TANZANIA: Selous Hunt With Alan Vincent From Vincent Safaris


AH enthusiast
Apr 6, 2019
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Hunting reports
Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, South Africa, Tanzania
Now that I’ve been back from Tanzania long enough to be over the jet lag I thought I’d share a report on my just concluded hunt with Alan Vincent on his new Selous concession, MA1/Madaba.

In a word, it was Fantastic! I liked hunting Mlele 2 years ago, but I like Madaba a lot more. Madaba has a lot of game and a broad diversity, while Mlele lacked many of the species we enjoyed seeing and hunting the last couple weeks.

I booked this hunt with Alan as soon as he told me he was bidding on a new area in the Selous. My hunt would be for 16-days with a 21-day license to allow certain species that cannot be hunted on a shorter license, like leopard. I brought my son, Danny, along as a ‘Companion Hunter’, meaning he had his own 10-day license and could take animals from my quota. His interest was primarily to hunt one or two of my 3 buffalo and get to tag along while I hunted other stuff like leopard, hippo and crocodile.

Also joining us was a very close friend of 45 years, Jim, who was hunting Africa for the first time at 79 years old. Jim was also on a 10-day license, focusing on a buffalo and hippo with Peter Waddelow as his PH. I jumped back and forth to spend some time as an observer enjoying Jim’s first African hunt and also give Danny some one on one time hunting with Alan since he has literally known Alan his entire life. I figured they’d have a great time together without me and they did. But I did spend most days hunting with my son, highlighted by a great buffalo day where we took 2 Dugga Boys from a group of 3 bulls. The animals I was interested in hunting included buffalo, leopard, dry land hippo, crocodile, and just a few plains game, primarily eland. I was fortunate to take everything I really wanted with the exception of eland.

We flew Emirates from San Francisco to Dar. As expected, everything went smoothly and we met up with Gladywin Spero (Alan’s logistics manager in DAR) who ushered us through Tanzania’s arrival process very efficiently. Off to Sea Cliff for the night before our charter out to Madaba the following day. Our mid-day flight with Safari Airlink on a Cessna Caravan was smooth and I definitely enjoyed the short 1-hour flight compared to the 2 1/2+ hour flight out to Mlele.

On arrival, it was a nice reunion with Alan’s team of our driver, Lema, as well as Nyoni & Robert, our trackers. They’re a great group of guys who hunt hard and have fun while doing so. I brought each of them a new pair of Converse All Star ‘Chuck Taylor’ high tops, along with plenty of new socks and these were a big hit. They all wear Chuck Taylors daily and theirs were pretty worn, so new shoes were appreciated. We also had a lot of fun with my attempts at Swahili, courtesy of Google Translate. While I had the basics down pretty good, they started longer conversations that left me in the dust, much to their amusement.
For those not familiar with the Selous Game Reserve, I’ll include a few maps. This first one shows the location of Alan’s Madaba concession in relation to Dar es Salaam, the point of departure. The Madaba concession is approximately 1,677 square kilometers or 468,000 acres. The area we hunted is the extension to the northwest where the blue lines run.
Here is what is left of the Selous hunting blocks, after about 60% was taken to form the new Julius Nyerere National Park. Alan’s area is listed as MA1, pretty much the center of the Selous. This map isn’t entirely accurate as the photographic area on the south side of Lake Nyerere doesn’t exist but is actually part of the adjoining hunting blocks.
Really looking forward to this report. Appreciate you taking the time to share.
Outstanding start, and informative maps. Keep it coming.
Great Start- very good info !
Alan’s camp is a traditional East African camp. There is a large dining tent of 30’x30’ and each client’s tent has 2 beds with en-suite bathroom and shower. Most people don’t stop to think about what goes into building a camp in locations such the Selous. A well has to be dug for camp water and septic system dug as well. Each tent has hot & cold water on demand as well as shower and flush toilet. Electricity is by a substantial solar electric system. At the end of each season everything has to be taken down and removed.

The nearest village, Liwale, it 7 hours away on a dirt 2-track road. Between client hunts they have to drive to Liwale to drop off the game scouts from the last safari and bring back new ones, so a couple drums of diesel come back by truck each time. It’s a massive undertaking at the start and end of each season. During the hunting season, all supplies except diesel fuel come in with each Caravan flight that delivers hunters to the airstrip near camp.

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My home for 16 days. The Madaba River is mostly dry at this time of year but is a nice setting for the camp. Of course, they do not hunt within a 2-kilometer distance around camp, so there is wildlife to enjoy watching. We had a group of 8 Dugga Boys that were around most days, sometimes less than 100 yards from the tents. We enjoyed listening to lions several nights and saw a couple old males in the riverbed.

Looks & sounds like a wonderful camp, and trip!
Looking forward to the rest of your report.

Camp looks good. Your outfitter/ph is definitely top notch.
Following. Thanks for taking the time to report. Very informative so far.
The first day I rode as an observer with my friend Jim, while my son Danny hunted alone with Alan. Danny shot a Crawshay’s Zebra, which are one of the most beautiful and small sub species of plains zebra.
One of the few plains game I was interested in taking was a bushbuck and on the 2nd afternoon we found a very nice ram with beautiful horn shape. The location would prove to be important as the bushbuck wasn’t the only thing we were fortunate to take right there…
Jim also scored on his first African animal on day two. When they rolled in I asked him if he shot anything. He said he did and said he wasn’t sure what it was but had horns on one end and a tail on the other. It was a nice Nyasaland Wildebeest. Not too bad for a nearly 80 year old on his first safari.

On the 4th day I was going to ride with Jim again to enjoy watching him experiencing Africa for the first time. Alan had other ideas and said he wanted to go look for a big hippo bull on dry land. That sounded better than riding as an observer so we went in search of a lone hippo bull in the forest.

We dropped down into a long korongo and found lots of water with abundant game. First a herd of elephants, which was great as Danny had never been in close proximity to elephants while on foot. There were a couple dozen feeding in thick cover and we were able to watch them undetected from about 40 yards away.

After watching the elephants for a bit, we snuck away and continued down the Korongo. We found a family group of 11 hippos and a croc in a pool. We enjoyed watching them for about 10 minutes and were perhaps 20 yards from them, standing on a high bank above the pool, it was a really neat encounter. We also found lots of fresh waterbuck, , bushbuck and good eland sign.


After leaving the hippos in the pool, we were walking along a game trail that was well above the pools of water, checking each pool for hippos. Even though the forest was fairly open, parts of the trail were quite thick. Suddenly, Alan retreated backward rapidly while bringing up his rifle. Since all the hippos we’d seen were below us, I instinctively thought we’d bumped into a buffalo bull and advanced forward. Alan hissed ‘hippo’ as we passed each other. The bull was 15 yards in front of us but I couldn’t see much except teeth. Suddenly, the bull broke to my left to escape. It’s shocking how fast an hippo can go from zero to very fast, I hadn’t expected that. Instinct took over and it was like shooting a 5,000 lb quail flying low. I was shooting 400 grain Cutting Edge solids in my .416 and the first shot was about 20 yards and took out the bull’s heart. My next shot went in about halfway back on the left side with the hippo quartering hard away. The bull skidded to a stop instantly. We later found the 2nd bullet at the base of the skull. The solid had penetrated approximately 4’, including traversing about 16-18 inches of spine. We thought this was very impressive performance. I could reload that bullet should I wish to shoot it again.



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Now that we had a hippo, we had crocodile bait. Historically, the Rufiji River ran north of Madaba but with the new dam at Steiglers Gorge the lake was filling rapidly. The new lake has been named Lake Nyerere, after former Tanzania President Julius Nyerere and it is already about 1/3 full.


We took a hippo quarter down to the lake where they’d previously baited up a large croc that a previous hunter had missed and we set a new bait.
Meanwhile, we were checking and replenishing leopard baits every day. We had 7 baits set and leopards had hit 5 of those baits. We were running low on meat for baits so Alan decided that our 4th day would be focused on finding a buffalo or two. Early in the morning we walked in to a waterhole and found where 3 bulls had been drinking and wallowing not long before.

We took off tracking the 3 Dugga Boys in thick Miombo forest and tall grass. Progress was pretty easy and fast for the first hour as the buffalo had left wet mud on the grass they were pushing through. Eventually, we caught up to the bulls and I stayed back with the trackers while Alan & Danny snuck forward perhaps another 75 yards. The sticks went up and Danny was ready as soon as a shot presented. After a minute or two a shot rang out from Danny’s .375 H&H, followed shortly after by a 2nd shot. We quickly heard a death bellow, then another. All of a sudden they were motioning for me to quickly come up.

Danny and Alan had gotten separated by a bit and as soon as I got to Alan he asked if I could see the bull about 100 yards ahead of us. All that was visible through a narrow shooting window was a buffalo’s shoulder. I was shooting my .416 Hoffman and sent a 370 grain Cutting Edge Raptor on its way. The buffalo barely reacted, only taking a couple steps forward. Now all I could see was the back legs so I fired another Raptor into the back legs. As the buffalo moved forward we repositioned and I fired a 3rd shot, a 400 grain Bearclaw, into the front of the bull’s chest and it stumbled a bit and then crashed down from the next shot which I put squarely under its nose. From my first to fourth shots, all of which hit the buffalo where I intended, it only went about 15 yards. Danny’s buffalo had been laying on it’s side giving the death moan and bleeding profusely from 2-300 grain TSX’s in the lungs, only about 25 yards from where my buffalo fell. As we turned to look at his bull, it was GONE!!!

As well as we could figure his buffalo had jumped up and departed as soon as I started shooting my bull. It was nowhere to be seen. WTF!

My buffalo.
There was a very large splash of lung blood on the ground, at least a gallon. We started tracking the bull through mostly burned over Miombo, with occasional thick patches of brush. The blood along the track was almost non-existent despite all the blood where it had been laying. At each thick patch, we expected things to get a little ‘Western’ but the bull never stopped. It kept steadily traveling and it took us over an hour to catch up, whereupon Danny quickly put his bull down for good. We took a look at the Gaia GPS app on Alan’s phone and this Buffalo had led us over 2 kilometers from where it was laying and dying. So much for getting a cool picture of father-son buffalo together!

Danny tough bull

It's late here in Phoenix and I"m not sleeping well.....please don't leave me hanging like this?! I'll never get to sleep!

Oh....nevermind, thanks for finishing that story. Your post must've just beat mine.

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