Welcome to the 2022 newsletter. This time is now considered the “New Normal” South Africa as well as most other countries have lifted all of their COVID restrictions. Even President Biden has stated that the pandemic is over. Does this mean that COVID is gone, no. As with the flu and the common cold they are with us probably forever and with the proper caution we will continue to live our lives in the “New Normal”.
This year there was still some apprehension over international travel, however we hosted several hunters who all had extremely successful safaris. No one had any problems at all, either arriving or departing, and as you will see from the posted hunters’ pictures, they all were very happy and comfortable during their stay. Many new memories were made and the usual exuberance of taking an African trophy every day always ended with the excited conversations of what had happened followed by a relaxing evening with an outstanding meal and the dreams of what the next day will bring.
As always in this newsletter, we are including all of the hunters that have come to Cruiser’s along with every trophy that they took. Also included are their safari stories that they have sent. Sometime we don’t receive these stories right away, however to cover their safaris this year we are also including the PH’s story which will be noted as “PH” behind the Highlights. If you have a story, be sure to send it to us so all can enjoy the highlights of your safari. We have now made sure that there are pictures included here on everyone that has hunted with us this year.
Included in this newsletter are all of the clients’ trophies and those trophies that qualify for the record book are indicated by a * and in the case of Kudu’s, their size is also listed. Since the “pandemic” hit there has been a huge growth of “Trolls” on social media. In order to protect our clients from these unwanted remarks and views we are now just limiting everyone’s name to just their first name. Also, we will no longer list where they are from. I hope everyone enjoys this 2022 edition of Cruiser Safaris newsletter.
NOTE: The * behind the animal indicates that it qualified for the record book.
2022 HUNTERS & OBSERVERS
Animals taken: 2- Warthogs*, Sable*, Waterbuck*, Eland*, Nyala*, Bushbuck*, Golden Wildebeest*, Roan*
(Mike’s PH) It was Mike’s 2nd safari with Cruiser Safaris. His mission was to complete the Spiral Slam. Mike hunted his Kudu on his first trip. He was looking for the Eland, Nyala, and Bushbuck. It was still early in the hunting season which made the Bushbuck hunt so difficult with all the tall grass and thick bush along the river banks. We hunted Bushbuck for 3 days. The first 2 days we did a lot of waling/stalking next to the river banks. We found a few female Bushbuck grazing on the bank’s late afternoons but no luck with a big male yet. On day 3 we went to the Limpopo river looking for the last animal before Mike completed his Spiral Slam. Started off early in the morning walking next to the river looking for his Bushbuck. We found a few very nice males but he was not able to pull the trigger that morning. It was lunchtime and time for a break. We waited about 3 hours before we went back for the afternoon session. Walking that same area we did that morning. Within 30 minutes there was a beautiful Bushbuck male standing broadside for Mike. Mike took the shot and down went the big fella. Mike’s Spiral Slam was completed and he was very happy.
(Sally’s PH) It was Mike & Sally’s 2nd hunting safari with Cruisers. Sally was looking for a nice Sable bull to hunt on this trip. Sally took on the first day of hunting a excellent Waterbuck bull just before the sun set. The next day we went for that big Sable bull. We saw a lot of very nice Sable’s but not the one we were looking for. The next morning went by with no luck yet we went back that afternoon. It was not even 10 minutes and found a very nice Sable bull. We went after him on foot and saw him a few times standing broadside, but the grass was just that tall that Sally could not pull the trigger. Early the next morning we went to the same area that we found the bull the day before. Suddenly there the bull was. We made a stalk but the wind was changing the whole morning. I decided to go around the block he went into. Just around the corner there he was standing in the road. Sally pulled the trigger and made a perfect lung, shoulder shot. The bull went about 50 yards and Sally’s African dream had come true. She was a very happy hunter.
Animals taken: Gemsbok*, Blue Wildebeest*, Kudu* (53”), Golden Wildebeest*
(KENS PH) The first day we hunted looking for Kudu, Blue Wildebeest and Gemsbok. We did some stalking but no luck and we didn’t get anything that first day. The moment that I want to remember is the Golden Wildebeest hunt. Kenneth and I chased that Golden Wildebeest for 2 days with no luck. We took a day off to hunt the Warthog but nothing that was of good size. The next morning, we went back looking for the Golden Wildebeest. It was around 7 AM when we spotted the Golden Wildebeest. The Wildebeest was fighting. Then the Wildebeest stood looking at us. I said to Kenneth are you ready? Kenneth said yes and the shot went off and the Golden Wildebeest dropped. We went to the spot where the Wildebeest was laying. There I made some video and Kenneth took some picture. All of a sudden the Wildebeest stood up and ran away. Kenneth shot but he missed and the Golden Wildebeest was no where to be found. We start off to track it and it was a very difficult trail to follow because the grass was very long. Finally, after some help we found the Golden Wildebeest and Kenneth was very happy to finally get his trophy.
Animals taken: Impala*, Gemsbok, Blesbok*, Red Hartebeest, Warthog, Kudu* (52”), Bushbuck*
(Lin’s PH) On the first day we were able to take the Impala. The first day of Lin’s Bushbuck hunt was at the Limpopo River. It was a very fantastic hunt. We saw lots of Bushbuck male & females but were not able to score on the first day. Second day we went back to the same place. We saw a very nice Bushbuck bull and I said to Lin to be ready for the shot. We got closer and the shot went off and the Bushbuck ran off, but it was a good shot and we tracked the Bushbuck. It didn’t go far and it was down. Lin was very happy and I was just as excited.
Animals taken: Zebra, Black Impala, Impala*, Kudu
(Karl’s PH) The moment that I want to talk about is the Kudu hunt. The first time he was here he didn’t get the Kudu and came back this year to get it. On the first day of the Kudu hunt we didn’t have a chance to get one but we saw some nice bulls. After lunch we went back to the same property but didn’t see any Kudu. The next morning we went to a different property. We walked for awhile but the Kudu we saw were not good enough to take. We saw a herd with a good bull but they took off. We had lunch at a water hole hoping they might come in, but they didn’t. We took off looking for them and I saw the Kudu we were looking for far off the trail, feeding. As we got closer, I saw the bull feeding next to a female. The shot went off and the bull ran away but it was a good shot. We waited for awhile and then took off tracking him. Although there was no blood on the trail, we located Karl’s trophy and he was very happy.
Animals taken: 2-Cape Buffalo*, Eland*, Warthog*
(Rusty’s PH) The hunt I would like to talk about is the Buffalo hunt. We were looking for the Buffalo for 3 days without any luck. On day 4 we saw 4 Buffalo together but we didn’t shoot as the bulls ran away from us. We came back in the afternoon to hunt again and we saw one bull that was crossing the road and I said to Rusty to shoot. The shot went off and the bull ran. The bull was wounded and we tracked the bull until it was late and then we went back to the lodge. The next morning we went back to the Buffalo track and we starting tracking. We saw the bull next to the fence and it was the one we were after. Rusty shot and the bull went down. The bull then was trying to stand up and Rusty shot again and this time the Buffalo was his.
Animals taken: Sable*, Eland*, Red hartebeest*, Warthog, Steenbok*, Impala*
(Jim’s notes) I am ashamed to say that I forget the name of the young PH who picked me up at the Afton Safari Lodge, but as we were driving to the lodge, he noticed that something was wrong with the rear right wheel. When we pulled off the road, we found that there was only one lug nut holding the wheel in place and it was not fully tightened. Three of the six bolts were broken off. We dodged a bullet on that one!
While driving on a narrow road on the way to one of the properties with Rudolf, we came to a curve in the road and were met by another vehicle towing a small trailer. The road had been graded and the berm on the right side of the road was so high that the other driver could not get off the road. The berm on the left side was not as high and Rudolf was able to get over it. We ended up brushing up against the other vehicle, scratching it's rear fender and breaking the tail light. Only two inches more and we would have completely missed the other vehicle. However, at the end of the day, no one was hurt and the damage was minor. Dodged my second bullet on the trip. I would rather confine my excitement to the hunting part of the safari, LOL! The eland hunt was by far the best/most exciting. Required lots of tracking. Rudolf and Sameer worked very hard for this one. They spent a lot of time dragging branches to freshen up the road so we could see fresh tracks. Rudolf, I am extremely impressed with your ability to judge the quality/size of the animals we were seeing. I look forward to hunting with you again.
(Jim’s PH) It was Jim’s time to return to Cruiser Safaris for a rather epic safari. It was day 2 when we started hunting for a big Eland bull for Jim. On the property we hunted there were very big old bulls around that area. Started off by looking for fresh track, we found a few but nothing big enough to follow. We saw a lot of females and young bulls and decided to come back the next morning.
The next day kicked off with an awesome sunrise and open sky. We found a few big Eland bull tracks early in the morning but with no luck on our side yet. I decided to drag a branch behind the truck to cover all the old tracks that crossed the roads, but again no luck by the end of the day. The next day started and we had a good feeling about that day. Again we found a lot of fresh tracks that crossed the roads during the night. We found a group of big tracks and decided to start tracking them. The wind was very bad and we got busted. We kept walking on the tracks but no luck. It was getting warm and we decided to leave them for an hour or 2 to calm down. After lunch we went back and the wind was much better. After 2 hours of walking on those tracks again we finally found them for the first time that afternoon. There was one bull standing in an open area just big enough for him to take the shot. I opened the shooting sticks and told Jim when he is ready he can take the shot. Boom, the shot went off. The bull jumped with a good reaction. After 20 minutes we started following the tracks. We saw a lot of blood as we were walking. After about 200 yards, Jim was able to put another shot in him. The bull was down. Naturally Jim was very happy with his record book Eland.Read More
Animals taken: Kudu, Zebra, Impala*, 2 – Blesbok*, Waterbuck*
(PH) On the 3rd day of the safari we arrived at the hunting property about 6:30 AM. We started walking down the road looking for crossing tracks. After about 300 meters we say some female Kudu’s crossing about 200 meters in front of us. We were watching the Kudu’s when some Zebra’s started crossing. I said “Lets go after the Zebra’s” We went into the bush and got about 80 meters closer. I opened the shooting sticks for Amber. A Zebra came out and stopped. Amber took a very good shot. We tracked it for about 300 meters before we found the Zebra. I was very impressed with Amber’s shooting because she had never shot at a target and it was also her first animal to shoot in her life.
(AMBERS STORY) We had just started walking on foot and came to this road, and we saw some Kudu followed by some zebra. My dad motioned me to take the gun and get behind Hans. We stop and set the sticks up, and my PH has me look at some zebra passing, the sticks are too high and my PH is quick to notice and adjusts for me. At this time a couple more zebra pass, and my PH gives me the go ahead to take the last one as it was the biggest of the pack. He remains calm, confirms the animal, and gives me the go ahead. I take the shot, and my legs are shaking and I couldn’t think, my dad runs behind me and picks me up and said “you got it, you got it” I asked how he knew and he said “I just do, I heard the hit”. We proceed to track it for about 20-25 mins. In this time my PH used his tracking skills and was phenomenal. Although, he was sure it was a hit, based on the tracking (blood, etc.) he did not want to celebrate till we had it confirmed. As soon as we found it, he was very excited and congratulated me and couldn’t stop complimenting on how great of a shot it was. It was an amazing experience!
Animals taken: Blue Wildebeest*, Impala*, Gemsbok*, Zebra, Warthog, Kudu* (50 ½”)
(Christian’s PH) It was amazing how close we were able to get up to some of the animals. On one occasion we followed some Red-billed Oxpeckers (a native bird) to some animals. We just followed their sound straight to some Zebra and Gemsbok. If I had to choose between special moments, it would be the Gemsbok. It was a long hard stalk and they didn’t know we were there. Everything was perfect and I got Christian ready for the shot. The Gemsbok were laying down and I whistled to get it up. It gave us the perfect shot and wend down clean and humanely. Another special hunt was the Kudu hunt. Not just because it was his last animal but also because it was such a very special trophy. With very unique stripes with worn off tips of his horns. The hunt was amazing and we had to do quite some tracking for this trophy. But it all paid off in the end. I don’t think we could have asked for a better ending.
JUSTIN, CARRIE, DANIEL, NOAH & HANNAH
Animals taken: Blesbok*, Impala*, Zebra, Red Hartebeest, Gemsbok, Kudu* (54 ½”), Warthog, Blue Wildebeest*
(Justin) In full transparency, I do not know where to start in writing this small editorial about our time at Cruiser Safaris. Coming into this I had assumed it would be simple to write a brief synopsis of the hunt but, as it turns out, not only would it prove difficult to write briefly about the hunt but the people who make you feel like family deserve their fair share of recognition as well. This was my first-time hunting with Cruiser and I was fortunate to also have along my 11 year old son (Daniel), who was targeting a warthog and earned enough money to also be after a wildebeest while I was on the 10 day package. We arrived on Father’s Day and due to the great night sleep at the Afton House the day before we felt great and went out hunting across the street, with our guide Mansu and driver Samuel. It was a great start to the hunt as we saw a lot of game and had a chance to begin recognition and field evaluation in real life. Near dusk we got on a herd of blesbok with a nice mature male. We needed to make a long stalk in order to get the wind right but it ended up worth the effort as we secured a nice mature bull at dusk, right on Father’s Day - a Father’s Day I will never forget! After pictures in the field, it was back to the lodge where DelMarie had a nice kudu dinner for us, our first chance to enjoy African game, and it was delicious. The second day we headed down to another property, which is beautiful. The day started out hot! Mansu had seen wildebeest in an open area in the morning multiple times prior and we thought we would check that at first light. On our way in we noticed some impala traveling parallel to us and the wind was right, they had no idea we were there. We set up in some trees for a perfect shot should their path continue, which it did. There were two nice mature bulls so we picked the larger and took him. As it turns out, Mansu was right, there were wildebeest far off, moving out way. We decided to wait and see if they would continue moving our way but about half way to shooting range they broke off and went into the bush so it was time for pictures and loaded the impala into the truck. We were driving and tracking when we stopped to admire some giraffe. While doing so we spotted a gemsbok quite a distance away, just off into the bush and we decided to stalk and try to get a closer look.When we got closer it turned out that it was a smaller female who was with a nice zebra stallion and wildebeest. We were trying to get into position for Daniel to take a shot on the wildebeest when the gemsbok busted us. She was looking and snorting. Mansu suggested I quickly shoot the zebra, which I did.& Before we even had lunch that day, we had 2 animals in the truck and the zebra was beautiful indeed! Then we sat on a water hole for a warthog and had a wonderful lunch packed for us by DelMarie. No luck so we headed back in to drop the 2 animals at the skinning shack. That evening we hunted a property across the river and saw wildebeest, a kudu and a very nice red hartebeest (among other animals) but were not able to get into position for a shot. That evening some additional hunters arrived and we quickly became friends and enjoyed spending the evenings with them, the PH’s and Pieter each night in camp.
The next couple of days were tough hunting. South Africa had late rain this year so the bush was still tall, thick, and green. We spent a lot of time in the bush and many miles of walking. We saw some great properties, just had a little dry patch. It was not, however, fruitless. The beauty of the land, learning about hunting in South Africa, etc. all made the effort well worth it. Then on Day 4 we saw a wildebeest long down a road so we stopped and started stalking through the bush. Amazingly, when we arrived close to its location it was still in the road so we set up for a shot. It was walking directly towards us and while waiting for a broadside shot a female red hartebeest came out, then a very nice bull! Mansu asked if I minded if Daniel shot the bull and I was actually thinking the exact same thing as it was a nice animal. I approved and Daniel bagged him. We enjoyed pictures and then had a toast of Coke (me), Fanta (Mansu) and Sprite (Daniel) from the cooler to celebrate his first African animal right there in the bush, he was so proud! The next day we were out for gemsbok specifically. We saw a very nice female (I wanted a bull) but we decided to track them to see if a bull was with them. It was a difficult track due to changing wind but we were able to sneak up on them as they were grazing. Mansu spotted the bull but where I was, could not see him. Mansu said we would take 2 small steps to the left and he would get the sticks up. Sure enough, those 2 steps put him into perfect sight and shortly thereafter we were having pictures with a very nice 36" bull! We dropped him off at the skinning shack and went back out for warthog. Only an hour into our sit, shortly after we finished our lunch in the bush, a nice boar came out. Daniel made a very nice shot and he had his warthog. Pieter asked for a specific pose with us next to the warthog, which we had a lot of fun with. We saw a kudu that evening, but Mansu suggested we wait for a larger one, so we did. Day 6 we went up to a property in the mountains for kudu along with another guy in camp and his PH. We saw many animals, but no kudu, of course. They saw some at dusk, but no shot. Day 7 Daniel and I returned to that same property and hunted hard. About an hour before dark, we got on a group of kudu and I had one in my crosshairs but Mansu told me not to shoot as he was still confident we could find a larger one. I am not going to lie, after almost a week of hunting it was difficult not to pull the trigger as it was nice (he estimated around 50 inches) but I took his advice. The individual with us from the property suggested we try one thing before dark as he often sees kudu there at night. He advised me, though, that it would be nearly dark by the time we arrived and I would likely have to make a difficult low light shot on a moving animal. I said I would try and only shoot if confident, so we went to look. Indeed, about 200 yards out was a very nice bull, moving slowly right to left. I had a good view of his shoulder and he was quartered away. I made the shot I wanted and he moved into the mountain. We got up there and noted significant blood trail so Mansu went after him but it was dark and when we went into the mountain, he could not track at all so we decided to come back at first light to continue. That night the rest of my family (wife and 2 other children) and my in-laws arrived so camp was full that evening! My wife joined us to track my kudu the next day. His tracks revealed that he was dragging a front leg and with the blood it was felt to be a good shot that would result in a quick track…but that was not the case. We quickly did find him but he jumped and ran straight up the mountain. It took almost 3 hours of tracking him up and around the mountain until we got to a place where I had an open shot to finish him. It turned out that my first shot was well placed but as he was quartered away the bullet slipped in front his vitals on one side and he was able to go a very long way on one lung. But we were rewarded for the effort (and the amazing tracking skill of Mansu) with a 54.5” kudu! While we were enjoying the kudu my father-in-law was also hunting. He had a great day as well, tagging a very nice sable and red hartebeest! The next day I stayed back from hunting as my daughter had earned enough money to pay for herself, mom and grandma to go to the elephant experience and I watched our other child, Noah. Grandpa took Daniel back out with his PH for what was proving to be an elusive wildebeest. He did not bag one (despite a good chance) that morning but the girls had a wonderful time. The final day Daniel got a 2nd chance at a wildebeest and did not miss, rounding out our 10 days of hunting! In total we spent over 100 hours in the bush and walked over 70 miles. (Quick note, please don’t read this and think this is how you have to hunt! There are many ways you can hunt here and they are more than happy to hunt the way you wish. I specifically wanted to get out and into the bush. They told me it would be some work on my part but it is what I wanted. If you are not in the physical shape to do this there are many other options for you here. However, if you are like me, and want to be out on foot stalking animals in the bush - have at it!) It was a truly outstanding hunting experience and I would very much recommend Cruiser to nyone looking for a tremendous hunting safari. Now, in my introduction I mentioned that hunting was only half of it but, being the half people typically want to hear I put that first. I will preface this part by saying that it is the people that make this place. I am certain that there are many outfits in South Africa that can get you on animals. I doubt there are many that can give you this overall experience. It started with Cruiser Bob, who did a fantastic job with communication prior to the safari. A quick piece of advice...follow his instructions. I read his material more than once and there was nothing I needed. His advice is sound and his communication is good. It was a very positive start to the process. Pieter has done a very nice job at assembling a very good staff on site as well. From the moment we walked out of the truck on arrival DelMarie had a refreshing drink for us and the hospitality did not stop there. She ensured we had everything we could need, making sure Daniel had the hot cocoa he requested and even made sure our son with Angelman syndrome had the food he preferred. Simon and his wife kept the rooms very clean and ensured we had a warm water bottle in bed each night (which I may very well start doing at home!). Pieter and his wife, Lizelle, were very welcoming hosts. We were fortunate that 2 of their children were home on break, Christiaan was very fun to talk to and I hope that someday he carries on with the work his father is doing when he completes millwright school. Their youngest daughter, Clarissa, was the same age as Daniel and they enjoyed playing pool together in the evening and when my daughter, Hannah, arrived they were instant friends and enjoyed playing and teaching Hannah how to find scorpions, etc. I don’t know how to describe it other than to say that for those 12 days we were with them we felt like we were part of their family. We were welcomed with open arms and the entire staff was nothing but gracious to our family. The question is not if we will return but when. There is a quote you may be familiar with that the only man to be envied is the one leaving for his first Africa hunting experience. I now understand what that author meant. However, there is also an anticipation for a return safari that might just be even greater now knowing what I experienced with this first.Read More
Animals taken: Sable*, Red Hartebeest*
(See Above Story)
NICK, TALIN, NICHOLAS & DOMINIC
Animals taken: Cape Buffalo*, 2 – Gemsbok*, 2 – Impala*, Blesbok*, Blue Wildebeest*
(Nicks PH) IT WAS NICK`S SECOND TIME WITH CRUISER SAFARIS, BUT THIS TIME WITH HIS FAMILY. NICK CAME TO HUNT HIS CAPE BUFFALO. NICK AND HIS 2 SONS ARIVED AT CAMP AND WENT TO THE SHOOTING RANGE. AFTER A FEW ROUNDS EVERY THING IS SET FOR THE HUNT.
WE WENT OUT THE NEXT MORNING EARLY THE MORNING TO GO AND FOUND SOME FRESH TRACKES. AFTER AN COUPLE OF HOURS OF TRACKING WE FOUND THE BULLS BUSY CRAZING. THERE WERE 4 BULLS BUT COULD NOT MAKE OUT WITCH ONE WAS A GOOD BULL. SUDDENLY THE WIND BUSTED US AND THEY TOOK OFF. WE DECIDE TO LEAVE HEM AND WENT FOR LUNCH. AFTER LUNCH WE WENT BACK AND STARTED TO FOLLOW SOME NEW TRACKS. IT WAS ABOUT AN HOUR AFTER WE STARTED WALKING THE TRACKS THEN THERE WAS THE BIG OLD BULL STANDING. I PUT NICK ON THE STICKS AND THE SHOT WHENT OF BOOM!
WE FOUND A GOOD AMOUNT OF BLOOD FOR THE NEXT 300 YARDS. UNLUCKY WE DID NOT FOUND THE BULL THAT DAY AND WENT BACK EARLY THE NEXT MORNING. WE STARTED WERE WE LEFT THE BLOOD TRAIL THE PREVIES DAY. AFTER JUST 15MIN ON THE TRAIL THERE WAS THIS BULL STANDING ON HIS FEET LOOKING AT US. NICK GAVE THE BULL ANOTHER 2 ROUNDS ON THE SHOULDER AND WENT STRAIGHT DOWN. NICK WAS A VERY HAPPY MAN GOIING HOME WITH HIS MONSTER BUFFALO.
Animals taken: Kudu*, Impala* Gemsbok*, Blue Wildebeest (F), Warthog
(Steve) My wife and I had a lot of memorable moments. Our private anniversary dinner was special as it came as a surprise to us. We also had a BBQ dinner down by the river one evening with another hunting family, part of the staff and Peiter and Lizelle and their family. The last evening of our stay Peiter took my wife and I to look at his prize Sables. Peiter explained his breeding Hierarchy and pointed out his animals calling them by name. I could sense his pride and admiration of his animals. I come from a family of dairy farmers who felt the same passion for their animals. The evenings before dinner was very much like our deer camp here in the U.S., we shared the days events over a drink of choice and reflected. This was the first hunt since the passing of my father and mother. The atmosphere we had in the lodge was the same felt in our deer camps. Every morning it was new anticipation like opening presents on Christmas morning.
Animals taken: Warthog*, Impala*, Blue Wildebeest*, Kudu* (53”), Red Hartebeest*
(Kevin) I’m a Theodore Roosevelt reprisor and after reading his book (30 years ago): African Game Trails, and passing it along to 2 other close friends we all dreamed of doing the same thing. Now 30 years later that dream came true when 3 Best Friends and their wives traveled to South Africa and met Pieter and Lizelle and their family and staff. We were all successful in our hunts and the wives also had a wonderful time. Our host Pieter took the wives under his wing and entertained them with photo safaris and excursions, which kept them delighted. “When Momma’s happy … Everyone’s happy” and the hunting was amazing. We had such a good time that our group is already talking about another African Safari.
(Dara): Arriving in Johannesburg was thrilling the flight was long but well worth the time. There were 6 of us (3 couples) the hunters of the group have been talking about doing this trip for almost 30 years and it finally came to reality. The wives (non-hunters) knew there would be things to do other than go out and stalk animals - we could stalk them to take photos of them or learn to cook the meat. The lodge was cozy, comfortable and very inviting, we truly felt like royalty and family all at the same time. The extra touches of bed turn down, water, candy, cleaning our room, laundry and DelMarie preparing & serving every meal was just amazing. Sitting around the fire at night was one of my favorite things to do; getting to know our hosts and PH’s, as well as hearing the guy’s stories from the days hunt was truly amazing for us to get additional perspective. My favorite activities were cooking as well as going out looking at all the animals. Although the Fishing & Boat excursion was fun too! The animals that we encountered on all of the different properties were just beautiful and we learned so much about each species of them. Pieter’s Sable’s are truly amazing and the “Up close/hands on” experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity, that I will never forget. I think my most memorable and Best thing was sitting around the big table for the evening picnic with the entire Family, praying over a great cooked meal then singing around the camp fire and looking at the stars. It was my favorite night. Thank you Pieter, Lizelle and staff from the bottom of our hearts. It was without a doubt The BEST Vacation I’ve ever had - and that includes going to Ireland for our Honeymoon.
Animals taken: Impala*, Zebra, Gemsbok, Kudu, White Blesbok*
(Rob’s PH) A HUNT THAT STOOD OUT FOR ME, WICH MYSELF AND ROB DID WAS THE KUDU. ON THE 4TH DAY OF HIS SAFARI WE WENT TO A DIFFERENT PROPERTY, WE DROVE AROUND FOR A SHORT WHILE JUST TO GET A BETTER IDEA OF WHERE ON THE PROPERTY WE WOULD START OUR HUNT. WE GOT OF THE LAND CRUISER AND WENT STRAIGHT INTO THE WIND, WHICH WAS BLOWING QUITE HARD. AFTER ABOUT AN HOUR OF STALKING THROUGH SOME THICKER BUSH IT STARTED OPENING UP A BIT AND WE SPOTTED A TREE MOVING IN THE DISTANCE, ABOUT 200 METERS AHEAD OF US. I KNEW IMMEDIATELY THAT THIS WAS A KUDU BULL. WE STALKED UNTILL WE GOT ABOUT 50 METERS AWAY FROM THE SPOT WHERE THE BULL WAS USING HIS HORNS TO BREAK LIMBS OFF, TO GET TO THE TOP LEAVES. WE STOOD THERE FOR ABOUT 15 MIN AND THE BULL DID NOT KNOW WE WHERE THERE. I THEN MOVED TO THE LEFT AND SLOWLY OPENED THE SHOOTING STICKES, ROB GOT IN POSITION AND THEN WE WAITED SOME MORE. AFTER A WHILE THE BULL MOVED SO WE COULD JUST SEE HIS SHOULDER THROUGH SOME BRUSH, ROB TOOK HIS TIME AND MADE A PERFECT SHOT AND THE BULL EXPIRED WITHIN SECONDS. IT WAS A MEMORABLE HUNT AND ONE THAT I WILL REMEMBER.
Animals taken: Cape Buffalo*, Zebra, Gemsbok*, Blesbok*
(Jeff’s PH): JEFF COME OVER TO AFRICA HUNTING WITH CRUISER SAFARIS. IT WAS HIS FIRST TIME IN AFRICA AND JEFF`S MAIN TROHY THAT HE WANT`S TO HUNT IS A CAPE BUFFALO.
WE STARTED OFF THE MORNING BY THE SHOOTING RANGE, TO MAKE SURE EVERY THING IS GOOD BEFORE GOING OUT HUNTING. GUNS ARE READY AND SO ARE WE OFF WE GO. AFTER DRIVING AROUND LOOKING FOR SOME FRESH BUFFALO TRACKS WE FINALLY FOUND SOME GOOD TRACKS. WE START TRACKING THE TRACKS FOR ABOUT 1 HOUR AND SPOTTED THEM BUSY GRAZING BETWEEN THICK BUSH. THE WIND SUDENLY CHANGED AND THEY TOOK OFF. TRACKING STARTED OVER AGAIN. THEN AFTER 30 MINUTES WE FOUND THEM AGAIN STANDING BETWEEN THICK BUSH. WE WERE ABLE TO MAKE A GOOD SHOT THROUGH A SMALL HOLE. WE WAITED FOR 20 MIN BEFORE GOING ON THE TRACKS. AS WE STARTED, WE FOUND THE BULL ALREADY LYING DOWN. JEFF PUT ANOTHER FEW ROUNDS IN THE BULL BUT IT JUST KEPT ON GOING. FINALLY, AFTER 8 SHOTS THE BIG BULL WENT DOWN. JEFF WENT HOME WITH A MONSTER OFF A BUFFALO BULL. A VERY HAPPY CLIENT.
Animals taken: Sable*, Nyala*, Eland*, Bushbuck*, Waterbuck
(John); I'll highlight the bushbuck hunt. We went north to the property on the Limpopo River, bordering Botswana, Stalked all morning along the river and in the adjacent grasslands and bush. Early on we saw a couple monster bushbuck within about 100 yards but.... They were in Botswana :-). We were seeing lots of bushbuck they were very spooky and canny much like a Whitetail, our usual view was them dashing off into the bush. During the morning hunt we saw a couple shootable males but we passed as Rudolph was confident, we could do better. After a quick lunch and a short nap at an abandoned camp alone the river we headed out for our afternoon-dark attempt to locate the quality bushbuck we were after. Retracing our morning stroll along the river, we saw some crocs', leopard tracks (likely cause for the bushbuck being so high strung and alert) as well as a shooter class bushbuck, again after judging we decided to pass and keep looking. After that pass we continued to see females and two young males but "shooter" males seemed to have dried up. We had only about 1/2 left of shooting light, fifteen to twenty minutes passed light was low, you know those perfect "magic" minutes for hunting. We exited some brush and scanned across an open grassland, there on the other edge was a female, accompanied by a male of the class we were looking for, only minutes of light and we had to close and make the shot. As we were closing, they began to move off into the bush. The female continued but to our luck the male stopped to rub his horns on a tree, perfect distraction for us to move in for the shot. In the last minutes of light, we moved to the wiggling bush the bushbuck was rubbing. From about 70 yards we had a weird hard quartering away shot. I say weird because the bushbuck was bent around and contorted rubbing a bush next to a larger tree. After a couple seconds trying to figure out exactly what part of the anatomy, I was looking I pick a spot behind the rib, aiming for where I felt the opposite front shoulder would be and pressured the trigger. At the shot the bushbuck was going into the thickets. Light was getting very low so we dashed to the spot where he rubbed when I shot, to our surprise there in the large tree which was behind him was my 180 grain TTSX sticking just barely into the tree, still hot to the touch. To our surprise and my horror, no blood, lungs, or other spoor to follow. The bullet, which I still have was easily popped from the tree and it showed no signs of a hit. Rudolph, Rob and I looked from the tree to where we stood for the shot and concluded there was no way the bullet could have gotten from there into the tree, which was only a couple inches from the bushbuck without a hit. In a slight panic and rush, light was about gone we search and found nothing, Rudolph called Samuel (our tracker) to get to us ASAP and add his keen eye to the search, Samuel arrived in minutes, we regrouped and made another pass, the four of us spread out, Rudolph and I to the left, Samuel and Rob to the right, in about 15 seconds Samuel and Rob saw blood on the right side path, a few seconds later we found him, not 20 yards from that tree, jammed under a thicket the shot had been perfect enter behind the onside rib, exited out the opposite shoulder. Photo's in the dark, smiles all around..
Animals taken: Blesbok*, Kudu* (52 5/8”), Zebra, Gemsbok*, Impala*, Warthog
(Rob’s PH) ROBERT AND JOHN VISIT CRUISER FOR AN GOOD SAFARI, IT WAS ROBERT FIRST TIME WITH US AND JUST HAD A BLAST. ROBERT HUNTED 6 VERY NICE TROPHIES.
THE BEST AND HARDEST STALK WE DID WAS THE ZEBRA. IT WAS ON DAY 3 WHEN WE TOOK A VERY NICE ZEBRA. STARTED OFF EARLY THE MORNING LOOKING FOR THEM WITH NO LUCK YET FOR A SHOT. WE MADE A FEW STALKS WITH STILL NO LUCK. WE WENT BACK TO THE LODGE FOR LUNCH, WENT BACK AFTER 2 HOURS AND KEPT SEARCHING FOR THOSE BLACK AND WHITE STRIPES. AROUND THE CORNER WE GO AND THEY CROSS THE ROAD INFRONT. STOP THE TRUCK AND JUMP OFF.
WE STARTED TO WALK THE TRACKES WHERE THEY CROSSED THE ROAD. AFTER ABOUT 1 HOUR STALKED WE FOUND THEM BUSY GRAZING AND HAD NO IDEA WITH US IN THE AREA. WE JUST STOPPED AND WAIT UNDER A TREE FOR THEM TO MOVE IN THE OPEN, AFTER A WHILE A BIG MALE STEPPED OUT AND ROBERT PULLED THE TRIGGER BOOM, HE MADE A VERY GOOD DOUBLE LUNG SHOT, THAT MADE THE ZEBRA WENT DOWN AFTER ABOUT 60 YARDS.
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