Early March saw newlywed, Dusty and Candace Phillips, join Professional Hunter, Gary Phillips, on a 10 day plains game safari in the Eastern Cape. Dusty and Candace would combine their hunt with their honeymoon, making it a honeymoon with a twist.
Dusty & Candace Phillips ready and raring for their Safari.
The hunt started from our Coastal Base Camp, with the hunters targeting the coastal species. Later the party would travel north to our Eastern Mountainous Area for a variety of high country species, and finally ending their hunt from our Coastal Area.
We invite you to join Dusty and Candace through the lenses of their cameras, and experience the thrill of being on safari……
Dusty had brought his bow along and wanted to give it a go if the opportunity arose, this old Blesbuck produced just the opportunity. Dusty wasted no time and bagged a beauty.
Candace together with Dusty admiring a stunning Burchell's Zebra.
Along the way they bumped into some of the animal kingdoms biggest....
And made the time to enjoy some of natures' smaller miracles.
Before heading north, the hunt was on for Cape Bushbuck. With the good rains we've had of late the going was always going to be tough. Late one afternoon they got lucky and made a great shot bagging this super ram.
As per our previous report, our Northern Areas had received unbelievable rain to date, arriving in our Eastern mountainous Area was a sight to behold.... And there was a promise of more to come.
Arriving in our Eastern mountainous area saw Candace join in on the fun! A good Common Springbuck.
We also taught Candace about her Springbuck's "pronk", it smells very similar to a mix of honey comb and candy floss. The 'pronk" resembles a great spiritual belief of the people who first inhabited the area, the Bushmen. The belief goes that only once the Springbucks' spirit has left its body will the "pronk" subside.
The guys hunted hard in search of top quality game - one could however not blame them for taking a break from time to time, the view was breath-taking.
The trophies kept coming - Dusty with a fantastic Mountain Reedbuck.
A proud Dusty with his Blue Wildebeest. He had to work hard for this one.
Midday lunches in the field were topped of by freshly picked prickly pears for desert! Now that's fresh for you!
Dusty was after the complete experience, how could one call it complete without an afternoon of vermin hunting?!
Or an evening of night hunting? Dusty bagged this great Porcupine and a dozen Springhares.
After seeing Candace's Springbuck, Dusty decided to pursue the Springbuck slam, with White, Black and this his very own Common Springbuck.
Having hunted what they were after in the north, the hunting party returned south for the final few days of their safari. There was still allot to do and time was running out!
The Phillips's safari may have been their honeymoon hunt, but it also saw Candace celebrating her birthday in Africa. We ensured Candace experienced an African birthday to remember!
Being after variety, the Phillips's tried some African bird hunting. Great Ostrich!
Dusty may have been doing most of the hunting, but Candace may have stolen the show with her monster Impala.
A Bushpig was the one animal that Dusty had specifically requested when he first booked his safari. While he had harvested a great Warthog on a previous trip to Africa, a Bushpig was his priority on this trip.
We had gone to great lengths on getting the pigs to bait, all we required now was a bit of luck and a steady wind in our face.
After having sat in the blind for two nights previously, our luck turned on the second last evening of the hunt. A truly happy Dusty with our Bushpig guide, Rufus. What a great Bushpig!
The last day of the hunt was to be a relaxed one, the all important Bushpig was in the salt and Dusty was truly a content man. At mid morning we received a call from our houndsman, Jeff Ford, Jeff had been battling with a specific Lynx for over a week. From all accounts the cat looked to be a very good one. The dogs had been battling to hold his scent and he often doubled back on the dogs tracks, making it hard to pick up any clear tracks. Jeff notified me that the hounds were in hot pursuit. If we had any hunters in camp who may be at all interested in Caracal, then they should drop what ever they were doing and get to the area immediately. Dusty didn’t need much convincing and the race was on to reach the area.
A super Caracal to start the season! Like they say:"Rather lucky than good!"
An exhausted, but happy group of hunters - Dusty, Gary, Jeff and houndsman, Maron. Having got the cat that had been getting away for quite some time now, certainly capped off a truly memorable safari.
Dusty & Candace - We hope you enjoyed your safari as much as we enjoyed having you. May your marriage be a happy and prosperous one.
From the entire John X Safaris Team – We thank you and wish you all the best!
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