Sunday, June 24, 2012

Random pics taken during our safari

(please click on pics to view full size)

Another warthog.

A view from a hilltop looking across a Savannah.

Some of the stuff we hunted in.


Moon rise.

Driving back in the evening. Temps in the high 30's make for one cold ride!

More zebra

A heard of impala running in the distance.

Eland keeping a watchful eye.


The zebra like to hang around other animals. here they are with a group of eland.

Three cow eland running away.

This group of gemsbok were running along side of the rover.

While we were driving around looking for warthogs, we spotted this aardvark.

Me and Kyle with the big guys...

Another beautiful sunset in Africa.

This group of black wildebeest is keeping an eye on us.

We spotted a few monkeys in the trees. Our PH hates them and says "They're naughty"
He must have seen the look on my face and then told me that the monkeys are smart. They know if they throw a rock at the lodge window that it will break and then they can reach in and turn the door knob, enter and trash the place!

Another close up of a sable.

More ostrich pics.

If you look closly, you can see a group of cape buffalo in the distance.

Day 10

Today we are going home. We are both sad to leave, but we are looking forward to seeing our family again. It has been an unbelievable journey that neither one of us will ever forget.

We saw a fascinating land that most will only dream of seeing...
We lived with the locals, dining on traditional African dishes...
We made new friends...
And we hunted hard, Harder than we ever thought we could.

My PH told me of an old African saying...

"Once you've had the dust of Africa on your can never be shaken off"

Truer words have never been spoken.

Boarding the plane in Kimberley to come home.

One last look as we leave Africa...

Friday, June 15, 2012

Day 9

We woke up to a cold rainy morning. We decided to take it easy today and visit some of the more interesting sights of South Africa. On our agenda was a drive the Makola National Park which is only 20 minutes away. We also went to what is know as "The Big Hole" which was a little over an hours drive to the town of Kimberley. The Big Hole is the largest man made hole in the world. It was an open pit diamond mine started in the 1800's and closed sometime in the 1940's when WWII started.

At Mokala.
It was starting to rain real hard and i'm doing my best to stay dry and get this pic!

Kyle shot these pics of a river in the Mokala National Park.

The bird below is called a guinea fowl.  

A group of baboons spotted us and headed for the hills.

This warthog may not have a huge body, but he definitely has a nice set of choppers!

This ostrich was just standing by the roadside on our way to the park.

A young kudu bull stops to take a look at us.

These kudu cows were keeping track of us from a high vantage point.

As we rounded a bend in the road the grey duiker was fascinated by our presence.

From the park, we headed towards the town of Kimberley. Kimberley was once the diamond capital of the world and the town was built around the mine.
This is a picture of what is known as the "Big Hole"
This is the largest hand dug hole on earth. it reaches a depth of 1,800 meters (much of it under water)

This pic helps the viewer to gain an idea of the actual size. 
What you see in the background is the city of Kimberley. The city pretty much comes right to the edge of the hole.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day 8

As our PH put it, we had our cake, now all we needed was the icing and the cherry on top.
We had basically bagged all the animals we had come for and we still had a few days left. The pressure was off and as Jeff said, anything from here on out would be icing on the cake. After a nice breakfast washed down with several cups of good coffee, we hopped into the rover and headed for the hills.

This is my view from the back of the hunting rig.

We sit quite a bit higher than the driver.

Kyle sitting directly across from me, gun at the ready.

These zebra appeared out of thin air when spooked from the sound of the rover.

These creatures are eland. They are some of the largest animals in Africa. The trio pictured here are cows (and they are the size of real cows). The bulls are at least a third larger.

In Africa, you don't have to go far to find trouble, and sometimes trouble finds you. Case in point is pictured below. This is a cape buffalo and it is known to the natives as Mbogo. They are VERY large and have a VERY bad temper. They are known to big game hunters as "Black Death" or "Widowmaker" and one would be advised to give them a very wide berth. In Africa there is what is referred to as the "Big Five". These are the five most dangerous animals on the continent and consist of the elephant, black rino, cape buffalo, lion, and leopard. Several hundred people are killed by the cape buffalo every year and when wounded, they tend to head for heavy cover, circle back on their tracks and wait in ambush for the unlucky hunter that did not make a clean kill.

It was mid afternoon when we happened across a grey duiker while driving a two track road in the rover. The animal ran in and out of heavy cover and would show itself briefly for a moment at a time. I readied my rifle and as our driver slowly moved the truck forward I spotted him in the low hanging branches of an acacia tree. I took the shot and it felt good. I was sensing some doubt from my hunting partner and the rest of the hunting party. We all went for a 100 yard walk to check it out and our tracker instantly found blood and then within 20 yards,the duiker. A grey duiker (duiker comes from the Dutch word "diver" for the way the animals dive in-and-out of the bushes) is a small deer-like animal. This one is fully grown and i'm told will most likely make the record books.

Later in the day, after a fine lunch we head out for what will be our last day of hunting. We are still looking for a couple of really big warthogs, but know our chances are slowly fading away. As we drive through the bush we spot hogs! We shoot a few smaller hogs that are doing damage to the landscape and then out of the corner of my eye I spot a bruiser of a pig. It's choppers can clearly be seen at 200 yards. I swung my rifle and fired while kyle rolled video. The shot was good and the big hog went down! Within 30 minutes another large hog is spotted and this time the gun is handed to Kyle who quickly puts him down!
We have two giant wallhangers in the back of the rover within 30 minutes. The gods of the hunt are smiling upon us. We have just put the cherries on the cake.

This is video footage of one of the big warthogs pictured above. I used a 300 Win. Mag. and the distance was about 150-180 yards.