SOUTH AFRICA: My October 2016 Hunt With AAA Africa Serapa Safaris

cpr0312

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Well folks, I recently returned from beautiful, scenic, majestic South Africa again. I am beyond blessed to have been able to return to South Africa once again, a place that has a secure hold on me and my heart now after the third time. This time I hunted with Jacques Spamer and @AAA Africa Serapa Safaris in the NW Province near the town of Tosca.

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This came together pretty quick, not lightning fast but more quickly for me than normal. However, I had spoken with/emailed Jacques in the past, so there was familiarity and also I was totally comfortable with all his stellar reviews on this site. We had previously spoken about plains game hunting and more recently about lion and leopard hunting which are both very high on my list. Anyways, earlier this year after Jacques moved to AAA Serapa, I spoke with him again and we had some good conversations. To make a much longer story short for this part of the report, we discussed some things like working on behalf of AAA Africa Serapa here in the states at some shows . That conversation progressed and we mutually decided that if that would be the case, that I would need to visit to see for myself!

The instant excitement was intense, the thought of returning to South Africa again, as I'm sure many of you know what feeling I am talking about, when you get a plan together, buy the tickets, etc. So, early September ticket was purchased on Delta 200/201, now anxiously wait until late October to board. Lots of daydreaming ensued for the next six weeks with many work interruptions along the way with Africa on the brain.

This time I went with the mindset (which I have absorbed and thankfully learned from many of you on AH) to have a general plan/specie list, but to also take what Africa gives you.

Luckily for me I travel quite a bit for work and and personal, and also again I have absorbed so much knowledge from the guys and girls on this site, that I don't stress out with packing like I used to. I know exactly what and how much to take with me now, so I actually didn't pack until the day before. I will be using a rifle of Jacques (tbd when there).

Fast forward to October 17th, Clt-Atl at 5:30, then Atl-JNB at 8:00 to arrive in JNB at 5:50 pm on the 18th

Typical 15 1/2 hour flight for me, a few movies, no sleep, lots of walking around. No problems in either airport. On arrival in JNB, we are the only plane that has arrived when we get to customs! The new body scanner thing was operational, and you could see all the colors on yourslef on the screen when you walked by it. It did not see them stop anybody while I was in line, probably 30 minutes from the time I got in line to getting through (I was near the back of the plane). Once I retrieve my bag, I meet Jacques' representative and we are off towards Tosca, some 6- 6 1/2 hours. I get settled into the chalet about 1 am, shower then off to bed as we are getting started about 8 am.

Here are a few pics of the first day around the chalet and lodge.

More to come soon, I will do my best to keep adding to the report quickly
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Aaron Nietfeld

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Looks to be a good report coming!
 

Royal27

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Wow! Can't wait to hear!
 

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BRICKBURN

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Alrighty.....
 

cpr0312

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@CAustin , the lodge is amazing, chalets really nice as well!
 

gillettehunter

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Looking forward to this report. Should be a great one. Bruce
 

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Day 1 October 19th

After about 5-6 hours of sleep, I'm up at 8:00 and we have breakfast at 8:30. The temperature is very pleasant this morning, mid 60's.
After breakfast Jacques and I head to the gun safe where I have my choice of quite a few rifles/calibers. Anything from .243, 30.06, .300, .376, .416, .458. .500, maybe some others I am forgetting about. Jacques has me dry fire a few to get the feel for the triggers and what suites me. Heading out for plains game, I go with the 30.06 as it feels good and the trigger suites me. It is a Musgrave and we use 165 grain ammo. We head over to the range to take some shots, we also bring along his CZ .375 and his Merkel .470 double.

A few shots with the 30.06, a few adjustments and we are good. One shot with the .375 is dead on, then Jacques breaks out the .470. He shoots a few times then asks me if I care to shoot it. For some reason I decline (however I did recently have jaw surgery and I guess I am a little leary of that). At any rate, we head on, a few minutes into the drive we spot a lone warthog, and pig is on my wish list. He is in some taller grass, but when he picks his head up Jacques immediately speaks with the driver Docman in his native language (not Afrikaans) and we stop. The slowly back up and get off the truck for a stalk. Game on!! Unfortunately, the wind switches on us a few minutes into the stalk and the pig gives us the slip. We pursue and stay on his tracks for 20 minutes or so, eventually catching up and jumping him out of some thick brush. But no shot was available and he was gone kicking up sand and dust! Exciting stuff.

We move on and later find a herd of black wildebeest which also happens to be on the wishlist. They are in a wide ope field with no trees or cover, the closet you could hope to get was about 150 yards, but they were about 400-500 from where we were. We slowly work our way around the cover, probably about 45 minutes worth, the whole time the wildebeest are actually working in the same direction. It gets to a point where we are taking 1 or 2 stops, pausing for a few minutes, then another few steps, repeat. Finally the herd stops, we are at the last tree with some brush underneath, about 190 yards out. Jacques spots the bull we want to try for, and again luckily that bull and one other separate themselves to the far left. On the sticks, no shot, wildebeest acting crazy as they do in their herds, but the bull stays to the far left. Eventually a shot presents itself, time to focus, breath, concentrate. All of which Jacques helps me do, shoot behind the shoulder as he is slightly quartering away. Shot rings out, bull reacts just the way you hope he does, like he is hit hard. It ends up being a good shot as he goes about 100 yards, cant keep up with the herd, topples over, and expires, Smiles, handshakes, excitement. We get to the bull, I am happy and overwhelmed. What an animal. Jacques is happy, I am happy. Its now lunchtime, after some pics we head in for lunch

Here are a few pics of the lodge and the wildebeest. Those wood carvings on the front are solid pieces of wood!!
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cpr0312

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Another pic of the entry into the lodge
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PHOENIX PHIL

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Day 1 October 19th

After about 5-6 hours of sleep, I'm up at 8:00 and we have breakfast at 8:30. The temperature is very pleasant this morning, mid 60's.
After breakfast Jacques and I head to the gun safe where I have my choice of quite a few rifles/calibers. Anything from .243, 30.06, .300, .376, .416, .458. .500, maybe some others I am forgetting about. Jacques has me dry fire a few to get the feel for the triggers and what suites me. Heading out for plains game, I go with the 30.06 as it feels good and the trigger suites me. It is a Musgrave and we use 165 grain ammo. We head over to the range to take some shots, we also bring along his CZ .375 and his Merkel .470 double.

A few shots with the 30.06, a few adjustments and we are good. One shot with the .375 is dead on, then Jacques breaks out the .470. He shoots a few times then asks me if I care to shoot it. For some reason I decline (however I did recently have jaw surgery and I guess I am a little leary of that). At any rate, we head on, a few minutes into the drive we spot a lone warthog, and pig is on my wish list. He is in some taller grass, but when he picks his head up Jacques immediately speaks with the driver Docman in his native language (not Afrikaans) and we stop. The slowly back up and get off the truck for a stalk. Game on!! Unfortunately, the wind switches on us a few minutes into the stalk and the pig gives us the slip. We pursue and stay on his tracks for 20 minutes or so, eventually catching up and jumping him out of some thick brush. But no shot was available and he was gone kicking up sand and dust! Exciting stuff.

We move on and later find a herd of black wildebeest which also happens to be on the wishlist. They are in a wide ope field with no trees or cover, the closet you could hope to get was about 150 yards, but they were about 400-500 from where we were. We slowly work our way around the cover, probably about 45 minutes worth, the whole time the wildebeest are actually working in the same direction. It gets to a point where we are taking 1 or 2 stops, pausing for a few minutes, then another few steps, repeat. Finally the herd stops, we are at the last tree with some brush underneath, about 190 yards out. Jacques spots the bull we want to try for, and again luckily that bull and one other separate themselves to the far left. On the sticks, no shot, wildebeest acting crazy as they do in their herds, but the bull stays to the far left. Eventually a shot presents itself, time to focus, breath, concentrate. All of which Jacques helps me do, shoot behind the shoulder as he is slightly quartering away. Shot rings out, bull reacts just the way you hope he does, like he is hit hard. It ends up being a good shot as he goes about 100 yards, cant keep up with the herd, topples over, and expires, Smiles, handshakes, excitement. We get to the bull, I am happy and overwhelmed. What an animal. Jacques is happy, I am happy. Its now lunchtime, after some pics we head in for lunch

Here are a few pics of the lodge and the wildebeest. Those wood carvings on the front are solid pieces of wood!!View attachment 162704 View attachment 162705 View attachment 162706 View attachment 162707 View attachment 162708

I think this may be one of the bulls I scared. Certain I know where you were, keep it coming!
 

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That lodge is looking better and better!
 

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Day 1 wraps up with us getting on a herd of gemsbok with a big bull in it, but they slip away in the thick brush. It ends with another amazing South African sunset and a great steak dinner. Then off to bed somewhat early to try to get a full nights sleep.

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Glad you were able to make this trip. Look forward to hearing all about it.
 

cpr0312

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Day 2 started at 7 am as I was still very tired from no sleep on the plane. After another great breakfast, we leave at 8 am. It was very windy that morning and proved to be very windy all day. 25-35 mph sustained with gusts in the 40's. We still get on and see game all day, just not in the staggering numbers we did on day 1. The morning doesn't produce anything, but hey I am enjoying myself nonetheless. I tell Jacques I love this! Just being in South Africa, driving and walking in the bush, spotting and viewing game, he agrees. A great lunch of chicken pie and salad is had, very very tasty!

After some rest, we head back out about 3:30. The afternoon proves to be the same as the morning, very windy and the game is staying put. We still see lots of game, but hey that's how it goes. As the saying goes "a bad day of hunting is better than a good day of work"!

The day ends with a great meal of lamb chops, veggies, sweet bread, and some nice South African red wine!

Here is one of Jacques and I
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gillettehunter

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That is a fine Black Wilderbeast. Well done on the stalk and the shooting. Congrats Bruce
 

Sand Rat

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Love the black wildebeest, I like em with some width! Looking forward to the rest of the story.
 

rinehart0050

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Great report so far! looking forward to the rest!

The lodge looks amazing- jealous of your trip!
 

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very nice black wildebeest you took. They are the craziest animal to hunt I think. Looking forward to seeing what else you got on with jacques
 

cpr0312

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Thanks guys, I am very happy with the black wildebeest, been wanting one for 5 years
 

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