South African Safari Report
Hunt Dates: April 5th – 12th 2012
Areas: Pongola, KZN & Vaalwater, Limpopo.
PH’s: Paul Luff & Jaco Human
Hunter: Alex Nielsen
Trackers: Subbo (Pongola) & Soloman (Vaalwater)
Video Camera Man: Ryno
Photographer & Hunter: Nick Barton Jayne
Rifles: Blaser R93 .270, Blaser Safari .470 NE Double
Scope: Swarovski Z6i 3 – 18 x 50 BT
Ammunition: Federal Premium Nosler Partition 150 gr
Game Seen: Greater Kudu, Blue Wildebeest, Impala, Zebra, Warthog, Nyala, Giraffe, Blesbok, Leopard, Grey Duiker, Monkey, Baboon, Bushbuck, Reedbuck, Waterbuck.
Game Taken: Blue Wildebeest, Nyala, Impala x (2), Warthog (3), Zebra.
PH ~ Organiser
PH ~ Organiser
Hunter ~ Agent
Photographer ~ Hunter & Good Friend
Nick Barton Jayne
The lifetime dream of hunting in Africa all started in December 2011 when I got in touch with Paul Luff after he had expressed that he would be interested in working with someone from the UK as an agent for South Africa. As some of you may well know I run a sporting agency in the UK and therefore felt that this could be a good opportunity for both Paul and I. After several conversations over the phone and email, Paul very kindly offered to arrange a trip for a good friend and myself to South Africa. Then the dates where set and the excitement began to build, the dream was going to happen. Paul was great in the lead up to the trip, his organisation and clarity with regards to what I needed, arranging the import of my firearm etc was first class it took all the nerves about a first trip to Africa out of the equation.
Heathrow T5 (LONDON):
Nick and I arrived at 15:00 at Heathrow T5, three hours before the flight to check in my rifle and get some last minute necessities for the trip. The process of checking in the firearm was actually pretty simple and was made easier by the extremely helpful guys at G4S who run the security at Heathrow. After some food in “Gordon Ramsey’s – Plane Food” restaurant we made our way to the gate.
OR TAMBO, Johannesburg (SOUTH AFRICA):
We arrived safely at 06:55 in OR Tambo airport, Johannesburg. The flight went well and both Nick and I managed several hours’ sleep that really makes you appreciate the overnight flight. Having collected our luggage we headed to arrivals to meet Paul, Jaco & Ryno. Also there to meet us was Adele Van Jansen, Adele runs a business that specialises in helping with the Import and Export of rifles through customs. Wow was her work worth the £50, I sent all my information to her in advance to arriving in SA, this meant that on arrival all I had to do was show them the serial number wait 10 minutes and then sign a two places and off we went, it is certainly something I would recommend to anyone traveling to SA especially if they are not experienced.
So we where off, all packed in two separate vehicles ~ Paul & Jaco do not travel light but there is good reason for this they always have whatever you need. Paul even had antenna equipment to enhance phone and Internet signal in the camps that for some would be extremely important. The drive to Pongola, KZN lasted 5 hours with a couple of stops on the way. There was the option to fly as Paul is a licensed pilot in SA, however we decided that it would be nice to travel with the rest of the team and also get a feel of Africa traveling through the small villages and dirt roads when we got nearer to the hunting area in Pongola.
We arrived safely at the Goss Estate at 17:00, unpacked and settled in. The camp was perfect, it was very nice and felt like it was meant to be there, you never felt like you weren’t in the bush which made the whole experience feel really African. Sat in camp during the evenings it was possible to hear the impala grunting, hyena calling and occasionally the elephants from the next door concession some several kilometers away, this all added to the atmosphere of the place.
With and hour or so of good daylight left we decided to go and check the rifles and then go for a quick drive around the hunting area to see what was about. After 5 shots I was confident with my rifle so off we went to have a look around. The first animal we saw was a big Kudu bull; it is simply impossible to emphasize the size of these animals, as is the case with many of the African animals. In the UK I deal with Pere – David deer and some big reds but the Kudu would have dwarfed these, suddenly I thought .270 really… Although Paul assured me that with the correct shot placement there would be no problems.
That evening we settled down for dinner, discussed some of the methods of hunting and plan for the first day of hunting. I was glad it had been a long day and had been busy in the UK before heading out so was very tired otherwise sleeping that first night would have been difficult with the excitement of my first days hunting in Africa.