The months of August and September kept us extremely busy, hunting back to back for 6 weeks. Global warming, or whatever the reason for unseasonal heavy rains, posed some challenges. Small seasonal rivers became raging torrents, while we put our 4×4’s to the test to reach and recover the trophies.
Our first safari for August had all been based around a Red Nyala Bull. This bull had been seen mid 2014 on a regular basis but from early 2015 almost completely disappeared besides one sighting. The challenge was on and after three days, glassing for hours, I was already considering plan B. What plan B was meant to be I don’t know.
My trackers and extra PH’s were placed on vantage points watching every road and clearing hoping to catch a glimpse of the ghost.
Suddenly over the radio the words “Ndiyayi bona lenkuzi” which means “I CAN SEE THE BULL” came over. Deep down the valley was a green patch of grass. In it stood 5 Nyala females but one had horns. This is our bull. Which is the best way to approach him? How long will he stay in the clearing? With this racing through my mind, I was suddenly reminded what Buck Fever was all about. My young and trusted PH Juan said I will go, you watch him and direct me once I get into the valley.
Twenty minutes later Juan whispered over the radio, I am close but can only see one female and the wind is not good. Watching from the top I could figure out which female he could see. The bull was 20 yards to its left, suddenly it picked up its head and walked straight towards the female, finally stopping just ahead of her. Before I could even get the radio up to ask can you see it, it flipped onto its back. The cheer from all the onlookers almost drowned out the echo of the rifle shot from the valley floor. The Red ghost was down.
Our next hunt was a group from Omaha. Mike and Becky had hunted with us twice before. This year they brought two more couples. What started as a short hunting trip prior to a Wine tour ended up being one of our best hunts for the year. With husbands and wives both hunting we soon racked up 30 excellent trophies. Well done to all of you. Great fun and great people.
Odd Thrana from Norway was our next hunter. Odd has hunted extensively in Norway and was very excited to be on his first African Safari. As usual the wish list was short but as we got into the hunt and Odd started seeing more and more of what Africa has to offer, the list grew and grew. I have been fortunate to travel to Norway on several occasions and what a beautiful, scenic country, but if you are a passionate hunter, Africa has no match. Odd realised this very quickly and took advantage of every minute, watching, listening and experiencing the beauty of the Dark Continent.