It’s been a bit since our return from the most amazing hunting experience of my life. Sorry for the delay getting this out, work and fishing has consumed most of my time since our return the end of May. Let me first start by explaining some background about myself and a bit about my hunting experience. I grew up in a small town in Northern Michigan USA and started hunting and fishing at a very young age. After returning home from the Army in 1991 I moved back home for a short time until a job transfer took me to mid Michigan in 1992. Right now you are probably saying ok, what does that have to do with this hunting trip report. Let me explain my reasoning for that information. The job relocation and residence move brought the opportunity for me to meet the person I would later vow to spend the rest of my life with. When they say opposites attract Lori and I are the exact definition of that. Myself growing up in the wild outdoors and Lori the city, is about the farthest apart you can get. I am not a shopper and she is not a hunter, fisher or even much of an outdoors person. About the biggest outdoor activity she enjoys is camping and sitting around a campfire. And when I say camping I don’t mean in a tent. When we camp it’s in a 30’ travel trailer with all the luxuries. So when I was asked a year ago this last January if my wife and I were interested in joining a group on safari I was a bit hesitant to ask Lori. Little did I know her response would be so receptive and she didn’t even hesitate to say YES I want to go. Now keep in mind I have been on several hunts including, my first trip to South Africa in 2014, 3 black bear bowhunts to northwestern Ontario Canada, one to New Brunswick Canada, Caribou hunted North Eastern Quebec Canada, not to mention I am a very avid whitetail hunter. I have hunted nearly every species in Michigan including several Russian Boar with bow and arrow. In the nearly 25 years we have been together, Lori has never hunted with me. When we started planning the trip, she told me that she wanted to hunt with me every day. I explained that many of the hunts were going to be tough because i wanted to spot and stalk with my bow as much as possible. To say she was a trooper would be an understatement, as she was by my side every day and in the photos for all animals taken. The only day the entire trip she was not with me, is the day the guys went fishing, that was her “BIG” day shopping. Before I booked the trip, Kurt “AKA Tay50” said he wanted me to talk with Marius and discuss what I would be interested in. Knowing that I hunted in 2014 and took 13 animals Kurt wanted to make sure I was comfortable with Marius and his availability to great hunting concessions. I sent Marius an email around 10:30pm our time to introduce myself and ask if we could speak briefly by phone. I received a response from Marius shortly after 5am that next morning stating he would call me at 9am our time. My first thought was wow that's great customer service… Little did i know that was only a small sample of great customer service myself and the rest of our group would receive. We spoke for a bit about my experience in 2014 and explained what my package would consist of for this trip. After speaking with Marius I could tell by his excitement that he had a passion that was very similar to mine and we would get along very well. Over the next week or so we worked out the details, made some changes to my package and a deposit was made. Now for the hard part, the 17 month wait until departure. In March we all went to Toronto to meet Marius and Kim at the outdoor show they were at. After a very short conversation, my thoughts were confirmed that Marius and I shared the same passions both in hunting and business. I myself being a small business owner, know that outstanding customer service is key in any service based industry and it was very obvious Marius had a built his company on the same believes I have. When talking to Marius in Toronto, i told him that Lori wanted to hunt along with me as much as possible. I explained her lack of hunting experience and that I was a bit concerned how she would handle the terrain. He said no worries, he would see to it that we were in good hands and be with one of his best PH’s. Well the wait was finally over and we were off to the dark continent. After a long flight we arrived in Johannesburg, was greeted by Mr X (the best option for getting through the SAPS office with firearms) and headed for a nights stay at the Afton House prior to our next morning flight to Port Elizabeth. Our stay was a great experience with a very nice dinner at a local steak house, followed by a night of tossing and turning and very little sleep. We were up early for a very nice breakfast and a trip back to the airport. After landing at the airport in Port Elizabeth, we were picked up by bus and headed for a 3 day 2 night stay at Schotia Safaris a private game preserve to start our trip. Once we arrived, we met our guide for the next 3 days Kurt. This young man was great at his job and took a lot of heckling from our group. The lodge, staff and food were all amazing but the game drives were simply beyond our expectations. The safari presented the opportunity to see the big 5 in their natural environment and the amount of game on the property was simply unbelievable. one of the highlights was the trip to the Addo Elephant Park where we saw well over a hundred elephants with several up close and personal encounters. The last day at Schotia was also our first day with KMG. We were met at Schotia by Marius, Kim and the rest of the team from KMG. Lori and I met our PH for the week (and new family member) Greg and right away felt like were in great hands. Although our hunt didn't officially start until the following day, we were briefed by Marius and told we could start our hunt early if we wanted. He then explained the events for the remainder of the day which included an hour or so ride prior to getting settled in at Mpunzi Lodge for our 8 day stay. Upon or arrival we met our awesome cooks and lodge staff Nicole and Graham. After getting settled and unpacked we had some lunch, headed to the range to check our shooting abilities and off for our first hunting trip of 2017 with KMG Safaris. I will add more photos as I work my way through the days of this trip unmatched by any of my other hunting experiences to date. This will likely be a long post with a few unexpected twists so stay tuned. More to come real soon.