SOUTH AFRICA: White Rhino Safari With Bossie Mostert From LIMPOPO BIG GAME SAFARIS

JES Adventures

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This is the Safari my son Grant booked last year when Bossie Mostert of @LIMPOPO BIG GAME SAFARIS ran a special here on the forum.

We talked on Parkers hunt with Shaun Keeny, Debra came along to observe but I’ve made a plan to hunt a giraffe with Bossie while we were there.

We talked on Parkers hunt with Shaun Keeny, Debra came along to observe but I’ve made a plan to hunt a giraffe with Bossie while we were there were there

The Safari will take place in the little pop-up province near alldays at Leadwood Ranch.


Day 1

We flew from Thandeka to the Limpopo with Majestic Air and Landed at a strip about a half hour from Leadwood Ranch. The King Air 200 was comfortable for the 1.5 hour flight.
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We flew from Thandeka to the Limpopo with Majestic Air and Landed at a strip about a half hour from Leadwood Ranch. The King Air 200 was comfortable for the 1.5 hour flight.
We were met by Glen Van Renaburg his wife Charmaine.
Once at camp, we were welcomed work some sparkling wine and snacks overlooking the huge lake in the valley below.

We settled in, had lunch then went for an afternoon drive. Glen took us out as Bossie was busy with another Rhino hunter. Also, we are waiting for Grants permit to arrive so he can start hunting Monday.
It was a beautiful evening and the temperatures much warmer than the Kalahari. We saw some game but the Mopane Bush is very thick here. Along the river we saw Kudu, Bushbuck, Impala, Waterbuck and Buffalo. We finished off the evening with drinks by the fire and an excellent meal. Tomorrow we will go in search of a dark Giraffe.
 
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Day 2

Up with daylight Debra and I had coffee in the room and were out of camp a little before 8. We drove about 45 minutes to another property where an old Black Bull was know to be.

We drove to a high point and glassed the area but did not locate any Giraffe. The farm manager and tracker drove off to go to another vantage point and within a half hour phoned that they had spotted some Giraffe.


As we arrived to the location my PH Rick and I offloaded and headed for the tracker with Melcom in tow. He started off walking slowly through the Mopane Bush and suddenly stopped and pointed ahead. I glasses and could only make out heads in the Bush. Suddenly an eruption of noise and the sound of hooves galloping away and you could make out several Giraffe disappearing into the Bush.

Rick was glassing and confirmed them to be cows and a young bull so back to the cruiser and we carried on.

We motored on slowly as the Bush is extremely thick. Melcom said “there, there is a big bull”. The Giraffe bull was alone feeding out of the top of a tree a little over a hundred yards away.

As we eased around for a better view the bull continued to feed unaware of our presence.

Melcom stopped us again and pointed to the bull. All I could see was his head and a bit of his neck. There were several branches in the way so I dialed up the power on my scope to get a clear view of the bulls head.

He fed slowly making very little movement with his head so I waited for a shot. Finally he turned his head and I had a clear view of year and I let everyone know I was going to shoot. I squeezed the trigger on the 300 RUM hitting the bull just behind the ear breaking his neck and he went down instantly.

We approached the bull slowly and admired this beautiful trophy. I am honored have collected such an old specimen and we completed the hunt with out photo session.

Back in camp by half past one we had a lovely lunch and I finished off with a cigar then a nap.

We took an afternoon drive, saw some game but it was quite windy and we didn’t see a lot of game.

The catering and service here at African Wild Safaris is outstanding and we topped off a wonderful day of hunting with another superb meal.
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Day 3

Parker and I were up at 5:30 as we are going to sit in a bow blind this morning. Grant and Debra are going to sleep in and relax today while waiting for the Rhino permit to arrive.


Parker, Melcom and I got in the blind a little after 7 and about 8:40 a female Duiker came in to water. We watched some Vervet Monkeys in the trees above as we waited patiently for a Bushbuck to show up.

The Vervet Monkeys played around in the trees and about an hour passed and another female Duiker showed up. Shortly thereafter a nice male appeared but he was very wary and never drank. A few minutes later I saw Impala back in the trees and three males came to drink including one Black Ram but he was not big enough to shoot.
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They stayed around for a few minutes and wandered off. A large group of Guinea Fowl fed about while a half dozen Francolin hopped up on the trough for a drink.
 
Congrats on the giraffe! Looking forward to more about the rhino!
 
That’s a great looking giraffe. Very black indeed. Do you have plans for the hide?
 
That’s a great looking giraffe. Very black indeed. Do you have plans for the hide?
Thanks Bruce, I am doing a flat rug to go in the new lodge. My wife and daughter have both collected normal color bulls so we already have two pedestal mounts.
 
Nice giraffe. I’m looking forward to reading about the rest of your hunt.
 
Day 3 (Continued)

I shot a Bushbuck close to camp and he ran off into the bush about 60 yards away and went down. There was good blood but we wanted to give him some time and backed off for about a half hour. Rick my PH said “lets go get him” and we started down the hill and his dog was along his side. As we approached the Bushbuck he was not dead and the dog jumped on him. The race was on and down the hill they went with Rick behind. They were gone for quite a while so we were wondering what happened. Finally Glen came up and told Bossie the Bushbuck went into the water and the dog followed. When they exited the water they were both taken by Crocodile. A sad day to say the least, its not nice to lose a trophy but losing a dog was one of the worst feelings I have ever had on Safari.

The mood was somber around the camp the rest of the day. We went on a drive in the evening but just couldn’t shake the cloud over us. After dinner, Grant, Parker and I toasted to Cooper. He was a fine dog.
 
Day 4

Today is Grant’s day, the permit is in hand and his Rhino Safari can commence. Everyone was up early in anticipation of the day, it was cool but not cold and warmed quickly as the sun rose.

Bossie instructed the staff to sweep the roads the night before to aid us in locating tracks. Grant, Bossie and Melcom along with the scout from Nature Conservation and two trackers went one direction and Debra, Parker and I took a vehicle the opposite direction.

We got out of camp just after seven and by 8:40 we found tracts. Kippa the tracker called Bossie on the radio and about twenty minutes later they showed up. The group inspected the tracks and concluded this was not the bull Grant was hunting so we left him. We separated again and spent the morning driving the roads in search of tracks.

The Mopane bush is very thick here and visibility very limited so Grant knows the shot will be close in order to be sure he is on the right bull.

Noontime came and Bossie met up with us and said we should head to camp for lunch.

After a wonderful meal and short rest we were back in the bush by 2. The radio chattered back and forth through the afternoon but unfortunately no fresh tracks were found. Bossie called it a day around 4:30 and we rendezvoused back at camp for a sundowner. After an exquisite meal followed by a whisky and cigar I said goodnight. We will start early tomorrow so most of us made a short night of it.
 
Day 5

The plan was to meet for breakfast at 6:30 but I was up by 5 thinking about the day. As the sun rose I said my morning prayers and am so grateful to be able to share this time with my family. Most especially to be with Grant to celebrate his quest for the Big 5.

I am riding along with Grant today and we are out of camp by 7. Not a half hour into the day we cut tracks from the night before. Debra and Parker along with Kippa are checking the river to see if the bull crossed and went to the North end of the property. Shortly after we stopped the radio chattered and Kippa told Bossie the bull has crossed the river. Quickly we headed that way and got onto the tracks. While we followed the tracks the other vehicle when further one. By 7:45 they spotted two Rhino bulls together on the edge of the airstrip. We wasted no time getting there and getting the wind direction right to make a stalk. As Grant and his team headed into the bush I stayed back with the vehicle. About 8:30 the other vehicle with Debra and Parker came around to pick me up. It seems the bulls bumped a couple of times and Bossie needs to move and get the wind right to make another attempt.

They established the block of bush the rhino were in and made there way in but it proved to be fruitless. Bossie radioed for us to pick them us as the wind direction was changing and causing issues with the stalk. It is a beautiful South African Winter day, temperature in the 60’s and sun shining. If only the wind would settle down it would be perfect.

They spent the better part of the morning playing cat and mouse with the Rhino and got on him once but there was no shot. Back to cof the bamp for lunch a little after noon and Bossie said we will go back at 2:30.

The wind really picked up but at least the direction was consistent. Bossie came round at 1:30 and said “lets go, the trackers want to get back on it with this wind”.

I rode with Debra and Parker and we set up at a vantage point along the main road to see if the Rhino crossed while Grant and team were in pursuit. Minutes turned into hours and suddenly off in the distance we heard a shot. Strange, a single shot and with Grant shooting my Blaser double in 470 we always expected he would quickly follow up after his first shot.

It was 4:25 when the shot rang out so we have about an hour and a half of daylight left. At 4:29 a lone Rhino bull crossed the road at about 600 meters and I through up my binoculars. He was moving with difficulty, it appeared to me his right shoulder was broken. When Grant and team came out of the bush we met at the place where the bull crossed the road. We found blood and the tracks indicated he is dragging a leg.

They took the track while we went round the other side of the block so see if the bull had come out. We found his track and radioed Bossie so they could come over and get on the track. When we met up with Grant I asked him why he only shot once. Grant said he tried to shoot but the rifle failed on the second shot so he reloaded the empty but the bull got out of sight. As the minutes ticked off the clock and the sun set Bossie and the trackers said we should call it a day and start again in the morning. They had found several places the Rhino stumbled and fell so we know he is hit well and it is a matter of time.

Back at camp for dinner and campfire talk, Grant went over the scenario and was confident he put the shot where Bossie told him. The bull was quartering on so it was a slight frontal on the left shoulder which went through and broke the right shoulder. The shot should have gotten a lung so we are optimistic we will find the bull most likely dead in the morning. I inspected the Blaser S2 and the right firing pin had broken unbeknownst to me so Grant will use Glenn’s 458 Lott tomorrow.
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Day 6

After a light breakfast we were out at sunrise and headed for the last blood. I rode with Grant again today while Kippa took Debra and Parker to scout for tracks. It was not long they found tracks from the night before on the road from Grant’s bull. Kippa radioed and Bossie told him to go across the river. With Mike the tracker sitting on the bull bar we moved on the tracks quickly. The bull was heading towards the river and stayed on the road most of the time only wandering off into the bush occasionally.

I am amazed this bull is covering such a distance with a broken shoulder. We stayed with the tracks and determined which block of bush he was in. It is very thick so Bossie launched his drone to see if he could locate the bull. Around 8:40 he found the bull about a quarter mile from us. We went round, got the wind right and slowly moved into the bush to locate the bull. Within 15 minutes we were on the bull but the cover was so dense I could not make anything out. Then I saw the bulls ear turn, he was less than 50 yards from us. We stayed completely still while Grant was on the sticks to see if the bull would give us a shot. He obviously knew something wasn’t right and he moved his head from side to side. When he finally turned Bossie said “don’t shoot, don’t shoot, that’s the wrong bull”.

We backed out of there and the bull ran off so Bossie put the trackers on the track at the last blood and we drove to the other side of the block. Less than 5 minutes later Bossie stopped, there were fresh tracks from Grants bull in the road. He called the trackers on the radio and went to pick them up. Kippa radioed that he had the tracks about a half mile further away. We wasted no time getting there and started to circle the block so see if the bull had crossed out of the bush.

As we came round a slight corner, all of the sudden the bull broke out of the bush along side the veihicle less than 20 yards off the road. Bossie stops the vehicle and is yelling “there he is Grant, shoot him, shoot him”. Grant bailed off and got two shots off while the bush swallowed up the Rhino. Quickly we were in pursuit and fortunately once of the shots from the 458 Lott put the bull down. Bossie brought Grant around for an insurance shot and the hunt came to an end. The old bull gave us quite a run for the money and a hunt we will never forget. Anyone that says a White Rhino is not wild and an easy hunt should come to the Mopane bush of the Limpopo. I guarantee he would leave with a new impression.

After the photo session and a toast to the successful hunt we headed back to camp in time for lunch. We then jumped in a car and headed to Musina for our Covid tests.

What a great relief to have the Rhino in the salt! We had a sunset celebration back and camp and celebrated the hunt. Now Grant is planning his next Safari - the Big 5 bug has bitten him good.
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JES Adventures,
Bossie will keep you entertained. Lots of fun and a great hunt. Congratulations! Rhino is on my short list with Bossie and Limpopo Big Game Safaris. Only problem with a Rhino is where to park a minivan sized Rhino Bull in my house.
 
Congrats to your son! What an experience!
 
Congrats!
 
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Well done well, well done!!!! Love it
 
Congratulations all around to a successful conclusion of the hunt.
 
Congratulations to you both for some amazing trophy’s!
 
Congrats on a successful conclusion to your hunt. Good job getting the right rhino. Any autopsy to see what happened with the 1st shot?
Bruce
 

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Good morning. I'll take all of them actually. Whats the next step? Thanks, Derek
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