TANZANIA: Heritage Safaris

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by sheephunterab, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. sheephunterab

    sheephunterab AH Fanatic

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    It's hard to believe it's been a month since we returned from Tanzania but I promised to get this report up so here goes. It may be added to slowly but I had to start somewhere. We booked a hunt with Stephan Stamm of Heritage Safaris. His camp is on the banks of the Rufiji River in the Selous Game Reserve. Getting there was actually pretty simple with a direct flight from Calgary to Amsterdam and then Amsterdam to Dar es Salaam. We overnighted at the Sea Cliff Hotel in Dar and then boarded a small plane for the 45-minute flight into camp the following day. Everything went smoothly with guns and transport thanks to some excelleent staff in Dar.

    We planned to hunt cape buffalo, hippo, leopard, possibly croc and some plains game. Camp was your typical tent camp but the setting along the river was breathtaking and we had a constant parade of hippos and crocs right outside our tent. Stephan was to be out PH and Paddy Curtis would join us later in the hunt as well.

    Buffalo and hippo were on the agenda first and after settling into camp and sighting our rifle in (375H&H) we hit the ground running. That afternoon we had a young bull elephant charge the cruiser and we jumped a buffalo at 10 yards in the thick stuff. For a few seconds he wasn't sure if he was going to run away or run at us. Thankfully he decided to flee. There was little doubt in our minds that we were in for one heck of a hunt.

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  2. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH Elite

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    OK, you got me excited now! Don’t leave us hanging too long:cry:!
     
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  3. reedy0312

    reedy0312 AH Ambassador

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    Looks like a great setting! Looking forward to the full report!
     

  4. rinehart0050

    rinehart0050 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Nice! Looking forward to more
     

  5. CAustin

    CAustin BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Keep it coming friend!
     

  6. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH Legend

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    This should be interesting. Been wishing I could go to Tanz. Looks like a great camp set up. Bruce
     

  7. sheephunterab

    sheephunterab AH Fanatic

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    We elected to try for hippo and buff first and was a bit shocked to learn there was considerable overlap in their range. I had said from the beginning that I was only interested in hunting hippo on land and Stephan said no problem that it was the way they did it. I had the misconception that hippos only ventured out of the river at night to eat but in truth, there were hippos everywhere we went. They were mostly in small ponds, typically only a few yards in size or in puddles along the otherwise dry river bed. There were hippo trails everywhere, kilometers from the river. I had no idea hippos were such a major grazer on the grasslands and how much they competed with the buffalo and antelope species. There were also loads of hippo carcasses. The result of starving to death in a couple years of severe drought recently. Basically, we walked from small waterhole to small waterhole. We saw numerous bulls but our lead tracked kept indicating we could do better. At one waterhole we had a decent bull threaten to charge but at the last minute turned away. It was an incredible adrenaline rush, especially knowing that legendary outfitter Luke Samaras had been badly injured by a hippo under identical circumstances only a couple day previous.

    Then, finally, we spotted a lone bull in a tiny puddle, no more than 20 feet in diameter. He was lying down and despite only being 40 yards away, we was totally unaware of our presence. Our tracker studied him carefully and gave the thumbs up. At that moment the hippo noticed us and began to rise. I knew it was now or never. I remember being shocked at how shallow the water was. I placed the crosshair right on his ear and shot him with the 375 H&H. I was using a 250-grain GMX. It dropped him right on the spot and I followed with a second shot to the spine. While every trip to Africa is a learning experience, I must say my knowledge of hippos was pathetic and I can see now more than ever why they need to be hunted and managed. This area is definitely a great place for hunting hippo on foot. The trackers cooked us up some hippo for lunch and it was actually quite delicious.
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  8. sheephunterab

    sheephunterab AH Fanatic

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    Nothing like glassing a big herd of buffalo while the trackers and skinners work on your hippo.
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  9. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH Legend

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    Great adventure so far. Has to be the altimate destination in Africa.
     

  10. reedy0312

    reedy0312 AH Ambassador

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    Congrats on the hippo, close quarters is exciting!
     

  11. ROCKET

    ROCKET AH Fanatic

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    Well.....I had the feeling and I was not wrong......this will be a great hunting adventure and report.......here We are.....hooked......keep it coming and congrats in what a looks like a unforgetable hunt.......!!!!!!
     
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  12. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH Elite

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    Oh what fun! A grand hunt sheephunterab!
     

  13. Ragman

    Ragman AH Fanatic

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    Will be following this report with anticipation! Will Vanessa out do T.J.?
     

  14. Neale

    Neale AH Enthusiast

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    A grand adventure so far. I am in for the ride. Keep it coming.
     

  15. dory

    dory AH Fanatic

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    just sat down with a fresh coffee ( okay a cold beer )
    To read your repot and it stopped .
    Bugger !
    Do i grab the box of beer and wait for next instalment ?
    Or go to bed ?
    Looking forward to the rest of your trip .
     
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  16. Tally-Ho Hunting Safaris

    Tally-Ho Hunting Safaris SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Enthusiast

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  17. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH Elite

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    Loving this!
     

  18. sheephunterab

    sheephunterab AH Fanatic

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    It was Vanessa's turn at bat for buffalo next. We focused our attention primarily on some dried up old river channels. The buffalo would come out on them in the afternoons to lie in the cool sand and hold up in the heavy cover next to them during the day. We tracked several bulls and had many close encounters but between trying to get the shot on camera and just the sheer thickness of the cover it was much harder than we imagined. We also saw numerous lions, hippos, and loads of spotted hyena. And we saw numerous buffalo too but not the bull she wanted. We also put out three leopard baits and had cats hitting them almost immediately but nothing during daylight hours. Finally, on the third day of chasing buffalo we caught a break. We had been tracking three old bulls through the particularly heavy stuff for about three hours....often coming within 10-20 meters of them but the cover would just never allow a shot. We finally gave up on them and began a long cross-country march back to the truck. About half way there, we came upon three bulls in the old river channel. Vanessa wasted no time getting up on the sticks and Stephan quickly picked out the best bull. Vanessa's shot was slightly low at 80 yards but it still caught the bottom of the lungs and left a large blood trail. After a bit of a tense follow up over the next hour, Vanessa got her bull.

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  19. reedy0312

    reedy0312 AH Ambassador

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    Congrats to Vanessa on a nice bull!
     

  20. MMAL

    MMAL GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Awesome, keep it coming. Great story and place. Congrats.
     

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