As Johnny and pilot, Craig, disappeared into the direction of Beira, I saw a dejected Temba crossing the runway in my direction. With that look of a beaten man he stared at me before uttering;” I’m sorry.” I stood there for a minute taking in what had just happened, then realizing that he had turned and was heading towards his sleeping quarters, I shouted after him;”I’m sorry too.”
Here was a man I respected more than most, a proud Zulu tracker, a dedicated team player – but most of all a fine man. A man whom could be relied on when starring danger in the eye while facing a charging Cape Buffalo, yet he possessed a deep sense of humanity, a quiet ear to listen, and an uncanny ability to offer advice in the most subtle manner. He had sat out on the hood night after night, determined to spot a track – his “want” for a successful hunt was as strong as all of ours, yet he felt the urge to apologize for his part he had played in the failure. It felt good knowing my team was as invested as I was in the drive for success – it gave me hope knowing my old buddy, Dave Kjelstrup, would be landing in a couple of hours.
Dave was back on his third trip with John X Safaris, and this time we were after a number of species he hadn’t hunted yet, including an all important Leopard.
Stix had met up with Dave in Johannesburg, escorting him all the way to camp in the Delta, joining us on our hunt to gain further experience in Mozambique. And what an experience it proved to be for both Stix and Dave – starting off with a truly world-class Litchenstein Hartebeest.