Armando was back with his wife Roberta for their fifth Safari hunting in Africa. Previously Armando had made hunting trips to Namibia, the Limpopo region, and the Eastern Cape.
Armando was looking for a high-quality Lechwe, Nyala, Waterbuck, and Bushbuck trophies in a free-range environment.
I was on hand to meet Armando and Roberta at the Port Elizabeth airport after their long trip from Italy to South Africa.
We made the one and hour trip back to Olivefountain lodge, where Armando and Roberta settled in. We had the traditional dinner around the fire discussing the coming hunting.
Day one Lechwe hunting in Africa
We set off on a cold misty September morning to a neighboring property higher up on the escarpment about 20 minutes’ drive away.
Upon arrival, we walked to a high point and began glassing and located three Lechwe bulls down in the valley.
The mist was, however, very thick, and they melted away into the bush behind the fog.
The trackers stayed behind to try and locate the three bulls. We drove on to the next valley and moved ourselves to a high point and began glassing again.
We spotted a herd of Lechwe, but there was no trophy bull in amongst the herd.
At around noon, the trackers radioed to say they had found the three bulls form early in the morning.
We joined up with the trackers and made about a mile-long stalk. The older bull was lying behind a tree, and so we had to wait around an hour before he moved.
We got into position, and Armando made a one-shot kill.
The late afternoon we went to look for a Bushbuck and spent the afternoon walking slowly down a river bed.
We encountered several females and young rams but no older rams.
Before the last light, we found a good ram, but before we could get into position, darkness descended, and we had to abandon the hunt and make our way home.
As always, we spent the evening in front of the fire discussing the hunt and making plans for the following day.
Day 2 Nyala hunting in Africa
We left early and returned to the river bed searching for the previous evening’s Bushbuck, but he was nowhere to be seen. We then went to try for a White Blesbok out on the plains. Conditions were, however, windy, and we did not manage to get closer enough for a shot.
On the way, back we spotted a big Nyala bull heading into a thicket at the bottom of a big valley. After glassing him at some length, we decided to leave the Nyala and return in the evening.
Later that evening, we returned to look for the Nyala at the bottom of the valley below a big dam.
We hid out in a dry creek to see if we could spot him. After some time, we were able to find the Nyala bull just below the dam wall, and we mounted a stalk.
Midway through the stalk, some kudu cows got in between the Nyala and us, and we had to wait until the kudu moved off. We finally got into shooting range, and Armando hit a little far back.
The follow-up shot was high on the front leg. The Nyala dashed the dam embankment, and his momentum took him straight into the water, where he collapsed.
Day three African Waterbuck hunting
In the morning, we descended into a deep valley in search of Waterbuck. Around mid-day, we spotted two Waterbuck bulls, with one being an excellent bull. We mounted a stalk.
Halfway into the stalk, we stumbled upon a sleeping Duiker, which alerted the Waterbuck bulls, and we returned to camp for brunch.
In the afternoon, we went into a new area and spotted a herd of Waterbuck with a nice bull. Again, we mounted a long stalk. Armando hit him high in the front leg.
The Waterbuck bull went over a hill, but a good blood spoor was evident.
We let Black Jack, the long-haired terrier go, pictured below catching an impala from our last hunt.
BlackJack is fitted with a GPS transmitter, also pictured above. Somebody can see his position on a handheld device showing the direction and how many yards away from you he is.
After 20 minutes or so, the transmitter showed Black Jack as stationary about a mile away. As we began getting closer, we could hear here BlackJack barking.
We arrived to find Black Jack having bayed the Waterbuck, which was exhausted. A well-placed shot finished the hunt.
Day 4 African Bushbuck hunting
We spent the morning looking for a Warthog. After some driving and glassing, we found an enormous boar having a mud bath. However, he up and moved shortly after we began our stalk.
We decided to move back to the area where we saw the large Bushbuck. Waiting patiently while carefully glassing the area he stepped out about 100 yards to our left.
A well-placed shot from Armando and we had a fantastic trophy. This was the last animal Armando needed to complete his fifth African hunting trip.
Armando, a master SCI measurer, was delighted as all his trophies made the SCI qualification with ease. I explained that this does not always happen while hunting in Africa.
On the final day, Armando and Roberta spent the day relaxing at Olivefountain lodge. They also accompanied me to the great Fish river about half an hour’s drive from the lodge. A rogue hippo was in one of the farmers land,s and I was setting up camera traps to ascertain the movements of the hippo