Africa’s loveliest animal – without a doubt

    When do you hear about the first PH registered in the Eastern Cape, and then hunting the #1 kudu (63 inches) in Eastern Cape? Exactly. I really have to scratch around to unearth these gems of information because hunters can be reclusive individuals.

    I had seen Ian Wilmot around the shows for many years but had never really spoken to him. No reason. He’s naturally a quiet gent, and I guess after 30-odd years of professional hunting, has little to prove. However, just last month, when he overnighted at Afton en route to the Luangwa with a couple of clients, I managed to get to know him. Talk about fascinating.

    Aside from the fact that he was literally the first licensed PH there – license #001 – he hunted this magnificent kudu you see on the hero pic. For those who know this part of South Africa (note the vegetation and aloes in the picture,) it is an extraordinary feat. The story is in this AHG Monthly, below – and his full interview I have saved for the Vol II of the Legendary Professional Hunters Book.

    Plus, I have also given an account of what will go down as an incredibly memorable experience with Heritage Safaris, and that is my Nine nights in the Selous. I went overboard with the pictures, and feel free to ignore when you have had enough, but this digital platform offers a world of opportunity for this kind of thing.

    Sorry for bombarding your inbox as we did that daily blast of African Dawn Outfitters – but judging by the feedback – it was well received.

    Mid-month we will be bringing you the montage of all Dawn Members’ photos – Fresh from the Veld. On their behalf, we proudly present their trophies of the season for you to browse through. Nothing speaks quite like results – and you’re in for a treat.

    Till next time, enjoy this month’s issue.

    Richard Lendrum

    Now in Magazine Format

    If you prefer to read our monthly newsletter in a magazine format, you can now do just that! We've taken all of the stories in this month's newsletter and given them a touch of magazine magic so that you can flip through the (digital) pages and read at your leisure.


    Wildlife Column

    Africa’s conservation heroes were celebrated at the prestigious awards ceremony at the African Rangers Congress in Botswana on 17 September. The awards are an annual celebration to honour the courageous men and women who are committed to protecting Africa’s natural spaces and in doing so raise awareness of the critical and diverse work they do to ensure that our wildlife and wild places are safeguarded for generations to come.
    Now in its eleventh year, the event was hosted by the Game Rangers Association of Africa (GRAA) in Kasane, Botswana where rangers from across Africa gathered to share experiences.

    Read More

    Classic and Contemporary African Hunting Literature:

    Land of the Black Buffalo

    On a comparative basis, there is very little in the way of classic hunting literature focussed on what is today’s Botswana; professional hunting wasn’t prevalent there through the golden years of East African hunting. Paul Smiles’ autobiographical Land of the Black Buffalo is one of the few available books dedicated to this wonderful game land.

    In 1948, after serving in WWII, Smiles took on the job of game ranger in northeastern Bechuanaland, in what became Botswana following its independence in the mid-1960s.

    Read More

    Campfire Thoughts & Reminiscences Ch 10

    There are times when, no matter how carefully things are planned, nothing seems to work out as one hoped. I remember one safari to Botswana years ago which seemed to go wrong from the very beginning.
    I was contracted to do a photographic safari with a client who was the principal of the College of Photography in Johannesburg. He wanted to experience and compile a photographic journey through a varied wilderness region, desert, swamp and bushveld. I felt that Botswana would offer exactly the trip he was seeking.

    In those years, there was not as much choice of four-wheel-drive vehicles in South Africa as there is today.

    Read More

    Nine Nights in the Selous – Authentic East Africa

    Named after the famous African hunter whose life ended here, the reserve in this East African wilderness is difficult to describe in a few hundred words, let alone do justice to. But I will try.     
    In the heart of, and largely surrounded by the Julius Nyerere National Park, is the iconic hunting ground of the Selous Game Reserve, for decades a hunting mecca. At the outset, the government needs applauding for valuing and protecting their hunting heritage as well as they have for decades.

    And what a heritage it is.

    Read More

    Ian Wilmot’s Monster Eastern Cape Kudu

    The biggest kudu we ever shot in the Eastern Cape was a 63-inch kudu, shot 3 or 4 years back. Still the biggest kudu to come out of the Eastern Cape. And it was an interesting hunt, an enjoyable hunt. The terrain is challenging. And this kudu had been known about for a good number of years. They’ve been trying… the owners told me that for 4 years they’ve tried to shoot this kudu, and there are a lot of kudu on this place, and quite a lot of good kudu – but nobody could get a shot at this kudu, for whatever reason. I had a very good client with me, and the guy could shoot pretty well. I just put it in the back of my mind.

    Read More

    Young and Dumb, but Alive!

    In the early 2000s, I was running a private game reserve in the Tuli Block in Botswana. We had one particular elephant bull that was becoming a nuisance, as he was destroying our solar pumps and panels and threatening my fencing staff.
    I brought this to the attention of the Botswana Game Department, and they proceeded to show me the ordinance that said I could go ahead and destroy the animal and notify them of the GPS location and mark the left and right tusks.

    Read More

    Silhouettes in the Mist at Lake Mburo

    I had met my friend Peter “Bwana” Chipman of Kwalata Safaris in Zambia at the Safari Show in early 2020 and made his booth my home for the three days that I explored the exhibition halls. I asked Bwana’s advice for other “must do” destinations in Africa, and he strongly recommended considering Uganda where there would be many unique indigenous species like the Ugandan kob as well Nile buffalo. He took me to meet Bruce Martin, the owner of Lake Albert Safaris to discuss it. When I saw the full species list included topi and sitatunga, I was sold.  

    A sitatunga hunt became my primary goal.

    Read More

    My Hunting Journey

    My hunting life began in in Zambia, at a very young age. I used to go for my school holidays to Zambia, spending three months at a time. I used to pester my father to let me go with him when he went hunting, but as I was too small, I used to be left behind. I was six or seven.
    My brother Danielle is older than me, so he used to get to go with my dad and uncle, but without me. You can imagine the emotions, the feelings, the crying. And eventually, year after year, my dad couldn’t take it anymore and he said, “You know, you’re ready to go, let’s go.” So at the age of nine he took me for the first time, and I remember the first trip was in southwestern Zambia, and we spent 10 days in the bush.

    Read More

    African Dawn Members

    Would you like to update your profile?
    Update your preferences or Unsubscribe

    Copyright © 2021 African Hunting Gazette. All rights reserved.