Summer has truly arrived, its been extremely hot but the early morning hunts have been worth it. We welcomed our first ever Swedish hunters to our concession in the Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Brothers Marcus and Martin Arildsson joined Professional Hunter, Carl van Zijl, for their first African safari. Marcus was interested in hunting plains game from our Coastal Camp, while brother Martin came along for the adventure. Marcus harvested a variety of trophies and enjoyed superb hunting conditions. A real highlight on our hunt was on day 2, while sitting at a waterhole for Warthogs, an unexpected Bushbuck male came to drink, as those who have hunted Bushbuck will tell you, an extremely agile and skittish animal that is very shy more often than not. The ram came in to drink at the edge of the dam that was well wooded allowing no room for a shot, at most we only ever saw his snout drinking. As he finished drinking and was in the process of making his way back into the woods, Marcus pulled of a great shot to bag one of the biggest Bushbuck of the season.
Day 3 saw us hunting Kudu, a tough animal to hunt at this late a stage of the season with a full moon and temperatures reaching into the high twenties Celsius by 08.30 am on most mornings, with not much luck and with opportunities that only the East Cape can produce we ended up harvesting a Zebra and Blesbuck. We were up and away by 04.30 am the following morning, again in search of the elusive Grey Ghost. We spent all morning glassing bulls not finding exactly what we were after, by midday we had arrived at a deep canyon, and after glassing the canyon for about 20 minutes, our tracker, Boy, spotted a bull feeding in the shade of a big tree. The Kudu bull was about 600 meters below our position, we back tracked a few hundred meters and started a slow decent in the bulls direction, the pace was slow going and after an hour we were finally in position for the shot. In the mean time the bull had gone to rest up in some thicker cover, the wait was on. Having spotted the bull at 12 noon it had been several hours before we spotted him again, at first no shot was offered and when the shot came it was at 312 meters out. Marcus steadied himself, leant into the sticks and squeezed off the shot, the bull seemed to duck without serious reaction, both Boy and Carl felt that the bull had been hit. The call was made and when the bull stopped at 340 meters , Marcus pulled of an amazing shot. By the time we had gotten to the bull he had made his way into the thickest cover to breathe his last breath. The first shot had indeed hit the bull, it just barely opened the skin on the bulls back and the second was a perfect lung shot. The real work of recovery was now only about to start, on every other day except today, enter brother Martin, Hand strength World Champion. Martin, single-handedly maneuvered a mature 8-10 year old Kudu bull the entire 60 meters to the truck. A site to behold!
The last few mornings of the safari were spent hunting some of the remaining species that Marcus was after and enjoying pub lunches consuming fast quantities of very cold African Beer and seeing some of the wonderful sites in our area.
The hunt was a great one with amazing friendships that were built, it could not have been a more fitting one to end off the hunting season.