SOUTH AFRICA: Somerby Safaris 2018 Dont Get Much Better!

Dcarr

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In 2017 at the DSC I by chance got referred to Somerby Safaris by not only one stranger but two. When I set down with Drom, the owner, it didn't take long to see he was building a repeat business and wasnt there to get all he could from me and take advantage of my lack of knowledge about hunting Africa. We started out looking at animals I might be interested in which I had no clue. My number one pick was a kudu that I was interested in. After choosing 6 more Drom told me that was enough. When I questioned him that I might want to shoot more he told me there would be a discount for any add ons. He also knocked off my day fees. The guy just kept handing me back money. I gave him a deposit and walked away feeling good about the booking and excited about the upcoming adventure.
Almost immediately I got an email from them with answers to a lot of questions. They included the number to a really good travel agent. They also told me that when I got my customs declaration to email a pic of that along with a pic of my passport which I didnt have yet and they would take care of all my rifle paperwork. They provide a great service and information for their clients and first time hunters.
I seen them again at the DSC in January 2018 before our trip in April. Drom had assigned me a PH at the initial meeting in 2017 so I was able to meet him face to face. Charles Humphreys was my PH and we hit it off immediately. While there in Africa I was simply amazed by his knowledge of not only the animals but the history of the country. His sign reading and tracking abilities impressed me as I had hunted and tracked starting as a kid of 12 some 45 years ago. We visited quite a bit at the 2018 show and began what I think will be a lifelong friendship.
April came quickly and was time to go. We drove to Atlanta from Missouri to board the non stop direct flight to Joberg the travel agent had gotten for us. After landing and retrieving our bags we walked out of the secured area to see Charles and his wife Lindey waiting there for us with my rifle permit in hand. We got my rifle and drove to the Elephant Lodge for a wonderful meal and a good nights sleep. It was 5 star all the way. After a good breakfast we left for the first venue we were going to stay at in Limpopo. Upon arrival we were happily surprised at the beautiful A-frame literally overlooking a beautiful river. When I stood on the deck outside our bedroom it overhung the river. We got settled in and had another great meal for lunch. Charles said that we would take a little siesta and start hunting around 2 or 3 which we did. We saw several animals that evening but nothing on my list Charles wanted to try and get me on. I had informed him at the Elephant Lodge that hunting was secondary to us relaxing, resting, eating the food, and seeing the country and the culture.
The next morning we got up and out early. We did a lot of glassing and scouting along with me getting familiar with the ranch. He formulated a plan for that afternoons hunt. After more delicious food and a nap we headed out. Wasnt long before we seen a beautiful old kudu bull with a cow and a young bull. When they took off into the bush the old warrior was limping and carrying his left front leg. I ask Charles if he was what we was looking for and he said yes. I was elated. The hunt was on. After about an hour into it we came across another huge kudu bull. Charles told me that he was at least a 58 to 59 inch bull. I told Charles I'd take him if he wanted me to cause I never guided the guide. Later Charles told me that he could see the disappointment in my eyes. He ask me what the attraction I had formed with the other bull. I told him that I understood the difficulty the old bull would have surviving being crippled and he was just to magnificent of a animal to be eaten alive by predators or even worse dying from an infection. I understood the other bull was bigger but I'd like to take the injured one if anyway possible. Charles said, "well alright let's get after him", and we did. About another hour and we caught up to him where he presented a good shot. Sure enough he was a bull of a lifetime with a very wide spread and 56 inches long. Over the next few days we took several other great trophies.
The afternoon of April 30th came and we arrived at a beautiful lake and dam of a state park. Drom had called me in March and ask if I was interested in a cape buffalo hunt. I told him not really but I would entertain an offer. He informed me that they use to hunt at this state park that had a huge area along the river that fed the lake and that he had gotten the bid to hunt in there again. Told me I'd be the first person in there since they had stopped the hunting there 4 years prior . After a short discussion we agreed upon a price and agreed that I wasnt going to buy the hunt but if they could show me and get me on something I liked I'd take it. I was very nervous that night to say the least. The beautiful cabin we stayed in right on the lake offered some calming but I understood the danger we would face hunting these ill tempered beasts. The next morning we was out and in the bush at daylight. Wasnt long before we caught a bachelor heard of bulls heading back to the lake and river to bed in the tall reeds and mud along the bank. Charles said if we didnt catch anything coming off the plains headed to bed we would have to stalk them in those tall reeds and most shots would be 3 to 7 yards. You can only imagine how relieved I was when we come across the small band of bulls.. We seen several in the group that looked like good shooters and then the old boss bull made his appearance. Charles looked at me and said he thought that was the biggest buffalo he had ever seen. I told him to let's get after him. We moved down between them and the river and set up for an ambush. After awhile the bulls were just grazing and milling around so Charles decided to put a stalk on them. Using the sparce cover of the thorn trees in the plains we crawled and slithered to within 60 yards of them. The old bull stood facing us for what seemed to be an hour. He finally turned sideways and Charles said, "take him". Luck or not I punched him straight through the heart. It was quite exciting when he started to go down and those other bulls attacked him. Charles and the 2 trackers charged the herd screaming and yelling like a bunch of wild Indians. They got them pushed back and I got to him and Charles had me put a insurance round in him. I breathed a sigh of relief until he let out the death bellar. The herd charged back with us retreating quickly and I fired into a termite mound without any detour to the bulls. In retreating I was backing up and backed into a thorn bush that really got my attention. After a few seconds of the next biggest bull hooking and going after mine, there went Charles and the trackers running back at them trying to run them off. I actually thought they went nuts but they wasn't going to stand by and watch those bulls tear mine apart. He ended up having a 46 inch inside spread and over 16 inch bosses. What a beast of a bull. Well beyond anything I'd ever dreamed of.
After hunting several different places and staying at 3 different beautiful lodges we ended up at Bokport and in the mountains. We finished taking 13 trophies in all that I was very happy with. The food and lodging was simply outstanding along with Charles and Lindeys guidance and hospitality for my wife and myself. But upon arriving at Bokport when there was no way it could get any better it did. The lodging wasnt big and fancy but spotlessly clean and very comfortable. The owners Christo and his wife were unbelievable. We laughed so hard my face and ribs were sore for days. One night for supper we were told we had to cook our own meal. They called them hot rocks and had heated them in the oven all day to about 700 degrees. They put aprons on all of us and brought out the hot rocks on individual wooden trays. They had vegetables sliced with zebra and sable marinating. They told us to put butter on the hot rocks and then our meat and vegetables leaving a circle in the middle which then in the tradition the hosts came around and cracked a egg in the center. The meat sizzles when it hit the hot rock. Christo told us if we didnt like the way it was cooked it was our own fault, lol. Once again it was truly unbelievable and an experience of a lifetime.
We had to leave the next day unfortunately to start our journey home but rebooked before we left for 2020. Look forward to seeing the Somerby staff at the DSC again in January. What a great time and experience they provided for us...and the hunting wasnt bad either.

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CAustin

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I have had the pleasure of speaking with the owner Drom several times and couldn’t agree with you more. He seems to be one of the good guys. Looks like you did indeed get a nice Kudu.
 

Dcarr

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I have had the pleasure of speaking with the owner Drom several times and couldn’t agree with you more. He seems to be one of the good guys. Looks like you did indeed get a nice Kudu.
If everyone in the hunting world was like Drom, nobody would need references. A true pleasure to deal with from start to finish!!!
 

TXhunter65

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Very nice. Any more pics, or any pics of your taxidermy?
 

gesch

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Thanks for your report! Your animals look amazing. What caliber was your rifle? Again congratulations.
 

cpr0312

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Congrats on your hunt and thanks for sharing!
 

FallowJaeger

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That is a great report, congratulations on an amazing adventure.
 

flatwater bill

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What a fine adventure.........and an awesome kudu.......................FWB
 

Matt_WY

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Well done! Sounds like a super hunt! Beautiful animals!
 

Dcarr

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Thanks for your report! Your animals look amazing. What caliber was your rifle? Again congratulations.
Used a 9.3x62 for everything. The plains game I used 230 grain Norma Oryx ammo. The buffalo I used a Hornady 286 grain DG ammo. Did an outstanding job!!!
 

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