SOUTH AFRICA: Tootabi Hunting Safari Report With The Wife A Family Affair

Royal27

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Well, my tablet died on me a couple of days into the safari. So let’s see how long it takes for me to get this typed up.

The last safari was all about me, all about hunting, and about fulfilling a lifelong dream. This time though, I brought my wife Nancy along. That definitely changes things, but is also part of the fun, doing things with my wife and having different experiences. I’m very blessed to have a wife that puts up with me and wants me to do what I love. That was the real excitement about this trip. To get to share Africa with her and hope that she ends up loving Africa like I do. So the hunting will get done, but this trip included so much more.

For any of you out there trying to talk your wife into the trip perhaps this report will help. J

The original plan was to wait at least two years before going back (Zim was only last August). After meeting Loodt though Nancy and I decided to go ahead and do the trip now. You just never know what will happen and I knew that I wouldn’t regret it, nor did I believe Nancy would. I know that if something happens and I lose my job and things go south I won’t regret Africa, ever. What I would regret would be NOT going and then having something happen that would prevent another trip!

So now time to start the story!

Arrival Day:

My PH, Lammie, and tracker, Attie, came to meet us at the airport. Loodt was there too, but had to leave as his father (Carel) had shoulder surgery that morning as well. Carel is well though and we did get to see much of him in the evenings.

After arrival to camp we went to check the zero on the rifles, while Nancy played with Loodt’s dogs Nikki and Tessa. Nancy loves dogs and was already missing ours, so this was nice for Nancy and helped her to feel right at home. The rifles were on and we made a short drive to see what we could see as well. Man does Loodt have a lot of warthogs on his place…. Nothing worth pulling the trigger was seen though and we went back to camp. Nancy was actually a little disappointed that she hadn’t gone as she didn’t realize we might see animals. She definitely wanted to go out that evening.



That evening was a little walk and stalk with Lammie and Nancy. Before long we saw two pigs in the tall grass. The wind was right and they were close. I’m guessing right around 50 yards. Problem was that we couldn’t see tusks due to the grass, we just knew it was a big bodied boar (other parts could be clearly seen!). Finally, he raised his head and he was a good one. I was already on the sticks so the perfect opportunity to impress both my wife and PH with my shooting ability. Easy shot after all. So yeah, I missed… In hindsight I made two silly mistakes. 1. I let the grass affect where I aimed. 2. I didn’t get the sticks adjusted properly and they were too tall, also causing me to pull high. It was rather embarrassing, but at least it was a clean miss….

So we kept walking and saw plenty of animals. The highlight though was an impala ram on the skyline within 75 yards, or so. Nancy had never seen one. I pointed to it, but she couldn’t see it as a bush was blocking. I grabbed her by the arm and pulled her forward not wanting her to miss it. When she finally saw the ram she literally gasped out loud. She was stunned by the beauty of the moment I think. It was definitely the highlight of the day for me. Within about 30 minutes Nancy had seen baboon, warthog, kudu, impala, gemsbok, and common duiker. Nice start….

Oh, and for those of you who are into the color variants you might want to give Loodt a call. He also has stripeless zebra on his place, which he tells me are quite rare. I can’t afford the $10K trophy fee, but I did get pictures of them.

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Royal27

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Not sure why, but having trouble with the pictures?
 

thi9elsp

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Are they called Sadie and Bessie?
 

ActionBob

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Royal I told you there were some real jackasses hanging around Loodt's place!

BTW, I had trouble loading pictures as well, had to resize them a bit smaller.
 

Royal27

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I had a similar problem. Maybe try a smaller size image?

Great start to the report, keep em coming!

Royal I told you there were some real jackasses hanging around Loodt's place!

BTW, I had trouble loading pictures as well, had to resize them a bit smaller.
yeah, I think it is the size. Trying to figure out how to resize now, with jetlag!!! LOL! I've used big files before? And yes Bob, some real jackasses there! ;)
 

Royal27

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Think I have figured out out a solution. My home computer is just about to die, but at least I got my tablet reset so I can send to it now. I'm trying to type in word and avoid the typos, but we will see if that lasts.
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Royal27

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Day One

Nancy and I split up for the day. I went hunting and she went to Shamwari Game Reserve to see some animals, and to get a little pampering at the spa. Not a bad way to start… She was SOO excited!!! Let’s put it this way. Nancy is NOT a morning person, but on that morning her feet hit the floor before I could roll over to turn off the alarm! LOL She had a wonderful day seeing the animals and the massage was one of the best she had ever had. There was also something about the tour guide, a guy named Jacques… I don’t know what it is about her and guys named Jacques…. Something about easy on the eyes…. I dunno?

At any rate, Springbok was first on the list. And it was a beautiful day to do so. We actually found the Springbok pretty quickly and started a short stalk for a nice ram for the area. These aren’t Kalahari Springbok, but they are certainly beautiful animals. At any rate, the ram walked out into the opening and Lammie ranged it at 161 yards as I lined up the shot. Honestly, the miss from the day before was in the back of my mind. I squeezed off the shot and the Springbok took off running with no visible reaction…. $%^%^%&^& He did however; not reappear from behind the bush that he should have if I’d missed. As we walked up and started looking we quickly found him, only about 50 yards from where he had been shot at, with the bullet placed exactly where I had aimed. Whew….
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There were some African goats (Blesbuck) on the same property so I decided to take a look at those as well, even though they weren’t on the list. I’ll say this to start. I’ve heard how easy these things are to stalk and that just wasn’t my experience. We had to put in some work and kept bumping them along. Finally, we got to 253 yards with the ram we wanted standing just off to the side of the rest of them. I’ll be honest, this is about as far as I want to shoot off sticks without any additional support, and he was quartering hard towards me. I just didn’t think we were going to get any closer though. When the shot went off I heard the “thwack” of the bullet hitting and down he went. I’d hit him in the base of the neck and he was done.
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After taking care of the two animals and getting them back to the salt it was only lunchtime. We stopped back off at the main farm and cooked sausage there in the bush. This is one of the things I love about Africa, just the little moments like eating sausage on the ground behind the truck with the cool wind blowing just enough to keep the bugs away.
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That afternoon it was back to the pigs. We were busted a couple of times by the swirling wind, but finally got onto a decent boar, who was following the ladies. Pretty much everything was in the rut, pigs included! It definitely got this guy in trouble. It still wasn’t easy though as he kept ducking behind the bush and his girlfriends kept walking in front of him. Lammie loves his range finder and it was a lot of fun knowing the exact length of the shot most of the time. This one was 192 yards and he ran off, fell down in a cloud of dust, got back up, and ran off again. I hit him through both lungs with a 180 grain TSX and the bugger still ran roughly 100 yards before collapsing! He did at least run towards us, so we found him on the way to look. That was nice!
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Man, the last time I took three animals in a day with a rifle it was two turkeys and a doe in probably 1985?

Oh, and my first leopard tortoise. Another small thing that I loved. This sucker was old and cracked and faded. I put my foot in the picture to give guys who don't know an idea of how big they can get. Maybe I'm the only one, but I thought they were much smaller.
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And I just like this ostrich picture because we snuck up on him. He ran like hell once he realized we were there! :)
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Royal27

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Day Two

Well, again to be honest, I hated to stop hunting after a day like the day before, where things just seemed to work out, even if we had to work hard (and I don’t like it to come easy regardless). But, this was a family trip and I wanted to spend time with the wife and to keep her happy. That is the best way to get back to Africa after all! J

So this day was a trip to Addo Elephant National Park. And what a time we had! Lammie was our tour guide and he was great as a guide as well. Besides, it gave him a chance to help me with my Kudu judging. ;) My wife doesn’t understand how I can look at an animal, immediately try and judge him, think about shot placement, and still just enjoy the beauty that God has given. That’s fine though, we can still enjoy together.
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Somehow Lammie and I kept Nancy in the car. She just wanted to get out and hug the elephants and the lions! Yikes!!! The below is one of my favorite pictures of the trip. Not for the picture itself, but for what it means. She was so happy…
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We also did the same horseback ride that ActionBob did a few weeks ago and enjoyed that overall, but it wasn’t your normal trail ride that we have here in the states and they took off galloping because a couple of girls wanted to. They were interested in the horses, not the wildlife. Nancy hasn’t ridden in years and it wasn’t good at one point. I finally told the guide that we weren’t doing anything else above a walk, so he let the girls take off by themselves. I talked to Loodt about it afterward and he told me what their “procedure” was. Well, let’s just say that they didn’t follow any of it that day. It all ended up fine, but just something for folks to be aware of if you want to do the ride at Addo. I wouldn’t recommend it for a beginner, or younger children.
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Apologies for a couple of these pictures…. I apparently put the camera on some weird setting a goofed a few up. Luckily, this day and the next are the only days it happened on, and not many pictures for the next day.


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ActionBob

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That close to a lion, buffalo and baby elephant and letting a couple girls ride off on their own? It was not like out guide inspired a lot of faith in his ability to defend us, but we did put on a good show of pulling his old 375 out of the scabbard and holding it up on his hip...

Ann was not very happy with the going fast either but handled it like a trooper for a while, then when she had enough, she just kept her horse walking and that was how it was going to be!
 

Royal27

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That close to a lion, buffalo and baby elephant and letting a couple girls ride off on their own? It was not like out guide inspired a lot of faith in his ability to defend us, but we did put on a good show of pulling his old 375 out of the scabbard and holding it up on his hip...

Ann was not very happy with the going fast either but handled it like a trooper for a while, then when she had enough, she just kept her horse walking and that was how it was going to be!

I'm with Ann!

Yeah, I was not impressed with how they handled the ride. No way that happens in the states for fear of lawsuit alone. All part of the experience though. Just a little bit different when it is the wife!
 

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Day Three

So this was another “divide and conquer” day. For me, it was to start out with blue duiker and then move to bushbuck or orbit if successful and for Nancy it was a day at the beach. Never did I think I could drop my wife off at the ocean and be hunting in ten minutes!!!

Blue duiker was an experience, that’s for sure. We hunted them with dogs and it was simply amazing at how well Robin (dog owner) knew the duiker. We would stand where the duiker were expected to run from the dogs with a shotgun. The morning went something like this, with each number being a different “duiker station”:

1. Duiker ran in circles and we never saw it, but one of the helpers did.

2. Duiker came by at light speed. I saw it, but never got the shotgun on it

3. Duiker came flying by left to right. A hard shot but not impossible and a clean miss (behind).

4. Nothing

5. Duiker came by fast at less than ten feet. Shot and missed (behind).

6. Female Grysbok came by. Almost had an unexpected trophy, but Robin told me not to shoot in time.

7. Duiker came by behind me at light speed. I wheeled but never shot. I would have been ten feet behind it.

We probably should have stopped right after lunch as the dogs were tired and just didn’t seem to be into it, but Robin wanted to keep going so we did. It really was both interesting and exciting, both the blue duiker and the dogs. The day was frustrating and rewarding all at the same time. The shots weren’t easy, but they were there. I had my chances and just didn’t make it happen.



Oh, and we were actually doing the hunting on a pineapple farm, or rather the little wooded areas in little ravines usually, between the fields. At one point we stopped at an old overgrown field and picked some pineapples that had grown there. Talk about fresh and talk about good. You could even eat the core. Man was that pineapple good….
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What can I say? The dog liked me.
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The plan, which was the right one, was to spend the night down by the ocean so we didn’t have to drive all the way back to main lodge. Nancy really was a trooper and she stayed at the spike camp without many complaints. She will rough it when she has to.

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Loodt definitely outdid himself with Nancy in mind on this one! So again guys, if your wife is on the fence show here these pics! :A No1:

And the next morning someone even got breakfast in bed. I thought about making y’all guess, but no one would so I’ll tell here. Attie the tracker got breakfast in bed! The ladies there liked him and treated him right! Not sure he wanted to leave! J It made for good jokes the rest of the trip. I kept telling Attie he needed to make Lammie give him breakfast in bed, or that he should quit. Ha!

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Wheels

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Royal,

Been looking forward to hearing about your hunt. Sounds like your off to a great start. Looking forward to more.

All the best.
 

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mate you guys are having a ball, glad you and nancy are loving it , royal .....
keep it rolling ......
 

James.Grage

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nice job.

Go into your camera setting and you can change the photos to normal ones... that if you want to... you have to do this in your camera with the memory card installed. find the photo and make the adjustments.
 

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I'm kind of enjoying the cartoon safari!
 

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Nice report royal and looks like you had fun. Seems loodt did his job of making sure nancy was taken care of also and she had as much fun as you. Now you can plan on the return trip to get that blue duiker.
 

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nice job.

Go into your camera setting and you can change the photos to normal ones... that if you want to... you have to do this in your camera with the memory card installed. find the photo and make the adjustments.

But I like Roger Rabbit Land.:D



This is something that could easily happen to me, a technological invalid.

A few years ago I went to an Oklahoma City Thunder game a couple of days prior to leaving for Africa. One of my daughters friends was singing the national anthem. My daughter set up my phone to video the anthem. My phone never got set back to normal. I could not figure out how to fix it in Africa. All the photos were videos. We pushed the button twice real quick. After coming home she fixed my phone camera and saved some of the single frames and erased the videos. Thank God for kids.

I realize some of you are :E Rofl:at my ineptitude. Glad I have company Royal.
 

Royal27

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nice job.

Go into your camera setting and you can change the photos to normal ones... that if you want to... you have to do this in your camera with the memory card installed. find the photo and make the adjustments.

Thanks James!

I will see if I can figure it out. Honestly, I never even thought about trying to change the settings. Some did look kind of cool, but hopefully I can figure out how to change them back.

But I like Roger Rabbit Land.:D



This is something that could easily happen to me, a technological invalid.

A few years ago I went to an Oklahoma City Thunder game a couple of days prior to leaving for Africa. One of my daughters friends was singing the national anthem. My daughter set up my phone to video the anthem. My phone never got set back to normal. I could not figure out how to fix it in Africa. All the photos were videos. We pushed the button twice real quick. After coming home she fixed my phone camera and saved some of the single frames and erased the videos. Thank God for kids.

I realize some of you are :E Rofl:at my ineptitude. Glad I have company Royal.

Bob,

The sad thing is that I used to be one of those guys who knew all of the technology and could make every feature work. I could even make the clock stop flashing on a VCR!!! :P Punk:

Somewhere around ten years ago that all changed though... :A Stars:
 

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