Hello everyone! Michelle and I are back from our second trip to Africa in as many years accompanied by my brother Jeff and his lovely girlfriend Dana. This all began after Jeff saw the pictures, read the blog and listened to me drone on and on about last year’s safari with KMG, (https://www.africahunting.com/threads/south-africa-kmg-safaris-rocks.39278/). Jeff wanted to experience Africa but without being on a high fenced game ranch, a list of species he wanted to target, and of course it all had to fit within budget limitations! My search for a Safari Operator and country began in earnest late in 2017 and I contacted various operators in Mozambique as this destination was at the top of my list. I couldn’t match up all the requirements we both had within our constraints to make Mozambique a viable option. The search continued and I contacted Wayne from Nyamazana Safaris and inquired about the list of species and if he had any openings for June/July 2018. After a few emails and a phone call with Wayne Van Den Bergh and confirmation with my brother we booked a hunt with him in early January for this July! Details for those who enjoy such things. Safari operator: @Nyamazana Safaris Area: Zimbabwe, Bubiana Conservancy – Drummond Ranch PH’s: Wayne Van Den Bergh for myself and Michelle; Mike Blignaut for Jeff and Dana Flight Reservations: @Travel Express Lori Spears Dates of Hunt: 18 – 27 July 2018 Hardware: Ed & Michelle #1. Colt Light Rifle in 30-06 with handloaded 165gr Peregrine bullets topped with Zeiss Diavari 2.5-10x 50 with illuminated #60 reticle. Load development documented here (https://www.africahunting.com/threads/peregrine-165-gr-30-06-load-development.42317/) #2. Mod 70 Alaskan 375 H&H using 300gr Federal Premium Woodleigh Hydro’s topped with Leupold VX-6 2-12x42 with firedot duplex. Fishing Rod(s): #1. Fenwick HMG Casting Travel Rod with Shimano Chronarch CI4+ casting reel. This rod comes in 3 sections with two different tips, a medium and a medium-heavy as well as a nice travel case. #2. 2 piece spinning Rhino Rod with a Diawa Lexa 2500. This was the only two piece rod I had that fit nicely in the top of my rifle Case. Rifle Case: Pelican Storm 3300 Jeff: Colt Light Rifle in 300 WinMag shooting Federal Premium 180gr Trophy Bonded Tipped with 2.5-10x Nikon Monarch Animals seen: Buffalo, Kudu, Giraffe, Waterbuck, Bushbuck, Impala, Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, Klipspringer, Grysbok, Civet, Genet, African Wildcat, Baboon, Bushpig, Eland, Duiker, Hyena, Monkey, Jackal, Warthog, Aardvark, Mongoose, Springhare, Rock Hyrax, Poachers and numerous birds Animals taken: read on! Sunday 15 July Departure Day: Arrive at Pensacola airport with plenty of extra time to check rifles and baggage for international travel when we get a call from Jeff and Dana who were departing from CAK (Akron-Canton). The Delta agents had started checking their bags through to Bulawayo instead of checking to Johannesburg. We needed to collect the rifles and bags in JNB, overnight at AfricaSky Guesthouse and re-check the bags to Bulawayo the following day. Our agent was trying to do the same and had to enlist some help to figure out how to only check the bags to JNB. With that seemingly sorted out we all arrived in Atlanta within a few minutes of each other and headed to the Delta Skyclub to get primed for our flight still three plus hours away. In our seats on Delta 200 with a little priming from the Delta Skyclub. much happier now! It turns out Katy Perry was performing in Johannesburg on Wednesday and there were 80 roadies and dancers on our flight! Let me just say drugs and alcohol were being mixed and things were getting out of hand. I wasn’t going to be a witness to a sexual assault as one of the dancers was basically passed out in the galley with two intoxicated men and after complaining to the ancient head flight attendant three times they finally broke up the party. Monday 16 July, Arrival in Johannesburg: Jeff and I both used AfricaSky Guesthouse rifle permitting service to clear our weapons at the SAPS office and we had no issues and arrived at Africasky. In no time we were sitting and having a delicious beef filet dinner and settled in for a good night’s sleep. We had no issues with our rifles or bags arriving in JNB on Delta, thank goodness. Tuesday 17 July, Zimbabwe here we come! : Breakfast in the morning and back to the airport to check into the South African Airlink flight to Bulawayo. The first hint of trouble, couldn’t get our boarding passes at the automated machine. Went to the first counter to be greeted by a lady who told us our tickets had been cancelled. She said she couldn’t help us and go down to the supervisor a couple of desks down. Michelle and I haul our bags and rifles down to her and she tells us the same thing. Tick tock tick tock, our flight is now just over an hour away and no tickets for Michelle or I. I wish I had a blood pressure monitor on me to see how high it had gotten. Boss lady tells us we need to go to the SAA ticket booth and purchase tickets. Rinse and repeat, haul all our bags to the ticket booth, show him our itinerary with CONFIRMED purchased tickets from 13 Jan. No dice, somehow our tickets were cancelled. Steaming now, really steaming. I throw him my credit card and purchase new tickets, well above what I paid in January. The only good in this, there were a couple of seats left on the plane so we didn’t lose a day or two awaiting the next flight! See, there is only one flight a day from JNB to BUQ and if it had been full we would have lost a day or more. We return to the first SAA attendant who was just finishing with checking Jeff and Dana’s bags. We get our bags checked and head to the SAPS office to check our rifles, Gilbert from AfricaSky helped us through the check-in process. The SAPS “ladies” made sure and asked us for a little tip. We hurry through passport control and head to our gate, just in time as they had begun boarding the shuttle bus to take us to our aircraft. Arrival in Bulawayo to heavy leaden skies. Have to wait what seems like forever, 20-30 minutes, for the Gov’t officials to grant us our visas and then a relatively painless weapons and bag check. Make sure you bring an extra pen, the Officials pen quit working and he permanently borrowed mine! We also had turned in the Form 47, Revenue and Customs Declaratoin, with our passports but we didn’t realize they weren’t stamped until later. This could cause you a problem if you try to leave the country with more than $2000, ie confiscation. It also makes it more difficult for citizens to deposit large sums of cash. Make sure you insist they sign and stamp the blue Form 47. Wayne and Mike were there to greet us and we split up in the respective vehicles. Mike, Jeff and Dana were to push on to the hunting area while Michelle, Wayne and I had an errand to run. I had ordered some custom soft gun cases from TCI a few months ago through Wayne and they had them ready. I also picked up a case for one of my buds here on AH, @jacques smith We stopped at the Indian Food restaurant in Bulawayo, yes Indian food, for some spicy meat pies. Delicious! We swung by Wayne’s house to collect up Sam and Cowboy his game scouts/trackers and to finish loading up the Toyota. We were also able to meet Wayne’s wonderful wife Jen and gave her a surprise, Salted Dark Chocolate! We got on the road after a few minutes and experienced Wayne’s driving abilities. Sit down, hold on and close your eyes! We arrived at the Drummond Ranch and our first views of the granite outcroppings in the fading light. We quickly took our bags to the rooms and had enough time to check the rifles before darkness settled in upon us. I had to make a slight downward adjustment on the 30-06, the 375 was on as well as Jeff’s 300 WinMag. WE ARE READY!!!