African Safari 2010  Header

Gene & Lee's African Safari
South Africa - April 28 to May 24, 2010


Introduction to our African adventure!

April 28 - Edmonton to Calgary

April 29 - Calgary to Frankfurt

April 30 - Frankfurt to Jo'burg

May 01 - Jo'burg

May 02 - Jo'burg to Livingstone

May 03 - Victoria Falls, Zambia

May 04 - Livingstone to Jo'burg

May 05 - Jo'burg to Hazyview

May 06 - Kruger National Park

May 07 - Kruger National Park

May 08 - Kruger to Pongola

May 09 - Pongola to Durban

May 10 - Durban to Cape Town

May 11 - Cape Town to Gordon's Bay

May 12 - Gordon's Bay / Gansbaai

May 13 - Gordon's Bay / Stellenbosch

May 14 - Cape Town to Jo'burg

May 15 - Jo'burg to Lephalale

May 16 - First day of hunting safari

May 17 - Second day of hunting safari

May 18 - Third day of hunting safari

May 19 - Fourth day of hunting safari

May 20 - Fifth day of hunting safari

May 21 - Sixth day of hunting safari

May 22 - Seventh day of hunting safari

May 23 - Jo'burg to Frankfurt

May 24 - Frankfurt to Calgary


Monday, May 17th - Second day of hunting safari

Gene's Day - Lee and I were up at 5:15 a.m. for a 6:10 start. It was Wendy's birthday today and she decided to go out with Harold. Lee wanted to come with me. Hans, Lee and I left at 6:10 sharp and again picked up Freckie on the way. We had to meet the land owner at the entrance to the property at 6:30 to get the rules for the day like no shooting from the truck, no shooting at waterholes, no shooting if eland were within sight, etc.

This was the first year Cruisers has been able to gain exclusive rights to hunting this very promising property and Hans was extra careful not to violate any of the conditions laid down by the owner. Evidently the eland here are being developed as breeding stock and the owner doesn't want to overly disturb them. As well, the owner doesn't want game shying away from vehicles or from waterholes so they can be viewed more easily. His land, his rules, no problem.

We started hunting at 6:45 and Hans spotted what he said was a good impala thru the brush and a very heavy fog about 60 yards off the trail. We left the truck and walked back down the trail to where Hans was able to get the shooting tripod set up for my shot. When I got my rifle on the top of the stix and looked thru the scope, all I could really see was an outline of the front of the animal's chest thru the fog. While I was hoping this was the right buck, I centered on what I could see of the chest and touched off my shot.

The buck did an instant back flip and ran off to the right about 30 yards where he lay down in the trees. Hans had us wait 15 minutes before we walked up to him so he wouldn't bolt if he wasn't fatally shot. When we finally got to him, there lay a very nice 26" impala.

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Up till now I hadn't seen Hans get very excited but he was quite wound up about the length and spread of these horns. Lee & Freckie now joined us and we did the photo shoot. Hans took quite a few pictures with his own camera.

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We had the impala loaded by 7:45. The fog had lifted by now so Hans and I went for a walk ten minutes after getting the truck back on the trail.

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We walked for about 45 minutes and got into a bunch of waterbuck but no big males. Hans called back to the truck and had Freckie and Lee catch up to us. Jumping aboard, we continued on and saw two honey badgers, a few female nyala and a fair sized kudu bull. At 9:30 we also got a good look a mature nyala bull.

Just before 10 a.m. Lee and Han's spotted a ginormus male warthog with huge tusks so off Hans and I went into the bush to stalk this wondrous trophy. After 45 minutes of creeping through the bush, taking agonizingly slow and studied footsteps, Hans finally declared that the warthog must have winded us (me) and taken off. I never did see this warthog.

At 11 we decided to head back to camp to drop off the impala and see how everyone else had made out. Brian Clark had shot a very nice red hartebeest quite early so they had been back in camp for a while. When they were on their way in they met up with Harold, Wendy and PH Pieter. Harold had shot a very nice tusker, so Brian's truck loaded the warthog on and they brought it back. Harold and Wendy stayed out until around 11:30. Quentin and Arlene pulled in around noon with a big zebra stallion Quentin had shot.

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Bwana Pieter came in from the skinning shed and congratulated me on my impala. He asked me if I knew the quality of my trophy. I had to say no, so he filled me in. Evidently they had done a rough Safari Club International measurement on the impala's horns. They measured 62 7/8" which will make it a gold medal winner and would rank around the #34 position in the 2005 SCI Record Book for Southern Impala. Now I knew why Hans had gotten a little bit excited.

We had lunch at around 12:30. Rod and Johan pulled in just after we started eating. No luck for them on the morning hunt. But by and large, we'd had quite a successful morning with no lost animals. The afternoon hunt was scheduled to start again at 2:30 so a bit of downtime after lunch.

While we were waiting for the afternoon hunt, Lee and I thought we'd question Bwana Pieter about the lack of hot water in our shower. You see, Lee tried to shower this morning with no hot water and she told me it was exhilarating to say the least. I was going to wait till tonight for my shower so I never got the blast. Anyways, Bwana Pieter walked into our room, turned the tap and I nearly scalded myself with all the hot water. The trick was, and nobody had bothered to fill us in on this particular shower, that you had to turn the tap and pull it out at the same time to make it work. Looks like good hot showers from here on in.

For the afternoon hunt Bwana Pieter sent us off to a concession with very thick and tangled bush as we were going to spend the rest of the day looking for kudu and waterbuck. Lee decided to join us again. We were driving down a trail at about 3:30 when Hans spotted a snake coming out of a hole in a termite mound alongside the trail. Turns out he doesn't like snakes and he wanted me to shoot it. I didn't really want to shoot the thing so I handed him my rifle. He didn't even hesitate, boom and there was no head left. Turns out it was a 5' cobra.

Within 5 minutes of the snake episode we came upon a small herd of kudu standing back in the brush. There were two bulls and one had quite a wide spread but Hans said it wasn't a fully mature bull so we continued on.

For the rest of the afternoon we alternated walking and driving. We spotted more kudu and several waterbucks but nothing shootable. We hunted until 6 and lost the light so we deadheaded it back home. On the way we heard on the radio that Harold had shot a 51" kudu earlier in the afternoon so we knew we'd have an excited lad on our hands when we arrived home. And there was lots of excitement when we pulled in. Harold had brought in his kudu and it was a beauty.

During the afternoon hunt Brian had bagged a really nice warthog. Rod got a zebra and a big blue wildebeest. And Quentin shot a really nice nyala. All in all, a very successful day for everyone.

Harold's Day - Today, Harold took a very nice warthog. As well, he was the first in camp to take a magnificent kudu bull with a horn length of 52". This set a very high standard for the rest of us.

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Back At The Ranch - Tiny started banging the dinner drum at 7:00 so we all sat down to another fabulous meal. This time the meat dish was cooked gemsbok in a pastry shell. To finish off our dinner we all had champagne and birthday cake to celebrate Wendy's birthday.

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At dinner I was telling the story of how when Hans and I were sneaking thru the brush earlier in the day, he told me I was making too much noise. It's hard not to make noise sneaking along in the old size 14's. However, Bwana Pieter came up with a great solution to my problem. He suggested the next time Hans complained about the noise I was making, I should hand him a pair of earplugs. No more problem.

We were very tired after a long day so off to the room by 8:30 and to bed by 9:30.

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