Wayne and Sarah visit Eastcape & Karoo Safaris for the 5th time
Thursday, 20th September 2018
Wayne and Sarah hunted with us for a record 5th time with a 6th hunt in the pipeline for 2019. Such is our friendship and good times we have had together over the years !!!
Wayne and Sarah arrived on the 20th of September 2018 with an exciting safari planned for the days ahead. We were soon on the road catching up on all the news and then the stop for the traditional meat pie at Nanaga.
Lots of chatting passed the time and soon we arrived at our Karoo lodge in time for dinner and relax around the fire. It had been a long day and we all turned in early looking forward to the days ahead.
After a delicious breakfast we were out sighting the rifles just to make sure. Our tracker Mbulelo also showing everyone a thing or two on the range!
Everyone was on target and it wasn't long before we were out scouting for something to hunt.
The first day we spent many hours tracking a big sable bull. He was with a small herd of females and youngsters and the cows were just proving to be too alert for us to get close. An hour or two after lunch we called it a day - we didnt want to spook him so much that we couldnt find him again the next day.
We decided to go looking for something else. Right on last light we spotted a big lechwe bull grazing on his own along the bottom of a ridge line. The wind was good and we could get quite close if we stuck close to the ridge.
The stalk worked out perfectly and Wayne made a great shot on this big old bull - Well done !
After getting some beautiful pictures in the sunset we were heading back to the lodge. A great day out. Wonderful to be out in the African plains again! Nothing like a drink around the fire after a long day out.
The next day we decided to go to the same area where we had lost the big sable bull and see if we could pick him up again. After spending some time glassing the hills we finally spotted the small herd again. They were again proving to be difficult to get close to and gave us the slip once more. They were on high elert now!!
We just weren't able to get a shot. The above picture shows the bull standing broadside but with a tuft of grass in front of us made it impossible to take the shot. Lots of walking but no luck. I assured Sarah we would get another chance we just needed to have patience.
A herd of buff out and about !
It was hot and a well desrved lunch was in order.
We spotted this buffalo bull resting under the trees ..... this really got Wayne excited for his 2019 hunt !! An impressive old bull !
After lunch we opted to leave the sable herd to relax again. Earlier this morning we had spotted some eland bulls in the Southern hills we decided to go back there and have a look around. We had about an hour and a half of light left (My favourite time to hunt) when we got into the area. There was a large herd of roan in the area. Looking through the herd carefully we noticed 2 big eland bulls grazing in amongst the roan. That would be tricky to get close to. We waited a while and watched them ...... slowly they seperated from the roan which would make it a bit easier to get closer. We quickly came up with a plan and wasn't long and Wayne was up on the sticks with a 200 yard shot. He hit this magnificent bull perfectly ! What a beast !
We called the pick up crew to come and load up the bull. Ten men loading this animal was a struggle. Another fantastic day !
Early the next morning we were back out looking for that big sable bull. It was the third day now that we were going after him. We bumped into this big Rhino bull which was fast asleep in the sun. What a magnificent beast.
We put in a long stalk - working the hills into the wind and eventually Sarah got her shot. What a magnificent once in a lifetime sable. A great shot behind the shoulder and he collapsed dead in his tracks.
Next on our list was golden gemsbuck, copper springbuck and maybe roan. We headed deep into the Southern mountains. Picked out a good spot for lunch overlooking a deep revine.
More buffalo having a swim to cool down.
The golden gemsbuck were also proving to be very difficult ... we opted to go after the springbuck. We were walking up a shallow creek and settled down behing a dam wall. As luck would have it a lone copper ram was making his way along the ridge towards us. We put in a short stalk and Wayne took down this big ram.
Some young kudu bulls checking us out.
We put into another few long stalks after the gemsbuck.
Late afternoon and we started heading in the direction of the lodge. As we came over a small rise - out in front of us stood a big old roan bull. I made a quick deal with Wayne and we were all systems go. Getting the sticks we set off. With a strong breeze into our faces we made up the distance quickly behind a small koppie. I put Wayne on the sticks and he made a perfect shot ! What a fine old bull.
This was our last afternoon at Karoo lodge and we were moving down to the coast tomorrow to hunt some of the coastal species. We popped in for an evening with special friends Ashley and Jo. We had excellent food and spent the evening reminiscing about hunting and spending time here in the past. Sarah shot her first buck here many moons ago and last year Wayne took an incredible vaal rhebuck in these mountains and ..... and ..... Good times had !!
The following morning we pushed on down to the coast to Leopard Ridge our coastal conservancy. Time was short but Sarah wanted to try for a bushbuck and Wayne a caracal. We started the afternoon off glassing for bushbuck - spotted a few ewes and some young rams but nothing worth going after.
Below is typical coastal bushveldt perfect for bushbuck.
No luck with any bushbuck and the following morning we were after the cat. We had 4 packs of dogs out and the weather was good so chances were pretty good. After an hour or two the dogs picked up on and scent and it wasn't long and the dogs had a cat treed. Some careful menouvering through the thick prickly bush and eventually Wayne made a good shot on this cat. Good work !
While they skinned the caracal we had an opportunity to look for a bushbuck along some of the most scenic area we have - again only a few young rams and plenty of oribi !!! On top of the world.
With the morning hunt complete we headed into the small town nearby for some seafood at the local floating restuarant.
We picked up our skinner with the carcal and made our way back to Leopard Ridge. The caracal brought the curtain down on another fantastic adventure. Here we are enjoying our final evening barbecue with Dale and Nikki.
Wayne and Sarah have always said that catching up with friends is just as important as the hunting ..... and our final stop would be with my family in Port Elizabeth. A pleasure to host you guys once again on safari with us. We know we will see you again !!