Professional hunter: AJ Fourie
Country: South Africa
I first met Ronald at the guest house near the airport where he had stayed overnight after landing quite late the previous evening. We got packed up and underway to Limpopo where we would conduct our safari. We were already making jokes before we left Johannesburg and right away, we both knew that we would have a good hunt!
After arriving in camp, we got settled in and had a lunch on the veranda, overlooking a beautiful green lawn and hearing the hippos in the waterhole just below the camp. Afterwards we went to the shooting range to see if the rifle had travelled safely. We heard of an oryx sighted nearby and since it was on the list, we went there and got right into the hunt! However, the illusive bushveld oryx had different plans for us, we did not even get close.
The following morning we set out early, starting hunting oryx but ended up with an opportunity on a good old blue wildebeest bull. The floor was open, and the hunt was on, that afternoon we were lucky enough to take a great kudu bull as well.
Not every day in the bush is a shooting day. We went after Impala and oryx, working tracks and areas that we thought would be best but it turned out to be a day without shooting. It was however a day with amazing sightings and animal interactions, seeing giraffe bulls battle it out right in front of us – getting really close to them was definitely a highlight for both Ron and myself.
Blesbuck prefer open areas where they can see far, the previous day we spotted a herd with a couple of good males between them. We went to the same area and started looking through the heard. On the first group we encountered we did not see the quality of males that we had seen the day before and moved on to another group. We eventually found a very good ram. Ron had a difficult shot to make as they were ever so slightly walking away from us. He got on the sticks, the ram stopped to look back and with a great quartering-away-shot, Ron got in a very good shot. We’d been covering a lot of ground working on oryx tracks but didn’t manage to find any individuals.
Late one afternoon after tracking a group of oryx, we found them resting up. Some of them were lying down and others standing around eating, not aware of us at all. We had good cover standing in the shade – Ron got on the sticks, patiently waiting for the bull to get up and turn for us to be able to get in a good shot which is exactly what happened. With great excitement we made our way back to camp where we sat around the fire and talked about our days out in the bush. The animals we had taken and the ones we passed up on. We still had work to do, Ron still wanted to get an Impala.
Bushbuck are more active at night, so to maximise our chance of getting one we went lamping one evening. We saw a lot of animals including elephant and hippos grazing in a valley close to the waterhole. After some hours of searching, we found a great bushbuck male. Ron struggled to see it but put his faith squarely in me as I tried my best to talk him into the shot. He said that he was only seeing a rock and I told him to shoot that rock right in the middle. It worked – after a short follow up, we found the ram. Ron still couldn’t believe we had him!
Once again, we got out early and started looking for the right impala. We passed up on some good males as they where still a bit young. We kept going at it, until we bumped into an old Impala male. He stood perfectly, Ronald took a good shot, the ram went down, our hunt was coming to an end or so we thought!
Getting back into camp that afternoon, Ron realized that his flight had been postponed. After making sure that the next scheduled flight would accommodate Ron and his Rifle plus the covid test would still be valid to travel with, we took it easy and went for a drive. Spotting and discussing young kudu bulls on the side of the mountain and ending up with dinner in the bush under the stars.
Seeing as Ron had an extra day and he was looking at sable bulls during the last couple of days, he decided that he would like to get out the next day to see if we could find one. We knew of a bull that was hanging around in a certain area and started working around where he was last seen. Quickly we found a bull, he was a good bull but still too young, so we carried on with our hunt. We saw another herd of sable standing in a riverine with a bull that was ready for the taking but the wind kept turning on us. They got a fright and moved off, but we could hear that they didn’t go far as the wind’s direction was constantly changing. It turned into a cat and mouse game in the thickets, slowly we worked our way through the brush. The herd spotted us and moved off, again uncertain of the situation. Once again, they didn’t go far. As we tried circling around them the wind changed on us once more. Eventually we got into a position where the bull was standing looking around. Ron got on the sticks – as soon as the shot went off, the bull went down. A strange thing for sable to do, but a perfect heart shot made it happen.
The remainder of our day we spent relaxing. In the late afternoon we headed out to see if we could get a glimpse of the elephant herd on the reserve. We did not manage to find them but ended up having sundowners at a waterhole with some hippo entertainment.
On the last morning, we had a big breakfast and sorted out a couple of final things before I took Ron back to the airport. This hunt turned out to be exactly what we as Kwalata Safaris strive to present to our clients. An experienced, with a lot of unmentioned interactions and sights in the African bush, great trophies, friendships and memories, that is why we do what we do!
“I would like to mention how satisfied I was with the guide, tracker and all the Kwalata staff and how well they all attended to my needs!” Ronald S.
Are you looking to hunt in Africa? Why not reach out to us. Our team is highly experienced and would love to assist you with a no-obligation quote and help you make your dream trip come true!
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