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


Friday, May 21st - Sixth day of hunting safari

Gene's Day - I was up at 4:45 for a 6:10 start because I couldn't sleep. Had breakfast and away we went to the same property I have been hunting for the last couple of days. We cruised around till 7:30 looking for blue wildebeest, the animal I was hunting today. We came across a lone bull along a fence line but I was told by Hans that it wasn't good enough. We continued on.

Freckie drove us a bit further down the trail when a herd of a dozen or so wildebeest stampeded across in front of us. Now it was time to ditch the truck and chase them through the bush on foot. After a long stalk Hans finally got us within 50 yards of two good bulls. When I asked Hans whether I should take one he said," No, not a monster", so we continued on thru the bush.

We eventually hit another trail and Hans asked me if I wanted to continue on foot or call in the truck. We'd been walking well over an hour and a half at this point but I said I was game to continue on. We hadn't walked another two hundred yards when Hans put up his hand. He indicated wildebeest ahead and whispered to me that he had a plan. As you've probably figured out by now, Hans always has a plan.

We continued a slow stalk for another thirty yards or so when suddenly he set up the tripod. He told me to settle my rifle on the rest as the bull we wanted was going to step out any second into an opening 60 yards ahead. I was just setting up when the bull walked out and stopped broadside. I had just gotten his shoulder centered in the crosshairs when Hans whispered in my ear,"Would you like to shoot now?" I pulled the trigger. It was 9:15 a.m.

I heard the hit, the wildebeest bucked forward and then he was gone. We walked over to where he was when I shot and immediately found blood. Hans assured me it was a very good hit. We followed the blood trail for about 10 yards when we saw him piled up 50 yards away. Another one shot animal. And, another trophy book animal. We got him positioned for the photo shoot, took the pictures then loaded my 5th trophy into the truck.

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Now it was time to seriously look for a warthog, the final trophy I had decided on. We slowly worked our way back to the gate with no luck then headed back to camp at around 10:45. When we arrived, Harold was already there. He had shot his waterbuck at 7:30 a.m. followed by a two hour chase that involved a dog, a ten-year old, fast trucks, a warthog hole and a swim. Sounds complicated, but in the end he got his waterbuck.

It was just Lee & I, Harold & Wendy, Bwana Pieter and PH Pieter for lunch. The other fellows were out for the day. At 2:30 Harold headed out for red hartebeest and Lee and I went back to where we were in the morning to look for my warthog. We drove around a bit and saw a pile of hogs but none of them met my Professional Hunter's high standard.

However, at 4:45 we stopped on a trail, Hans and I piled out and he had the tripod set up on a nice hog within minutes. I settled on the stix, squeezed the trigger and watched as my warthog bolted for the bush. Walking up to where he had been when I shot, all evidence pointed towards a low and far back shot which meant we were in for a chase.

We spent the next hour tracking him and finally had to give up because we ran out of daylight. The plan at that point was to come back in the morning and take up the chase again.

We arrived back at camp just after six and found out Harold had been successful on his red hartebeest. Rod showed up a short time later with his gemsbok. But the best was when Arlene and Quentin arrived. Arlene came into the lodge, went over to Harold and told him they had a present for him. Remember Sunday, and the gemsbok Harold had wounded and wasn't able to recover?

Quentin and company were driving thru the same concession looking for a gemsbok when his PH Craig spotted a gemsbok lying in the tall grass under a tree along the trail. It was acting strangely and Craig figured it out real quick. He popped the gemsbok and it turned out to be the same animal Harold had wounded Sunday. They loaded it on the truck and Quentin shot his own gemsbok twenty minutes later. Quentin also bagged a steenbok. Harold was doing the Happy Harry dance and smirking all night over the recovery of his 36" gemsbok.

Harold's Day - Harold finished up his hunt today with a superb waterbuck in the morning, a red hartebeest in the afternoon and the fortunate recovery of his gemsbok.

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Back At The Ranch - Supper was a kudu schnitzel and all the accompanying side dishes. Excellent, again! And, remember the hot water bottles from the first night? We had been getting this royal treatment every night since we arrived and Wendy commented on how much she loved it. Tonight, as a special treat, Harold, Lee and I pooled our hot water bottle resources and added three to her one. Four hot water bottles for Wendy tonight! I hope Harold capitalized on Wendy's windfall.

click picture to enlarge

Shut it down by 8:30 so I could catch up on my notes and was in bed by 9:30.

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