SOUTH AFRICA: My First Africa Hunting Trip With Lianga Safaris

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by Eventually_Africa, Aug 16, 2017.

  1. Eventually_Africa

    Eventually_Africa AH Enthusiast

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    Hello my fellow Africa Hunting enthusiasts ! I'm writing this report as I sit in the guest lodge at Lianga Safaris and even though my hunt started 3 days ago this is the first night that I've actually had a chance to write! Africa is truly amazing and I don't think I could be having a better time if I tried. Let me apologise in advance for any spelling or formatting errors, I didn't bring a computer so I'm writing this on my tablet. I will be updating this as we go, and eventually I'll figure out how to get pictures on here as well.

    Herman Scheepers is the owner of this outfit and met us at the airport on Sunday. Himself and his wife Annette made us feel welcome right off the bat and got us through our gun claim like magic. No bribes required! The lodge is about 4 hours outside of Johannesburg and after a quick bite to eat we headed out. I'd like to say I remember the whole trip but the fact is that I fell asleep halfway through . When we got to the lodge I was astounded at the variety of game that could be seen. Nyala, Blesbuck, Impala, Waterbuck and Ostrich. I could tell that this was going to be a dream come true and so far it has exceeded this lofty expectation in every way except for my shooting which, I'm sorry to say, has left a lot to be desired despite cloverleafing the target that they had us shoot to make sure we were on point when we got here.
    As soon as we had unloaded our bags and gotten our rifles re-zeroed we were up on the back of the truck for a game drive around his property. It's almost 3000 acres and we saw a ton of additional species including Hartbeast, Wilderbeast, Zebra and Kudu. As we were trundling along Herman spotted a very nice Blesbuck ram and asked if I wanted to start the hunt already. He didn't need to ask twice! We went past it a ways then jumped off the truck and started tracking back. It took about 10 minutes to locate the trail again and the Blesbuck had moved along. We closed in and Herman got me on the sticks but no sooner had I found him in my scope than he took off! Blast! But for some reason he stopped and turned around, I can only speculate to see what on earth he was running from and with a single squeeze of the trigger I had my first African animal! I was ecstatic! As I said, pictures to follow and I'll leave off here for now as there is a Braai outside and I can smell the food from here!

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  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Enjoy yourself.
     

  3. rinehart0050

    rinehart0050 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Congrats! You'll have to change your user name now.
     

  4. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    That was a good start, keep it up !
     

  5. lwaters

    lwaters BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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  6. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Sounds like a good start to me.
     

  7. PLM

    PLM AH Enthusiast

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    It just gets better.
     

  8. Neale

    Neale AH Enthusiast

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    Keep us updated. keen to hear more and see the pictures when you get a chance.
     

  9. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Looking forward to the full report and pics!!!
     

  10. AZDAVE

    AZDAVE GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Met Herman last January, real gentleman with a love for hunting. look forward to the rest of your report. Enjoy all the sights, smells and adventure you experience on your first safari. Then you just have to figure out how soon you can get back for your next safari.
     
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  11. cagkt3

    cagkt3 PLATINUM SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Good stuff!
     

  12. russ_c

    russ_c AH Veteran

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    Outstanding! Congrats, sir! Looking forward to more updates.

    When will we see the name change, lol? Sorry, couldn't resist!
     

  13. IA Monsterbuck

    IA Monsterbuck AH Veteran

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    Fantastic! Enjoy the hunt
     

  14. Eventually_Africa

    Eventually_Africa AH Enthusiast

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    IMG-20170813-WA0009.jpg
     

  15. Eventually_Africa

    Eventually_Africa AH Enthusiast

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    Alright, sorry to keep you all waiting so long! I know that I started this back in August but one thing lead to another, which lead to another etc. etc. so I've only just now gotten a chance to sit down (with pictures!) and finish this report! I know it's old info from August but in my mind it's fresh as a daisy!

    So, when we last left off I had just taken my first Africa animal, a Blesbuck! Well after he hit the dirt and photos were taken the night started to close in. Since this wasn't my "official" first hunting day (Herman doesn't count your arrival or your departure days and this was just my arrival day) and since the light was beginning to fade fast we decided to pack it in. All in all I was very happy with that, because even though it was "just a Blesbuck" I was on cloud nine. Just, the feel of the horns, the fur, reliving that first trigger pull...I don't need to tell you that I didn't sleep much that night and that I was the first one up (much to my sleeping wife's chagrin) in the morning and ready for more! We decided to stick to his land again and Herman and I headed off into the bush. I was entranced. Just the wonder of Africa, of actually walking here, the red dirt on my boots, the towering cactus trees, the whole nine yards! Unfortunately I was also about to prove how much a tourist I really was. I warm up pretty quick, always have, and decided to take off my jacket. Herman told me to toss it on a such-and-such bush, but since I didn't know one thing from the next I chose the wrong one. I didn't think much of it until he turned around, saw what I had done and grabbed it off the plant. Turns out the bush I had selected was full of some sort of worm or caterpillar or some such that only loved 2 things in life, 1 was being on the bush and the second was stinging the living daylights out of newbies such as myself that left their jackets on that insects home tree!

    This potentially painful foul up diverted we headed off down the track, walking and seeing, as Herman says "what Africa provides". We saw some ostriches off in the distance and I asked if those would be fun to stalk. Of course they would, so off we went. Under trees, through the sand, etc. etc until we had closed to within around 35 yards. As I was crouched down, trying to figure out which one I should fire on I happened to look over and see a passel of Impala moving down the hill about 80 yards away. I tapped Herman on the shoulder and motioned to them, asking with my eyes and a head nod if there were any good ones in that group since an Impala was actually on my hunting package list and the Ostrich wasn't. Also, let's be honest folks, horns over feathers any day, right? He glassed over them with his binos as I did the same with my scope, both of us settling on the same ram at the head of the group. I put my rifle up, aimed as carefully as I could and...hit! I finally heard for myself the "thwack" that you all mention when a shot hits, and though I didn't know where in the dust the Impala ram had gotten to, I knew he was hit. We got up and headed over, and it turned out that he hadn't gone more than a few paces. My second animal in the salt and I was ecstatic! IMG-20170814-WA0002.jpg
     
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  16. Eventually_Africa

    Eventually_Africa AH Enthusiast

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    The shot had scattered anything that might be in that area so we decided to head back to the front of the land, grab the truck and head off to another section to see what we could scare up. Now, as I sad earlier I was (and remain) entranced by Africa. As we went up and down the land I was busy taking in everything I could, from the trees to the insect sounds, the rocks, the termite mounds, the entire area. Unfortunately this meant that when Herman saw a very nice Wildebeest to the left, I was busy looking to the right at a particularly picturesque plant. Well we drove on for a while to put them at ease then jumped off and started the stalk. During a stalk my mind is on one thing and one thing only (not counting the small portion dedicated to not stepping on snakes, though in the end I never even saw one) and we hunched and crawled through the tangles to get a nice shot. Unfortunately it turned out that these particular Wildebeest were far better at eluding than we were at following. Even though we saw them several times they busted us in each and every instance. It was wonderful though, and I wouldn't trade the stalk for anything. Finally we gave up and headed back to the truck. That's hunting though, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and I loved it. We mounted up and headed off to yet another area to see what we could see. What we ended up seeing was a massive head, far off into the distance. Initially I mistook it for a bald-branched tree, but nope it was a beautiful Giraffe! As we got closer and closer it just got bigger and bigger. I couldn't believe my eyes. I've seen Giraffe in zoos of course, but they must have been pygmies because this fellow was absolutely massive. Herman just smiled as I sat there with my camera, shooting away.

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  17. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Glad you got back to it.

    Nice switch.
     
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  18. Eventually_Africa

    Eventually_Africa AH Enthusiast

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    After a while of sight seeing (a note here, Herman didn't mind in the slightest that I was shooting with my camera and not my rifle which made a very good impression on me) we decided to head back to the lodge for lunch and to discus the afternoons schedule. Over a nice lunch we decided that it we would head over to an avocado and macadamia nut orchard and see if my wife couldn't get a shot at a baboon. It seems that they had been raiding the trees and the farmer was more than happy to have us head over and see if we could sort one or two out. We jumped into the truck and took off. I learned something on the trip, that being "just down the road a bit" in a city here in the U.S. means something completely different than it does in South Africa. Finally we arrived however, and were instructed to hop into the back of the truck, glass the mountains over the orchard as we drove through and see if we could turn up any baboons. Between bouncing through the orchard and ducking the trees I'm afraid one or two choice words were muttered and we didn't end up seeing a single baboon. However, we did meet the land owner and since we would be on his land later to go after Bush Pig he said he wouldn't mind if we stayed on a bit, drove through and saw if we turned up any Bush Buck or anything else that happened to be in the area. As we drove around we did, in fact turn up several of them but they were all females or very small males (I'm glad they told me this, at first glance I couldn't tell a monster from a minnow, especially as the light started to fade). Suddenly, something caught the land owners eye and he motioned to the right. There, trundling away from us was a beautiful porcupine! Although these fellows aren't rightly a "sport" animal I wasn't about to pass up the chance. I jumped down, ran over to where I thought I had a good shot and, just as it made it to the trees I pulled the trigger. Well...I gave him a nice haircut, but not much else. Herman had told me earlier that I really needed to aim low, lower than I thought I needed to, because if I didn't all I would hit was quills. Well, it turns out that the professional was right and all I managed to do as hit the aforementioned quills. Of course this lead to a bit of good natured ribbing, but that's part of hunting to. We loaded back up into the truck and started off again. This time I saw something shooting through the grass at the same time that Herman told me to get on it! Well, earlier here on AH I had read numerous night-hunt accounts that said when your hunting by spotlight your only going to get once chance and you need to decide toot sweet if your going to pull the trigger. I'd decided before hand, due to Herman preventing me from taking some below-par trophies when I didn't know the difference, that I trusted him so I leveled my rifle on the running blur and squeezed the trigger. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you my Civet! IMG-20170814-WA0003.jpg
     
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  19. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats on your Hunt great trophies and that Civet is awesome!
     
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  20. Eventually_Africa

    Eventually_Africa AH Enthusiast

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    After the civet was taken my wife was a bit chilly so we headed back to the lodge. Overall a great end to a fun day, and the next day promised to be even better. I'd decided that for my first trip to Africa I should find one of the "larger" antelope to pursue and for most of the planning stages I'd been trying to decide between Kudu and Gemsbok. However, as often happens, life had other plans and as I was discussing the matter with a friend they brought up Eland. Truth be told, I'd never even thought of it, I'm not sure if I even knew they existed but after taking a good long look at some pictures and youtube videos I knew I had to have one, and in the morning we would start our hunt.
    The sun was just lightening the horizon when Herman and I loaded up the truck and headed out. I was rather nervous, the thought of landing an animal that could easily weigh in at well over a thousand pounds was a bit daunting to me and even though I'd gone so far as to print out poster sized shot placement charts for Eland and take them to the range I knew that punching paper wasn't going to prepare me. Finally, something I was right about! When we reached the land we would be hunting on I jumped into the back of the truck with Herman, the land owner and an additional PH (who I think was just along for the laughs, which sadly I did end up providing) and away we went. I cannot recall the exact size of the land we were on, but I know it was big and contained a ton of different areas from wide open fields to wide spaced forests and, of course, dense tangles of nastiness that I would end up getting all too familiar with. It took us a good while of driving to even spot the Eland, and of course everyone became excited pointing towards one animal that, for the life of me, I could not single out. I tried folks, I swear I did, but other than "skinny horns are females, fat are males" I just wasn't making any progress. We drove ways past the group and jumped down, then headed off to make contact with the heard. Sadly it turns out that Eland are magical creatures and an entire group can simply vanish, except for their tracks which I was very impressed with (note: that's my size 12 boot print next to a hoof print. I assure you this did nothing to ease the butterflies in my stomach!)

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