SOUTH AFRICA: MOZAMBIQUE: Epic Buffalo Safari, 24 Days, 2 Countries!

hansv

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Hi Friends on AH, I am between safaris so I cannot go into very much detail on this safari, so this is a summary report. We hunted 2 areas, one in South Africa and the other in Mozambique.The buffalo are wild and free ranging and we enjoyed some epic experiences from wonderful wildlife sightings to exciting hunting and quality time around the campfire in the evenings. We focussed on old buffalo, not "trophy" buff which in my opinion are often younger animals. Our goal was to pursue dagga boys either on their own or in small bachelor groups. These are THE BUFFALO to hunt! The 2 hunters carried fine double rifles, a Heym 500 nitro (Hornady ammo) and a quality Spanish double in a 470 calibre . For the life of me I cannot recall the make of the Spannish double, all I know is that it was a great quality weapon and it had a long name and my Spannish is zero. We used softs 85% of the time and they performed really well.

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We only had 2 buffalo that gave us tense follow ups. NO 1 was the very first buffalo of the trip which was quatering towards us and the shot was a little far forward. We ended up almost on top of this buffalo which required some fast shooting which brought him down. The bull is pictured below. Ill get to the other one later.

SA Buff (6).jpg

Super bosses, great bull.

Below are more pics of Buffalo we hunted in SA, each one has its own special story, however I simply don't have time to elaborate on these all. Needless to say every hunt was awesome, on foot and mostly up close. We had many failed stalks in thick Mopani where we were outsmarted, but in the end we came right with the quota allocated to this safari.

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ABOVE This was the youngest "old bull" we hunted, taken just before sunset.

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The 2 buffalo above were taken in quick succession. We tracked a small group for about an hour and found them bedded up at about 11am, as the heat of the day sets in buff tend to find shade and rest. We took the bull on the left first, he went down after a left and a right from the 500 nitro, I knew he wasn't going anywhere. To our left the bull on the right stepped out from behind a bush. The 470 knocked him over with 2 well placed shots. I have never had a "double" on buffalo, credit to the hunters for great shooting. Super old Bulls, the one on the left had great bosses.

SA Buff (4).jpg


Above: We found this old bull in a mud wallow, ambushed him as he left the open area headed for cover. This bull was already in the departure lounge, hip and rib bones showing, really old dagga boy, perfect animal to take.

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We took packed lunch each day, there was no down time on this safari.

SA Buff.jpg


Above: This was probably my favourite hunt of the trip. We found sign of 2 old buff in an area with plenty of cover, 2 river systems...tall grass....perfect for old dagga boys. We spent a good 7 hours driving tracks, following tracks on foot which went in circles, which had us totally confused especially when lions got involved and clearly (from the tracks) gave these 2 buffalo a serious go the night before. We gave up, stopped for a late lunch and decided to take one last spin along a dry river bed. By this time it was 4pm. One of my trackers spotted a shiny boss as we drove over the crest of a small hill. The buffalo were below us, laying down soaking up the late afternoon sun. We left the truck and used the tall grass as cover. We got to within 50 yards when the oxpeckers spotted us, altering the buff. This buff stood up "perfectly" and the 500 roared twice, the 470 also got involved and this buff died within 5 feet of where he stood. I have this on my gopro and its awesome. I love the pic of this fine old bull, literally layered in mud from head to toe. We quatered the buff and cracked some cold beers on the drive back to camp. Great day, spectacular old bull.

SA Buff (3).JPG

Above: We ambushed this solitary bull, took him from a small ridge, the buff was below us, range was about 40 yards right in the open. He was in the process of slipping away, we had to sprint to get into position. Once again great a quick clean kill.

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Above: This was our last buff in SA. As you can see from the pic, this bull was taken just before sunset. We struggled to get onto him with swirling winds. There were also some Rhino hanging around with this buffalo, along with 3 other buff. We knew the buff were headed for a small water hole so we flanked the buff, got ahead of them at positioned ourselves on a trail about 100 meters from the waterhole. The wind held and sure as eggs, we saw the buff coming down the trail and to make things even better, this old bull was in the front. We held until the buff was 30 yards from us and the 470 boomed twice, first shot perfect shoulder, the second quatering into the buff as it turned. The " death below" came quick and it was over, the buff lay 20 yards from where he stood when the first round hit home.

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Above: Quite a collection of buffalo. Some folks may be alarmed at the number of buffalo we hunted. Please know that all these buffalo were part of the annual quota, had these guys not bought these tags other hunters would have. Quotas in both areas we hunted are very conservative, 100% sustainable and the funding from these hunts is the largest financial contributor for these areas to fight poaching and protect these beautiful places.

Area NO 2, across the border we go!
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We enjoyed spectacular wildlife sightings during the safari, in both areas. We saw lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant, rhino and a large variety of antelope, varying from kudu to klipspringer, truly magical destinations!

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In the 2nd area we hunted 4 buffalo. 2 out of herds & 2 were solitary bulls ( we were forced to, most of the bulls all headed to the herds because the cows were in estrus) . The first buffalo was a bit nerve wracking because I don't like frontal shots on buffalo, they often lead to bad news. We elected to go for it since my mate with the 500 n had already proved how well he shot it and we didn't have endless time on our hands. We stalked up to 90 yards from the edge of the herd and the buff spotted us because it was fairly open country. A big old bull emerged and gave us the classic nose up bank manager stare when you owe the bank money. We discussed shot placement and the shot looked perfect, just below the chin! The buff almost sat down, turned and was enveloped in dust as the herd thundered off. We headed in the direction that the buff ran and I spotted the bull, stone dead just 50 yards from where it stood on bullet impact. The shot was absolutely perfect, so much so that this bull never had a chance to give us the death below. I was totally relieved and all credit to the hunter for making an exceptional shot! Here is the buffalo below, an awesome bull.

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The next buffalo was taken a few days later, also in the late afternoon, this time with the 470. It was a similar situation however the shot was a well placed broadside shot which did the job. Another fine bull pictured below.

moz buff (1).JPG


A few days later we bumped a herd from the vehicle as we rounded a corner along a small river system. The herd headed off in a southerly direction and we had no wish to pursue them, with 2 buff left to hunt my guys wanted bulls either solitary or in a bachelor group. As luck would have it, after the herd had departed the trackers spotted a bull about 500 meters to our north, it was quite obviously trailing the herd. To cut a long story short, we bumped the bull which headed for some scarily long grass and cover. I though we had lost him and suddenly there he was 50 yards from us, heading our way. We were on the top of a small bank concealed by some thick green bushes, standing on the trail that the buff was on, as he walked directly towards us. At about 20 yards he knew something was up and lifted his head startled, allowing us a perfect frontal. The 470 boomed , then again as the buff regained its footing. A couple more insurance shots and this epic hunt was over. Truly a memorable hunt, here is the bull below.

moz buff.JPG


With 2 days to spare we found an old buffalo which had eluded us on the first day. This bull, based on the way he escaped us on the first day, was smart, shy and probably a bit grumpy. The trackers did a great job in following this bulls tracks through thick grass and hard ground. Eventually one of the trackers spotted this bull in the middle of a thicket, standing looking in our direction. We crawled up to the thicket, stood up slowly and the buff was "gone". I thought the bull had spotted us and left, the trackers believed he had layed down and they were smack on correct. We edged closer and sure as nuts, there was a shiny boss, glowing in the mid morning sun. We edged even closer until the buffs body was visible, only just! We waited for a good 20 min in the hope that the buff would stand up, 470 poised on the sticks. We then threw some clods in the buffs direction, all the old bull did was lift his head and prick up his ears. He would not move, obviously the buff felt safe in the thicket and despite that he was still laying down he was 100% alert. Finally we decided to take a shot, his shoulder was visible but the exact angle was hard to determine. Both hunters were side by side now, ready to cut loose, it was a risky shot because the angle of his body was not 100% confirmed, although I thought I had a good call on it. The 470 roared and the buff was up in a flash, then the 500 joined the fray and the buff went down. Time to reload. The buff stood up, facing us and he was close. I could see in his eyes that there was a fleeting moment when he could have charged, he almost did, fortunately he turned and went for a gap in the brush at which time both doubles boomed again, 2 times a piece and the buff stayed down for good. I would never have elected to take the first shot had there not been 2 heavily armed hunters ready at my side who had shot so well on every buffalo thus far. An epic hunt to end an epic safari. The buff is pictured below, this is the other bull that gave us a tense moment which luckily turned out well.

moz buff (4).jpg


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This was an epic adventure with great friends whom Ive hunted with many times! A special thank you to my clients (great friends) & everyone involved on this hunt, all the trackers, skinners, camp staff and my mate Alex. Buffalo hunting is always thrilling and its vital to make the first shot count each and every time. I have the utmost respect for these spectacular animals whether I am hunting them or not, Africa would not be the same without them!
 

cpr0312

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Looks like a great time and some good bulls, congrats!
 

James Patsis

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What an epic hunt and great old trophy bulls!!! Looking forward to hunting with CVS again later on this year and maybe hearing some of these stories over a cold one!
 

cagkt3

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Those are some very nice old bulls. I love the bosses that look "ate up" for lack of a better term.
 

johnnyblues

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What bosses on that buffalo. I d be thrilled to shoot a buffalo like that. 30 day count down! On the ground.
 

gillettehunter

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Some great looking buffalo. Your hunters did well. Congrats Bruce
 

Brent in Az

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That is some exciting Buff hunting. Dandy bulls!
 

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+1
 

enysse

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Sounds like a fun hunt!
 

375 Ruger Fan

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Awesome hunt and story, thanks! Not to take away from the story, but since you pointed out that one client carried a Heym 500 NE and used Hornady ammo, apparently with some success, can you add to the commentary? I'm assuming they were DGX since you said they used softs 85% of the time.
 

Mark19707

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Good grief!!! If you need a new friend to tag along call me! What an awesome experience
 

BRICKBURN

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Those guys had way too much fun chasing Buffalo.

Congrats to them both on some nice trophies.
 

IA Monsterbuck

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Wow, great hunt! I can't even imagine what it would cost to shoot a dozen cape buffalo. I wish I could afford just one!
 

Kowas Adventure Safaris

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Congratulations in creating special memories.
 

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I loved it!! A hearty well-done to the hunters, guides........................and the photographer! Great photos..............................FWB
 

sestoppelman

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Great stuff, not to mention some excellent photos.
 

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