Tanzania 2007 Safari
Following are some photos and a few details of our hunt with our long time friends, Roy and Rene Vincent, and their son Alan and his future wife Leoni.
Our long time friend, captain Gerard Dessart, of Emirates Airlines, was in charge of our flight. As Usual, Walter wasted no time in wreaking havoc on the plane. He broke the footrest that comes out of the seat, then he started chatting up all the air hostesses, who luckily had a sense of humour and gave him back as much lip as he gave them. In one of those rare occasions, I actually think they enjoyed his company as much he did.
Approaching the cost of Africa
At the charter flight lounge, where we met up with our American friends, Todd and Dwight. Walter wasted no time in trying his best to form what he called "our Americanos cartel" against the Arabs and Zims - he means the Vincents, from Zimbabwe. Todd and Dwight would have none of this. In the photos above is Walter, Todd, Nelson and Dwight.
Roy and Walter sharing a joke as they meet - their relationship normally deteriorates once the hunting starts. Walter has been lovingly described as "the professional hunter's nightmare"! And he has not taken very kindly to this at all.
Walter had demanded that Alan provide him with an air conditioner in his tent. Alan made a nice partition in this storage hut. telling Walter that it has "natural" air conditioning as you can see from the gaps in the wall.
Walter's bed with its mosquito net.
He does not look like a very happy camper, to the great amusement of everyone.
Proof positive why Walter is at the receiving end of everyone's wrath! Dwight is trying to check the zero on his rifle, and Walter is doing what he is usually good at!
WE needed meat for the camp, so when we saw those kongoni a few minutes out of the camp, we decided to shoot a couple of them.
This is the first time I have ever seen bees drinking blood. Those above were a small part of many more that were busy helping themselves from this kongoni.
Claw marks left by a leopard feeding on this tree.
It was a laugh a minute at the camp. And no matter at whose expenses the joke was, everyone joined in and enjoyed the humour. Alan, Roy and Rene Vincent.
Dessert after dinner. Nelson, Dwight, Lance Todd and Wayne. Lance was the PH for Todd and Dwight, and Wayne was their video camera man.
We followed a herd of buffalo for a while, and they seem to have disappeared into thin air. Everyone had his glasses out looking for them.
In one of the trees which is about 100 yards from this one, we had a lion bait. About 300 meters from here, earlier in the morning we found the tracks of a lone dugga boy. We followed him for 11 kilometers, making a full circle, ending up less that 300 yards from our truck! We never saw him. We decided to get into the shade of one of those trees by the river - the one you see a few yards ahead of the one Roy is crawling under. We surprised a lioness sleeping there, only seeing her from about 10 yards away. I am not sure which one of us got more of a fright. But, she just wooffed and ran off. We put our tarp on the ground and enjoyed our lunch.
Having a little nab under the tree where the lioness was.
Walter doing what he is good at. Cooking a BBQ
Kongoni roast. Mouth watering.
Toasting the chef
Walter trying his best to impress those who have not met him before of his previous fights with "dangerous animals". Showing them his scars to prove his point.
Our hosts, the Zims - as Walter calls them. Leoni, Alan and Rene
I was too far to hear what was happening, but, from the looks of what Walter is doing I bet it was not pleasant!
What every buffalo hunter looks forward to see when following buffalo. Genuine, fresh, buffalo bullshit!
Minutes after this photo was taken, we got into one of those African co-incidents that seem to happen so often. We have been following a herd of buffalo for several hours, and stopped here for a breather. We were going to take a break for a few minutes, then get onto the tracks again. While at the same time sending one of the trackers to bring the truck here, so it is closer to us when we finish with this herd. As you can see, we are on a small rise. The trackers and game scout are at the bottom, and about the same distance behind me as I took this photo is the top of this rise. We heard a car starts! Alan ran up him, screaming for whoever was in that truck to stop!
It turned out that it was Lance's car, with his driver in it. They saw the buffalo tracks, and went to follow them. Giving the driver instructions to wait a while, then drive ahead of them to a predetermined location. We decided to let them get on with their hunt, and got the driver to drive us back to our truck so we can have lunch and decide on what to do next. Lance, Todd and Dwight followed the herd. Eventually catching up with them as they bedded down for their mid day siesta. There was only one mature bull, but he was protected by several cows, despite the fact he was only 50 yards away from them. They never managed to get a shot at him.
When we stopped to have lunch one day, Alan found these two dikop's eggs. They were lying completely in the open, in the middle of this sandy river bed.
Here is a close up of them
A well fed tse tse fly
Our game scout. He looks like he is getting ready for a night out, not hunting.
A few minutes out of camp one morning, we came across fresh tracks of a herd of eland. Alan jumped out and went to investigate. A few minutes later he came back running with the biggest smile on his face. They could see they eland in the grass about half a mile away. We managed to get to about 300 yards from them. We saw several bulls, and one very old with a black face as you can see above. They were all in long grass, and from what we can see that is all between us and them. I fired a shot at him as he was standing broadside. He ran off in the same direction as he was standing, and then disappeared from our view. The rest of them just kept milling around, like nothing had happened. Both Roy and Alan thought they heard the bullet hit him. I did not not. We waited and waited, looking for our eland, whether dead or alive. About a half hour later the eland were joined by a number of zebra. Roy suggested I shoot a stallion which was feeding towards us. I did and he ran a few yards and dropped dead. We could see where he was lying. We thought it was strange that we could see a dead zebra, but not a dead eland. We had a bit of a quandary. The concession boundary was not far from us. And we did not want our eland, in case he was wounded, to run across. So we waited. Eventually they all walked off into the trees opposite from where we were. As soon as they disappeared from our view, we ran to where they were looking for our eland. We searched and found no eland and no blood - except our dead zebra's. Our trackers and game scout came over and insisted that the first shot was a miss, as they said they could hear it like a ricochet. We ran back to the truck, and drove to get ahead of where the herd was heading. The bush was quite thick, which probably helped us located them without them seeing us. We got to about 100 yards from them, and started looking for our bull. After quite a bit of time, we located him standing, but offering no clear shot at all. Again, the waiting game started. We were hoping that he might move, and while doing so pass through s a clearing. This he eventually did, and I had my chance of sending another bullet towards him. We could hear them all run off, and a few seconds later we heard what sounded like something falling down. WE went to look, and were very happy to find him.
The zebra we shot while waiting for the eland.
Those with sharp eyes might see the flying tse tse fly just to the right and below the bullet hole
We found this steel ball embedded under the skin on the eland's neck. There was no entry hole at all, and as you can see it was totally enclosed in grizzle.
The recovered muzzle loader's bullet with one of our 375/404 rounds for comparison
Our dining room
Late in the afternoon, while driving back to camp, we saw this reedbuck. He was walking away in the grass when I shot him. He ran a few yards and dropped. You can see the bullet entry hole just ahead of his left rear leg. It came out of his shoulder.
Liver for breakfast was very popular with some of our friends.
The eggs you have seen above have hatched.
A close up of one of the newcomers.
This might give you all an idea where we found them. They are the other side of that dry dung.
We followed a couple of buffalo for about 2 hours, when we surprised them in a patch of long grass. They ran off into the hills on the other side, and the only shot presented was a rear end into one of them. The one hit stopped, broadside. I put another bullet behind his shoulders, which did not seem to make much difference to him. Another shot was fired at him, we could see where the bullet hit him, again behind the shoulders. He did not even flinch! He then turn back and ran down hill to our left. I fired a shot at him as he was in full swing. He fell flat on his face, his speed causing him to tumble over. We left him and ran after the other one. About 6 kilometers later, we saw him lying under a tree. I fired a shot at him, and as he took off we ran towards him. We could not see him, as he was in some trees, but were hoping he might run into an area with grass where another shot might be presented. Well, apparently he did not know where we were, and changed direction, coming straight at us as he broke from the grass about 10 yards away! Alan was screaming WATCH OUT HE IS COMING! The buffalo changed directions again as soon as he saw us, turning to his left, presenting a good running shot at close range. I shot him in the neck, dropping him into a depression in the ground. He seemed to have disappeared as soon as he got the bullet. We gave him another one, just to make sure he stays down.
This is the first buffalo mentioned above. We went back to him after shooting his friend.
Walter preparing a belt from the buffalo hide, and Roy is looking in amazement at all the things Walter gets up to.
See how some bulls wear a groove in their horns as they rub them against the trees.
Our first camp
Walter, half naked as usual. I am not sure what Roy is referring too with his fingers.
Walter had very long hair as we left home. We kept teasing him about it. He said he would shave one side for each buffalo we shot. Nelson is making sure Walter keeps his promise. It was either that or a dip in that croc invested river behind him.