ZIMBABWE: Mokore Safaris Sengwa Research Tuskless Elephant & Plains Game

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by IdaRam, Aug 25, 2018.

  1. IdaRam

    IdaRam BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Fall is knocking at our door and with it comes excitement for bird and big game hunting seasons. Like most everyone else around here, I find myself short on time (and money) but long on enthusiasm :D I know if I don’t get this hunt report started now it will be long overdue by the time I get back to it. With that said, a Hunt Review seems like the smart start and I’ll share more detail as time permits. I hope y’all enjoy it and find the information useful as you dream of and plan your upcoming adventures!
    A few words to begin with. This was one of the greatest experiences of my life! I have dreamed of hunting elephant ever since I can remember. There was always that “someday, maybe...” thought in my head, but it was accompanied by the “I just can’t afford it”, or “will I be able to import my trophy?” questions and doubts. Well, an opportunity came along that I COULD afford and I decided it was much more important to DO IT than just dream about it or let trophy import questions get in the way. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. And I must say my girlfriend would tell you I am known for my good decisions! :eek:
    If I could offer my hunting brothers and sisters a few humble words of advice, if you dream of hunting elephant in a traditional walk and stalk, lots of boot miles, LOTS of elephant, pure adrenalin style that harkens back to the days of yore, book a tuskless hunt in a tent camp in a wild and completely free range area filled with Lion, Leopard and Cape Buffalo. It will be like nothing else you’ve experienced.
    I believe the details will paint the picture, but I must say a few words about Mokore Safaris and Doug Duckworth. By any standard this is a first class operation and Doug is an outstanding PH. Based upon the research I had done and folks I had talked to prior to booking, I believe I had fairly high expectations going in. It would be a gross understatement to say my expectations were surpassed. They were blown out of the water!
    Arriving in camp for the first time is always exciting. Meeting your PH for the first time when you arrive in hunting camp can make for intersting times. You are sizing things up and you know you are being sized up as well. 5 minutes in I was pretty convinced this was going to be a great safari. A little time to unwind, a trip to the range, one shot from each rifle right in the bullseye and some sundowners around the camp fire and I KNEW this was going to be a magical experience. Waking up to a female leopard sawing outside my tent, a nice warm fuzzy monkey in my bed and cold, crisp air made the first night a memory to cherish. Things would only get better from here :)
    Doug is the type of PH that will walk your legs off, flash you a withering glare when you screw up, and make you try harder just because you don’t want to disappoint him. He will also go to any length to make your hunt a pleasure and everything you hope it will be, he sees things that I am still not sure are really there and he treats his trackers and skinners with a respect that can only have been earned. Doug is a man of honor and a staunch believer in doing things the “proper” way. Whether it be running a hunting camp or earning the right to take the life of an animal, if you hunt with Doug you will very likely be a better hunter and a better person for the experience. I would absolutely hunt Dangerous Game with him again, and I hope to do so again very soon!

    Review to follow immediately, but right now it’s dinner time!

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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 6, 2018
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  2. stug

    stug AH Fanatic

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    Looking forward to the rest of this.
     
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  3. neckdeep

    neckdeep AH Veteran

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    Great start to your report, leaving in 2 weeks for Coutada 9 with Gary as my PH, Doug Ph'ing a friend and Neil hunting my brother for Plains game for 7 days in the middle of my Buff hunt. This will be my second trip with them and pretty excited to say the least!! Buff, Sable, Nyala, Lichenstein's Hartebeest plus a bunch of other plains game on the menu. Thank you for posting

    Gale Johnson
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2018

  4. tomahawker

    tomahawker AH Member

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    Superb start! I’m in
     
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  5. Bullthrower338

    Bullthrower338 AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Great start Dan!
     
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  6. IdaRam

    IdaRam BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    :eek: Gary, Neil & Doug all in the same place at once?! God help you! :E Rofl:
    You guys are going to have a blast! I will be looking forward to THAT report ;):D
     

  7. tarbe

    tarbe AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    As I am now exactly 1 year out from my next hunt, I am already starting to think about what might happen after 2019.

    Keep writing! You can eat later!! ;)
     

  8. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    :A Popcorn:
     
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  9. IdaRam

    IdaRam BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Country: Zimbabwe
    Region: Gokwe
    Hunt Area: Sengwa Research
    Dates: 08/06/18 thru 08/15/18
    Type of Hunt: Tuskless Elephant & Plains Game
    Method: Rifle Hunt
    Ruger RSM .416 Rigby, Leupold 1.5 - 5x scope, Handloads - CEB 400 gr Solid @ 2400 fps and CEB 370 gr Raptor @ 2450 fps
    Ruger RSM .375 H&H, Leupold 4.5 - 14x scope, Handloads - Nosler Accubond 300 gr @ 2400 fps
    Outfitter: Mokore Safaris
    PH: Doug Duckworth
    Agent: None
    Travel Agent: Travel Express - Lori Ginn
    Species Hunted: Tuskless Elephant, Livingstone Eland, Chobe Bushbuck, Kudu, Spotted Hyena, Sharpe’s Grysbok, Klipspringer, Impala, Warthog, Baboon
    Trophy Quality: Very Good to Excellent
    Species seen but not hunted: Cape Buffalo, Lion, Croc, Zebra, Waterbuck, Common Reedbuck, Common Duiker, Jackal, Vervet Monkey, Hyrax
    Species Heard but not seen: Leopard on a nightly basis :)
    Species present but not seen: Bushpig, Civet, Genet, Antbear, Porcupine
    Lodging: East African Style Tent/Chalet (Perfection!), Open Air Tent & Thatch Dining Hall overlooking the Sengwa River
    Food: Mostly wild game as main course with diverse side dishes and excellent desserts. Food is excellent - “Last” is an accomplished Chef (y)
    Beverages per your request prior to safari. Bottled water, soft drinks, juice, coffee, tea, beer, wine and a small selection of hard liquor.
    Travel Method: Preferred Airport is Harare (HRE). Road transfer by vehicle - Approx. 7 hours from HRE to Sengwa Camp. Or air charter to landing strip in close proximity to camp (10 minutes from camp).
    Overall Rating: 9.5 / 10 (because perfection is unattainable)
    I would absolutely recommend to a friend without hesitation!

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  10. Adam Stevens

    Adam Stevens SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Can’t wait to read and see this post. I was practically a coin flip away from booking with Doug for a Buff in Sengwa but ended up booking another outfit. I leave in two weeks.

    Tented, Wild area, no fences, and lots of walking. To a tee my idea of what a Safari should be!
     
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  11. IdaRam

    IdaRam BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Backing up a few paces, a shout out to @Travel Express , Lori Ginn is in order. Lori was an absolute pleasure to work with and very much on top of everything. Thank you Lori! I will definitely use Travel Express for my next safari! Hopefully sooner rather than later :D

    If you fly Emirates out of Seattle to Dubai, you will pass directly over the North Pole.

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    Lori suggested a long layover in Dubai which was excellent advice. A layover of more than 10 hours? (I think? Might be 12) will get you a free hotel room courtesy of Emirates Airlines. I arrived about 7:00 pm and my flight out was 9:25 am the next day. After traveling Boise to Seattle, rechecking guns from Alaska to Emirates and spending about 17 hours on a plane (Seattle to Dubai), a shower and a good night’s sleep is very welcome! Emirates has a flight from Dubai to Harare with a quick stop in Lusaka, Zambia which for me is a preferred alternative to flying into JoBurg and grabbing a SAA flight.
    I have flown Emirates twice now and both times it has been a much better experience than what I’ve had with Delta. Emirates does an excellent job with firearms! As an example, I was a little nervous about my guns getting on the flight after overnighting in Dubai. My concern was without merit. As I sat in my seat waiting for other passengers to board, the purser came to my seat, confirmed I was me and let me know that she had confirmed my rifles had been loaded aboard and would be waiting for me in Harare. Fabulous!
    The Emirates personnel I have dealt with have all been very courteous and helpful and the flight attendants are generally young and attractive which doesn’t hurt at all. Especially on a looong flight!
     

  12. IdaRam

    IdaRam BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    If you spend the night in Harare prior to the drive or charter flight to Sengwa, Mokore will cook you an excellent steak dinner and give you a comfortable bed to sleep in :)

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  13. IdaRam

    IdaRam BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Congrats on your upcoming Buff hunt, and best wishes! I will look forward to reading about it :)
     

  14. Neale

    Neale AH Enthusiast

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    Sounds like a great report(s) coming.
     
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  15. Von Gruff

    Von Gruff GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    With a start like this the hunt reports will be followed with interest.
     
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  16. huntermn15

    huntermn15 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Looking forward to the report. Tuskless is high on the list for 2020/2021.
     
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  17. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Really enjoyed your opening statement. Looking forward to the rest of your report.
     
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  18. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I’m waiting.....:A Popcorn:
     
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  19. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Another one I've been waiting for!
     
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  20. IdaRam

    IdaRam BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    A little bit about Sengwa...

    I hope I get this mostly correct. Please forgive any of my mis-recollections (n)
    At my request, Doug gave me a bit of a history lesson on Sengwa which I found very enjoyable. I hope you do too.

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    Sengwa Reasearch Area covers approximately 90,000 acres and sits adjacent to Chirisa Safari Area and Chizarira National Park. There are no fences between these areas and they are open to the communal land which surround them. Sengwa sits astride the confluence of three good size rivers. The Lutope, the Manyoni and its namesake, the Sengwa. Additionally, a research project was conducted from the 1960’s through the 1990’s to study the effects that elephant and fire had on the Miombo woodland. Hence, Sengwa Research. Here’s an excerpt I found on-line which gives a thumnail view:

    One of the consequences of impacts of elephants and fire on woodlands is a change in woody cover, which often results in major challenges for wildlife managers. Changes in miombo woodland cover in and around Sengwa Wildlife Research Area (SWRA) between 1958 and 1996 were quantified by analyzing aerial photographs. Woody cover in SWRA decreazed from 95.2% in 1958 to 68.2% in 1996, with a lowest mean of 62.9% in 1983. The annual absolute rate of woody cover change in SWRA increazed from −1.1% per annum between 1958 and 1964 to a recovery of 1.6% per annum between 1993 and 1996, while the annual relative rate increazed from −1.1% per annum between 1958 and 1964 to 3.3% per annum between 1993 and 1996. There was a strong negative correlation between elephant densities and woody cover in SWRA, suggesting that loss of woody cover was mainly due to elephants. Woodland recovery after 1983 was due to reductions in elephant populations through legal and illegal off‐take and reductions in fire frequency. Surrounding areas experienced less woody cover losses than SWRA, mainly due to tree removal by locals whose densities increazed after the eradication of tsetse fly in the 1970s.

    The area’s flora and fauna continue to recover and flourish due in no small part to the significant efforts of Mokore Safaris and Zim Parks & Wildlife. Elephants are still one of the major influences on the biosphere and evidence of their presence is apparent even when they are not in sight. I believe managing the elephant population and keeping it in check will continue to prove to be a challenge.
    In addition to elephant you can’t go very far without tripping over Impala. And there are some dandy rams! 25 inches is a real possiblity if you hunt hard and have some luck.
    Waterbuck, kudu, eland, and bushbuck are also plentiful. The trophy quality on these species is outstanding!
    Discussion about Sengwa would not be complete without some insight into the anti-poaching activities on the part of Mokore and Zim Parks.
    Sadly, rhino had already been poached to the point where there were just a handful left and the few remaining rhino were darted and relocated a number of years prior.
    In addition to rhino being gone, Doug marked on his GPS 142 poached elephant the first year they had the area. Happily the story of the elephant would have a much more positive outcome! Through community outreach and education as well as a robust anti-poaching program paid for solely by Mokore and utilising 10 Game Rangers patrolling the area continually, the number of elephant poached has been reduced to an annual average of between 1 and 2!
    It is a shame, a crime really, that the truth about sportsmen, conservation, safari hunting and anti-poaching is not reaching the masses in the middle. Sengwa is a shining example of what is possible when sportsmen's dollars are put to work in the right way! One must only drive through the communal land and compare it to the safari area where “if it pays, it stays!” could not be more in evidence.

    Camp overlooking the Sengwa River
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    Lutope, Manyoni and Sengwa River confluence
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    Landing strip is visible across the river from camp.
     

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