was very obvious after talking to the South African people that what we do in America also affects them tremendously. They said our vote for presidency has big implications on them also. Not sure why but it was an interesting conversation anyhow. We soon went to bed with excitement for tomorrow.
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This is the first pic we took from the Yellowood concession. It is a unbelievable place. Looks a lot like the Texas hill country with all the south Texas brush mixed in.

Africa Day 2

Rifle - PHs 270 mouser action with suppressor
Leupold VX2 4.5 x 10 x 40 with Duplex reticle scope
140 grain Hornady SSTs
tripod made by PH

Up early and boarded the plane to Port Elizabeth and off we went. Mr.x again helped us with all of our luggage and gun check in. Let me say this, without him we would have been completely helpless. Can't thank him enough. The plane ride was very rocky and I unfortunately had to sit next to 2 of the smelliest people I've ever dealt with. ugggggg

Upon arriving in Port Elizabeth, Jono, owner of Kingsview Safaris met us right away. It was finally nice to meet him in person. We get loaded up and off to our first nights bed and breakfast. It was a perfect little place and the family that owned it were beyond nice and most hospitable. They treated us like family immediately. Jono said if we felt up to it, we could go hunt on the Yellow wood concession this afternoon. This is a beautiful place with tall trees picturesque of Africa, open cut grass pastures , and big mts with thick bush. There is a magnificent river that runs through the property and it goes straight to the ocean, which you can see from the back of the concession. This place is breathtaking! There are cattle and an a abundance of African plains game. Imagine the TX hill country with African animals instead of axis and blackbuck. Wayne my PH, and new best friend, took us out and just like that we are hunting in Africa.

We get to the top of an opening and start to walk the edges of the cut brush to stay hidden. We are going after warthog, bushbuck, or impala. We see a good group of impala with 2 good rams and the chase begins. We walk up on some really big Warthog females along our way. It was unreal how big they were. Not what I was expecting. Veronica now had a fascination for them. We continue chasing the Impala and keep getting close but not close enough due to a Bontebuck that will not leave us alone. He keeps getting the herd riled up and he is keeping a close eye on us everywhere we go. As we get to the next ridge we see some monster warthogs. I thought they were cattle at first. We never get close enough to see how big they are as we tried to stay with the impala. We never actually get close to the Impala either but have seen over 100 by now. On our way back the truck, Wayne immediately freezes, he asks if I want a cat. I got a bit worried and was not sure what to do. Of coarse i wanted to shoot it but had no idea what it cost or even what it was at this point. All of sudden the sticks were up and Wayne says shoot the damn thing as the rancher hates them being there. Music to my ears. I set the gun up and see this beautiful Caracal. He is looking the other way about 160 yards away. I shoot and miss. I have this overwhelming felling of failure, but at the same time a bit of relief. Over him Wayne says. Instead of running though, the cat lays down, I guess the suppressor made it hard for him to know where the bullet was coming from. I shoot again and he is done. This cat is beautiful, at least one side of him is. When he layed down all i could see was his head and that's right where i hit him unfortunately. Veronica is in awe. It all happened so fast she said. Let me say this, She is the reason im here. I love my Wife and could not imagine this without her. She is not a hunter and I doubt she will ever try but she is here and plans on being by my side on every hunt. We make it up the hill and meet Jono, he congratulates us says there is an big impala that he has seen in the middle of a bunch of Giraffes. We make our way and sure enough there are a bunch of giraffe and a monster impala. Wayne mentions that he thought the Impala had been kicked out of the herd because he way past his breeding age and that he is a perfect animal to harvest. I get set up with Wayne and Veronica right next to us . 212 yards away, he turns and I shoot. His front legs are broken and he is down. As we get closer he is absolutely huge. Beautiful would not do him justice, he is spectacular. To say that I was happy would be an understatement. We set up and take photos with the Indian Ocean as our back drop. We all start to open up and joke with each other and I know good times are ahead. We make our way out and had diner and a fire. Food was fantastic, grilled Blesbok sausage and meat over the fire, the company was even better. Day 1 is now over and 2 animals are down. Veronica is in awe, I am in awe, and Africa is exactly what I have always dreamed of.

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Day 3

Woke up way to early as the jet lag was still getting us both up at 2 am. Was able to get back to sleep and we are up at 6 ready for the day. Our plan is to have Wayne pick us up and head back to yellow wood for bushbuck and warthog. We go to a different part of the ranch this morning. We plan on getting high and glassing open areas. We see Eland, red Lechwe, Red hartebeest, Zebra, Nyala, sable, jackal, and another Caracal. We made it to the top of a hill and glassed for awhile. We see a Duiker, some Zebra, then spot a Bushbuck. We made a plan and off we went. By the time we got there the Bushbuck had gone up the other side through the heavy trees and we lost him. Elvis, our quiet tracker with a contagious smile, had a radio and let us know we had just missed him. Elvis has been with us the whole time. He is very quiet but will laugh with us at times. Seems like he is laughing at us at times too. ha. Veronica has become very fond of him as they are both trailing Wayne and I when we stalk. She says he has been her guardian and protects and guides here when we are not watching.

We pack up and head to another part of the ranch to find another bushbuck. When heading to the new spot and talking to Wayne, he says that bushbuck is his least favorite animal to hunt due to their difficulty and unpredictability. Many guys have come out to Africa just to hunt bushbuck and never seen one. We have seen 2 this morning but haven't been close yet. We hunt hard all morning but to no avail. Jono has set up a picnic lunch for us on the river and on the way we see more Nyala, lechwe, impala, and zebra. No giraffes today yet. Lunch was in very cool canyon with the river running next to us. We had snacks, fruit, sodas, water and Chicken salad sandwiches. We all sat around and told stories and enjoyed the scenery. As we are done and headed out for the afternoon hunt we see something running through the trees. Holy crap it's a bunch of baboons. I knew they were there but was shocked when I saw them. Wayne tells me to jump out and whack one. Elvis is very fond of the meat and the land owner hates them as well. I jump out and settle on a big male and whack. I hear the hit. We search and search and don't find him or blood. It's not a good feeling. We meet up again with Jono and we all get in the vehicle together. This was the missing piece for the hunt I guess because we had magic on our side in the afternoon. We see a Bushbuck ewe first off, then on the "Power Line" road as they call it, as soon as we got out of the truck a really nice bushbuck shows himself. Wayne and I head that way. We sneak along slowly and the Bushbuck is gone. We get a feeling he has left but soon we see him come out of the brush. He is 150 yards and I'm on the sticks. One shot and he's down. This was a huge deal to me. Bushbuck on my first trip, my PH can add another one to his list and Jono now has another for his upcoming clients to look at and be impressed by. He is awesome. He is an old ram with a broken horn and a story. Jono thinks he is the ram that fought with Teds, a former client, and cut his bushbucks eye. Pics are taken and off we go to find a warthog. As soon as we clear the first hill we hear Wayne tapping on the roof. We stop the truck and all of us instantly see a huge warthog 300 yards in front of us. I jump out and Wayne is already setting up the sticks. He says he is huge and to SHOOT. It seemed far but I got as steady as I could and let one go. It hit solid and the big boar was trying to run without his front legs. I chamber another and let it go on the run. It hits him and he instantly falls. We get up to him and Wayne Is beyond excited. I know nothing about warthogs so I am just excited seeing Wayne and how happy he is. Before the trip I actually wanted to ask Jono if I could trade a warthog for credit towards something else. At this point im glad I didn't. Wayne and Jono both congratulate me and tell me again that this pig is the biggest they have ever taken. They think he may be the biggest killed in the Cape. We get pics and head out. We actually had one more day slated to hunt here as they never would believe that we would kill out both animals on the same day. It has been tremendous so far. I wouldn't change a thing or ask for anything more. We head off to the Zebra Lodge for the evening. This place is spectacular. The views are amazing, the chalets are perfect, and the hospitality is second to none.
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day 4 Africa

Rifle - My Browning A bolt 300 win mag
Tru glo Infinity 4x 16 x 44 scope
Hornady ELDx 200 gr. 72 grains of RL22 @2960 fps

In case anyone is wondering all the ballistic stuff.

We get up later today as it is a "off day" due to our unimaginable luck. Jono suggests we go to his ranch to try and help him get rid of some baboons. We have learned, on this trip, that baboons are more than destructive. They steal things, break things, destroy everything, and make life miserable for many folks that live on the country side. Stories range from them pulling metal roofs off, destroying the interior of vehicles, to chasing woman for bags of groceries. I was excited to help with the depredation. We go to Jono s personal ranch and see at least 100 baboons in a huge troop as soon as we get to the first field. They are 300 yards off and as we sneak up the road they are already aware of us. These things are extremely smart, cunning, and fast. As I ready to shoot they are all already on alert and moving into the trees. I shoot and miss, reload and fire one more round as they run off. I miss again. These things are quite hard to shoot I find out. We drive on and meet Jono and Justine s parents and staff. They do many things on the ranch to include cattle, goats, and growing flowers. Veronica was amazed and curious so we talked a bit about the flowers and they took her in and showed her all the different plants. We soon got back to business and went out to search and found 1 more band of baboons moving quickly through the trees. I shoot and miss at a big male running through a fence line opening at 200 or so. We have a good laugh and load up. It was fun but no baboons today. I feel bad as I know that the meat is something the workers on the ranch look forward to and I didn't come through but hard to hit these things when they do not stop moving. We decide to go to Jeffries bay for lunch to Jonos favorite place. Veronica and I go with Wayne, Jono and Justine meet us there. Walskippers is a cool seafood place on the beach that actually has sandy floors the food was fantastic. After lunch Wayne takes us shopping for gifts close by then back to the lodge. We will be picked up early for our next concession. Nyala Ridge. We will be after Kudu and if im lucky Nyala. Veronica and I are more than excited as thus far the trip has been nothing short of perfect.
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Big bull on one of the concessions

Day 5

I can't believe how fast time is going by. I didn't sleep well last night and was up at 5. I layed in bed and thought about everything. Work, Kudu, the flight home, just about anything but sleep. Veronica finally woke up about 730 and we went to breakfast. We were going to be picked up by 9 so we got our stuff ready and we're waiting on Wayne as he arrived. The last few days we have gotten to know him. He is very knowledgeable and eager to teach us anything we ask. Veronica and I have really gotten to pick his brain about anything and everything in Africa and he has been extremely helpful. He is beyond knowledgeable about the animals we have encountered and he has been great to be around. We hope he is enjoying our company as much as we are his. He arrives on time and off to Nyala Ridge we go. It's about an hour away and in the drive it is very evident that we will be hunting different terrain. The last property we hunted was surrounded by high green hills with lush pastures. It had open area that looked like Jurassic Park and the Indian Ocean was the back of the property. Nyala Ridge is much different and looks and feels like home.( El Paso Texas) It hilly but full of cactus, thorn bushes, and rocks. We arrive at our camp and it was on the top of a hill overlooking the whole property. It is a rustic cabin with solar lights and wood floors. It has a large deck on the back of the house so you can see for miles. It was beautiful. We are glassing the thorny hillsides and can see a familiar horse, some distant animals, that I cant make out, and soon some Eland. One is a huge bull. The Eland come to water not 125 yards from where we are. This is my first hard decision in africa. This one Eland is massive. He had a big grey body with black face and is everything you can ask for in a trophy. Even Veronica noticed how much bigger he was than the rest.His horns are thick and long and the scruff on his head looks like a dirty mop. This one, I'm told, is much bigger than most. Both Wayne and Jono were very keen on me shooting this bull. Veronica was now also in the mix. It seems Africa has gotten her too. She didn't know what an Eland was until she saw this one. She was really starting to lean on me about shooting him over a possibility at a Nyala. I somehow kept to my guns and held off. He stayed there and we got pics for the next 30 min. We ate a small lunch and we're off. It didn't take long to see animals as we were met by 5 huge giraffes on the main road. As we drove past them we see something dart off into the bush. We quickly jump off and start up the hill to get a better view. Veronica is with us, and has been on every hunt, she spots it and says its a big Nyala. Wayne quickly judges him and says that's the big one we have been chasing all year. I'm on the sticks and he steps out. My heart is racing as this is the quickest shot I have had so far. I see him walking through some acacia trees and see an opening he is quickly approaching. He comes to the opening and I look at Wayne , he says in the shoulder, and boom. Shot looks good and the Nyala jumps off runs 30 yards and stops. He stands for 10 seconds and falls. The feeling I had was complete shock. I never thought I would get a Nyala. We go over to him, pay our respects, and admire how beautiful he is. We get pics and take him to the cleaning shed where Elvis will take care of him. The meat again will stay with the rancher and be given out to the staff. We still have a few hours and head out in search of Kudu. The hills here have brush just high enough to hide them so I am told that we are looking for big ears or horns shinning in the sunlight. Unfortunately the clouds are out and the sky is grey. We see kudu cows and some more Eland have moved towards us and we can see them coming our way. Suddenly 2 kudu bulls appear next to the Eland. We look them over and Veronica attempts to film them. 1 looks like a shooter but Jono wants to wait until the morning to go after him as he thinks it may be too late to get him. We look him over and find he is very old and has lost a lot of his color and his mane is almost gone. His horn length has also broomed off some but he certainly is a trophy for sure. We decide to leave him here and go back to the rustic cabin for the evening. Justine, Jonos wife, has a fire ready upon arrival and we all sit on the deck with the warm fire behind us. Tonight we have lamb shanks and marinated impala steak. Wonderful day.
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Day 6


We are up early and ready to find my Kudu. We notice it is a bit cloudy and Wayne tells me it will be a bit more difficult to find them without the sun shining off their horns. We have a small bite to eat. Most mornings are cereal, yogurt, tea or coffee, breakfast bars, and fruit. Oh and Rusks but Jono ate them all and we cant find them at any of the stores close by. Haa. Soon Jono, Wayne, Vero and I climb in the truck/bakkie and head out. We drop Jono off on a ridge so he can glass the valley. We drive to a different spot on the bottom of the ranch to check another area. We immediately see kudu cows but no bulls, impala, and that giant Eland. We stop to glass and Jono says over the radio that he has found the bull from the night before. We head that way and I can feel Veronica pulling on my arm. I look at her and she asks if I want to shoot that Kudu. We watched the video of the bull from the night before and although he was a trophy, I just didn't feel like he was MY bull. I am a bit nervous to tell Wayne that we may want to pass on this bull because I don't know if it will upset him or Jono but she is right. We traveled this far to hunt a great Kudu not just an average one. This was the one animal I had really wanted to work hard for and get a good one. All the others I wasn't I really just wanted to take mature animals regardless of size. I didn't really know how to bring it up so I ask Wayne, is he a real good one? Wayne replies that we will get a good look at him and go from there. I was happy with that as we only got 500 yards from him the day before so a closer look would be good. To our luck as we make our way Jono radios us and says that this is not the Kudu from yesterday but that this is a much bigger bull. We all perk up and get a little bit more serious about our goal. We head up a ridge to get to the top and glass a ridge over. As we crest the top Wayne immediately studies him, gets the sticks up, and says there he is shoot him in the shoulder. I look up and see nothing. This is where I start to panic for a sec. I don't want to be that guy that misses a chance at huge Kudu because I couldn't find him standing right in front of me. Suddenly, I see him thank God, and I am on him in the scope. He is on the ridge across from us and is quartering to us. I look at Wayne and make sure he wants me to shoot him in that stance and he says in the crease on the front shoulder let him have it. I shoot and hear the whack. I instantly reload and find the Kudu again. He runs about 75 yards and stops. I'm ready to shoot but Wayne says to wait. Just then the Kudu falls over. My heart is now pounding and poor Veronica looks at me and says, what happened? Is he a good one? Was it the one from the day before? Are you happy with him? My awesome wife haaa. She was so excited and I hated that she didn't see any of it as she stayed a little lower than us on the hill so she didn't scare the Kudu. She has been on every hunt so far and has not had to be coached or told what to do at all. She has been just as excited as me and has enjoyed every minute of it making it that more special to me. I range where the Kudu was when I shot and it was 287 yards. I was starting to get a little impressed with myself as I am on a roll without a miss or wounding anything except a Caracal at 200 or so yards and those baboons that would not stand still. We make our way over and Jono meets us there. It was absolutely amazing. He was a monster cape Kudu, a corker, as Jono and Wayne would say. He had deep curls, ivory tips and was wide as can be. Everything I could of asked for and it always make you feel even better when the Outfitter and PH are just as excited as i was. It became very obvious that both Jono and Wayne wanted me to get my animals and they were just as excited for me as I was. They wanted me to get trophy quality animals not just representatives of the species. Now we all agreed before the hunt that this was not a inches thing for me. We all adamantly agreed. Jono said he would rather have me not get an animal than to shoot something just so I can say I shot it. He and Wayne both told me that hunting with them was not about numbers or inches ,but about the hunt itself and the trophy I wanted. I respected them deeply for this because this means it is not about money to them, it's about me and it's about taking only the right animals, the ones that will make the herds stronger and healthier. We take a bunch of pictures and call for help to get the Kudu off the mt. Pier soon arrives with 4 of his workers to help.
Now I must say this, it's Sun morning at 730 am and the owner of the ranch ,Pier, and his workers are all there to help as soon as we call them. I thought how cool is this. It's not his job or responsibility to do this but he enjoyed it and we were very thankful. We had to cut some bushes to get the Kudu to truck and we definitely needed the extra help. This thing weighed a lot. We got it loaded and all headed to Pier s to cape and clean him. Elvis and the others went to work and we all stood around and enjoyed the comraudary. Pier was a gynecologist that had retired here, was well known by everyone around, and a very nice man. It was cool to see the close knit group of friend that Jono has. What's even cooler is that Justine is just about about 9 months pregnant and there is doc 5 min away. Speaking of Justine, how lucky are we to have met her. She shouldn't even be here but she didn't want to miss it. She is just about due but has been every bit apart of this hunt as anyone and has had a smile on her face the entire time. She is always happy and ready to help in any way, even though we begged her to stop. Vero and I were so lucky that we got to meet her and got to spend time getting to know her and Jono. It was funny, Jono said he had a talk with her a few days before we arrived and said she was not allowed to go into labor until after we were done, so she waited for us. Ha thankfully. I did joke with her one night as she sneezed, I told her to stop as she was scaring me that she may push to hard. We all had a good laugh. After the Kudu was skinned we headed back to cabin for lunch. Just. made roasted chicken and veggies. Now we have a decision, I've shot everything so fast we have a day to waste. So we decide to go to the Cheetah breeding facility close by. Wayne and Vero and I got to see Cervils, Caracals, Lions, and Hyenas. We also get to pet Kahki a male cheetah born in the facility. He was super cool. We get back a bit early and Jono suggests we go look for baboons to hunt. The workers really enjoy the meat and the rancher hates them here as well. I now have a personal vendetta against them as well. We take a good walk but don't see anything. We do notice quite a few predator kills though and let Pier know. We head back and are welcomed to an amazing dinner. It was Ostrich meat pie with mashed potatoes. Grilled Nyala and Kudu tenderloins and a mushroom sauce. My favorite meal of the trip. Vero and I agreed that the meat from the animals here are much better in taste than the ones at home. No game taste at all and wonderful to eat. Especially the Nyala. Wayne has a special marinade that he uses and it works fantastic. Another great day.

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Day 7
Our 1 year anniversary

At this point I have harvested everything I could have asked for and all of them were great trophies, beyond what I could have hoped for. All I need now to complete the list of animals I hoped for is a common, black, and white springbok. This would be a bit difficult for Jono to arrange because each one is on different properties and the drought in the area has been extremely hard on the animals. But he worked hard and got it all worked out for us. He has constantly checked on how we felt so far, how we were, and let us know if there is anything we wanted to do or needed to let him know. He worked hard setting everything up and making sure it all went off without a hitch. Thanks again.
Our plan this morning was to go to a ranch close by and try and get a common first, then if time permits a black on another concession. We go to the new ranch and as we pull in we see some springbok. We are off the truck quickly and Wayne, Vero, and I head out. We get busted by some Zebra and they run straight towards the springbok taking away any chance at a shot. Holy shit these things are skittish. Without a blink they are gone and over the next ridge. This may not be as easy task as I thought. I thought we would see them in a field and stalk on them and take long shots. These things never stop moving and walking is not something they do either. They will either run or run faster. No in between. We get to the back of the property and see them again almost a mile from where they were. We instantly also notice that the drought has been very hard here. The animals look good but the natural vegetation is almost non existent. We get off the truck and the springbok see us. Gone. Wayne and I leave and go for a walk and find a high ridge with that has a hillside with no vegetation at all. It's far but if they come through we have plenty of time to get a shot. We soon see some impala and then we see springbok. 2 males and 1 is shooter. We set up and wait for them to come out. I range them at 278 yards. Holy cow that's a small target at that distance but Wayne says he has confidence in me, I set up and the big ram comes out. I get steady and shoot. Instantly the ram is down. I can't believe I just made that shot. I shot about 200 rounds before coming to Africa and zeroed the gun at 200, but shooting off sticks is never easy. Wayne is smiling and Jono radios us, hell of a shot. We get in the truck and head over. He is gorgeous. Perfect old mature ram with a heart shaped bell. He is our anniversary ram. We take pics and head back to Nyala ridge. Jono has set us up to hunt the black springbok this afternoon so we eat lunch and head back out. We meet his buddy Shane, who helped us with this concession, and he takes us to our black springbok concession. I have to say thanks again to Shane for helping us get the black and white concessions set up. Thank buddy. We get to the place to hunt and it is heartbreaking. This ranch has been devastated by the drought. It looks like a fire had ripped through the terrain. No food anywhere. These ranchers are losing animals as they are fighting for food and starving. We see lots of springbok here and they are just as skittish as the other ranch. They are all healthy looking animals as well. They won't let us get 500 yards from them. Amazing how fast they are. We sneak around for a couple hours trying to get close and finally find an old mature ram bedded on a hillside. We sneak over and tree by tree we continue to sneak. Veronica is with us and decides to stay back and let us attempt to get closer. We actually get to the last tree that will hide us and we are 217 away. I set up and wait. He is laying down looking right at us. After 10 min. or so he puts his head down and Wayne tells me to shoot. I am not sure I can make the shot as it is a partial frontal shot with him laying down quartering to us. I steady my aim and shoot. He instantly flips over and is dead. Jono again radios , hell of a shot as he watched it through the binos the whole time. We go over to him and he is a very old mature perfect black springbok. At this point i think to myself that I am so grateful and thankful for being here. Especially for getting to do it with Vero. we take pics, load up, and head back to Nyala ridge. When we arrive we are met with a beautiful setup that Justine has done for our anniversary. She spread out eucalyptus over a small chest and set up 2 chairs on the deck overlooking the ranch. There was a spectacular flower arrangement for Veronica and a bottle of champagne. They bought us a book about South Africa and a hunting magazine. This is the point that we knew we had made the best decision we could have made choosing Kingsview. Justine, Jono, and Wayne did way more than just hunt with us. They thought about us constantly, made sure that we knew that if there was anything we needed or wanted to do that it was available to us and thoughtfully planned a special moment for Vero and I for our 1 year anniversary. When Veronica and I had met Justine's parents a few days prior, Vero told them about how much she liked eucalyptus and the flowers they had there on the ranch. Justine and her mother carefully picked out the things Vero liked and surprised her with this very thoughtful gift. It couldn't have made it any better. Thank you all for your thoughtfulness and for making our day so special. And saving my butt. National springbok day is what I called it, but back home i have to call it our Anniversary. Happy Anniversary my angel To many more. We all have a glass of champagne, except Just. she had sparkling grape juice, don't want anyone to think anything. Dinner tonight was a steak cooked to perfection by Jono, green beans, some maize stuff with a tomato sauce, and a mushroom gravy. It was really good. We also had a great mixed berry cobbler for desert. Tomorrow is white springbok and Addo if we are successful. Another Great day. What a perfect day! Wish I had more time. And more money.

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I know the heart thing is kinda corny but it was our 1st anniversary
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Day 8

Got up a bit early and now I feel a little pressure. I've done extremely well so far and am excited but also worried because this is my last animal, and the last one I need to complete my trio of springbok. I feel as though I have had luck on my side and I don't want it to run dry quite yet. Wayne says to make sure the lucky horseshoes in my ass don't fall out just yet either. We go to the Cheetah breeding facility to meet up with someone who will take us out to the concession. After a short time we figure out what we're doing and meet up with the owner. The concession is actually across the street from where we are. This is important to know because as we drove by it earlier I noticed some white springbok feeding along the road at a dry tank. I also noticed and thought to myself, if these are the ones we are hunting this would be easy. They were right up against a dirt dam giving us a perfect spot to stalk up close on them without them seeing us. And as luck and my horse shoes would have it, this is where we went. Glad I was paying attention. I tell Wayne what I had noticed and sure enough we get to the dam and there they were, 7 white springbok 100 yards away, and for the 1st time, they weren't running away from us. We set up on a great ram and as soon as I was going to shoot Wayne says o hold on. Another ram we didn't see now appears 75 yards away. He is much bigger as well. A few seconds later I'm on him and it's done. He's down and my trio and hunting is complete. A sad but great feeling at the same time. Wayne and I give a hug and I thank him for all he's done. He says I made it easy on him, but it took all of us. Everyone has played a very important role in our epic African adventure. Veronica found our Nyala and was always in a great mood and ready to hunt, Wayne has been patient and a great coach, Jono has worked hard setting things up and helping every way he can. Justine has made sure we were fed and made sure we were always happy, and Elvis, he's been the one that's been the busiest as he has taken great care of all my hides. A very important detail. And me, I shot lights out. I am pretty proud of myself and surprised i did as well as i did. I know I worked hard and practiced alot prior to coming but I still made some incredible shots that I don think I would normally make. We take pics and load up. Wayne and Elvis make short work of the springbok and we are off to meet Jono and Just. They are waiting to take Elvis and the animal capes to the taxidermist. I used Paul Smith with Relive and he was awesome to work with as well. Very responsive on his emails and I met him later in the trip and he is super nice. We will now head to Addo for the afternoon. Vero is really excited as am i. I still feel this sadness though as I know my hunting and Safari in Africa is now done. We spend a few hours in Addo and see buffalo, lots of warthogs, tortoises, Impala, Kudu, Hartebeest, and a herd of elephants. Vero is super excited as she has begged me for months to see a baby elephant and there is a little one in this group. Great ending to our day. Wayne takes us to buy some curios and back to Zebra Lodge. I enjoyed the long ride back. I picked Wayne's brain the whole way asking all kinds of stupid questions that I'm sure he was tired of answering but he had to anyway. I didn't care either I just kept asking and asking. Thanks Wayne for putting up with us. He is such a cool dude. After a great dinner and a couple hours catching up with family phone calls off to bed we go. We are in a extremely nice tent with thatched roofs and an outside shower. It's like a 5 star tent, literally. Another great day.
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Day 9

We get to sleep in late today and it's our last full day. Vero wants to go in town for a massage so Justine picks us up and takes us in. We will meet Jono and Wayne later for dinner. We wanted to treat them all out for dinner at their favorite pizza place. After the message we meet Jono and Just for lunch at cobblestone and then we go to Mandela Bay to walk around. It was neat seeing the bay and all the street vendors. They are very artistic and have some extraordinary talent. We see lots of carvings and paintings. We bought a few things earlier in the week and now we wished we would have waited. We walk out on the pier and while taking photos, Vero finds out Just. hasn't taken any pregnancy pics, so now it's priority. Vero starts taking pics of her doing any and everything. She has a gift because a lot of the photos turned out great. We have dinner at the pizza place close by. It was a nice place, the food was awesome, and the company even better. It will be the last time we see Wayne so we say our goodbyes and give him his 5 dollar tip that he earned. We thanked him for everything and let him know how much fun we had and how big of a part he played. We appreciated everything and we will keep in touch with him for sure. Cheers my friend. Jono and Just take us back to the Lodge and our last day is over. Tomorrow we head back to the US. I feel like it is not goodbye but see ya later. Hopefully Jono and I keep in touch, I would really like to have him and Just come stay with us in the states. I'd really like to take him on an Elk hunt. Its his equivalent to a Kudu for me and he has expressed that he would really like to do it someday. It would be a cool way to repay him. I hope that one day we can work it out.
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day 10

Last morning and We get to say our goodbyes. Jono shows up early and we take care of all left over payment stuff. Justine shows up with Elvis so we can say good bye to them. It was nice to see him as Vero and i have a big soft spot for him. She was really looking forward to giving him a new backpack we picked out as a gift. His was torn up a bit. It was a nice gesture and he was very appreciative. We say goodbye to Florbela and Didier, owners of Zebra Lodge, and Jono takes us to the airport. He helps us get all our stuff checked in and makes sure we are all set to go. We have a few laughs and say our see ya laters as well. Veronica and I feel like we have not only had a great safari but we also made new friendships that will last forever. We will never forget this trip. Our 1st anniversary was perfect. Now for the 32 hours of flying ahead of us.


We have 3 uneventful flights and make it home safe and sound. A bit tired and stinky but alive and well. Jono, Justine, Wayne we cant say thank you enough for all the parts you played in our adventure. It went off without a hitch and was better than I could have ever thought. I never believed the day would come where I would be in Africa on my own Safari. Well now it's behind me and I can't stop thinking about it. Replaying each and every moment. My wife has made me a happy man, if it wasn't for her it wouldn't have happened. Till next time, it's not goodbye its see you later. Cheers to our new friends. See you soon.

To anyone inquiring about Kingsview I highly recommend them. There attention and thoughtfulness is second to none. Im sure there are many great places in Africa to hunt but give them a call if you are thinking of going again or on your first Safaris. You wont be disappointed. Their rep here in the states is John Alvino and he was a pleasure to deal with and extremely helpful as well. His number is on their web page.
 

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cpr0312

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Welcome to AH! Congrats on your safari and trophies! Some great pics as well
 

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Fabulous warthog!! Looks like a great trip, congrats!
 

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Well done my friend. All nice animals and you had one great trip.

I am sorry I missed your call but I did call back but missed you. I hope the trip was all you thought it would be and all we talked about was on the money with how it all went. Maybe I will see you next year in new mexico when I get back there to hunt.
 

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Congrats on your anniversary and a good hunt, just love that warthog, a real monster !
 

johnnyblues

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Congratulations my friend. I am glad your hunt was everything I told you it would be. Fine trophies outstanding memories. It was my pleasure helping you. Stay in touch.
 

darrack10

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Thanks to all. It was unbelievable and thanks for all the help from John, Bill C , and AH for the website and all the helpful topics. It helped tremendously.
 

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Thanks to all. It was unbelievable and thanks for all the help from John, Bill C , and AH for the website and all the helpful topics. It helped tremendously.

Glad you found what you needed. Back TTT to read your report now.
 

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Yes sir, make sure you let me know when your coming this way, I'll meet you there just to say hi and help out anyway I can.
 

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You just confirmed that Jono is a very fast learner and was going to ensure that you never had a question about your hunt. Well done Jono.

That maize stuff is "Pap". Glad you got to have something very South African to eat.

It's a pleasure to read your excitement about your hunt and your experience with your bride.

Congratulations all round.

Thanks for sharing it with us.
 

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Yes sir, make sure you let me know when your coming this way, I'll meet you there just to say hi and help out anyway I can.

I sure will let you know as any hand carrying an elk out of unit 17 is a plus. LOL Just kidding but I will let you know for sure as I should be out to hunt a deer and hope more if I draw the tags.

Did you get to stop in and see pauls shop? Decide on anything on your mounts yet at all?
 

billc

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Don't know how I missed it the first time but I see you did meet up with paul. Sorry I missed that part but give some details on what you are doing with your stuff pose wise when you know.

That one eland bull in the pictures is massive and I must have been stuck looking at that and missed the relive and paul part. :whistle:
 

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Caracal as your first African animal is pretty special.

Your warthog is a snorter!
 

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Great report ... really loved the personal perspectives. That eland was a beast ... not sure I have that much self control.

You will be very happy working with Paul. I had my taxidermy on my wall 6 months after my hunt.
 

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Caracal as your first African animal is pretty special.

Your warthog is a snorter!
I felt the same way. I couldn't believe we saw 2 Caracal in the daylight. That place has a bunch of them.
 

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Great report and Congrats on the One year! No worries about the "heart," you have to do it for your lady. We married men all understand.
 

darrack10

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Great report ... really loved the personal perspectives. That eland was a beast ... not sure I have that much self control.

You will be very happy working with Paul. I had my taxidermy on my wall 6 months after my hunt.
It was hard to hold off. I had everyone telling me how big he was and what a trophy it was but I knew the extra money I had was for a Nyala. I will say this though, he would be dead if I hadn't killed that Nyala. Someone needs to go out there and get him though, the pic doesn't do him justice. He is gorgeous.
 

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Congrats, what a great trip!!! You shot a dreamy warthog!!!!!!!!!
 

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Your animals will look very nice like that and the warthog coming out at the base would be great I think. That is a big pig and really a giant for the east cape.

I am sure your finger was itching bad seeing that eland bull. The body size of that bull makes it the true trophy and he is at his prime by the look of it.
 

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