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Aug 28, 2011 - Sunday Game Viewing

Sunday, our last full day at Hanno van Rensburg's Authentic African Adventure Safari Ranch, Cosmopolite near Baltimore, in the Limpopo province. No hunting was scheduled, instead, Hanno proposed another game viewing visit to his father-in-law's Shelanti Game Farm to see three of the big five, that is, Elephant, Rino, and Buffalo. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The phrase Big Five was coined by white hunters and refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot. The term is still used in most tourist and wildlife...

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South African Safari

Aug 27, 2011 - Another Saturday in the Bush Veld

Today, only one animal remained in our program, that being Marco's Warthog which had us underway a little later than usual, 7:30 AM. The plan was to set Marco and Maurizio back in the blind for another stay. Traveling through these game farms, we pass through a number of gates separating the various breeding and non-breeding areas. Their fencing is quite extensive, many electrified. However, about a half-hour out, our Professional Hunter Pietris spotted a large male which set the men off in hot pursuit. In the meantime, Hanno took us out...

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South African Safari

Aug 26, 2011 - Nini's Blesbok

Our two Professional Hunters, Danie and Shaun departed early for another assignment in the Free State hunting for Springbok. The Springbok is the emblem and nickname of South African national sports teams. Today, it was planned to station Marco and Maurizio in a blind to await the Warthog Marco was planning to bag. Underway at 7 AM, we left them at 7:30 well hidden. Another ten minutes we stopped at a water hole where Hanno dropped off a bucket full of oranges for the animals to feed on. Not too long later, Hanno spotted a group of Blesbok....

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South African Safari

Aug 24, 2011 - Viewing the Vultures

Up and out early at 7:30 headed back to the Chelanti Game Farm for a feeding of the Vultures. At Chelanti we were again assigned Chris as our PH and were driven out into the veld where a permanent blind designed just for this purpose was located, arriving about 8:30. Once inside, we were cautioned not to poke our cameras out through the peep holes as the Vultures, with eagle eyes would spot the lens and vamoose. About 50 yards in front of the blind in an opening was a line of carcass of about 30 feet in length. Very soon a flock of Southern...

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South African Safari

Aug 22, 2011 - Monday at Shelanti Game Ranch

Today we again began our Safari at 7 AM heading back to the Shelanti Game Ranch which is located on Provincial Road M561 between the rural villages of Marken and Baltimore, 18 miles from our location. Once on the property we met our Professional Hunter for the day, another apprentice, Thinus. Then it was off on the various numerous dirt roads scattered around the property. Once on them, they seem to stretch on forever, to the horizon. All the time while motoring, both the PH's and their Tracker/Drivers are scanning for game which they can...

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South African Safari

Aug 21, 2011 - Nini's Giraffe

Again, another early morning start, but today we went to the neighboring Shelanti Game Ranch located about 18 miles away. This is a hugh game farm specializing in the breeding of wild game with an area of some 40,000 acres and owned by Hanno's wife, Bardini's father, Edwin Classen, a large feed-lot operator in the Free State. Within the property are 13 fenced off breeding camps and another 5 reserved for buffalo.  All these areas are protected by two fence lines separated by 10 meters. Today, we all loaded in two game vehicles focused...

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South African Safari

Aug 20, 2011 - Saturday Morning Hunt

It's cold here in the Bush Veld [felt], Latitude 23°S, elevation 3000 ft. Got down to 7°C [39°F}. Slept under a blanket and two comforters. Started out at 0700 hrs. Marco looking for a Zebra, and Nini, a Blesbok. I rode with Nini. She and the two professional hunters stalked a herd back and forth, over hill and dale for some 3 hours. They got within 50 yards a time or two, but with the target behind branches, the guide thought shooting too hazardous. Saw lots of animals, Kudu, Eland, Sable, Zebra, Giraffe, and Ostriches. Hunted for four...

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South African Safari

Aug 20, 2011 - Saturday Afternoon in the Bush Veld

After our daily siesta, we were underway again at 3 PM in two game vehicles. A hunt which lasted 3 hours without result. Returning to camp, we found our laundry laid out, pressed and neatly folded. Soon after we returned, Marco's group arrived with his bagged Zebra. After dinner at 7 PM, we adjouned to the outside Lapa (gathering area) around a cheering fire discussing the days events. Early to bed, as we're off for another hunt in 12 hours.

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South African Safari

Aug 19, 2011 - First Hunt

After our siesta, we headed out in two vehicles on separate hunts. I tagged along with Allison and Marco along with Danie (pronounced Donnie} Kruger, our Professional Hunter. Rather soon and close to headquarters, we spotted two male Nyala. Nyala are medium sized Antelope of about 240 pounds. Allison and Danie alighted and started stalking. These animals immediately sensed their presence and began a retrograde movement. Danie instructed our driver to backtrack and head them off at the pass. Three times in the next hour and a half, we had...

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South African Safari

Aug 19, 2011 - First Day Indoctrination

Despite turning in just after midnight, the strange bird singing outside our window, forced me up and out at 6 AM. Just outside our cabin, we were greeted for the day by their local wild herd. First order of the day after breakfast, was a briefing with the shooters, and our host, the largest Safari outfiller in South Africa, Hanno van Rensburg, all 7' 1" of him. Then it was out to sight in the rifles, then lunch, a siesta, and first hunt later this afternoon. While roaming the grounds, I spooked a herd of Greater Kudos, just outside the...

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South African Safari

Aug 18, 2011 - On to South Africa

Reveille was held at 3 AM as we'd scheduled a 4 o'clock scuttle from the motel to the Portland airport. Surprisingly, the terminal was quite crowed.  However, we got through checking the luggage and two rifle cases, and security, quite efficiently.  However, both Madame and I, with joint replacements, had to endure a complete pat down by TSA folks. Flight to Atlanta took just under 5 hours, 45 minutes ahead of schedule because of a 75 mph tail wind. Now, our layover in Atlanta was 6 hours before a scheduled departure of 7:20 pm on a Boeing...

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South African Safari



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