Jayson, I have been reading your post and have been waiting with GREAT anticipation to see your report of your 1st safari and your hunt with Arnod Payne's Impala African Safari! Congrats!!! it looks like you did great. I too am going to my 1st African safari and am hunting with Arnold In the same area. I committed to the same package and a leopard hunt as well. I was also a little conserned after doing my web search. and am thrilled to see that you had such a great 1st hunt... hoping for the same!!
I too will be visiting Arnold's father.
Do you have any recomendations for the hunt or anything that could make my hunt as successful as yours?!!
Thanks for the feeddback and fixing the pictures. I was not aware of how to properly link them. Yes, that is a Klipspringer as the others pointed out. We must have watched 20+ groupls of Klipspringers looking for one to get that stood still longer than 20 seconds. Saw a lot of the Klips, but most ran a lot faster than I could shoot. This one ran, but stopped about 100 yards away and this allowed me to get a shot on him.
@ Aristotle - The place you will be hunting is amazing! Because I can't walk very far due to my bad hips we hunted from the truck, this limited me in areas I could get to. If you can walk, that will only make the trip that much better. The lodging, food, and service were amazing! They took awesome care of me. My Ph was Albert Paradzi and the driver was Carl Brown (he is a PH in training), along with the tracker named Sunday. The only advice I can give is to just be prepared for shooting. My first two animals (Zebra and Wildebeest) had me so nervous I put poor shots into them which resulted in some tracking and final extra shots. While I didn't see any leopard (I also wasn't looking for them) we saw lots of leopard tracks and had two leopards hit the Impala bait we set up to try and draw in Hyenas. The game cam pics of the leopards were cool. You should have no problem getting your animals. Everywhere you turn are animals, and we saw some great animals. I was lucky on the Kudu, if you van get in the mountains/hills you will see more Kudu than I did from just riding the roads.
Arnolds parents are great, and will show you lots of hospitality. Make sure to have some Mazoe with Lemon Schwepps! I took only one gun, my 30-06 so if you take a .375 for leopard and bigger game you may want to take something smaller for Duiker, Grysbok, or any other smaller animals.
Jayson, fine job with the trophies for not being able to do much for stalking. The Klippy is one fine animal and usually not secured on a first trip,(maybe 2nd or 3rd) sounds like there were many to be had, not the norm! The mass of the Waterbuck is awesome.
While I certainly feel bad about this mans experience I have posted about my hunt with Impala African Safaris (not sure how to link to my post) and I have nothing but positive things/thoughts for the whole trip. I planned my safari for 3+ years and looked at a lot of outfitters. Arnold came highly recommended to me by members in both the Central Texas Safari Club and the Alamo SCI( have my write up from the Alamo SCI newsletter I would be happy to email anyone(not sure how to add it in). My accommodations, meals, and entertainment were amazing. I had a very different experience, all my emails for years were answered promptly and any request for information was done right away. I had a couple of surprises over some costs, but they were not anything I held Arnold responsible for. I used the flight person recommended by Arnold and the ticket was $400 more than I was told, but I forgot that travel agents add their commission on top. I figured me not having to figure out the flights was great. I arrived in Zim and Arnold's parents cleared me right through customs and I stayed a few days with Arnold's parents who are two of the nicest people you could meet. I was not aware of the cost for bait animals, so that was a surprise but I only shot one Impala for bait so not a huge thing. The leopard pics from the game camera and watching the brown hyena come in were well worth the cost. I also had Skokie as a cook and his food and drum playing were great. I hunted the Bubiana and had the whole place to myself. The ranch manager did have some family in and we passed them a few times while they were out taking pictures. As far as I am concerned they presented no problem. I took two extra animals, one of which was a mistake and that was my doing. I thought a Klipspringer was part of my package and only when I got home did I realize it was a Duiker that was part of package. But again, I took a bunch of great trophies, was treated like a king, drank so much Mazoe I thought I might turn orange. I sure wish we could get that stateside. Stood on the porch of the lodge one morning and watch wild dogs hunting and just couldn't believe I was in Africa. I make several of the Drummonds and they were all gracious. The PH and drive were amazing and the tracker Sunday was just incredible with his tracking skills on my couple of poorly shot animals. The Bubiana did have some cattle issues from the neighboring areas, but the quantity of game was amazing. You couldn't hardly drive 100 yards and not have animals somewhere. Because of my physical restrictions I could only hunt from the truck and these guys were working hard to get me on animals. I rank it as one of the most amazing trips I have ever been on and would go again in a heartbeat. Regarding the planning, I checked lots of references and between the multiple people in Austin and San Antonio I got glowing reports. I am not going to go point by point, but suffice to say it was a great trip. I would be happy to answer any questions, I just hate seeing people pile on that have not hunted with Arnold's people. Feel free to contact me anytime.