The day I arrived at the lodge we went to the range to zero my rifles. Having zeroed the .375H&H @ 50 metres & the .308 @ 100 metres we were ready for the off!
Light was fading as we left the range but I was told not to unload my rifle as we might be able to get a Waterbuck on our way back to the Lodge!
We actually did see a few but the light was not good enough to take a shot and I was in no rush.
The following day we were off for the buffalo, the next, Impala, the next Blue Wildebeest!
Every day a new adventure! Magic!!!!
Now came the Waterbuck!
Having seen two magnificent specimens in the Kruger National Park, my expectations were set at very, very high!!
By the way add the Kruger National Park to the bucket list! Fabulous experience! Particularly when you have an experienced and knowledgeable guide like Patrick Reyneke, the outfitter, with you to bring so much to your attention. (Thanks Patrick!)
Up on the “Buckie” and away to look for a Waterbuck bull. No problem!
We had seen so many. Everywhere you looked when looking for Impala you saw Waterbuck!
Unfortunately someone had now mentioned that we were after a Waterbuck bull and the word had gone out!
Everywhere we looked where that had been Waterbuck – nothing.
Then if we did see them – cows!
Then on the way back to the lodge we tried a previously untried area to find a magnificent bull standing on an ant hill looking like “The Monarch of the Glen”
No way to take a shot through the bush, far too many branches in the way.
The PH & I made our way slowly forwards and at an angle, to find a clearing which would allow the shot. Your heartbeat races as you try to move quietly through dry grass & leaves. Each step moving you closer to the shot!
One metre more. One metre and I would have a clear shot at this magnificent bull! One metre!
Which is when he decided that enough was enough and took off towards the horizon at a rate of knots!!!
Day one – fail
Next day early start coffee & away into the darkness. Making our way along the tracks ready for the bush as the light begins its first glimmer through the trees.
Cows no bulls!
Every where we looked! Then a glimpse of a bull!
Down from the buckie & a stalk through the bush. The bull kept just enough ahead of us to ensure no shot! Eventually we gave up on the stalk & headed back for breakfast.
After lunch we set off to the far side of the reserve. Up over hills and draws and through ravines until we found a bull up on our left amongst dense bush.
As I began the stalk my foot got caught in a thorn bush & I tripped pushing my muzzle into the earth & blocking it. Stalk over!!!
Cleared the rifle and tried again!
Day two fail!
The third day was another early start. This was a determined effort! No way we were going to fail a third time!
This time we managed to find two great bulls but no way could I get a clear shot at them! They were staring at us from the bush almost mocking my attempts at a shot! We drove for miles and again cows but no bulls!
Last chance - we headed back to the first place with the magnificent bull.
Slowly we approached the area and found several cows but no bull.
Then as we neared the ant hill he came into sight once again standing over his domain proving his dominance!
We had no time for anything fancy we daren’t risk losing him again.
From the side rail of the buckie I had a clear shot into the engine room and down he went!
We gave him 5 mins then I approached with the PH. He was still showing signs of life so I gave the coup de grace with another shot to the chest.
Another magnificent beast!
Three days to hunt this animal but worth every second!!!
Thanks to all that helped me with the hunt! It was a wonderful adventure with a group of wonderful guys that really made me feel welcome!
Do I recommend hunting in S.A.?
Can’t wait to get back there!!!
Patrick - Bushwack safaris - African Adventure Safaris With Golf Tours And Hunting Safaris
Jacques - PH & owner of Kilima lodge - www.kilimagamelodge.co.za