Fresh Adventure - Safari Hunting in Africa
- Tuesday, 05 August 2014
Ever dreamt of hunting in Africa? Tony Jackson former editor of the Shooting Times and experienced Safari Hunter offers readers a valuable insight into booking the trip of a lifetime.
For the past 40 odd years I have been privileged to hunt in Africa, from the Sudan, to Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa, an experience which has left me with a trophy room packed with reminders of past hunts and a memory crammed with the colour, the occasional danger and the sheer excitement that is invariably a part of a real safari. For a decade or more I acted as UK agent for an operation in the Northern Cape, on the edge of the Kalahari in South Africa, but due to a change of circumstance I have now been operating for several years with Allan Schenk, outfitter and owner of Allan Schenk Safaris, based in the Eastern Cape and who is recognised as probably the leading operator in that part of South Africa.
Not only does Allan have a vast area at his disposal and an extensive range of plains game species, but he can also offer outstanding deep sea and beach fishing, bird shooting and fly fishing. All this is fine for the macho hunter, but what of his partner, wife or girl friend? Many like to accompany the hunter, or even hunt themselves, but others are more concerned to lie by the pool with a supply of refreshing drinks, or to visit safari parks, the Wild Coast or perhaps even ride an elephant in the famous Addo Elephant park. All this can be arranged, including visits to Cape Town and the wine growing regions.
Allan also has at his disposal several outstanding lodges, all with pools and set in peaceful scenic locations. Two are in the Colonial style, with stoeps and all have pools and barbeque facilities. One Lodge is set at the end of a two km track in the bush and surrounded by game-filled hills. Another, the luxury Huntshoek Lodge, overlooks the Great Fish River and from its vantage point one can watch Nyala, Bushbuck, Warthogs and Duiker in the bush... and then hunt them! This lodge has three cabins and an infinity pool in the main building.
Hunting with Allan is always an experience! Charming and determined to ensure clients hunt the animals they require, he makes a point of ensuring that everyone enjoys the full safari experience, and also takes into account age, any physical problems and the fact that a client may be enjoying his or her first safari in Africa. It is a much used cliché, but clients invariably depart as friends and return time and again.
What about rifles? Many deer stalkers prefer to take their own rifle, while ideal calibres are .270, .308 and .30-06. The .243 is not recommended. There is not the slightest problem taking your own rifle. A temporary import licence has to be acquired and this is arranged, through my agency. It is far better to ensure the permit is organised well ahead of the safari and we can organise for a small fee to have it delivered to the client when he lands at Tambo International Airport, Jo’burg. This saves time and frustration waiting to have a permit provided at the Airport police office, especially when an internal pending flight has to be caught!
However, if you prefer to use a camp rifle then there is no problem. I have used Allan’s .300 Win Mag and know it does the job in very good style!
We are frequently asked about suitable clothing. Do not waste time and money on camouflage! A dark green shirt and trousers plus well broken-in walking boots, a fleece and jersey for cool early mornings, are ideal. Make sure you have a really good pair of binoculars, spare spectacles if you wear them and as far as headgear is concerned whilst the baseball cap is popular, I prefer a broad-brimmed hat which offer good shade. You do need a chin-strap to prevent it blowing off when travelling in an open vehicle. Baseball caps do not protect your neck.
You have grassed you trophy animal. Now what? We have an extremely good taxidermy company, Winterberg Taxidermy, who work closely with Alan. If you simply want a skull mount there is no problem, but most hunter prefer a shoulder mount or even a full mount, especially if it is one of the smaller antelopes such as a blue duiker or klipspringer. Big tusked Warthogs are plentiful, whilst for the specialist a Bushpig can be arranged or an exciting caracal hunt, using hounds.
Whilst many hunters seek a trophy standard Kudu, Springbok, Nyala, mountain Reedbuck or perhaps a Bushbuck, we can also arrange cull hunt packages at extremely favourable prices, an option often chosen by the first-time hunter.
If you’d like to learn more about Jackson Cox Safaris (my partner is the highly experienced hunter Jamie Cox) and would like to meet Allan Schenk, he is flying in from South Africa in September and we will be holding a presentation at Jamie’s house on the evening of Thursday September 18th, when Alan will be available to discuss safari requirements and deal with queries. He will also be at the Midland Fair on Saturday and Sunday September 20/21nd on the Jackson Cox/Allan Schenk Safari stand, so make a point of coming to visit us there.
For more info about Jackson Cox Safaris visit www.jacksoncoxsafaris.co.uk .