It is the sixth time Swiss hunter Claude and myself are hunting together on the African continent. Lion is our top priority this time so to complete Claude’s Big Five we’ve started a few years ago. We have tried for lion in the Selous (Tanzania) before, and could have possibly harvested that big boy we saw then, if only the cubs of one of his females would have been older than 9 months… Pity but no disappointment as it only gave Claude a good excuse to come again with his wife Sonia.
For many years, too many young lions were harvested in Tanzania depleting the gene pool and affecting their population. Today, a lion has to be 6 years and older with cubs of 9 months or older to be hunted. Tough rules with teeth being X-rayed upon government official specs to verify cat’s age before export. It is always very challenging to age a wild lion in those harsh conditions, but this is the right and only thing to do if we want our kids to also hunt them one day.
This time, we have decided to hunt in Central Tanzania, in the Kizigo Game Reserve situated between the Rungwa and Ruaha National Parks. It is said to be one of the best area (if not the best) to hunt one of those truly wild lion. We are about to find out…
It is overcast this morning when Claude, Sonia, their observer friend Michel and myself jump in the Cessna Caravan at Arusha airport. What a treat to see both Mount Meru and the Kilimanjaro above the clouds.
One hour and 40 minutes of flying in a Southerly direction and we land on a good bush strip where Matt Lloyd-Sim and his team are waiting for us. Matt has over 20 years of experience in Tanzania and has been collecting fantastic data on the Kizigo lions for the last 3 years. He is a passionate expert when it comes to big cats and his team is of a high quality standard.
I jump in the first car with him while our guests will take a more leisured drive to camp in the second vehicle.
On the way, Matt takes me to where he had a close encounter with lions a few days ago with his previous hunter from the US. They were tracking some buffaloes when a lioness charged, trying to push them to another 3 lions ambushed behind them. Their vehicle could get to them quick and thanks to an experienced team, it turned out to a memorable exciting experience. The kudu carcass they hanged in a nearby tree the next day was entirely eaten. In fact lions and sometimes lions and leopards took all the baits Matt hanged while hunting before our arrival… Read the rest of this entry »
Summer is almost here, with lots of rain in the Eastern Cape as well as in the Congo right now. Meanwhile, Central Tanzania Kizigo has been very dry very earlier this year, almost no winter with temperatures reaching 38°C (100°F) already a month ago.
Our season in South Africa is slowing down after some great trophies have been taken such as this old rhino bull and that white lion.
It is full season in Tanzania where we operate from mainly 3 areas.
Selous produced excellent results so far, with 2 nice leopards, great buffaloes, a rare Roosevelt Sable (only 5 taken last year in the whole of Tanzania), some hippos and plains game including a huge Patterson Eland taken with Matt.
We have had a great safari with Claude and Sonia from Switzerland and their friend Michel in the Kizigo Game Reserve in Central Tanzania. This is an outstanding area with lots of lions.
Watch out for the full report coming up soon…
Our last hunters in Kizigo took some great animals including a huge buffalo (waiting for photos). They also hunted our third main Tanzanian area in Maasailand harvesting some good gazelles.
As for Congo / Brazzaville, our season had an unexpected late start this year but we are catching up with the first safaris being very successful. Mike from the US took a Bongo, Dwarf Buffalo, Yellow Back Duiker and Peters’ duiker last month, other greats trophies have also been taken. It rains quite a bit right now in the forest, making animals move a lot.
Great time to hunt. Good news, we have some Giant Forest Hog on quota for this year, they have to be hunted before end of October. Contact me if interested.
It all started in the US when Chris and Bob Beck from EOL introduced me to Bob’s MOA rifles business partner Ken Cox…
One or two Gin & Tonic later in Dallas and I end up changing all my flights between 2 shows to spend some time with Ken and Shannon. First we went snow biking in Montana, that was just an amazing experience to ride those dirt bikes in deep snow, swapping wheels for a ski in front and a track at the back.
Then we moved to Alberta where Ken took out a few MOA rifles for us to play in his large garden. I managed an unreal 3 inch group over 3 shots at a 1000 yards and some change in a 60km cross wind! That was an other experience hard to forget.
A few month later, Jackie and Brian joined Shannon and Ken on a “Sea, Hunt & Sun” Grand Safari option, combining hard traditional hunting and some leisure hunting from our sea resort bordering the Indian Ocean. This is something we have been thinking about for a long time, testing the idea with a few of our guests over the last 2 years, and the enthusiasm has always been so high that we have decided to make it a set trip. This is what our Canadian friends are about to discover.
We are in June 2015. After a few flights from Calgary to Amsterdam, Johannesburg and then finally landing in sunny East London in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, a very nice winter day with 18°C (65°F) welcomes our friends. The Indian Ocean is beautiful today and it would have been a very nice fishing day. I know the guys are very keen for a bit of fishing when we get back on the coast, but first we will spend some time hunting Cape Buffalo and plains game on one of our private concession in the Stormberg mountain range.
We get to the lodge about 4 hours later, the sun is going down fast at this time of the year, so is the temperature at 1200m (4,000 ft) above sea level. A few welcome drinks around the fire at the lodge will warm everyone’s up.
Buffalo hunting is on the agenda, some of our bulls have given us lots of trouble for the last few months, escaping all the time, breaking all fences and chasing staff in neighboring properties. They just love going into the thick reeds growing in the local river, spending the day in narrow tunnels and grassing in farmlands at night. They lost all fear of human and need to be taken out before someone gets hurt. We will track them for 2 days in very thick vegetation, before a big bull with a very thick neck decide to turn on us. Brian gave it a good shot in the chest when the bull lifted his massive head, Grand Safari PH Jarryd just had the time to squeeze one in with a follow up shot, as discussed with Brian, before the reeds closed up on the bull again.
Belling call finally came, calming hunter’s adrenalin rush…
The lodge is set in the middle of over 15,000ha of hunting play ground. It lies in a little valley surrounded by very scenic mountains and cliffs. It offers a central area where the dining room and the bar are to be found. We have 4 fireplaces in this area, creating a warm and friendly atmosphere after a day’s hunting in winter. Stuck away doors open up the main pit fire area to the well stocked bar and leather couches lounge. Home made gourmet meals are served each day in the dining area. The accommodation is made of 5 en suite bedrooms in the garden. Swimming pool and thatch roofs add to the unique feel of the place. For larger parties, the walk way over a little wooden bridge will take you to the second lodge with 7 en suite bedrooms and all facilities. Read the rest of this entry »
22nd of May is the day chosen by the United Nations to celebrate biological diversity.
We are very fortunate to leave and have our offices in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, where 5 out of the 7 biomes are to be found. How is that for a great biological diversity!!!
Of course, 5 different biomes will bring various species of fauna. We have recently had some hunters enjoying some of them, with C & D under Grand Safari PH Jarryd’s supervision
May is also the time of the year when long time friend Philippe has is annual safari with Christophe. It all started about 13 years ago…lots of great memories!
Season is going well, more news coming up soon …
The only way to take a decent photo of our outstanding booth (thanks to Neels and Yolande from African Outfitter magazine ) is to arrive early. Once doors are open it gets rather busy. .. Has been great so far, thank you for all your support and interest in our exclusive hunting destinations!
We are now in Johannesburg fine tuning last details before the Huntex show starts. Neels and Yolande from African Outfitter are very kindly hosting us in their beautiful booth # 514 Hall 5 from 24 to 27 May 2015.
Easy to find, just ask where the big elephant, rhinos, buffaloes, hippo and bongo etc are! !
See you there
A lot of people again in Grand Safari booth this year, thank you very much for your support and for the patience shown by those of you having to come multiple times before we could seat and talk about your next Grand Safari!