Up at 7am , Frost in the morning “Am I really in Africa? “, it’s our first days hunting at the magnificent hunting estate, 2000 Hectares of rolling hills ,valleys , dry river beds, vast areas of woodland and grasslands. This was Jonathan’s and my first trip to SA and first trip Shooting game. On landing we were met by our 2 PH’S who loaded our gear and a short time later we entered the enormous estate which would be our home for the next 8 days.
The lodge is impressive, a roaring log fire outside surrounded by comfortable chairs burns 24 hours a day, and I was soon shown my large bedroom with swimming pool bath. I was unpacked within minutes and booted up we went to the firing range to check our sights and a sensible chat on safety. This was fun and got us all in a relaxed mood for dinner. None of that Michelin stuff !!
Good tuck which over 8 days included curries ,steaks, Roasts, chops, greens, roast potatoes and all that makes one feel well and truly fed. Great starters and the puddings to die for. My PH was Garth Lee , been a Pro for 12 years. Jonathan had his first kill that day a magnificent Warthog. I was in bed by 9.30 each evening as stalking these hills made us all tired and ready for an early night.
That evening we also met Clayton Comins who runs the very successful Umdende Hunting Safaris Company , Clayton employs Garth and Rudolf and the three travel the world to various game shows presenting the various hunting lodges and farms they represent throughout Africa. These guys enjoy enormous knowledge of their quarry and will organise trips in Namibia ,Botswana in fact wherever you wish to find your trophy. Each evening over dinner we would discuss our day and plan the next, these PH’s really know their business and ensure you are completely at ease.
They are competitive with each other and measurement of horns and a good bit of teasing was par for the course. The next morning was to be Jonathan’s big day, Cape Buffalo had been seen and it wasn’t long before we were all loaded up. Wow it was an amazing moment when Jonathan took his Buff and I could only imagine what was going through his mind. A magnificent beast, probably 19 years old with the scars of battle on his horn bosses.
We took numerous other species over the week, then guns were cleaned, lunch taken and with great sadness we bade farewell to our new friends at Umdende Hunting Safaris. They had done us proud and given us the most amazing, exciting trip of our lives, I have to say that hunting in Africa was never something I felt I had missed but now I want to return to this magnificent countryside , and I will and see our new friends again.
– Jonathan Williams