SOUTH AFRICA: Tootabi Hunting Safaris Hunting Trip

Greg Bossert

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Hello all,

I'm new to the forums and just got back from South Africa, on my first hunting trip. I wanted to tell everyone about my trip of a lifetime and what I thought of the African hunting experience. First let me say, WOW!!! Everything I could have hoped for and more.

It all started in December with a trip home. Dad and my brother were talking about making the trip to Africa. I knew my neighbor was going over in March, so I called him and asked him where he was going and with what outfitter. He told me he was going with Tootabi safaris, on the Eastern Cape. Long story short, it took us 2 hours to decide that we were going to go. Loodt at Tootabi still had openings during the time my neighbor was going so it worked out perfectly. He had been to South Africa 2 years earlier, so we had someone close to answer all the questions we had.

Fast forward to March 23rd. After months of getting ready, we finally started out on our trip. It's not fun at all getting there from North Dakota, but it was all worth it once we arrived. We flew from Fargo to Minneapolis, Paris, Johannesburg and finally Port Elizabeth. When we arrived, Neil, one of our PH's picked us up and took us to camp. The following day, the hunting began.

Day 1 started with making sure our rifles were sighted in. Once that was taken care of, we were informed that we would start out going after our springbuck, to get in a kill before the bigger animals. We went to a ranch that had plenty of animals to choose from. After deciding where all of us would go, we split up and went after a large herd. While trying to stalk on some springbuck, we came across a blesbuck that was sleeping. I got set up on the sticks and with some whistling, he stood up and presented me a shot. First trigger pull and a racing heart didn't make for the best shot. I hit him, but he took off running and the second shot brought him down. First animal down. We marked where he was and continued after the springbuck. A couple hours later, we got close enough to the herd and after finding the one we wanted, I dropped my springbuck. Number 2 was down. We contacted the rest of our group and within a couple hours, all three of us had our springbucks. My dad and brother later went after their blesbuck and didn't have any problems finding nice shooters. Later that evening, my PH and I went looking for a warthog. We spotted 4 of them in an open field, put a stalk on them and after about an hour, the warthog was down to. Three animals down on the first day. I don't think it can get much better than that.

Day 2 started with a little trip further north for our Impala. Again, there were numerous Impala to choose from. Three hours later I had my Impala down and after contacting the other PH's, we learned that my brother and dad also had their Impala. Time for gemsbok. We learned shortly after we took care of my Impala that my dad and brother already had their gemsbok down. Talk about fast hunting. All animals were very nice. We went over to where the other gemsbok had been taken and started the stalk on the gemsbok. They proved difficult to approach without them running away but persistence paid off. A couple hours later we were able to get close enough and the bull that I wanted was finally by himself. I didn't have the best shot placement but after 150 yards running, he dropped. Gemsbok down, and what a monster. Rough measurement had it at 40 3/8 inches. Good enough for Rowland Ward. Earlier that day, when I was looking at my dad’s gemsbok, he told me that I would never get one bigger than his. His measured 30 inches. Never say never!!!

At this point, it doesn't seem real that we are having this much luck hunting in such a short time. I thought that if I ended up getting my gemsbok, kudu, impala and springbuck, I'd be happy with my hunt over a 6 day period. It's day 2 and I already have 5 very respectable animals down, as do my dad and brother. Kind of unreal if you ask me.

So we finally took care of the animals that were down and decided to head further north for our kudu. We went to a different camp and planned on hunting kudu the next day. We arrived at the camp and once we were settled in, decided to go for an evening drive, just to see what we could find. I grabbed my rifle "just in case we come across a jackel" I've learned over my years of hunting, never go for a drive without one. The sun was starting to set when all of a sudden, there stood a beautiful kudu, 100 yards off the trail, into the brush. Everyone was admiring this animal and taking pictures of it. It didn't dawn on us that we could shoot it. Once reality set in and we realized it was a trophy, the trigger was pulled and my kudu was down. I'm now at 6 animals down, in the second day of hunting. I was perfectly happy taking my kudu that way because I don't think I could have made it the next day climbing hills, going after kudu, because my legs were killing me from tracking a baboon the day before (that’s a whole different story).

Day 3. I was able to sleep in the next day, now that I already had my kudu hanging. Dad and my brother went out early for theirs. Needless to say, like everything else, it didn’t take very long and they both had harvested their kudu. Again, all of our animals were very nice. We weren’t just taking the first animals we saw. There was a lot of walking and stalking to get the animals but there were no shortage of animals to choose from. We packed everything up mid-afternoon and headed back to our main camp.

Day 4. It was now Sunday and since we were so far ahead in our hunting, we decided to take the day off and go to a preserve where we saw many different types of animals. Elephants, lions, rhino’s, hippos, just to name a few. The tour ended with a very good meal and drinks. It was a nice break, where we just relaxed and drove up to the animals. Lots of pictures taken.

Day 5. We now headed south along the coast for our bushbuck. It was probably the slowest hunt for the animal. Not as numerous, and difficult to find. Around 5 hours into the hunt, I finally saw one standing in the tall grass. The wind was right so we were able to get around 75 yards from it without it seeing us. The shot was taken and the bushbuck was down. When we approached it, we discovered it was an extremely old critter. He had a very nice set of horns but the body looked absolutely horrible. I’d laugh every time I’d look at it because it was in such bad shape. His hair was gray and hardly had any meat on his hips. I seriously did this animal a favor by harvesting it. I wasn’t bothered at all by his body because he still had nice horns and I didn’t plan on mounting it anyway, so it was all good. Later in the day, we learned that dad and my brother had also taken their bushbucks.

Day 6. Our final hunting day was casual. Dad needed a warthog and we were still trying to get a baboon. Many around but getting one proved very difficult, especially when you just hunted them when the opportunity arose. I went back to the first ranch to try for another springbuck. I wanted to have a full skin tanned. Three hours later, I had another very nice springbuck for the skin. Dad finally shot his warthog and we wrapped up the hunt.

I later asked dad if he thought the trip was worth it. He told me “I’ll never forget this trip as long as I’m alive”, and “I wouldn’t trade the experience for a million dollars” That’s what I wanted to hear.

For those of you that read these forums and wonder if you should go, I say you’ll never regret it. This was my first trip and I guarantee it will not be my last. I also guarantee that I will return to Tootabi for my next trip. I can’t say enough good things about Loodt, the PH’s, and all the trackers we hunted with. What a bunch of great guys. Our accommodations were 5 star. The lodge was clean and very well kept. The camp staff was great and the food was second to none. Of course the price of the trip was very reasonable. Loodt was priced lower than most outfitters that we looked at and there was no lack of animals, with top notch service and hospitality. I highly recommend Tootabi Hunting Safari’s for you first, or next hunt. You won’t be disappointed.

I posted some pictures of my animals in the photo section if you care to take a look.


Greg Bossert

ry%3D400
 
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Royal27

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I later asked dad if he thought the trip was worth it. He told me “I’ll never forget this trip as long as I’m alive”, and “I wouldn’t trade the experience for a million dollars” That’s what I wanted to hear.

This says it all!!!

Glad you had such a great time and I can't wait for May 6th. :)

That gemsbok is one heck of a trophy.
 

Diamondhitch

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Congrats, I always love to hear about trips gone right. :)

However... AHEM!!! pictures??? ;)
 

Diamondhitch

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For the record yes I am lazy :)
 

BRICKBURN

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Congratulations on the acquisition of your new addiction.

Thanks for posting your report.

I just can't handle all these trophy pictures with green stuff all around them.
 

Warbird782

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It was a lot of fun sharing a fire with you, your dad and brother in Africa. You guys sure had a very successful hunt.
 

Warbird782

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Brickburn, it was really green there. We even got rain in the Kalahari and Karoo while there. That says a lot.
 

Diamondhitch

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Great looking photos. As stated, that Gemsbok is a doozey!!!
 

Royal27

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bluey

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congratulations ,on a great hunt , with your dad , that's fantastic,to read about right there
your trophies are all really nice animals,and set up for the photos in a very flattering manner
like always loodt and his team put on a wonderfull experience ,for each and all of his guests
thanks for sharing your memories with all of us ......
 

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