SOUTH AFRICA: KMG Hunting Safaris & A Month In Africa!

blacks

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Great hunt Blacks and what a spectacular finale. Love your waterbuck.

Thank you mate. It was an amazing day to end a great week.

I'm currently in Vic Falls with quite limited WiFi. When I get a chance to pinch the wife's macbook I'll continue my report

Cheers all for reading and for the kind comments.

Tim
 

blacks

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So with that, my hunt has concluded for this trip. I want to make several thank-you's before I continue with my travel report.

Firstly, to Marius and Kim Goosen, the good folk behind KMG Hunting Safaris. As I said in the opener, I'd spoken to Marius for over two years in the lead up to this trip. Hunting with Marius, right from the get-go, was like hunting with a good mate. He is a patient and skilled hunter, and is happy to put in the hard work required to get quality trophies, and more importantly, a quality hunting experience, stalked ethically on self-sustaining herds in the right way. Make no mistake, you will work for your trophies. I found the hunting here quite different to Namibia where I'd hunted previously, mostly due to the differing terrain. But Marius is more than happy to do what it takes, always having a 'plan B' (and 'plan C') up his sleeve if they are required. Even if it requires crawling through cactus and stalking in socks hehe....

Kim took fantastic care of the girls while I was out hunting with Marius, taking several day trips to nearby places, shopping and sightseeing. The girls got on like a house on fire and have a real soft spot for Kim. Not to mention the infamous Flex and Rigby, who I think will both be a little 'softer' for having my girls visit. Both Kim and Marius ensured our safety and wellbeing at every turn and we would highly recommend anyone to visit KMG. So thanks again, guys. I've little doubt we will meet again.

To our most excellent tracker, Lloyd, thank you mate. A harder worker you will not find, a personable and reliable man, with a good sense of humour and excellent skills with a knife as well.

And to all the lodge staff at Mpunzi, Graham and Nicole, and to Mark's PH, Martin, who helped me out on several occasions (and we taught to drink Bundaberg Rum in return), thank you all, it was a pleasure.

Last but not least to our Aussie travel partners Mark and Lauren, always a blast! Thanks so much for being so welcoming of the girls. Nikki and I were fortunate on our first safari to have you guys take us under your wing as experienced African travellers and we have learnt a lot along the way. So thank you both once again and we look forward to next time!

I will try and catch up with our travel report shortly, which will be a much briefer overview, but maybe of use to someone doing a similar trip, especially with family.

Cheers!

Tim Blackwell

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Mark R

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Our pleasure as always Tim Hey, Marius has long shorts on.....
 

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Marius in trousers well now I have seen it all
 

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Awesome field photo of the young lady with the Impala - first rate, nice to see you put effort into getting a quality pic to preserve the special moment
 

blacks

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Awesome field photo of the young lady with the Impala - first rate, nice to see you put effort into getting a quality pic to preserve the special moment

Marius always spared no effort to make photos as perfect as possible. It was certainly appreciated!
 

blacks

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Days 9-13
After departing KMG we overnighted in Port Elizabeth and had a fantastic dinner at the Coachman restaurant as recommended my Marius. If you ever get to PE don't miss this place - fantastic food, atmosphere and service, and all at a family-friendly price! Had a great walk around the Boardwalk foreshore shopping area and the girls spent some cash. I couldn't complain really as I'd done OK lol.....

From there we picked up our hire car, after an hour wait as they f*cked up.....but my dear wife talked them into a 1/3rd refund on the price haha. Beware a woman scored.... ;) We finally got our Toyota Fortuner and headed off on the Garden Route.

First stop Knysna, a quaint little port with a great foreshore shopping and restaurant precinct. Had a fantastic dinner at a little Italian cafe but the name escapes me, Cafe Mario I think. In general our meals were running around $70 for all four of us with drinks. Around half the price of eating out in Australia and very affordable even for a family.

Next two nights we spent down at Mossel Bay, which is roughly half way to Cape Town. We had a beachfront apartment which was very nice with fantastic views of the harbour and magnificent sunsets. From here we visited Cango Caves and had a very good tour. Surprised at how mountainous the country through here is, but it certainly is very picturesque and lives up to it's name. At times we felt like we were in Scandinavia, Canada, Mediteranian, New Zealand......

TBC....running out of wifi here in Zimbabwe!!
 

blacks

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A few random photos from the Garden Route...

Our Knysna apartment...Our wheels for the week.....and the view from our Mossel Bay balcony.

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blacks

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Knysna foreshore... Cango caves via Oudtshoorn. Beautiful places!!

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Days 14-17, Cape Town

With our drive of the Garden Route complete we settled in to a nice high-rise apartment in the centre of Cape Town. Complete with amazing views over Table Mountain! We could see through binos the cable cars going up and down to the summit and looked forward to that in the coming days.

While there we shopped at the beautiful V&A Waterfront including many outstanding restaurants which we frequented each night... highly recommended, well priced, and if you can't find something to your liking there you are fussy indeed!

After a day of getting our bearings, shopping and exploring, we spent day two doing the cable car ride up Table Mountain. Quite a spectacular place with very photographic views!!

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Brent in Az

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Wow! Magnificent views from the top of that mountain.
 

blacks

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To round out our visit to Cape Town, we did a day trip to Robben Island, prison island for hundreds of years including the apartheid era. As a bit of a history buff, I was quite looking forward to this tour; and while it was interesting at times and good to see Mandela's cell and to hear from a former inmate/political prisoner, I felt that given the resource they have available, the whole thing could have been done much better. I'd rather have time to wander through the jail at my own pace, reading etc, but the tour was fairly rigid in a group and on a fairly tight time schedule. But I'm still glad we visited.

DAYS 18-21, VIC FALLS
It was good to have some 'roots' down in Cape Town for a few days after being on the road along the Garden Route. But it was now time to head back to the airport for our flight direct to Vic Falls, Zimbabwe. All good through the airport etc. We arrived at our accommodation at Lokuthula Lodges, on the ground of the Vic Falls Safari Lodge and Boma restaurant. We had to go straight to our Sunset cruise and only just made the boat in time after being given some dodgy directions. But make it we did and had a fantastic time. Especially since I found a pally barman who kept me full of rum and coke....sometimes two at a time hehe....

Following the cruise, we caught our shuttle into town to find some tea and some basic grocery needs. Being night time, with wife and kids in tow, this was a fairly intimidating experience and the kids were a bit freaked out.....probably the only time in Africa that we didn't feel entirely comfortable. But the following morning we were able to explore the town in daylight and get our bearings which put everyone at ease, and our busy schedule of planned activities could commence.

The following day we did a walking tour of the falls which was quite good (prepare to be totally drenched at this time of year!) and then a helicopter flight over the falls; which, while quite expensive for a family, was simply amazing and the whole family loved it.

A few pics of the falls, from ground level and above....

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Ridgewalker

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Ive never seen pictures from this angle! Great! Going to have to add this to my bucket list.
Thanks!
 

blacks

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Ive never seen pictures from this angle! Great! Going to have to add this to my bucket list.
Thanks!
The flight certainly gives another perspective and is well worth it. The zigzag canyon following the falls can only be truly appreciated from above
 

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Great trip....great write ups...GREAT pics! Thanks for taking us along.
 

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Whilst in Vic Falls we enjoyed some great food. I'd vowed that we'd visit Martin Pieters' Bar, The Three Monkeys, after Martin and his wife offered generous advice in planning our trip. We had a great meal and drinks there and I was well looked after by waiter Brian. Their wood fired pizzas are highly recommended! Another place we ate at twice is the Thai restaurant upstairs at the Elephant Walk market. It's not really easy to find, and not what you'd come to Zimbabwe expecting, but the food is fantastic and a welcome change to the heavy meat diet that I frequent in Africa!

Other activities we enjoyed during our busy four days in Vic Falls were an elephant back safari, and a day tour to Chobe National Park in Botswana, including a morning game drive, lunch overlooking the Chobe river, then an afternoon cruise on the river. A photographer's paradise, I took hundreds of photos. We saw plenty of old buffalo, more big impala than I've seen in my life, a pair of lions (luckily!), literally hundreds of hippo, and lots of elephants, including one large bachelor mob swimming across the river.

A few (OK lots) of my pics. The old duggaboy is my favourite.....and I'm thinking one like him might just be the focus of my next trip to Africa....

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blacks

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And a few more live pics from Chobe...

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Ragman

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Great, great report! And incredible photos! I just finished my first day hunting at KMG and managed to kill a beauty Nyala this morning and a great Bushbuck in the afternoon. And I still have 9 days to go!
 

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