Africa 2022

Salmonchaser

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Nov 12, 2019
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984
Catherine and I just returned from 3 weeks in Africa. Spent 12 days hunting 8 days touring. A life time of dreaming culminated in a spontaneous plan that couldn't have been more successful.
I will be refining a report I hope others will consider when making their plans. In the short term I'll touch on highlights.
I wanted free range, thatch roofs and unfettered access to more ground than could be covered, I got that and more with CRUSADER SAFARIS and their three distinctive camps spread from near Durban to Port Elizabeth.
We spent five days in the 100,000 acre Umkomaas camp looking for a Southern greater Kudu, Bushbuck and a Nyala. Between my guide and I we rejected about 20 mature kudu bulls looking for a monster we had seen at last light day one. He's still there. I shot a real solid Nyala and Zebra on day 2. Passed on several other animals, shot an unplanned Nyala after my guide described the second one as a once in a life time bull, day 3, I missed a bushbuck at 350 yards.
Day four ended with no more shooting but not do to lack of animals.
Dinner that night came with the report of a giant Eland eluding several PHs at the Stormberg Ranch. We left early for the 7 hour drive, found the herd after lunch and had them elude us. Found them again the next morning.
More to follow
 

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Salmonchaser

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Nov 12, 2019
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The challenges on the first few days;
Flooding; definitely goes into the shit happens category. That area had been under drought conditions for years. That changed and the two weeks before our trip saw unheard of rainfall. We saw the aftermath of highway bridges destroyed, landslides and crumbling infrastructure stressed by massive flooding.
Direct impact on hunting, excluded some areas of the ranch, roads and stream crossings washed out kind of thing. Still lots of game to see.

Suffering jet lag, 0230 here, I need to try to sleep more
 

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TheGrayRider

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Indiana
Congratulations on your successful trip and hunt. Extremely nice animals.

Unfortunately, many people never visit or hunt the Dark Continent - such a tragedy.

As I once read…life is short, the world is big, just go hunt Africa.
 

Sytes

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Wow! Amazing greenery in the second set of pics! The terrain is vastly different from the common Africa trophy pics! Great looking animals! Congrats! A bucket list adventure for certain!
 

Salmonchaser

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Nov 12, 2019
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I got it out of mine,,, but maybe cause I went to the worst of Africa
Catherine, like you, saw the worst of Africa when she was connected to the state department. I'm grateful she was willing to go. We had a great time together.
 

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WNC2500

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May 28, 2018
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North Carolina
@Salmonchaser Really enjoying following along. I think it is awesome that Catherine went with you. Experiencing those highs/lows together as well as the beauty that you have shared in your pictures is great!!
 

Randi

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Aug 4, 2019
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477
Congratulations on a successful trip and hunt. Both of you earned this trip and I am glad it was a success. Cheyenne tells me that Catherine also received good news at the beginning of your trip. Please tell her congratulations for me and thank her for her service. And you as well big guy !

April had suggested, or hoped, you would have time to go to Namibia and hunt Gemsbok and also visit Victoria Falls. Was you able to do either one, or both ?

Are you still in London ?

Very happy for you both :love::love:
 

OntarioHunter

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Sep 11, 2020
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Glad to hear it worked out for you! I'm headed over for my third South African trip in August. Yes, once you've gone it's hard not to go back.

To answer the question about meat. No, meat cannot come back due to import restrictions (livestock diseases, etc). The safari owner or property owner sell the meat on the market. Most farms (not called ranches ... that is North American nomenclature) have slaughter houses and coolers. Every safari operation will have them too. The wild meat is primarily processed into biltong (spiced dry non-smoked jerky) or sausage. It's an affordable source of protein for locals who may have limited physical resources for food preservation and storage.

I have passed on several nice eland. They just don't turn my crank. Huge and hugely expensive. Their hair is very short and if there's any defect at all in the cape after tanning, it's hard to cover up at taxidermy shop (like I would want one of those monsters shoulder mounted anyway!). For eating, gemsbuck and springbuck can't be beat. I'm told warthog is also outstanding but no opportunity to partake.

Kudu are addicting. They are challenging to hunt. Very wary and prefer rough country with lots of thick cover. And of course the reward is the most spectacular antelope in the world. Buffalo are also a challenge. Besides being extremely dangerous, they are very smart and know how to use the terrain and thick cover. Buffalo have a peculiar affection for thorny bushes. Wear safety goggles! Many a hunter and PH have incurred serious eye injuries chasing those buggers.
 
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Salmonchaser

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Nov 12, 2019
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Page 3:
Randi, yes we have progress in getting Catherine's interpreter/ family out of Afghanistan. They are still there but we now have a working link at state. Along the same lines my sister reported the arrival my Brother in Laws interpreter, and family to their home in Oregon.
Ontario is correct, they call them farms but they also drive on the wrong side of the road. At better than 1/2 million acres growing wildlife, sheep and cattle and perhaps 1,000 acres of crops, even by Texas standards, this is a ranch😂.
The landowner owns the game. As has been demonstrated throughout Africa when wildlife has value it does well. A kudu, Nyala or Eland is worth a lot more then a steer. Additionally Andrew and the other farmers he works with, have to verify with the Government their ground will support a specific level of harvest. Our host, Andrew Pringle has been on the same farm for 7generations. His great great( etc.) grandfather settled there in 1820. My rough guess is Andrew provides housing and employment to about 60 families. No small feet in a nation plagued by 30% unemployment. Much of the meat goes to these folks. Excess, sold in town.
We ate game every night. Impala and whort hog to Eland. All good.
Getting ready to complete the last leg of our journey home.
Page four, borrowed rifles, trials and tribulations.
 

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