The Selous

    This is a strange day for me, 12 August. I am about to be hosted by good friends and clients in a dream destination, in the middle of possibly Africa’s greatest game reserve, named after Africa’s greatest hunter. This destination conjures up all sorts of thoughts and images, and has been on my bucket list.

    Doing what I am doing today is one of the reasons I started the African Hunting Gazette to experience destinations firsthand, then do my best to share what I experienced. I’ll never get to them all, but there are number of trusted friends and colleagues and acquaintances who have visited many more destinations than I can alone, and I will do my best in spreading their firsthand accounts.

    It is a special time of my life for so many reasons. One, because the industry, and me personally, is managing to come up for air after a dreadful two-plus years.

    It’s also a time when reuniting with so many travelling hunters to Africa has highlighted important things. Our connections, friends and family. Time on earth, our health, and the importance of how short it all is. I have met some wonderful hunters at Afton with whom we have shared all this. Furthermore – this particular place to where I am going is special for another reason.

    My incredible older brother, who helped visit and verify so many hunting lodges, and years back flew over this reserve with his buddy as they did a trans-African flight in his Cessna 206, from London to Bulawayo – said, “Richard, wait till you get to see the Selous.”

    And so, I am ‘getting away from it all’ for 10 days, to that part of Africa’s wilderness that everyone knows as ‘the Selous’.

    Richard Lendrum

    Wildlife column

    The need for rangers to help in anti-poaching and anti-trafficking patrols is mounting every day, with 259 rhinos poached for their horns in the first six months of 2022 in South Africa alone, in addition to the 451 lost to poaching in 2021. Across Africa, this number is far more devastating – and although rangers play a vital role to limit the impact of poaching and protect the habitats of endangered species, they are broadly under-resourced and under-appreciated.

    The 2022 Wildlife Ranger Challenge is a multi-million-dollar fundraising initiative, which has raised more than $12 million for this worthy cause since being initiated in 2020.

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    Classic and Contemporary African Hunting Literature:

    In The Salt

    It’s been said that Lou Hallamore, one of Zimbabwe’s most revered PHs, has spent more time in leopard blinds than most of us have spent in movie theaters. His knowledge about hunting the great spotted cats is legendary, and is captured in the 2011 book he co-authored with Bruce Woods, titled Chui! – A Guide to Hunting the African Leopard. As you would guess, it’s very much a niche book, a manifesto targeted to PHs and clients with a passion for leopards.

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    A Vintage Flight for Doves

    South Africa is a sportsman’s dream: not only is it bursting with some of the most exciting hunting in the world, but when flying from Europe, there’s no jetlag. Less well-known are the fantastic opportunities for wingshooting, notably red-eyed doves and rock pigeon which are native to South Africa. These birds prey on crops, and the damage done to precious yields of soya and grains can be devastating. In May I headed out there with Marc Newton, MD of John Rigby & Co., to help protect soya crops.

    Flights are short between cities and towns and the birds’ feeding grounds, and we were able to base ourselves just 45 minutes’ drive away from the airport at Pretoria, in the luxurious Ingaadi Spa. 

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    Campfire Thoughts & Reminiscences Ch 8

    At one stage, when I was doing wilderness trails for the Wilderness Leadership School, I was asked to do a promotional walking trail with a group of journalists and dignitaries to help raise funds for educational trails for underprivileged young people.
    Included in this group were Heidi Muller of the SABC German Service, Greg Marinovich (a photojournalist with The Star), Willem Pretorius (a journalist with the Afrikaans newspaper Beeld), as well as several other media people. This trail was conducted in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve wilderness area and, after a few hours’ walk, we had been fortunate in seeing a variety of game animals. Discussions on the importance and use of various trees and plants generated a lot of interest, and notes and photos were taken.

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    The Magical, Mystical Karoo

    I suppose we all have a favorite hunting ground, a place where the days are longer, the sun always shines, and the hills are not too steep. I grew up in what I known as Bushveld country, generally flat terrain with the odd kopje covered in thick shrub mopane or thorn trees. It was in such terrain that I cut my hunting teeth and learned to hunt, and the Bushveld will always occupy a special place in my mind, particularly the south-eastern lowveld of Zimbabwe. In recent years, however, another area has earned its keep with me as a hunting destination as well: South Africa’s dry, arid and rocky Karoo.

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    The Enduring Mauser

    Deeply pocked by the great hooves, the path narrowed in a thicket. We slowed, stepping sideways to limit the disturbance of our passage. Peering to either side, we could see mere feet into the bush.
    It was enough. A wink of sun on a massive black boss stopped us. Crosswind, the bull faced our next step. Only a horn showed. I resisted the urge to ease the rifle up.
    Seconds passed. “Too … big.” I read my partner’s silent lips, and nodded slightly to the corner of his eye. This buffalo was exceptional, not the aging, stub-horned “Dagga Boy” I sought. The decision was now the beast’s: to yield, or trigger a dust-up. At eight meters, it would happen fast.

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    CAR: Africa’s Forgotten Wilderness

    “No, it’s not the Congo – it’s just a bit further north… no, rebel militia doesn’t jump out from behind every bush… yes, hunting is open there.”
    I find that the questions I am often asked about the Central African Republic are, in fact, an accurate assumption of the times in this part of the Dark Continent.
    In hunting and safari circles in the not-so-distant past, the CAR was a well-known destination with many safari outfitters in operation. It had a reputation for producing quality trophies, still evident in today’s SCI Record Book.

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    Hunting buffalo in the Eastern Cape

    After having to cancel our 2020 trip we were finally headed back to South Africa. The flight from Washington DC to Johannesburg was uneventful and, as he always is, Mr X was waiting for us as we exited the baggage collection area. We collected our firearms and headed to the Afton House for another great stay. In addition to my wife, we were also accompanied by Shawn Holsinger

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    Featured African Dawn Members

    Daggaboy Hunting Safaris

    Exclusive hunting for you alone or you and your group with Dawid ‘Daggaboy’ Muller himself as your PH and host as no other hunters will be in camp except you.

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    Johan Calitz Safaris

    Johan Calitz safaris  was formed in 1987 in Botswana as a sole proprietorship by Johan Calitz. Since then the business grew from a one-man operation, and in 2000 consisted of 5 concession areas with 7 hunting camps, with the head office in Maun, Botswana

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    Royal Karoo Hunting Safaris

     situated in the mountainous Eastern Cape where the Great Karoo meets Valley Bushveld. This means that the region is rated as the best African Hunting spot for Kudu in South Africa and a world-class Bow Hunting destination.

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    Stone Hunting Safaris

    Stone Hunting Safaris was established in 1998 by two brothers, Jason and Clinton Stone, both with extensive experience in hunting dangerous game and plains throughout Africa. Stone Hunting Safaris operate in South Africa, Namibia, Ehtiopia, Zambia and Tanzania, 

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