Go Back   TexasBowhunter.com Community Discussion Forums > Topics > Bowhunting Reports
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-09-2010, 11:01 PM   #1
MichaelW
Ten Point
 
MichaelW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default My Africa Experience - 10 days, 12 animals, Countless New Friends, Memories for Life

All,

I originally had planned to try and get everything together and share all at once, but just don't think that's possible....I think trying to manage one writeup with a ton of pictures would probably be too tough to keep straight and drive me crazy....

So anyways, I'm not talking about stretching this out for eternity, just over the next two to three days, add a little bit each chance I get until I'm able to share it all with you.

So here we go....
MichaelW is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-09-2010, 11:02 PM   #2
J-J Matt
Pope & Young
 
J-J Matt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Amarillo
Hunt In: Donley, Collingsworth, and Gray Counties. ND, NM, KS
Default

Bring it on, can't wait to hear about it.
J-J Matt is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-09-2010, 11:05 PM   #3
MichaelW
Ten Point
 
MichaelW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default

The actual planning for this trip began about a year ago, although the desire had been burning for a lifetime. Growing up I had two mentors when it came to hunting and the outdoors. One was my Uncle Wilbur and the other was a gentleman from the church always known to me as "Brother Stork". Each one recognized my desire for the outdoors and fueled the fire by taking me hunting as well as giving me tons of magazines and books to read. I can remember as a young kid getting my hands on every one of my uncle's Outdoor Life magazines. I always took great delight when a feature on Africa was done, hanging on to every word of the story and soaking up each picture of this far away place . I remember flipping through black and white print pages of the books given to me by Brother Stork, slowly reading every line and imagining the actual colors of each of the many animals presented in the black and white printed photos. As time progressed, I vowed to myself that one day I would visit this beautiful place with a seemingly endless array of mysterious and exotic looking animals.

Fast forward to present day and this desire only grew stronger to the point of bursting with each hunting television program, internet story, magazine article, and first hand conversation on bow hunting in Africa. Finally, the time was right and a trip would be planned. With the availability of resources at one's fingertips in today's times, researching and planning for this trip was enjoyable. After much research, which consisted of online stories, magazine articles, first hand conversations, hunting videos, etc., I decided to hunt with Dries Visser Safaris in South Africa.

Discussions with Dries began about a year ago and I can't count the number of subsequent emails we had since the beginning. The pre hunt communication we had was unbelievable and very comforting for a first timer to Africa. Every single small trivial question I asked over the year was answered. This hunt began as a plains game but eventually talks evolved into adding a lioness. Lion hunting in South Africa has come under intense scrutiny in recent years with very much of it being definitely deserved. I talked to Dries about this and he explained to me that as in everything, there are good and bad hunts. Unfortunately, the poor practices by some can cast a bad light on all. I expressed to him my interest in hunting such a beautiful and magnificent animal, but only if done under a sporting method. The idea of hunting lion with a bow has always interested me, but unfortunately, lion hunting in the most distant, remote and wildest of places in Africa has always seemed and will probably always be out of my financial reach.

Over subsequent conversations with Dries we discussed a respectable lion hunting operation in South Africa and a permit was secured. Dries told me about a concession available that is comprised of 46 thousand acres with the lion hunting taking place on about 10 thousand acres. The property was located about 6-7 hours west of Johannesburg a few minutes from the border of Botswana. This area is known as the Kalahari region. It is a very sandy desert type region. We would begin the 10 day hunt here and then drive the roughly 6-7 hours back to the Limpopo province area to conclude the hunting with plains game.

The route from my home to Africa seemed to consist of many legs. The first leg was the drive from Corpus to Houston on Saturday afternoon. I stayed overnight at my mom's house and got up early for a departing flight from Houston Hobby at 8:10 AM. This flight arrived in Washington Dulles at 1:50 pm. From there, the flight was suppose to depart at 5:40 PM, but after close to a two hour holdup on the runway, it was finally off for the 18 hour flight to Johannesburg which included one technical stop in Dakar.
After the long flight, I couldn't believe I had finally made it once the plane touched down. Prior to the flight, I had convinced myself that the 18 hour flight would be the single most worst thing ever experienced in my life...all in all, it really wasn't quite that bad. Luckily several movies along the way helped. I tried to sleep a little, but just couldn't. In total, I dozed for two hours or less.

After signing for each of my two bows secured safely in their respective SKB bow cases, I was on my way out of the airport. At the front entrance, I met up with the representative from the Afton Guest house and after waiting for the other hunters to retrieve their firearms from the police station, we were finally off.
MichaelW is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-09-2010, 11:12 PM   #4
MichaelW
Ten Point
 
MichaelW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default

This is the Afton Guest House where I spent the first night.
Attached Images
 
MichaelW is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-09-2010, 11:14 PM   #5
MichaelW
Ten Point
 
MichaelW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default

After the long plane ride and airline food, which honestly wasn’t bad….but well, was still airline food, I was dying for a real dinner, but traveling in Johannesburg at night is highly un recommended and going out was the last thing I really felt like doing.

The Afton Guest House has the perfect solution. For $20, a young South African gentleman offers to cook a ribeye with all of the trimmings. This meal absolutely hit the spot for this weary traveler. The steak, salad, bread and potatoes were absolutely awesome.

Here is the area in which the perfectly timed ribeyes were prepared.
Attached Images
 
MichaelW is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-09-2010, 11:18 PM   #6
MichaelW
Ten Point
 
MichaelW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default

After dinner I enjoyed conversations with other hunters departing different directions the next day. One gentleman was headed for Mozambique for a buffalo hunt, two others were headed to Namibia for plains game and still two others were plains game hunting in South Africa. After much conversation and wishing each other luck, I finally settled in for the night after the long day.

Unfortunately, anticipation and anxiety got the best of me and yet another night of little to no sleep as I only got 1 1/2 hours in before awaking early in the AM. I laid in bed waiting for daylight flipping through an endless supply of nothing on TV, and trust me when I say nothing, because the best thing I found on was South African rap videos.

A shot of the bed and TV where I enjoyed the art of South African rap due to my insomnia.
Attached Images
  
MichaelW is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-09-2010, 11:22 PM   #7
MichaelW
Ten Point
 
MichaelW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default

When daylight arrived the next morning, I walked around the area of the Guest House and took some pictures, and got a picture took.....I was finally here!!!!!
Attached Images
 
MichaelW is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-09-2010, 11:25 PM   #8
MichaelW
Ten Point
 
MichaelW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default

While walking around the Guest House, I noticed security is of the utmost concern. The Afton Guest house has security guards at the entrance of the complex and this is the perimeter fencing. Notice the tall walls, electrical and razor wiring. This layout of tall walls, electrical, and razor wiring seemed to be the norm in most all places I noticed in Johannesburg.
Attached Images
   
MichaelW is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-09-2010, 11:28 PM   #9
MichaelW
Ten Point
 
MichaelW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default

While waiting for my PH to pick me up, this is where I spent some time that morning browsing through several African books available on a nearby bookshelf.
Attached Images
  
MichaelW is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-09-2010, 11:33 PM   #10
MichaelW
Ten Point
 
MichaelW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default

Here's a few other items around the Afton Guess House I found enjoyable.
Attached Images
    
MichaelW is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-09-2010, 11:36 PM   #11
MichaelW
Ten Point
 
MichaelW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default

Around lunch my PH arrived and after the meet and greet we loaded all my gear and headed out for the long drive to the lion camp. Antonie or "Anthony" Lotter would be my PH for the next 10 days. In addition to being a PH, Anthony along with his wife runs a very successful dip and ship business, SWIFT DIP in South Africa as well. Along the way, we elected to grab a quick bite since we had a ways to go. We both got a big laugh when Anthony said "Imagine that, you come all the way to South Africa and have McDonalds...."

We traveled across a mix of everything from large interstate highways, to average two lane asphalt, to seemingly hardly traveled small dirt roads. Quite a bit of construction was taking place along the way so the drive time was increased. I was fine as it gave Anthony and myself an opportunity to get to know each other and discuss the upcoming week.

We finally arrived and after a couple of hours meeting and greeting with the owners, staff, and other hunters in camp, we settled in for the night. Here's a few pictures of the lodge area we were staying in for the lion hunt.
Attached Images
     
MichaelW is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-09-2010, 11:47 PM   #12
MichaelW
Ten Point
 
MichaelW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default

Amazingly, as attractive and appealing as this appears, this is the old lodge and they are almost finished with a brand new lodge. Trust me when I say it is truly unbelievable to see something so nice in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately, I didn't get too many pictures of the new lodge being finished.

Here's a few pictures of the inside of the lodge pictured above.
Attached Images
     
MichaelW is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-09-2010, 11:50 PM   #13
MichaelW
Ten Point
 
MichaelW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default

By now, you would think I would be exhausted and falling asleep standing up, especially with a bedroom like this awaiting you.
Attached Images
  
MichaelW is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-09-2010, 11:53 PM   #14
MichaelW
Ten Point
 
MichaelW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default

But unfortunately, even after just two hours the first night on the plane and one hour and a half at the Afton Guest House, I still just couldn't sleep. I was only able to slightly doze for an hour and a half. To be honest with you, I was just overwhelmed with anticipation and nervous energy.

Here's where I spent a large part of my night.
Attached Images
 
MichaelW is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-09-2010, 11:54 PM   #15
Bisch
Pope & Young
 
Bisch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Sonora, Tx
Default

Keep it coming! I think you just expeienced my dream hunt. I'll be watching for the rest of the story.

Bisch
Bisch is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-09-2010, 11:57 PM   #16
MichaelW
Ten Point
 
MichaelW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default

I sat out on the edge of this porch and thought about all the planning that had gone into the trip and could hardly believe it was actually happening.

I thought about my wife and my kids at home and wondered what they were doing. While taking it all in and imagining the start of my Africa hunting, which would begin with the lioness in just a few short hours, I heard for the first time and listened to one of the most amazing sounds I've ever heard.

The constant roaring of lions could be heard. The way in which one roar would begin and others continued to add in reminded me of listening to coyotes back home. However, this sound being made was nothing like coyotes back home. This continued for the entire night, and even as I returned back to the bedroom to try and sleep, I could hear the roars inside while laying in the bed.....
Attached Images
 
MichaelW is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 12:15 AM   #17
Heath
Pope & Young
 
Heath's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Midlothian
Hunt In: Woodson
Default

Don't skimp one bit on your story or pictures, I am in!
Heath is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 08:33 AM   #18
Jon-Paul
Administrator
 
Jon-Paul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Spring, Tx
Default

Very nice recap so far...Keep em coming.
Jon-Paul is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 08:39 AM   #19
daveally
Ten Point
 
daveally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Sugarland, Texas
Hunt In: Freer, Ozona, Falfurrias, Menard...wherever I'm invited
Default

I love these African hunt stories. Most of us will probably never be able to go ourselves so thanks for sharing y'alls stories and pictures. That places seems incredible.
daveally is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 08:47 AM   #20
Sparkles
Pope & Young
 
Sparkles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: McKinney
Hunt In: Young County
Default

Following along, but also going to check youtube for some South African Rap.
Sparkles is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 08:52 AM   #21
Ron
Pope & Young
 
Ron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Kings Creek Golf Club, Kemp TX
Hunt In: USA, Concho County and S.E.Colorado
Default

I am really enjoying your write up. Keep it coming!
Ron is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 08:59 AM   #22
Texastaxi
Pope & Young
 
Texastaxi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: West of Houston
Hunt In: now accepting invitations!
Default

OK, you've got my attention!

Now hurry up with the rest of it!
Texastaxi is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 09:17 AM   #23
KHo
Pope & Young
 
KHo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Kingwood
Hunt In: Leon and Nacogdoches Counties
Default

I am already a fan...EXCELLENT thus far as I feel like I was there with you. Thanks for taking us along...
KHo is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 09:20 AM   #24
kmathis
Four Point
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Default

Awsome trip!!!
kmathis is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 10:16 AM   #25
Double L
Pope & Young
 
Double L's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Belton
Hunt In: Texas
Default

On the edge of my seat here MW. Good stuff man.
Double L is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 10:23 AM   #26
DrtyDawg
Six Point
 
DrtyDawg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Corpus Christi
Hunt In: Karnes, Live Oak
Default

Amazing.
DrtyDawg is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 10:28 AM   #27
SolocamShooter
Pope & Young
 
SolocamShooter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Lufkin,TX
Hunt In: East TX
Default

Awesome write up! Following a long...
SolocamShooter is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 10:39 AM   #28
Chris Martin
Eight Point
 
Chris Martin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Central TX
Default

I've stayed at the Afton house several times, as well as met Antonie. Small world, I know you were in good hands.

Keep it coming.
Chris Martin is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 10:46 AM   #29
Howard
Pope & Young
 
Howard's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Hempstead
Hunt In: Carta Valley
Default

awesome..... Keep it going just like this....detail and photos many of us will never experience....we will wait for it
Howard is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 11:08 AM   #30
canny
Pope & Young
 
canny's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Lufkin
Hunt In: Houston & Zavalla
Default

Awesome stuff man. On day hopefully I will be able to experience Africa.
canny is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 01:19 PM   #31
"Q"
Four Point
 
"Q"'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Hutto
Default

This is awesome Mike! I remember how excited you were about the trip when we were in Axis camp, happy you finally lived it. Can't wait for more!!!
"Q" is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 01:34 PM   #32
Buff
Pope & Young
 
Buff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: AvingerTX
Hunt In: The World
Default

waiting for more
Buff is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 01:54 PM   #33
denimdeerslayer
Pope & Young
 
denimdeerslayer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Hempstead
Hunt In: Waller
Default

Looks like your were having to ruff it.
denimdeerslayer is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 01:55 PM   #34
ladiehood79
Six Point
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Spurger
Hunt In: Back yard!
Default

Awesome so far!! Can't wait for the rest!! The pictures are great.
ladiehood79 is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 02:57 PM   #35
agvet2004
Pope & Young
 
agvet2004's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Katy
Hunt In: Mason, Hempstead, Menard, Canada
Default

This is fantastic! Waiting patiently.
agvet2004 is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 03:38 PM   #36
Jamesl
Ten Point
 
Jamesl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: League City
Hunt In: Texas, Colorado, New Mexico
Default

good stuff! About as good of coverage as I seen. However, I'm a little disappointed in the lack of food pics.
Jamesl is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 04:05 PM   #37
trophyhunter
Ten Point
 
trophyhunter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Bee Cave, TX
Hunt In: Brown & Menard Counties and the rest of the World!
Default

Cant wait for the real pics!!!!
trophyhunter is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 04:19 PM   #38
D C
Pope & Young
 
D C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: League City
Default

Man you have me sittin on the edge of my seat already!
D C is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 07:19 PM   #39
FattLip
Pope & Young
 
FattLip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Weatherford
Hunt In: Anywhere I can
Default

Suspense is killin me! Need more of this story and pics!
FattLip is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 10:15 PM   #40
Buck Roar
Eight Point
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Edmond, Ok
Hunt In: Arcadia, OK
Default

Come on, keep it coming
Buck Roar is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 10:18 PM   #41
bowmansdad
Pope & Young
 
bowmansdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Baytown, Texas
Default

Keep it coming, Michael! We're anticipating the hunt to come!
bowmansdad is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 10:52 PM   #42
MichaelW
Ten Point
 
MichaelW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default

When the PH went to knock on my door the next morning, I was saying "Good Morning" before his hand could even touch the door. After the restless night of little sleep, I was wide awake, fully dressed and ready to go when he came to my door. We headed over to the new lodge for a hot breakfast. I put in my request to the kitchen staff and in a short time was enjoying one of my normal favorites of two eggs over easy, bacon and toast. I will apologize in advance because this entire thread will be severely lacking of food pictures. With this crowd, I should have known better.....


After the breakfast, we located an archery block and shot a few arrows. Talk about pressure, try having a couple of PH's, trackers, skinners, and various other camp workers with all eyes casually on you as your drawing back with that first arrow of the entire trip. To my dismay, everything seemed to hit a little low. I shot a few more times with the same results but chalked it up to being a little tired and nervous. After a few more, it got a little better, but honestly I just wasn't shooting well.
MichaelW is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 10:54 PM   #43
MichaelW
Ten Point
 
MichaelW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default

The plan was to load up in the hunting truck and drive the roads looking for tracks. Anthony explained to me that the lions like to walk down the roads in the sandy soil and that through driving the many roads, tracks could be located. Once a track was located, it would be determined how fresh it was as well as the size of the lion. Once we located a fresh track, the hunting would begin.

Here's a few pictures of us loading up to begin the hunt.
Attached Images
   
MichaelW is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 10:56 PM   #44
MichaelW
Ten Point
 
MichaelW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default

As we drove along looking for tracks, the warmth of the sun's rays was very refreshing on my face to offset the slightly cool morning, heightened by my anxiety and excitement over the hunt.
Attached Images
 
MichaelW is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 10:58 PM   #45
MichaelW
Ten Point
 
MichaelW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default

Driving across this beautiful landscape looking for fresh tracks, I could see a wide variety of plains game animals from my high perched position.
Attached Images
   
MichaelW is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 11:00 PM   #46
MichaelW
Ten Point
 
MichaelW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default

The tracker located on a seat on the front of the truck had the best position to locate tracks.
Attached Images
 
MichaelW is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 11:06 PM   #47
MichaelW
Ten Point
 
MichaelW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default

Prior to the hunt, bait stations consisting of a cut up donkey were also put out. My outfitter gave me the option to hunt over bait or spot and stalk. After driving a few hours and as we neared one of these stations, a lioness was seen crossing the road far ahead. We really didn't see anything, but a quick brown flash. We drove ahead to investigate, as we obviously now had a very fresh track.
Attached Images
   

Last edited by MichaelW; 09-10-2010 at 11:18 PM.
MichaelW is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 11:11 PM   #48
McPatrickClan
Ten Point
 
McPatrickClan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Arlington, TX
Default

Fantastic!!!
McPatrickClan is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 11:11 PM   #49
MichaelW
Ten Point
 
MichaelW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default

Upon arriving where the lioness crossed, my Ph advised that the size of the track as well as the stride of the lioness indicated a very big lion.
Attached Images
 
MichaelW is offline   Back To The Top
Old 09-10-2010, 11:31 PM   #50
MichaelW
Ten Point
 
MichaelW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Default

Anthony advised that due to the size of the track, stride length, and obvious freshness, that we should take it up.
Attached Images
   
MichaelW is offline   Back To The Top
 

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:35 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright 1999-2012, TexasBowhunter.com