SOUTH AFRICA: My First African Safari With Bos en Dal Safaris June 8 To 14 2018

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by Mark Biggerstaff, Jun 16, 2018.

  1. Mark Biggerstaff

    Mark Biggerstaff BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Bos en Dal Safaris
    PH Gerrit J. van Vuuren
    Rifle: Remington 700 375 HH
    Ammo: Handload Barnes 235 TSX

    Traveled Delta from Houston To Atlanta
    Then Delta 200 to Johannesburg. Upraded to Delta Comfort and had isle seat on bulkhead row. This made trip more comfortable. I had took the advise of those on AH and had Jennifer with Travel Express do all my flight planning. She made it all effortless. Also contacted Henry with Riflepermits and did preapproval and meet and greet.
    Arrival day: Plane landed and as I exited plane there was meet and greet. He quickly escorted me thru customs and off to baggage claim. Got bags and off to main hall. When We arrived in main hall there was Gerrit along with Riflepermits representative. We were off to SAPS. When my case arrived I claimed it and after a few minutes we were done and gone to Gerrit’s car. Took all of 45 minutes after de boarding plane and we were gone. Gerrit said it was a 2 hour drive to camp. We had a really good visit and talked about the up coming days. During this entire planning process Gerrit has answered every question timely and been great with communication the entire time.
    We arrived at camp around 10:30 and I unpacked and off to bed.

    Day one hunt:
    I was so excited I didn’t sleep much. We were up at 6am. We had Juice and muffins and were off at daylight. Headed to range and checked rifle. We started a drive thru the property and saw all kinds of animals. We where hunting for what ever would be an interesting animal and was mature. Gerrit’s property very thick with open areas and mountains with valleys. We stopped and made a walk thru the bush to see what we might bump into. We saw kudu cows and young bulls. Spotted some Impala and made a stalk on them. There were several nice rams in herd but Gerrit said we could do better. We walked and made a few stalks on some more Impala that were not successful. We stopped for lunch at 11:00 am.
    What a delicious lunch it was. Pork ribs, potatoes and salad. IMG_1969.JPG

    After a short rest we were gone again. We saw more Impala and made some stalks that were not successful. We moved on and Gerrit spotted an old Hartabeest that was outcast from the herd. He had nice wore down horns with mass. I told Gerrit lets put a stalk on him. That I liked his looks. Terrain was rocky rolling grass flat. We lost sight of him for awhile in the tall grass. Then as we topped a rise there he was at less than 50 yards. Up the sticks went and I was immediately on them. The 375 dropped him in his tracks. My first African Animal in the salt. 2fdf6139-d984-4a80-b683-0327db846653.jpg 36050631-aec7-42a9-b3e7-d3556dd6ab68.jpg
    Gerrit radioed for recovery team and pics where taken. After loading animal we were off again. We spotted a really nice Kudu and stalked and chased him till darkness set in. We headed back to camp for dinner and drinks by the fire.
    IMG_2007.JPG 91A136BA-EF22-4140-9F11-68506274D424.jpg
    First day done. More to come.
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  2. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    That 235gr Barnes TSX has started to make its mark for you! Can’t wait to hear how it does!
     
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  3. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Congratulations.
     
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  4. Mark Biggerstaff

    Mark Biggerstaff BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Day two:
    We started out at daybreak heading to where we last saw the Kudu the evening before. Shortly after leaving lodge Gerrit spotted to old male Blesbuck. We made a stalk on them but they vanished in the brush and never could find them. We continued on to where the Kudu was last seen and came across a herd of Zebra!! Since they were on my list we planned the stalk and started. But when we got to where we had seen them they were gone. We walked the area where they had been but nothing was seen. Moved on up the mountain to a vantage point to glass the area. Spotted Waterbuck,Eland, Nyala, Blue Wildabeest and Impala. We made an attempt at the Wildabeest. After a long stalk and bumping them in the thick bush they turned and almost ran over us!! Herd passed us at full run less than 20 yards from us. What a rush that was! We let them go and started back after Kudu. We found the cows he had been with but he was nowhere to be seen. After a while and some walking we spotted him about 400 yards away up a hill. Gerrit got us in position with the right wind and we were gone after him. We spotted him again at about 250 yards and started working the brush going toward him. Then as the gray ghost does he vanished in the brush and we couldn’t locate him again. We decided to break for lunch and let him settle down since he knew we were after him. After a delicious lunch we headed out to hunt a water hole mid day for warthog. Saw lots of game just no shooters. We then went and looked for the Kudu the rest of day but could not locate him. Day 2 is done and nothing in the salt but what a day it was.
     
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  5. Mark Biggerstaff

    Mark Biggerstaff BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Day 3
    Was a colder morning, light frost in places and Gerrit said he thought he knew where the Kudu would be this morning catching the rising sun on the mountain. Sure enough he was right. Not long after sun up we spotted the cows and him sunning. We made a stalk and everything worked perfect. 157 yard shot. He went 20-30 yards and was done.
    What a magnificent bull for my first Kudu.
    Gerrit doesn’t usually tape an animal, but this he did. 58 inch bull in the salt!!
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    After calling for recovery crew and getting him loaded we headed out to see what we could find. Came upon blue wildabeest. After a couple hours stalking and bumping them in the thick brush and no shots we decided to break for lunch.
    After an early lunch off to waterhole to sit fir awhile mid day. At around 4 pm we decided to drive and see what we could find. We found the blue wildabeest again and started working them on foot. The brush is thick, at times you could see them moving less than 40 yards from us but couldn’t shoot. After several hours stalking and bumping them it was getting on to dark. We topped a rise and spotted a couple of bulls. Gerrit set up sticks and picked out a nice one at around 90 yards. Hit him solid in left shoulder and he ran about 25 yards and turned to face us. I hit him with second round as a frontal shot and he dropped in his tracks. IMG_2118.JPG IMG_2143.JPG
    Got these pics as sun was setting. Called for recovery team and we headed back to camp. Day three in the books!!
     
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  6. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats in what we have seen so far! Thanks for sharing and great kudu!
     
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  7. Mark Biggerstaff

    Mark Biggerstaff BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Day 4
    Up at 4:30 am for a 1 hour drive to property where we were going to hunt for an Eland.
    Arrived at the property and met owner and one of his PHs that would accompany us. There is a good number of Cape Buffalo on this property and it is required that one of his people accompany us I was told. As we rode we were looking for one of four old bulls he wanted us to hunt. After several hours of driving and glassing Gerrit spotted one of them off in the brush. We got off truck and made a stalk to get a better look at him. At about 100 yards we spotted him standing in the brush. Gerrit looked over him and said he was an old mature bull that would make a nice mount. I agreed and sticks went up. The 375 barked and you could here the solid hit. The Eland disappeared into the brush. We gave him a few minutes and started easing toward where he was standing. Before we got there Gerrit spotted him laying flat out on ground. He went only 35 yards. What a magnificent bull he was when we reached him. Big long dewlap. Horns chipped and worn. A perfect bull in my books. IMG_2168.JPG IMG_2178.JPG
    After loading him in our truck we headed back to main camp and lunch.
     
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  8. Mark Biggerstaff

    Mark Biggerstaff BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    After another delicious lunch we headed back out to sit on water hole till dark hunting for warthog or whatever else might come in. We saw lots of game, warthogs, waterbuck, impala and kudu. Just nothing big enough our interesting enough to shoot. At dark we came in for another fabulous meal.
    Here are some random pics I took. IMG_2007.JPG IMG_2189.JPG IMG_2191.JPG IMG_2259.JPG
     
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  9. Mark Biggerstaff

    Mark Biggerstaff BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Day 5
    Up at 4:30 again. Headed out in different direction for a property to look for Black Wildabeest. We arrived there after about 1 1/2 hour drive. Met landowner who would accompany us and drive while we sat in back of truck. This is all open rolling grass land. Stalking will be challenging in this open country. We found a large herd of black wildabeest and got a plan together. After closing the distance to 247 yards and not being able to get closer it was decided since I new drop on my 375 and was sighted dead on at 200 I would take the shot. Hit was solid but a little back. I reloaded and hit him again and after about a 100 yard run he was down. IMG_2197.JPG IMG_2211.JPG
    After pics we loaded him up and headed back to main camp.
     
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  10. Mark Biggerstaff

    Mark Biggerstaff BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    After a quick lunch we were back out. Headed up the mountain to where we had seen Zebra. We found them and played chase with them the rest of the evening without getting a shot. I had a very close encounter this afternoon with one thing i had not figured on coming across with temps what they were. After one of our stalks and walks we were about a mile from truck. My knee was bothering me and Gerrit told me to wait here by some old cattle pens. I leaned my rifle against an old gate and thru my jacket on it and stood there. I looked down and in the grass I saw the back of a snake. I knew from the pattern it was a Puff Adder!! About 2 inches from my right foot. I saw his head was facing away from me and I went opposite direction. He proceeded to coil up right by the butt of my rifle!! I kept an eye on him till Gerrit got back and he took care of him. He was a big one IMG_2222.JPG
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  11. gesch

    gesch AH Veteran

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    Congratulations! Kudu is magnificent!
     
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  12. Mark Biggerstaff

    Mark Biggerstaff BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Day 6
    Up and gone at daybreak. Looking for Impala. We started driving and looking for a nice Imapla. We came across some and made a short stalk and Impala down
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    While we were moving Impala for pics a tripped in the rocks and took a face first in the rocks. Slammed right knee into a big rock and rifle hit really hard. After realizing nothing was broke in my knee we loaded up and headed for camp. Gerrit dropped me off to bandage and tape up knee. We then went to range to check rifle. Even after a hard hit it was still on. Surprised me. We went and hunted a waterhole and salt lick for warthog till noon. Saw game just nothing that was a shooter. Came in lunch. Back out soon after eating. Can’t kill anything sitting in camp was our motto. Not long after leaving camp we spotted two loan Blesbok. We made a stalk on them and Gerrit set up sticks and said take one on right. 375 was on the mark and a nice Bushveld Blesbok 16 in was in the salt IMG_2246.JPG IMG_2251.JPG
    We loaded him up and back to skinning shed

    We spent the rest of the afternoon checking different waterholes for warthog then went back to area where we had been seeing Zebra. Came in at dark for dinner and a nice fire.
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  13. Mark Biggerstaff

    Mark Biggerstaff BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Day 7
    Last hunting day.
    We started out as usual about daylight. Up the mountain looking for Zebra. We started walking the flats on top where we had seen them before. Was colder and windy this morning. Not much activity, everything was staying bedded down. We drove some and walked some not seeing alot. Needing itvto warm up we headed in for an early lunch and see if sun comes out. Sun is out and some animals are moving. Just cant locate the Zebra. After awhile we came around a bend and in the flats were three male zebra. We stoped and got a plan made and were off. After an intense stalk one of them stepped out just right. 135 yards the 375 hit perfect. Zebra went 30 yards and was done. IMG_2361.JPG IMG_2360.JPG
    Gerrit radioed for recovery team and they loaded it up and we were off for last sit for warthog. Dark came and my first safari was over. The warthog eluded me this trip but I got all the other animals on my list.
    We went to camp and had a delicious meal of Kudu loins and Eland loins over the fire.
     
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  14. Mark Biggerstaff

    Mark Biggerstaff BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    In closing my story I would like to thank Gerrit and the staff at Bos en Dal Safaris for making my first trip to Africa a most memorable one. I would highly recommend them to anyone wanting an absolute true African Safari experience. The area is beautiful and rugged which made it perfect.

    My last sunset and fire. What a perfect way to end an absolute wonderful experience.
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  15. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    You had a great hunt with some nice trophies!! Congrats!!
     
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  16. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    A great hunt with very good trophies, huge kudu and I specially like the hartebeest, a very old animal.

    Congrats and thanks for the report !
     
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  17. Mark Biggerstaff

    Mark Biggerstaff BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    And YES I am hooked. Already trying to figure out when I can make the next trip happen. Being there just does something to ones body and soul and makes you want to go back for more.
     
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  18. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    What an absolutely grand first safari! Excellent trophies! Adder, quite the surprise! Fantastic scenery! Couldn’t have asked for more...oh yes...the missing warthog! Hmmm...guess you’ll just have to go back;)!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Did you by any chance recover any of the Barnes 235 TSX bullets?
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018

  19. Mark Biggerstaff

    Mark Biggerstaff BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    [QUOTE="Ridgewalker, post: 457696, member: 28910"

    Did you by any chance recover any of the Barnes 235 TSX bullets?[/QUOTE]

    Yes I did. 2 of them is all. One from Eland and frontal shot on Blue wildabeest. All others were complete pass thru. Will post a pick of them when I finish unpacking.
     

  20. Mark Biggerstaff

    Mark Biggerstaff BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Yes I will be going back for the elusive warthog and one of Gerrit’s magnificent Sable I saw. Just wasn’t in budget for this hunt IMG_2428.JPG
     
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