Cezar Panait hunts with Eastcape & Karoo Safaris
Monday, 28th March 2011
We picked Marian & Cezar up at the airport this morning and waisted no time in driving out to the lodge. Once we had settled in and had a bite to eat we headed to the shooting range to sight the rifles in. We took a drive thereafter and saw many different animals. It was then back to the lodge for a scrumptious meal consisting of kudu fillets wrapped in filo pastry.
Day 2 - Our first official hunting day.
We woke at 5.00am to get into the bush at first light. We stalked this single impala ram for a short while, before Cezar put in a magnificent shot of 180 metres. The shot went through some of the vitals, and we tracked him for 200 metres before finding him. The impala was successfully hunted with a 243 rifle, using 100 grain points.
We then took a slow drive through the thick bush, regularly stopping to glass into the valleys. We came across some waterbuck and kudu. We then drove out onto one of the plains where noticed a herd of zebra. We parked the vehicle, and Cezar and I set off through the thick bush to stalk the zebra. We slowly moved through the bush where we finally came out 70 metres from a majestic stallion zebra. Cezar put a great shot into the zebra, which resulted in him going straight down. The zebra was hunted with a 7mm rem mag using 150 grain points. Well done Cezar!!
The day was about to get better!! We had loaded the zebra with the help of 4 additional staff members, and then set off in pursuit of a black wildebeest bull. We had spotted some bulls while stalking the zebra. They were running on a massive open plain together with eland, zebra, blesbush and red hartebeest. We had to carefully plan our strategic moves as the zebra were sure to give our position away. We did a slow walk across the plain, and took cover behind some bushes. The tracker slowly walked around causing the animals to move. We finally took a shot of 160 meters, which slowed him down. We could see him on the plains, and took another shot of 280 metres which put him down. Cezar used a 7mm rem mag to hunt this tough old bull. What an awesome hunt!!
What a great start to Cezar Safari. We took some time to relax and recap on our successful morning hunt. We then headed back to the lodge for brunch and a siesta. We did an afternoon drive searching for blesbuck or blue wildebeest. The vast open plains made stalking very interesting. We however did not find any suitable animals, but nevertheless had a great afternoon out in the bush. The picture below says it all !! We set off early tomorrow morning to start another day!
Day 3 - The day got off to a start that we could not have predicted. The dogs had treed a lynx and we were fortunate to be able to get to the action on time. Cezar took this male lynx with a shotgun at 4 meters! This was an incredible adrenaline rush to start the day.
This was such a great hunt that It was suitable to include another picture of this great lynx!!
Cezar and I then set off to hunt at a nearby area. The vegetation was a combination of deep valleys covered with dense bush, to open plains covered with grass and shrubs. We stalked several herds of springbuck in search of a good specimen. We finally came across a bachelor herd of 10 rams, and we managed to successfully hunt this great springbuck ram. Cezar took this springbuck with a 243 at 160 metres. A great shot!
We then moved on and while driving along were fortunate enough to flush a bushbuck ram. A true Eastern Cape species. We put in a short stalk and found that the bushbuck had disappeared into a small thicket. We through a few stones into the bush, and the ram ran across an open area towards another thicket. He slowed down to a walk, and Cezar managed to take a shot with a 243 at 70 metres. A perfect shot behind the shoulder.
It was nearing 13h00, and we decided to take the animals to a cool room that was close by, on route we came across a herd of blue wildebeest. They had eluded us the afternoon before, and thus we thought it best to take the opportunity as it presented itself. It was a herd of bulls, ranging in size and age. We glassed through them several times, and finally decided on this old bull. Cezar took the 180 meter shot with a 7mm rem mag. A perfectly positioned shot got this great big animal down. They are truly huge animals weighing in access of 250 kgs.
We were having such a great time that we didn't have time for lunch! I radioed for assistance to load the blue wildebeest, and then we were off to a deep valley where we had previously seen some kudus. The grey ghost of the bush as its called, as it has the knack of disappearing. The drama had unfolded earlier when Cezar and I were stalking two kudu bulls. The bulls were at 260 metres from us, when I noticed a movement in the bush between us and the kudus. On closer observation, I noticed that it was a few buffalo. They then came out of the bush heading towards us!! It was quite an interesting experience watching the kudu bulls, but focusing on the buffalo!! Cezar managed to take a shot at one of the bulls, after which it disappeared into the bush. We then walked through the bush several times, and was finding it hard to track the wounded kudu bull through the thick bush. We managed to flush him after a while through the assistance of a few trackers. Cezar and I had positioned ourselves in a spot where we thought he would run, and fortunately he did. We managed to get him down. It was an exhilarating hunt !! What a great day we had, with so much action and excitement it felt like we had hunted three days in one!! Well done Cezar on some good hunting !!
Day 4 - We had a later start to the day following two very successful long days. We set out to look for a blesbuck at 6.30am. We stalked a herd of about 200 blesbuck, through sparse vegetation across vast open plains. The blesbuck were definitely at an advantage. They spotted us, and we were thinking about our next move when suddenly Cezar spotted this mature blesbuck ram. He put in a 160 meter shot with a 243.
We then went back to the lodge for an early brunch, and then went off in search of warthogs. The afternoon proved unsuccessful with regards to warthogs, but nevertheless we had a good time in the bush. Cezar is off to Cape Town tomorrow for a bit of rest and sight seeing. We look forward to having Cezar back on Sunday where we can continue our Safari.
Cezar has returned after an awesome visit to Cape Town. He visited several sites and spent some quality time at the V&A Waterfront. The well renown Table Mountain can be seen in the back drop to this picture.
Day 5 - We set off early this morning in search of Red Hartebeest and Warthogs. We stalked a heard of red hartebeest for an hour only to find that there was no bull with the heard. We tried another heard, and while busy stalking, a troop of baboons gave our position away, and warned the animals of our approach. These hartebeest slipped away into the bush. We left this heard and set off to the vast open plains in search of another heard. We found a group of 5 bulls, and started planning our attack. The vegetation is very sparse making stalking very difficult. We stalked these bulls for approximately two hours, ensuring that we were down wind from them at all times. Cezar took this Hartebeest bull with a 7mm rem mag at 130 meters. It was a great stalk, and a plan well executed. A great big old Red Hartebeest Bull!!
We then parked at a small dam for a quick bite to eat before setting off in search of a warthog boar. We came across several warthogs, mainly being sows with piglets of various sizes and ages. We started searching down into valleys, between the thick bush. The boars were eating in the bush as there was enough food for them, and thus no need to come into the open. We stalked a group of warthogs, being approximately 12 of them. We had noticed the single boar all on his own, and set out to get closer. We lost our vantage point, which resulted in us getting closer than what we had expected. We had to be exceptionally quite in our approach. Cezar took this Warthog Boar with a 7mm rem mag at just 30 meters. It was a good stalk and a good shot!! Another great day!
Day 6 - The day started with a leisurely breakfast. We then set off in search of hunting and Oryx and another Warthog. We put in a stalk fpr almost two hours on some Oryx. The problem we encountered was that there were zebra grazing amongst the Oryx. The zebra normally spot any movement before many other animals, and then run off warning all the animals of approaching danger. This scenario happened, and the oryx moved off into the thick bush while we were still 600 meters away. We stalked several warthog boars, but could not find a good one. It was getting late, when the tracker noticed an old boar moving across an open section. We quickly got Cezar onto the shooting sticks, and waited for the boar to turn broadside, so we could check his size. He had a good body, and when he turned sideways, I could see that he had the tusks to match his body. Cezar took the shot at 130 meters with a 7mm rem mag. A great shot on the shoulder. When we approached the boar we then realised that this warthog was truly a once in a lifetime boar.
Another picture to show off this incredible warthog, and the excitement of Cezar and myself!!
And one last picture to show the depth and size of Cezars warthogs tusks!! Well done Cezar!!
Day 7 - We had a good start to the morning, with stalking 2 good kudu bulls. They however gave us the slip, and disappeared into the bush. They don't have the name 'Grey Ghost of the Bush' for nothing!! It was getting hot, so we decided to move on. We tried to hunt an Oryx, but when finally got close enough, we noticed that the Oryx Bull had one broken horn. It was about 150mm shorter than the other. We decided to leave him, and search for others. We saw a heard of Oryx in the distance but they moved off into the thick bush. We then came across a heard of about 400 blesbuck. Cezar managed to shoot two rams at a distance of 160 meters with a 7mm rem mag. The one Ram was hit a little high, and he jumped up and ran off. After about two hours of chasing him, we finally got him down. Another good days hunting. Great Cezar!!
Day 8 - Who would have guested what the day would bring!! The main aim being to target the Oryx. Cezar and I started off with a blesbuck double early in the morning. They were taken at 186 meters and 167 meters with a 7mm rem mag.
We then went back to the lodge for brunch, and then set off for the animal that had been evading us for several days, the Oryx!! We stalked two bulls for a short while before we lost them into one of the valleys. We then set off and soon were stalking a heard of Oryx that had a good bull amongst the cows. We waited for several minutes before Cezar could take a clean shot at the Oryx bull. He hit him perfectly on the shoulder, and the heard ran off. The bull did not run off with the heard but ran into the nearby bush. We then tracked him for almost two hours, before getting him down at last light! What a magnificent animal. Well done Cezar, it was a real challenge.
As they say, All good things have to come to an end! It has been a great pleasure hunting with you Cezar, and thank you for supporting Eastcape & Karoo Safaris. We hope to have you hunt with us again in the near future. Have a safe trip back to Romania!