Just to let you folks know, I have one week left before I head across that little piece of water called the Atlantic Ocean and head to South Africa for my first safari for plains game.
I'll be leaving Denver headed to Salt Lake City, then to NYC before sitting down for a 15 hour flight to Johannesburg and then to Port Elizabeth where our professional hunter will pick us up to wish us away to a hunters paradise. Some may question our flight through Salt Lake but that is the way that the plane flies, at least the one that we will be on.
This hunt started last summer when I was talking with Still Hunter here on the forums about how affordable it is to hunt Africa. He informed me that due to his situation that Africa was out of the question. But another member who had been planning on a trip over for a few years decided to send me a PM or an email (I forget) telling me about this hunt that he had planned for this coming May. With me being the inquisitive type told him to send me some more information and I was hooked. I quickly contacted the operator of the safari lodge and soon sent him a deposit for the hunt. So at that time I was going hunting with 3-5 others that I had never met except for one of them on the forums.
I decided that I really should meet the others that were going so I arranged a stop at Mr. Hunt4duck home while I was over in the Denver area for a wedding. I met up with him and one of the other hunters that night and had a great time. Sadly the other hunter was not able to schedule time off for the hunt so we were down on hunter. My next meeting was at the International Sportsman’s Show in Denver where I met Rob (Hunt4duck) and Chris the owner of Zungah Safari’s out of Port Elizabeth on the southern cost of South Africa.
Over the next couple of months I learned the ins and outs of transporting firearms into South Africa and decided to use a service in Johannesburg that would get my firearm permit preapproved with a meet and great at the airport. They will take care of the firearm permits and meet us at the airport terminal and then take us to the SAP’s office (South African Police) to do the final paperwork and then they will take us to the next connecting flight to Port Elizabeth. While this service does cost a little bit of money I feel that it is money well spent for the first time hunter into this area. While the South African permits were no problem other than getting them my paper work a snag showed up here in the US in the form of a executive order that was signed by our President that started to enforce a law that went into effect in 2012 that had to do with the importing and exporting of firearms. This little snag turned into a nightmare with all the hunters that were flying out starting in April. Word quickly spread to the NRA and SCI and they put their lobbying efforts into full gear so now the law is put on the standby list and we are all good to go as if it never went into effect. At least for now.
So back to the hunt. I plan on hunting just a few of the many plains game and only bring home 5 for shoulder mounts. They are kudu, gemsbok (oryx), impala, blue wildebeest, and a warthog. There are a couple of others on the list for the hunt that I booked for but those 5 are the ones that I plan on concentrating on before I go after anything else. I have my bullets loaded for my .340 Weatherby Barnes TTSX 225 grain bullets over 88 grains of RL22 powder in a Norma case and CCI primers at just over 3000 fps. I know that the 340 is a little bit over kill for a lot of the smaller animals but it is the one that I am taking. I thought about my new .25-06 but I would rather be over gunned than under gunned when the shot arises.
I want to throw out a thank you to Arrowflipper who has been an immense help in giving me information on what I need to do and other things involving a hunt such as this. He has been a wealth of knowledge. So John if you are reading this I want to thank you again for the help that you have given me on this subject.
So in 3 weeks from Tuesday May 12 I will return with more stories and tales than some could ever figure on in a lifetime. I’ll have some great company and will see some beautiful country sides on a hunt of a lifetime.