Months of planning, hard work, scouting and anticipation all came together this past week as we kicked of season 2012 with a burst of fun.
We welcomed back long time friend Carlos Junquera and his wife Angela. Joining them for their first experience to John X Safaris was Dionisio Antuña & Dolores Valle, J. Ramon Cifuentes & Pilar Menendez, and Victor Lopez & Rosa Gonzalez-Betes. Our time was limited as Carlos had planned a few days of hunting, big 5 photographic safaris, shopping, and finally touring the Garden Route to Cape Town. Right from the outset it was very clear that this group may not have come for a long time, but sure came for a good time.
Our first day saw us up at 5am; the hunters were off to hunt on neighboring concessions while the non-hunters opted for a day of more game drives and relaxation around the pool.
The hunters were primarily after Nyala and Black Wildebeest, but were open to any opportunities that may arise while on the hunt.
Dionisio and Professional Hunter, Carl van Zyl, hadn’t seen much for the remainder of the day after their early morning success. They decided to wait out the heat of the day and see what the afternoon would bring.
We all headed back to camp to share our experiences of the day. Spirits were high, with fun and laughter captivating the mood well into the night.
The plan for the following day would see the hunters head out for Black Wildebeest, while the non-hunters opted for a day of shopping and touring throughout Port Elizabeth.
Ramon, together with Carlos and Professional Hunter, Gary Phillips, headed out to an area with large populations of Black Wildebeest, Impala, Blesbuck, Zebra, Gemsbuck and Cape Hartebeest, just to mention a few. Carl and Dionisio decided that Warthog hunting would be their morning priority before catching up to the rest of the guys later during the day.
Now the pig hunters weren’t having much joy on their quest for Warthog, but had a few trump cards up their sleeve. After Ramon’s Zebra success, the hunters had continued in their pursuit of Black Wildebeest. By the time Carl and Dionisio arrived in the area on the hunt for a Black Wildebeest of their own, Gary and his team was yet to have had a decent opportunity on a bull.
A dig in the “box of tricks” on the back of the truck produced two sets of knee pads. The area was flat, open and vast. We had no option; it was going to have to be a long haul.
Now the ladies and Victor were very much busy with a few plans of their own. At various stages during their shopping spree Victor was asked to please excuse himself from their company. They were clearly up to something……..
In all it summed up our safari. Our season got kicked off with a burst of fun and a bunch of new friends.
Here’s to our next hunts and another successful season!
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