SOUTH AFRICA: Silver Anniversary Safari With Serapa Safaris

PHOENIX PHIL

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
9,117
Reaction score
7,321
Media
53
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Member of
SCI
Hunted
USA, S. Africa
Outfitter: Serapa Safaris
Location: Northwest Province, South Africa, a bit south of the town of Tosca
PH's : Jacques Spamer @AAA Africa Serapa Safaris, Ockert Olivier
Travel : Emirates Airlines
Rifles : M70 FW in .30-06 using 165gr North Fork Bonded Cores, .458B&M using 260gr CEB SOCOMs

So as most of you know, Jacques Spamer left HartzView Safaris earlier this year to work for Serapa Safaris. With this move, came a decision for me to make. I've been working for HartzView over the last several years, but it was Jacques who gave me that opportunity. And a very good friendship as well as strong trust has developed with Jacques. As such I asked Jacques if he would like me to continue working with him at Serapa and he agreed.

That said, I did not wish to actively rep for Serapa until I had hunted there. While I trusted Jacques and everything he told me about Serapa, I would feel like I'm being much more honest and giving an informed opinion if I had hunted there myself. With my older boy graduating high school and a busy summer getting him ready for college in Texas, it did not appear that could happen this year. Furthermore, this was the year of my silver anniversary and I wanted to do something special for my awesome wife Donna. When I ran various trips by her including a trip to Hawaii, she said she'd prefer to go back to Africa where she had taken her one and only animal back in 2010. Who am I to argue? Furthermore how stupid would I be to argue against a trip to Africa?

So as it turned out our younger boy was going to be having his fall break from school right around the time of our anniversary giving us a little more than a week to fit this trip in. Thanks to Donna's brother and his wife in Dallas who have been wanting to have our son for a week, we could make this work. Also a great deal on airfare thru Emirates was available, and so everything came together to make this work.

I could have titled this thread the "No List" safari. I say that as I really did not want to have a list of animals to take. Donna had taken one and only one animal hunting and that was in 2010, an ancient impala on the last day. She is so new to hunting, everything PG wise was open. I wanted her to be open to anything she decided she wanted and not feel any kind of pressure to fill a list. To be clear here, no list does not equate to no budget and should not be interpreted that way. I had a budget in mind and as long as that budget hadn't been exhausted and she wanted that animal, so be it. Whether that resulted in fewer or more animals, I did not care. I did not have a list for myself either, save for a nice Springbok which in my previous trips had eluded me. Outside of the springbok, I was interested in taking any "monster" versions of animals previously taken. I was also intrigued with taking a brown hyena. But taking the hunt as it came was really the theme of this hunt. We were there to celebrate our anniversary and enjoy the hunt and that is exactly what we did.

I'm sure many of you have visited Serapa's website or have seen pics of the lodge posted by Jacques. The pictures don't lie, if anything they don't tell the whole story. The main lodge is just beautiful and the chalets equally so. Any of you wanting to bring perhaps a reluctant wife to Africa for a trip, will have a happy wife. The chalets feature stone counter tops ( granite?) with raised sinks, standalone tubs, walk-in shower and plenty of space with couches to kick back and relax when not hunting. The main lodge is just amazing. The attention to detail is apparent in everything and will be in my opinion appreciated even by those with picky tastes. My wife and I don't have such high standards, but it was certainly nice to be in a place designed by those who do.

The main lodge has chalets on both sides that curve around forming something of a semi-circle with a large fenced off watering hole in the middle. Thus whether you're in the lodge or your chalet you will have a view of the animals that are coming into the water hole. For us, this included one evening and the following morning a view of a very nice male lion. Yes, there are lions at any given moment on the property where you will hunt PG, more on that later.

More to follow......

IMG_1643.JPG
 
Last edited by a moderator:

billc

AH legend
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
3,678
Reaction score
4,143
Location
Pa.
Media
97
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
3
Hunted
united state- Co Nm Mt Wy Pa , canada ,mexico ,south africa- Northwest, Limpopo, freestste.Northern cape,East cape, namibia
You have one hell of a wife there phil. Glad you got to go back to Africa on a special event like a silver anniversary.
 

AfricaHunting.com

Founder
AH ambassador
Joined
Oct 1, 2007
Messages
11,123
Reaction score
5,452
Website
AfricaHunting.com
Media
5,580
Articles
319
I should know that stuff I guess but still had to make sure on the number of years for a Silver Anniversary... Well, congratulations to @PHOENIX PHIL and Donna on their twenty-five years! A great excuse to make it back to Africa. Looking forward to seeing some pictures. (y)
 

BRICKBURN

Super moderator
Contributor
Lifetime titanium benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 5, 2010
Messages
22,813
Reaction score
16,555
Location
Canada
Media
412
Articles
23
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Europe
1
Hunted
Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Canada, USA, Mexico, England
I appreciate your ethics Phil.

Congrats on your wife tolerating you that long. You know it's a miracle. ;)
 

Royal27

AH ambassador
Joined
May 27, 2012
Messages
9,288
Reaction score
12,720
Media
108
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
6
Member of
DSC, NRA, SCI
Hunted
USA - TX, CO, GA, ID. Africa - Zimbabwe, Zambia, and South Africa (Limpopo and EC)
Can't wait to hear more Phil!

I did not wish to actively rep for Serapa until I had hunted there. While I trusted Jacques and everything he told me about Serapa, I would feel like I'm being much more honest and giving an informed opinion if I had hunted there myself.

As it should be and why you're so respected Phil!

To be clear here, no list does not equate to no budget and should not be interpreted that way.

What is this budget thing of which you speak? :confused:

The pictures don't lie, if anything they don't tell the whole story

That place sure doesn't look cheap and I'm sure must would agree its truly five star!
 

PHOENIX PHIL

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
9,117
Reaction score
7,321
Media
53
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Member of
SCI
Hunted
USA, S. Africa
Off to Africa on Friday the 7th. The cheap airfare comes at the expense of a bit more travel. We fly out of Phoenix on Alaska Airlines, who code shares with Emirates. From there on Emirates to Dubai connecting to Joburg a few hours later and arriving on Sunday the 9th at 5:30am.

Whiz thru immigration and customs. This new biometric deal is not operating that morning, else this may have taken longer.

From there we are in a car for the 5 1/2 hour drive to Serapa. Serapa has a charter air service available that would've got us there in 1 1/2 hours but chose to save my dollars and go the slow route.

Arrive about 1pm, have a quick lunch, unpack and go to the range. A few small tweaks to the scopes and we are good to go.

Do a short drive about with Ockert that evening but see nothing to take.

Back at the lodge for the first of many great dinners. Off to bed early that night due to the long travel. Arriving early in Africa and staying more/less awake that day, we find sleep easy and wake up easily the next morning for our first full day of hunting.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
9,117
Reaction score
7,321
Media
53
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Member of
SCI
Hunted
USA, S. Africa
You have one hell of a wife there phil. Glad you got to go back to Africa on a special event like a silver anniversary.

Yes she is, thanks Bill.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
9,117
Reaction score
7,321
Media
53
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Member of
SCI
Hunted
USA, S. Africa
I appreciate your ethics Phil.

Congrats on your wife tolerating you that long. You know it's a miracle. ;)

Thanks and well yeah that's fully apparent Captain Obvious! :)
 

PHOENIX PHIL

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
9,117
Reaction score
7,321
Media
53
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Member of
SCI
Hunted
USA, S. Africa
Morning, Monday the 10th

"If you can see the enemy, he can see you too."

Wow, this drought is serious and when you're in the Kalahari, it's that much more so. What grass is there is grey and brittle. Virtually no leaves on any of the trees and brush. While it makes spotting animals easy, it makes for very challenging conditions to put on a stalk. Further challenging us is the animals are greatly herded up, so lots of eyes to betray your presence.

We put some stalks on but either get busted or don't see something old/big enough to take. But then we drive by a large herd of Red Hartebeest seeking shelter from the sun in the shade of some thicker bush. Off we go.

We move in on them taking advantage of the thicker cover. Ockert, aka Okie, doing what it is he does and maneuvers us perfectly. But they become aware of our presence before we see a proper bull and they star to move off but slowly. We parallel them for about a mile. We are coming up on a road crossing and it's apparent they will cross. We beat them to it and setup by some brush looking back to where they will cross.

One after another, maybe 30 animals cross completely unaware of our presence. Not a shooter amongst them and finally they stop coming. Dang, what a perfect hunt that was.

Wait a minute, now another comes and then another and then finally a nice bull to take. Okie lets out a whistle to stop him on the edge of the road before he escapes into the bush.

Bam! Donna lets a 165gr fly and hits him high on the shoulder dropping him in place. We make a quick approach on the bull and Donna puts one more in his spine and into the vitals to finish him. That's my girl!

If you look closely at the pic you can see the first shot just to the left of the bulls right eye.

IMG_1643.JPG
 

50by50

AH veteran
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Messages
215
Reaction score
202
Location
Highland Utah
Media
12
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Hunted
S. Africa
enjoying the story so far. Great job Donna! What a gal. My wife would have taken Hawaii!
 

thi9elsp

Gold supporter
AH fanatic
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
969
Reaction score
900
Location
USA
Media
24
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Australia/NZ
1
Member of
Life Member: Buckmasters, NRA, RMEF, DSC, SCI, and CCA
Hunted
Zimbabwe, Mozambique
What a great trip and glad you two share the passion. Will look forward to the rest of the story as it unfolds.
 

Scott Slough

AH fanatic
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
980
Reaction score
930
Location
Nacogdoches, TX
Hunting reports
Africa
1
Member of
SCI, Pineywoods SCI, NAHC, TTH
Hunted
USA, South Africa (Eastern Cape)
enjoying the story so far. Great job Donna! What a gal. My wife would have taken Hawaii!

My wife did take the Hawaii option for the 35th ... but, she let me go ... and it was Hawaii ... so everything was good!

Phil ... keep the story coming!
 

PHOENIX PHIL

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
9,117
Reaction score
7,321
Media
53
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Member of
SCI
Hunted
USA, S. Africa
Afternoon, Monday the 10th

After loading up Donna's RH, we headed in for lunch and a much needed nap, still recovering from the travel.

In the afternoon we headed over to one of the more favored springbok areas. Spotted some black wildebeest first. I shot my first with Okie in 2013 at HartzView but told him I'd shoot another if it was bigger. He spotted one and I proceeded to miss it......the first of three separate black WBs I'd miss.....:mad:

Off we go further and Okie spots a nice springbok ram off a ways from the truck. The wind is bad, but we give it a go. We had to wait at one point for quite sometime for him to move out of some brush and he eventually did. Standing and I was about to take a shot when he bolted. We moved and got setup for another broadside shot and missed!! He starts off at the shot but not sure where to go. As he slows I take a quartering away shot that went thru the heart and he goes down in short order.

IMG_1648.JPG
 

PHOENIX PHIL

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
9,117
Reaction score
7,321
Media
53
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Member of
SCI
Hunted
USA, S. Africa
Tuesday the 11th

Much warmer morning today. We put some stalks in this morning but either got busted or didn't find that mature animal we were looking for.

Yolande the owner of Serapa makes a fine habanero hot sauce that goes with most anything except for Donna's digestion. She wasn't feeling well after lunch and sent me out to go hunting in the afternoon by myself.

No matter it's very warm in the afternoon with a strong hot wind blowing. The critters are holed up and nothing is moving. We didn't put on a single stalk this afternoon, that's hunting.
 

Wheels

AH ambassador
Joined
Dec 23, 2012
Messages
6,063
Reaction score
8,295
Media
115
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
4
Hunted
Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe
Looking forward to hearing all about the hunt Phil.

I can't remember what we did for our 25th anniversary, but I know it wasn't a hunting trip. Donna's a keeper.(y)
 

PHOENIX PHIL

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
9,117
Reaction score
7,321
Media
53
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Member of
SCI
Hunted
USA, S. Africa
Morning, Wednesday the 12th, Anniversary Day

We head out looking for eland today and come across a big herd at one of the many water holes on the ranch. The wind is bad but not much we can do but give it a go. Okie and I get within a 100 yards or so and look over the herd, no shooters. About that time some blue wildebeest move in. Donna waited at the truck so we had less human scent in the air. Okie goes and gets her and brings her in. We wait and only occasionally does a shot present itself. Eventually the animals move on. We pursue them.

Eventually we get in on the blues and Donna gets a shot. Not her best shot, far back but it cripples the animal, he is down but concerned he will get back up. Donna is a bit shaken at this and Okie grabs her -06 to put the animal down for good as I'm moving into position with my .458, Okie beats me to the shot. Bull is down with no more issues. A learning moment for Donna.

IMG_1651.JPG
 

PHOENIX PHIL

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
9,117
Reaction score
7,321
Media
53
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Member of
SCI
Hunted
USA, S. Africa
Afternoon, Wednesday the 12th

We talked earlier about black springbok. I've never been big on the color variants as far too often I see these with poor horns. If we are going to take one it needs to be mature with good horns.

We find one and have a fun stalk getting in on the biggest of three rams. He was the one always furthest away and not sitting still for very long. But eventually he gives Donna a shot. He was dead before he hit the ground.

Bonus on this stalk was getting quite close to a 40" plus sable along the way. Another hunter in camp took this bull the next day.

Yolande arranged for some champagne sundowners out in the bush along with some appetizers. We were going to have a fire, but the wind kept that from happening.

IMG_1677.JPG


IMG_1680.JPG


IMG_1706.JPG


The gent on the left in last picture is Francois Steyn, good gent and Yolande's brother. Francois' wife is the chef at Serapa.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
9,117
Reaction score
7,321
Media
53
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Member of
SCI
Hunted
USA, S. Africa
Thursday the 13th

Lots of stalks on Eland, one was about two miles after a particularly mature and tall male. They give us the slip. We did a lot of these Eland stalks. There are lots of Eland on the ranch. We played with Gemsbok too. Lots of pregnant females. I would've had Donna take any that were big but not pregnant, but they were all either pregnant or had young ones with them.

No animals taken this day.
 

PHOENIX PHIL

AH ambassador
Joined
Apr 15, 2009
Messages
9,117
Reaction score
7,321
Media
53
Articles
2
Hunting reports
Africa
8
USA/Canada
2
Member of
SCI
Hunted
USA, S. Africa
Friday the 14th

Once again many stalks in the morning after either Eland or Gemsbok or Zebra. We can spot animals easily but this also means they spot us easily. Seeing tons of steenbok and duiker along the way everyday. Just never quite what we're looking for.

In the evening we put a stalk on for some eland, but once again don't find the bull we're looking for. We're about to go back to the truck when a brown hyena is spotted making his way towards us. I can't bring one of these back to the U.S. but I don't care. I wanted to take one. We wait for him to continue to close the distance when he takes a left turn and heads away from us and no shot was available. Still it was very cool to see one.

Back to the truck we go, the light is starting to fade. But shortly we come across a small group of blesbok. Unlike the other several hundred we'd seen these don't take off at the site of the truck. This proved to be the easiest of any of the animals taken. They were skittish and not wanting to stand still, but staying in the area. Okie stopped the biggest ram with a whistle and I took a quick shot. A bit too quick as the shot was a little back. We tracked him and found him laying down just a 100 yards from where he was when shot. He was facing directly away from us with his head up. Okie told me to hit him in the white of his rump which I did and that finished him. If you look at the pick you can see where I hit at the base of his tail. A nice old ram with a fair amount of secondary horn growth.

This is another one of those commonly taken animals in RSA which I hadn't. Both of my boys had taken one in previous hunts, but this was my first and I was happy to get an easy one after so many stalks without an animal.

IMG_1712.JPG
 
Last edited:
 

 

 

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

Just came from a hunt and already longing for the bush
JPmbogo wrote on yhc's profile.
I have factory loaded Hornady 450 NE 3 1/4 DGS that I am selling for not much more than the brass itself at $75/box - see my listing for same.
Justbryan wrote on Rafter JK's profile.
Get Crazy Larry yet? Wishing I had shot Alpine Ibex too!
 
Top