“Eleven official languages, numerous native tongues, dozens of tribes, and yet not one native word for stranger…..”
That was South Africa 2010. The world came to view the greatest show on earth and South Africa produced a Soccer World Cup that will be spoken about for generations to come. Our country was vibrant and the soccer fever spilt over our boundaries and united Africa like never before.
While Africa was celebrating, the world’s economic recession was taking its toll on the amount of travelers and hunters from abroad. It goes without saying that season 2010 was about survival and a time of reflection on the quality of one’s product.
We visited the USA, Spain and Scandinavia, and enjoyed a variety of American, Spanish, Scandinavian, Mexican and Canadian clientele. Our season started in March this year with our last hunts finishing in November. We are once again proud to report a near 60% return clientele, a direct result of the progress we’re making in not wanting to be the biggest, but certainly the best.
Our "camps" in the south....
This year was the first season of our new John X Safaris website. All reports indicate that the new site is serving our hunters better than ever before. For those of you who are yet to visit the site, take a minute and enjoy our new fully updated web page – www.johnxsafaris.co.za. We’ve completed loading this past seasons “Trophy Room” – go along and see all the trophies that weren’t highlighted on our weekly Blogs. There are over 200 pictures to view!
John X Safaris entered the social media front for the first time with an interactive John X Blog and Face Book Fan Page. With over 1000 subscribers per month, our John X Blog has proven to be more than a hit. Now our hunters receive news, reviews and hunts on offer, on a weekly basis, ensuring nobody misses out on the action from Africa.
John X Safaris 2010
2010 saw the realization of a dream with the launch of our very own John X Safaris Coffee Table Book. The book includes all the hunts and hunters from Season 2010. It gives the travelling hunter an idea of our outfit and highlights our operation as one of the leading Safari destinations in Southern Africa. If you’re still searching for that perfect Christmas gift, look no further. “John X Safaris 2010” will be the highlight under the tree this festive season.
The hunting as always was superb....
Our early season hunters had to contend with hot and dry conditions in South Africa, which continued throughout most of the year. While the Eastern Cape was caught in one of the worst droughts in living memory, our early hunts in Mozambique were experiencing extremely wet conditions. Nevertheless our hunters enjoyed phenomenal success. By not only placing the focus on the hunter and trophy quality, but by bringing the standard of the experience for the non-hunter on safari up to par with the rest of our operation, has proven to be the difference this season. This doesn’t mean we slacked off on hunting or trophy quality, on the contrary we upped our game and our Professional Hunters proved once again why they’re some of the finest in the industry. Season 2010’s quality speaks for itself….
The drought was taking its toll in most areas throughout the Eastern Cape, never the less we still managed to find some "green" areas. Vance Hrechkosy took the monster of the season with his 54'' East Cape Kudu.
The "Boss" of hogs! Hugh Friedline came to Africa on the quest for a big Warthog. It doesn't often work out this well when one wants something that badly. For Hugh, it was a match made in heaven when he and Professional Hunter, Carl van Zijl, bumped into this 15.5'' Warthog.
Choosing the "best" Eland this season, proved to be one of the hardest calls to make. Quite a few came to mind, but Chris Petersen and Tony Indovina's bulls from earlier this season rivalled this particular bull the most. If you were after the long-horned Eland, then the bull we've settled on will not appeal to you. If you are the kind of hunter who wants to be part of the old Eland hunting club, then Gustavo's 12 year + Cape Eland bull would appeal to you. It boasted a navy blue dewlap that jolted its body into rhythm at every step. The tuft of main on the forehead was dark and plated, with horns brimmed down into blunt ivory daggers.
Even though there were many good Gemsbuck hunted again this year, there was no doubting that Doug Henrich's Gemsbuck lead the pack this season.
Hunter Robinson's Nyala was right up there in length, but this particular bulls shape and considering this was hunters first African antelope, proved to take the lead for season 2010.
The best Black Springbuck of the year came down to a close tie between the young guns on safari this season. Hunter Robinson's Black Springbuck out measured Kiri Foroni's. Hunter made one of the shots of the year to bag his ram, but in the end, Kiri won the race due to sure determination and pain crawling through some of the thorniest terrain known to man. He then went on to completely out do his ram and take him at under 30 yards. Something tells me he was having fun! (Not sure if his Professional hunters knees shared his enthusiasm!)
Steve Robinson may have hunted the fastest Klipspringer to date, it was also one of the best rams to date. "Better lucky than good!"
Bertil Friman, together with Professional Hunter, Juan MacDonald, and Jose enjoyed the finest day on the ocean this past season. Great going guys!
Filo Recio beat the men to it this year. The best White Springbuck by quite a distance, she went on to bag two!
This season there were no Lion males available on quota. There were however two Lionesses. Marc Hewston hunted hard and got lucky with a beast of a Lioness. Well done Marcus!
At no stage during Dave Monke's Lynx hunt did he have the slightest break in bad luck. He had to endure patience to the very last day, the last chance, but he got himself the cat of the season.
The Rolls Royce of Antelope - Frazer Wadenstorer could be considered one of the luckiest men of the season with his magnificent Sable.
What could be considered one of the very best trophies of the season - Lawrence Trunk with his magnificent Waterbuck bull.
The list is endless and we can go on forever. There are many of you who made the list without a doubt, we chose some of the lucky ones. In the end while we all strive to hunt the next monster, it is not the crux of the matter, on the contrary, it’s the chase of the hunt and the camaraderie of the safari with the chance at the trophy of a lifetime.
We’d like to thank our teams on the ground, our professional hunters who strive for the extra mile and our agents who work hard at keeping us busy. A special word of appreciation goes out to our good friend, Chris Petersen. Chris gave the insight to turn a dream into a reality. Your positive guidance has meant the world to us. Thank you. Our visiting Mexican, Jose, what a year we have shared. Never a dull moment and nothing was ever too much to ask. Gracias Amigo.
To our entire family – thanks for all the late nights and endless hours of support when ever it was required. A mammoth thanks to the ladies in our lives, Trish and Lee, the long hours alone at home while we’ve been away on safari could not have been fun or easy. Never the less you were always ready to jump in and help where ever needed, your support is certainly appreciated.
Last but not least, to all our hunters who have supported us for the past 27 years, your support this season has been no different from any other. We have been privileged to share in the true spirit of your adventure, and we look forward to continuing the growth of our extended John X Safaris family into 2011 & beyond… Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hunting Year! Carl & Gary – John X Families
Please note – John X Safaris will be shutting down from 13 December 2010 until 2 January 2011. For any emergencies or direct enquiries, contact Carl on firstname.lastname@example.org . Carl will be checking mail once a week.
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