7 Days in Eastern Cape South Africa

By ADMIN, Jul 15, 2017 | |
Rating:
5/5,
  1. ADMIN
    My dad Floyd and my stepmother Janice had been to South Africa twice, and upon their return the second time in 2014 they said they were going back again in 2016. I had always thought that when my dad started going to Africa, it would be very special for me to join him on an African safari. So I told him that I definitely would be going with him and my stepmother in 2016.

    The toughest part about going was convincing my darling wife Sonja that I needed to go because not many people get a chance to hunt in Africa with their dad. So after telling my wife about the trip, I wrote up a little contract that told about how I would help pay for it by cleaning the house and not eating out as much in order to save money. My wife, under deep reservations about the contract, agreed and signed it. So with permission given, the date for what would hopefully be the time of my life was set for May 2016, almost two years away. We planned on hunting 7 days at Kikuyu Lodge, Eastern Cape.

    Shortly after the decision was made to go to Africa, my buddy and shooting partner Jason said to me… ”When are WE going hunting in Africa?” My reply to him was to become proficient at shooting his new .300 Winchester Magnum, because the time to go would creep up on us fast. My Uncle Dave was also going but changed his mind. Once my Uncle Dave was out, my wife’s step father Tim decided that this was a once in a lifetime chance and could not pass it up. Also going was my stepbrother Wayne and his cousin Eric. So with a total of 7 people taking the trip it was sure to be a great time.

    When the departure date was within a year, Jason, Tim, and I started shooting our rifles quite regularly. We all had .300 Win Mags and would go out in the desert of Arizona and practice shooting off sticks at long distances. The shooting practice was very enjoyable, but some of the other stuff (getting a passport, rifle inspection, and documents filled out correctly) in order to go was not as fun, but still somewhat enjoyable. Between the 8-5 month departure date Jason, Tim, and I received quotes for the animals we wanted to hunt from the lodge manager Mr. Harry Fourie . During this time we also booked flight reservations. The exact date of the trip would be May 2-13 2016. LET THE FUN BEGIN!

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    Jason, Tim and the author at Dulles Airport.


    The plan was for all seven of us to meet at Dulles International, one coming from Texas, three coming from New Mexico and two plus myself coming from Arizona. On the day of departure there was rain throughout the western US, and although there were some delays we all made it just in time for our flight on South African Airways flight 210 to Johannesburg. I can’t speak for everyone but I thought the eighteen hour flight was a little rough. There was a baby behind and in front of us. When one baby would quit crying, the other one would start. Oh well.

    We arrived in Johannesburg around 5:30PM. Due to the fact that six of us had rifles (a total of 7 rifles, because my dad took two) it seemed like the gathering of our rifles and being sent to certain red tape offices in the airport took a lot of time. Finally we all had our rifles and headed to the police station in the airport. The SAPS station was a little busy but we were out of there in about 30 minutes with no issues.

    Jason, Tim, and I would be staying at Africa Sky Guest House while my dad, step-mother, step-brother, and Eric stayed at the Afton House. The Africa Sky Guest House was a very nice place, and after that grueling flight, getting a good night’s sleep felt great. The next day we had to fly to Port Elizabeth so we were up and headed to the airport at 7:30AM. Our flight left at 10:45AM and everything went well, landing in Port Elizabeth at approximately 12:30PM.

    Africa Sky Guest House
    All three Professional Hunters (PH’s) for our group were there to greet us upon arrival in Port Elizabeth. Jaco Prinsloo was there for my dad and I, Harry Fourie, who is also the lodge manager, was there for Eric and Wayne, and Braun Olckers was there for Tim & Jason. Once all the introductions were made we collected our luggage and rifles and off we went on a 1.5 hour drive to Kikuyu Lodge. The drive went very, very fast (they drive MUCH faster in South Africa than in the US) but the countryside with its green rolling hills and farm land was absolutely beautiful.

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    Kikuyu Lodge.


    We arrived at Kikuyu Lodge which is built on the side of a mountain overlooking Bushmans River Valley. The main lodge and its eight chalets that were made out of rock and had thatched roofs were very nice. Once we all got settled in, it was time to go to the rifle range and shoot our rifles. My rifle was still exactly how I left it, and no adjustment was made. The only thing left to do was enjoy the evening and talk about the start of our safari in the morning. The excitement was very intense.

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    Kikuyu Lodge.


    DAY 1
    We got out of the lodge at 6:30AM. We drove up the mountain in the back of the bakkie (truck) and saw many animals (Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, Blesbok, and Impala.) We were targeting Kudu and saw three Kudu cows and one small bull in two hours. At 9AM our PH Jaco decided to look for some cull animals that my dad had paid for. My first animal that I would take in Africa was a cull Blue Wildebeest.

    It did not take long before we spotted a nice herd of Wildebeest. Jaco positioned the bakkie and told me to shoot the one at the far left. The range was 243 yards. I didn’t dial the scope on my .300 Win Mag. I found the animal in my scope and went 6 inches up from the top of its front leg and pulled the trigger, sending the Hornady 200g ELD-X traveling 2886fps down the barrel. Jaco yelled that I hit it and it was the one running for a patch of trees.

    I could not get a good shot so Jaco started driving the truck in the direction we had last seen her running. After approximately 150 yards I could see the Wildebeest dead right before the patch of trees. I felt very relieved because at the lodge the night before, all three PH’s told us that the Wildebeest would be the toughest animals we would be hunting. We took pictures and loaded the Wildebeest in the back of the bakkie.

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    The author with Wildebeest.


    Next up was a cull Blesbok that my dad would shoot. We drove to a huge prairie and spotted a large herd of Blesbok. We were having a hard time finding a cull because most of the herd were rams. We finally got on to one at about 220 yards. Jaco threw up the sticks and dad killed the Blesbok with one shot.

    As we drove up and got out at the kill site Jaco noticed the herd had calmed back down. He put up the sticks and ranged a cull at 398 yards. He told me to shoot. I dialed up my scope and found the Blesbok. I pulled the trigger and it was a bang flop. Jaco looked at me with a huge smile and said he now knew I could really shoot good. Jaco seemed very concerned about finding a shooter Kudu bull. He said shooting good at longer distances would help immensely if we spot Kudu across some of the deep canyons.

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    Blesblok.


    What happened next was an incident that left me wondering for a moment if my safari was over due to a broken hand. We were now at the skinning shed and I was trying to help hang my Wildebeest on a game hook, when the leg of the Wildebeest slid down to the hook catching my hand between the leg and the hook. The weight of the animal was now driving the hook into my hand. OUCH!!!

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    The hook the author caught his hand in.


    Jaco and my dad were now trying to lift the animal while I pulled my hand out. It took a while, but we finally got it out. I had never felt pain like that before in my life. I took 4 ibuprofen and had a clown hand the rest of the day, but was OK. We decided to take a break and head to the lodge for lunch.

    After lunch we went back out to look for Kudu. While we were out, we also ran across several Impala rams. Jaco would look at them and judge their size. He said they were nice, but we could do better. Around 5:30 we were going back to the lodge and driving down a steep road with me in the back of the truck.

    All of a sudden Jaco slammed on the brakes and told me there was a cow and a nice shooter bull Kudu across the canyon. I spotted the cow Kudu, but could not see the bull. Then the bull walked into some thick trees, and was gone. At that point I was a little upset at myself because I knew the Kudu bulls were going to be the toughest to find. Jaco said we would come back and try and spot the bull in the morning.

    We got back to the lodge and shortly after that, Jason, Tim, Eric, and Wayne arrived. We had a great dinner and sat around the fireplace drinking beer and talking about the first day’s hunt. All of us were amazed at the beauty of Africa and the amount of animals spotted.
    DAY 2
    The plan was to look for the bull Kudu that was spotted from the night before. Jaco devised a plan to take a road further away and come at the area higher and from a different direction so as to not spook the Kudu. Once in place we got out to glass across the canyon where the Kudu was last seen.

    After 15 minutes we didn’t see him and decided to hike down onto the road that we were on the night before. Once there, Jaco asked me if I could see the herd of Waterbuck on the mountain to our right. I put up my binos and spotted a cow Kudu.

    Right then the bull that we were after crested the top of the mountain. Jaco got all excited and yelled, “THERE’S THE BULL!” and said he was a definite shooter. I threw up my rangefinder and ranged him at 810 yards across the canyon and up the mountain. Jaco said, “Let’s run up the road and see if we can’t get a closer shot.”

    We ran up the steep road and got to a flat drainage mound on the road. We could clearly see the bull Kudu feeding with four cows. Jaco ranged the bull at 469 yards. By that time we were both huffing and puffing from running up the hill. Jaco asked me many times if I thought I could make the shot. I assured him I could if I could take off my two jackets and settle down a bit.

    Jaco threw up the sticks, I steadied my rifle and dialed my scope for 475 yards. The bull walked a couple of steps and then turned broadside. The trouble was that there was a small bush covering the bottom of his shoulder. I told Jaco that when he cleared the small bush I would take him.

    Ten minutes went by and he NEVER moved! My heart would race so fast at times I thought I was going to have a heart attack. After what seemed like hours we heard dogs barking. Every day the lodge runs dogs to hunt for Caracal cats. We could tell the dogs were getting closer and the Kudu would probably spook. Jaco said I should probably go ahead and shoot the bull now.

    I placed the cross hairs of my scope right on top of the small bush, took a deep breath let it out and squeezed the trigger. The sticks my rifle was resting on immediately jerked from the recoil and I did not see the bullet hit. After a long pause Jaco yelled he’s down and took my hat off, threw it on the ground, and messed my hair up.

    The shot hit the bull and he reared up and fell rolling down the mountain about 10 yards. I looked through my binoculars and could clearly see he was not moving. I then started walking around in circles trying to recover from the emotional roller coaster I was on. Jaco radioed my dad to drive the bakkie to our position.

    Once my dad arrived he wanted to know what went down and how far the shot was. We told him the details and he seemed very pleased and excited. We then drove up to the hill and down a very rough two track road on top of the mountain that my Kudu was standing on when I shot him. We hiked down the very steep hill to where my Kudu was.

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    The author with Kudu.


    When I picked his head up and looked at him I was very happy to have taken him. He was in my book a very nice representation of a Kudu and surpassed my hunting expectations . I could not have been happier on how the whole hunt went down, and then saw that I shot him exactly where I was aiming. We took many pictures and then Jaco called the ranch hands over. It took 7 of us with poles and a tarp to carry him to the top of the hill.

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    Hauling the Kudu.


    We went back to the lodge for lunch and met up with the others in our party. They said they were hunting a few miles over in the morning and heard a shot and figured it was me shooting the Kudu. We exchanged hunting stories and went back out around 3PM. We spent that afternoon just driving around and mostly looking at the countryside and not seriously hunting. It was a very beautiful place.

    DAY 3
    We woke up on day three and it was raining and very windy. We hung out at the lodge for the whole morning. In the afternoon the weather cleared up, so we left the lodge to hunt Impala. We drove to the area near where I had shot my Wildebeest on the first day. Jaco and I got out to hike the area, leaving my dad and BeBe, our tracker, at the truck.

    We hiked a flat area with clumps of trees that would then open up to wide plains areas. I thought the area was really cool because the trees were pine trees and it kind of reminded me of mountainous areas back home in Arizona. We would hike a while and then spot a herd of Wildebeest, Zebra, Blesbok, and Impala.

    In the two hour hike we probably saw 15-20 Impala rams, often stopping to field judge them. Jaco said a lot of them were good rams, but not quite what we were after. We eventually made it back to the truck and ended the day of hunting without shooting an Impala.

    DAY 4
    We left Kikuyu Lodge and went to a different concession to hunt Gemsbok. This new place was about a 45 minute drive from Kikuyu. Once we arrived Jaco talked to the owner, who said that lately they were seeing some nice bulls. We took off in the bakkie in the direction the owner told us would be our best chance to find Gemsbok. We drove for about fifteen minutes and stopped the truck. Jaco and I started hiking, leaving my dad and BeBe behind at the truck. This concession had small rolling hills with a lot of trees. We would walk through an open flat to big clumps of trees maybe fifty yards away.

    Ten minutes into our hike we came around a large tree and Jaco motioned me to stop. He put up his binos and said there were two Gemsbok about a hundred yards in front of us. We both looked around the tree and glassed the two Gemsbok. They were both small non-shooters. We skirted around them and continued our hike. We hiked in a giant circle from the bakkie for about an hour, only seeing about ten Red Hartebeest.

    We got back to the bakkie and drove to a different area of the concession. We again got out and went for a long hike and saw no Gemsbok. Jaco seemed a little surprised that we were not seeing Gemsbok and recommended leaving and going back to Kikuyu Lodge for lunch and figure out a plan for Gemsbok.

    We went to the concession ranch house and told the owner we were leaving. He was also surprised we did not see more Gemsbok. He told us that we should come back after lunch and he would send his tracker out with us. He assured us that the tracker had seen Gemsbok the day before and he would put us on them. I could tell Jaco was very reluctant to come back, but agreed to do so.

    After lunch we packed up and returned to hunt Gemsbok. My dad opted to not go back with us. We stopped and picked up the tracker that knew where to find the animals. The trouble was that he was taking us to hike all the same areas we had hiked on the morning hunt.

    Finally, Jaco started driving on every road we could take, frantically looking for Gemsbok. During this road hunt we did spot one lone Gemsbok laying under a tree at about 200 yards. We stopped and looked him over, and his horns were about 20 inches long. Not a shooter. The afternoon hunt for Gemsbok turned out to be a waste of time, but Jaco suggested that on our way back to the Lodge we go in a back way and maybe spot an Impala ram. We headed back.

    Once we arrived, we went through a gate and immediately Jaco spots a herd of Impala. He looks them over and sees that there is one ram in the herd and tells me he is a nice one and is exactly the class of ram we have been looking for. I get my rifle out and walk with Jaco across the flats for about 50 yards. The herd is running back and forth in front of us with a few trees blocking our view at times. Jaco stopped and looked at them through his binos. He threw up the sticks and told me the ram is now all by himself and all the way to the right.

    All of this happened very fast, but I quickly put my rifle on the sticks and found the Impala in my scope. Jaco ranged him at 189 yards. I asked if I could shoot, and he said yes. The ram was quartering very hard toward me (almost looking straight at me). I put the crosshairs of my scope on the shoulder that I could barely see and pulled the trigger. The sticks rocked and I did not see the impact, but Jaco said I hit him good.

    The ram took off running. We also started to run in the direction the ram stood when I shot him. We stopped and Jaco looked through his binos and said, “I believe he is down.” We kept walking and soon we arrived on my down and dead Impala ram. I picked up his head and could not believe how awesome he was. We had looked at probably 30 rams before taking this one. The mass of his horns were incredible, and seeing an Impala that close up I really could not believe how nice they are.

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    The author with Impala.


    We loaded him up and headed to the lodge. Soon after we had a couple of beers the rest of the hunters showed up, and my buddy Jason (who was just at the skinning shed) congratulated me for shooting the twin brother of the Impala that he just shot. He showed me a picture of his and they looked identical.
    DAY 5
    This morning we decided to cull hunt. We left the lodge and set out to look for Impala. We drove for a while and then stopped on the top of a steep hill overlooking a valley that had a clearing with nothing but 4-5 foot cactuses in it. We got out and walked a ways and could tell that amongst all the cactus there was a herd of about thirty Impala. We looked them over and Jaco ranged a female at 450 yards.

    He put up the sticks, I angled my rifle down the hill into the valley, and found the Impala in my scope. I let out my breath and pulled the trigger and could see the shot (probably the only time I have seen my shot while shooting off of sticks) was just over the Impala’s back. The herd took off running and never slowed down. We hiked down the hill just to make sure, and Jaco called it a clean miss.

    Next up to shoot was my dad. We drove to an open area with some rolling hills. We got out and walked, and when I looked through my binos I could see to our left a herd of giraffe. The rolling hills were just tall enough to keep them hidden except for their faces. It literally looked like giraffe heads sitting on the very top of a hill. VERY COOL!

    Jaco spotted two lone Impala females about 300 yards away. Up the sticks went and Dad dialed up his Huskemaw Blue Diamond on top of his .280 Ackley Improved and let it bark. The Impala which was hit good, and took off running into some nearby bushes. We hustled over and Jaco put the dog JR down. Jaco chased JR and I tried to follow (I’m a long distance runner and thought I could run fast but Jaco, who is a huge guy, is incredible!), but was losing ground and then I could hear JR barking. When I arrived the Impala was dead and JR was biting it. GREAT DOG!

    After Dad’s taking of a cull Impala we took off in the bakkie again. We didn’t drive but about two miles to another valley and got out and glassed. We spotted a small herd of Impala and Jaco picked one out and ranged it for me at 339 yards. With my rifle on the sticks, I dialed my scope and pulled the trigger. The shot hit the Impala about four inches back from my aim point and again the Impala took off running for a thick clump of bushes and trees.

    We all hustled back to the truck and drove as fast as possible to where we last saw the Impala. Jaco put JR down and we took off running again. Jaco and JR started to pull away from me and I lost them in the thick bushes, but every couple of seconds I could hear their footsteps as they were running. Finally JR let out a bark indicating he had the Impala.

    When I arrived at the scene Jaco said, “I thought you were a runner. Where were you?” I explained to him that it was a lot harder running with a rifle. He rolled his eyes indicating to me that he didn’t buy that story. Hehe!!! We decided to go back to the lodge for lunch, and then my stepmother Janice, my dad, Tim, and I would head out with Jaco in the afternoon to cull hunt some more.

    That afternoon we left the lodge and crossed the Bushmans River and up a steep hill in the bakkie. Once on top of the open hill we spotted a herd of Blue Wildebeest. We got out and started to hike in the direction we had last seen them. We were walking along a tree line when Jaco halted us between two trees. Peering through the trees we could see a Wildebeest perfectly standing where all we could see was its head and horns at the line of the grass and sky. Jaco judged it through his binos and said it was a cull. He threw up the sticks and ranged at 135 yards. He told my dad to shoot it between the eyes.

    Dad got on the sticks and carefully aimed his Fierce Firearms in .300 Win Mag and pulled the trigger. All you could see was a head drop right off the skyline. We quickly walked to where the Wildebeest was standing. It dropped right in its tracks. We all took some pictures and loaded it in the truck. Dad and I took two more culls (Impala and Blesbok) before heading back to the lodge for happy hour, dinner and the very enjoyable daily hunting reports from the rest of the hunting party.

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    Blue Wildebeest.


    DAY 6
    Since we had not been successful hunting Gemsbok, the decision was made to go to another concession. This place was Collieskraal Game Ranch. It was a 2 hour drive northwest of the lodge. We left the lodge and arrived at about 8AM. On the way Jaco asked me if it was a must that I shoot a bull Gemsbok. I had thought about this before travelling to Africa, since I had accompanied my dad a few times to hunt Gemsbok in New Mexico. To me there was not much difference in male or female, and told Jaco that I would shoot either.

    Collieskraal Ranch
    When we arrived we went by the ranch house and picked up a tracker named Sailas who had been working on the ranch. We took off in the bakkie and drove maybe a mile before we stopped and decided to hike the side of a small hill. We didn’t hike long when Jaco signaled for me and Sailas to get down. He said there was a herd of Gemsbok that he could see through some trees about 200 yards ahead.

    We ducked down and moved a little to the left and then could see 3 Gemsbok feeding. Between us and the Gemsbok there were also a few Zebra and four Lechwe. We eased forward a little and then Jaco said there is too much game between the Gemsbok and us, and to just sit tight for a minute.

    Before too long we noticed the herd of about 15 Gemsbok (which we could now see better) had moved further from us and slightly up hill. Jaco looked one of them over and said it was a nice female. He put up the sticks and ranged it at 410 yards. I got on the sticks and was very steady.

    The animal was standing looking at the opposite direction from us and then it turned broadside. I felt very steady. I dialed my scope and squeezed the trigger. The shot felt very good but Jaco informed me that I hit it on the top of the leg. I suddenly was very upset at myself, and couldn’t believe I missed that bad. Luckily the herd took off running down the hill on our side and not over the hill. Sailas told us to run down the small hill.

    We got almost to the bottom and you could see the herd swing around and face us at about 200 yards. Jaco was looking through his binos at them and then told me to get on the sticks. He looked at them some more and then I told him I see blood on the one to the very right facing me.

    He told me to shoot it. It turned very slightly and I shot and hit it exactly where I aimed. The Gemsbok took a few steps and down it went. Jaco radioed BeBe and my dad to drive the truck up the same road they were on. The road was not very far from where the animal went down.

    Jaco, Sailas, and I walked up to the animal and I felt very relieved that we were able finish it relatively quick (maybe 5 minutes) after the first shot that was low and in the leg. My dad arrived and congratulated me, then we took pictures and loaded it up in the bakkie. The female Gemsbok was a very nice animal and I was very happy to take her.

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    The author with Gemsbok.


    After dropping the Gemsbok off at the skinning shed, we decided to look for the last animal on my list: the warthog. We started off driving in the bakkie, Jaco and my dad riding in the cab and Sailas and I riding in the back. It didn’t take long until we spotted a nice warthog running up a canyon. We jumped out and gave chase, but it somehow gave us the slip. We returned to the truck and drove a few more miles.

    Sailas could spot game like no other person I had ever met. We would be driving along and he would inform me that there was a certain animal behind this rock or clump of trees. At times it seemed like it was impossible to see an animal where he described, and then we would move forward and sure enough it was there. Incredible! We stopped a few times and glassed but did not see any shooter warthogs. We finally drove back to the ranch house and ate lunch on the patio.

    When lunch was over Jaco, Dad, BeBe, Sailas and I loaded up in the bakkie once again to look for warthog. We drove a few miles and stopped on top of a big hill. Dad waited at the bakkie while the rest of us hiked the side of the hill and halfway down.

    We came to a large tree and set up to glass the large valley below. Right when I started to glass, in one field of view through my binos I could see four sets (8 total) of Impala rams fighting. The rut was in full swing, and it was incredible to witness through one view of my binoculars.

    We glassed for about 20 minutes and I noticed Jaco and BeBe were glassing in the same direction. Finally Jaco asked BeBe if he was looking at the same warthog he was looking at. BeBe said yes and that it had tusks and was probably a shooter. The warthog was probably 700 yards down the hill and in the middle of the flats. Jaco told BeBe to stay up on the hill and guide us to where the warthog was, using the radios.

    Jaco and I took off and closed the gap quickly. Once we were down on the flats BeBe led us in the direction we needed to go. When Jaco thought we had the wind in our favor he peeked around a huge tree that we were behind. He glassed for a few seconds and then informed me that he could see three warthogs and one of them was a definite shooter.

    He reached around the edge of the tree and put up the sticks. I placed my rifle on the sticks and then we both stepped around in the open. Jaco ranged the warthog at 92 yards. The warthog was facing directly at us. Jaco told me to shoot it between the eyes. Right when I was about to pull the trigger the warthog turned broadside. I aimed and shot. The shot felt good and I could see the impact. Jaco told me, “Good shot.”

    The warthog took off running and we lost sight of it in the tall bushes. We quickly walked to the spot where it was standing when I delivered the shot. We could not see any blood and even walked around the area looking for sign. Jaco then said to stand at the very spot where I hit the warthog and called BeBe to hike back to the truck and bring the dog JR. We waited about 10 minutes and everyone arrived.

    Jaco put JR down and immediately JR picked up the scent. JR ran around some tall bushes for about 30 yards and started barking. The warthog was dead from my bullet that hit him right where I aimed. He was a very cool, ugly looking animal that I was very glad to take. We took pictures and told the story of the stalk and then headed back to the skinning shed to drop off Sailas and pick up my Gemsbok that I had shot earlier. Once loaded we headed back to Kikuyu Lodge, taking a back road that was very mountainous and beautiful.

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    The author with Warthog.


    DAY 7
    When we first arrived at Kikuyu, Jaco told my dad that a friend of his had paid to have a cull Eland for meat. Jaco was going to let my dad harvest this Eland. That morning we set off to hunt Eland. Also, my dad told Jaco that if we see an absolute giant of a Waterbuck that he would like to shoot it. My dad said it would have to be a 10 or an 11 on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the biggest.

    We drove around, all the while stopping on tall hills to glass. After about an hour we stopped on top of a mountain and glassed up a Waterbuck. We looked him over and he was very nice, but was not what we were looking for.

    At that moment I caught a movement about 100 yards away. It was another Waterbuck and this one was nicer, about an 8 on the scale. Still not big enough, so we continued on. We drove to an area that was wide open and that you could see down in to the river valley. Jaco spotted a herd of four Eland, 3 cows and 1 bull. The Eland were about 500 yards away on a side of a hill that led down into the deep river canyon.

    He told my dad and I to get our rifles, and told dad that when he stops and puts up the sticks to shoot the female he picks out in the head. Jaco instructed me to be ready for a backup shot. He did NOT want the Eland to get down into the deep canyon. My job was to try and make a good shot, but hit it anywhere I could, if it started to run wounded.

    With the plan set we started walking in the direction of the Eland. We closed the gap quickly and at about 200 yards Jaco threw up the sticks. At that very moment the herd took off running and never looked back. We watched them disappear into the canyon below. We turned around and walked back and it was about lunch time. We decided that we had enough hunting for the day and would probably hang out at the lodge after lunch.

    That evening the PH’s built a fire outside in the fire pit. Jaco brought his wife Tanya, his mom, dad and his three little girls to the lodge. Harry Fourie grilled steaks and lamb chops and all 16 of us had the best time eating and sitting around the fire talking about the great African Safari we just had. Most of us drank beer late into the night and I could not believe we would be heading home in the morning.

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    Steaks and lamb chops grilling outside in the fire pit.


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    Gathering at the lodge the night before heading home.


    Kikuyu Lodge with manager Harry Fourie and the entire staff far exceeded my expectations. The accommodations and food were absolutely fabulous and I never would have thought that hunting in Africa would be that luxurious and carefree. They made us comfortable from the time we arrived until we left, catering to our every need. My PH (Professional Hunter) Jaco Prinsloo was great because I could really tell he loved to hunt and shoot. He admitted that he really liked clients that could shoot, and he liked discussing long range shooting, something that my dad and friends enjoy.

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    Author’s dad Floyd, PH Jaco, and the author.


    Not many people can say they went hunting with their father in Africa, and that, without a doubt, was the very best part of the whole trip. It is something I will never forget. I want to thank my wife Sonja and daughter Tyler for letting me take this trip. I am truly grateful.


    John Gordanier lives in Gilbert, Arizona. He is an avid runner who grew up fly fishing and hunting in Wyoming, New Mexico, and Arizona. He has been married to his wife Sonja for 15 years and they have a 10 year old daughter, Tyler. John is a U.S. Navy Veteran.

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