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Posts Tagged ‘Klipspringer’

IMG_1284During the month of May, right at the heat of the rut, after the first frost had turned the summer green into a dull yellow, we welcomed a fun bunch of hunters from Texas. The group comprised of our old friends, Steve Travis and Glynn Underwood, as well as first timers, Derrick Ratliff, Luciano Batista, Matt Grim, Sam Stacks, Rolando Rodriguez, and Erik Isacson. Their hunt would be one of our biggest groups for the year taking on everything the East Cape had to offer, from the fleet-footed Klipspringer up in the mountains of the north to the ever diverse plains of the Great Karoo. From the north we headed south to the coast hunting a variety of specialized East Cape species coming away with a great bag of trophies spread across the entire group.

While the trophy photos tell a story of an immensely successful hunt for all involved, they do not capture the full extend of the fun and camaraderie shared among all during the course of this safari. These guys came to Africa to see, taste, touch, smell, and hear her to the fullest each day – living out their experiences as if there was no tomorrow. GTS Productions and their crew joined us on our hunt, fading into the background while capturing this once in a lifetime hunt for all. Enjoy the hunts, the various characters, and the many laughs along the way – These guys were the epitome of fun – They were ‘The Great Texan Invasion”…

For more information and current updates about John X Safaris; follow us on Twitter, connect with us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube Channel and visit our Website.

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The month of May saw us welcome back many old faces, with some bringing along new friends to experience South Africa for the very first time. Others joined us for their annual hunt to the East Cape picking up the shooting sticks with old friends as if their previous safaris had never ended. While I am yet to meet a hunter who has not thoroughly enjoyed his safari with us,  nothing quite comes close to the compliment of a returnee. For that individual to choose John X Safaris as his/her choice destination for a second, third, fourth, and in some instances even 9th trip, speaks volumes louder than words.

Dave and Ruth Stark were back on their second hunt with Professional Hunter, Greg Hayes, looking to pursue another Kudu, and then complete their Springbuck slam. They headed up into a newly acquired concession, bagging a number of great animals along the way. Their Lechwe, Cape Eland, and Common Springbuck, proved to be certain highlights on their hunt, as well as the continues pursuit of the kind of Kudu Greg was after for Dave.

The rut was running late, and even with the best planning and optimum moon conditions the bulls just weren’t moving like they usually do at mid-May each year. Never the less Dave came out more determined each morning giving it his all. After having seen numerous shooters the Kudu gods finally won this round, but we are certain Dave will be back to give it another go in a couple of years time.

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With the departure of the Stark’s we welcomed our old Spanish friends from Camino Real Hunting Consultants. Alvaro, Danny, and Roberto, had become great friends while hunting various destinations throughout Asia, Europe, and North America. Their passion for free-range mountain hunting in the wide expanses of the Great Karoo is what drew them to the East Cape on this particular hunt.

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The top priority on this safari would be the manner in which they preferred to hunt. In saying this it wasn’t that it differed from our usual approach, but it took on a greater meaning once one understood their motto; “Don’t turn down what the mountain offers.” 

And they didn’t….

Klipspringer, Vaal Rhebuck, Mountain Reedbuck, and East Cape Kudu, hunted hard each day from dawn to dusk. Having experienced Tanzania previously, neither Danny or Roberto had envisaged the East Cape to offer the diversity and possibilities on free range game and the hunting thereof. With our multi-area greater conservancies in the Karoo we could offer them something they could never have experienced elsewhere in Africa.

With the main priority species having hit the salt we turned our attention to further free range opportunities in the north before heading back south to the coast for the final leg of our trip.

The entire hunt turned out to be a fantastic trip with three great guys, all sharing the same enthusiasm to hunt hard, never turning down what the hunting gods offered. All three were proven excellent marksman, making numerous unbelievable shots throughout their stay with us. But in the end it doesn’t matter how hard you hunt or how well you shoot – it all starts with the hunters attitude, which proved to be the biggest winner of all. Luck will naturally come to those who choose to have fun, but none more so than the luck of a Spaniard hunting two dream pigs within the space of 12 hours.

Felicidades cablleros! Que caceria la que disfrutamos con ustedes!

By the time late May arrived we eagerly awaited John and Lynn Nowlin’s arrival for their 2016 hunt, which would see them embark on their ninth trip with John X Safaris, a special feat for all involved. Having guided them throughout Southern Africa they decided it was time to return to the point of their original “first” experience of the dark continent. This time they would be after a couple of mountain dwellers, with the usual opportunistic favorites being their species of choice. Professional Hunter, Ed Wilson, once again led the hunt in what has become something of a tradition.

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Having hunted a Vaal Rhebuck on a previous safari, the Nowlin’s were game for a second dual in the mountains. This time John hunted a challenging Klipspringer and this amazing 9″ Vaal Rhebuck.

Both John and Lynn made the most of their opportunities on Caracal over hounds, Impala, Cape Bushbuck, Mountain Reedbuck and Warthog, but nothing could come close to the Eland they bumped into on their very last day.

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For one to even start to comprehend the quality of this animal, one has start and end at the mop and dewlap on this once in a lifetime Cape Eland. While we hunt many great bulls each year – this one in particular will take some beating by the time our season gets wrapped up in late October. How fitting an end it proved to be on the Nowlin’s last day of their 9th hunt with John X Safaris. More deserving folks one cannot get – the harder they try, the luckier they keep getting…. the more often they come.

For more information and current updates about John X Safaris; follow us on Twitter, connect with us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube Channel and visit our Website!

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Imagine capturing the camaraderie of camp life, the terrain, the herds, the joys, and the hardships, those long stalks and the thrill of the hunt. That moment when a sneaky Kudu bull steps into the gap across the ravine, only to be met by a well placed shot from your favorite rifle. The thought of sharing the emotion of seeing your very first African sunrise as the sun creeps onto the plains from the east, then being able to share that with family and friends back home.

For the first time in our history John X Safaris has found the perfect partner in filming. Got The Shot (GTS) Productions and their videographers specialize in hunts, they know the game and what to expect. The GTS team shoots exclusively in Hi-Definition digital format, ensuring excellent quality footage captured as it happens. Their state of the art editing suite with only the best equipment will ensure broadcast quality productions time and again.

Now STOP imagining how you’d like to share those memories of your African experience. For only $200 / per day (Excl 14% Tax) you/your group (share the costs or make use of 2 cameramen across the group) can ensure your entire safari is documented, captured, edited, and delivered to your front door within months of your hunt.

If you are interested in booking a videographer for your upcoming safari then drop Carl a mail on hunting@johnxsafaris.co.za and we’ll reserve a cameraman on your behalf.

Enjoy the below clip from GTS, get an idea of what you could expect from your filmed safari, and feel free to view some more of their videos on YouTube @ Got The Shot Productions or email Pierre on pierre@gottheshot.co.za for any specific filming related questions.

Allow GTS Productions to ensure your African safari is immortalized for generations to come…..

For more information and current updates about John X Safaris; follow us on Twitter, connect with us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube Channel and visit our Website!

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As you start planning your next safari, we beg to ask the obvious question; “How do you know you’re choosing the right outfitter for your next African hunt?”

We know how limited your time is and we understand your concerns. You have a predetermined budget for your next safari, and you’re not only after getting your monies worth in hunting, but the entire experience. You want to hunt large areas and have a shot at world-class trophies day in and day out. You’re after an enjoyable hassle free trip from the time of booking until your beautiful trophies are proudly displayed on your wall back home. You’re after the turn-key experience with a professionally guaranteed outfit , and we’re here to ensure that’s exactly what you’ll get.

In fact we’re so confident in our product that we asked Craig Boddington what he thought of John X Safaris after his first experience on safari with us.

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Carl van Zyl and his team at John X Safaris are a real class act! Carl’s “home lodge” at Lalibela is one of the nicest lodges I’ve ever seen…and Carl has other concessions scattered around the Eastern Cape. Depending on the game you’re looking for, you can hunt coastal thorn-bush, high mountains, or the Great Karoo. Carl was my choice when I took my daughter Caroline on her first safari, and a great choice it was!
Craig Boddington

We then went one step further and asked Aaron Davidson, owner of Gunwerks, leaders of the long-range industry, whom have joined us on numerous safaris, to share his views on John X Safaris.

There is one thing I’ve learned from 10 years of international hunting, if you go with the right outfitter to the right place, you will have an excellent experience. If you’ve ever made the mistake of making the selection about the “deal” or package, you know what I’m talking about. 
For a South African safari, John X Safaris is the right place, and Carl Van Zyl is the right outfitter. He knows how to put you on big animals in an environment suited for lifelong memories. Our partnership to develop a “Long Range Safari” experience is in its fourth year, and I can recommend no other hunting trip or shooting event that will give you a better opportunity to test and improve your long-range shooting expertise.
On one trip, you can get a lifetime of not only long-range hunting experiences, but opportunities at big game like nowhere else.

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Carl and his team have a passion for your success, and they know how to find and stalk game the Gunwerks way.
Aaron Davidson

At John X Safaris we pride ourselves on our high percentage of repeat clientele, a direct result of our dedicated team of professional hunters, trackers, skinners, camp staff and office personnel taking care of your every need.

The Eastern Cape of South Africa is our base and home. This Malaria Free area offers a diverse combination of landscapes, vegetation and wildlife, together making it a unique hunting destination for the first time hunter to Africa. We hunt large Big 5 game reserves/ranches offering world-class Plains Game, Cape Buffalo, and White Rhino.

Further north, Mozambique’s Zambezi Delta is our flag-ship in concession hunting, making it one of the few areas where one has the opportunity of a true classical big five safari combined with a variety of plains game. In Cameroon we hunt the Savannah for the magnificent Lord Derby Eland, or enjoy the thrill of a Pygmy led chase on the ever impressive Bongo in the rain forest. Botswana and Namibia’s Kalahari Desert offers some of the best bow areas in Africa, with numerous opportunities on trophy quality plains game. While Zimbabwe and Zambia plays host to some of the best Leopard and Lion hunting in Africa.

SO if you’re after…

  • An outfit that welcomes all hunters, no matter what your age, physical condition or hunting capabilities.
  • Over 30 Species of World-Class Plains Game in abundance across large concessions.
  • Fair Chase Big 5 on large concessions/reserves.
  • Lodging second to none. Where you can choose 1 of 3 different lodges throughout the East Cape, with our base camp located on our Big 5 Game Reserve. Yes – you will hear free-roaming lions at night, and experience Elephants, Giraffe, Cheetah, Hippo, Rhino, Buffalo, and Zebra in the wild. You do not have to be on a Big 5 hunt to experience this at John X Safaris.
  • Unlimited Tiny 10.
  • Mountain hunting like nowhere else in Southern Africa.
  • Both large high-fenced concessions or free-range areas. We have access to over 3 million acres in the East Cape alone.
  • A hunt that caters to you the hunter – serious about achieving your desired results without “package deals” standing in the way of your goals.
  • A family friendly atmosphere where youngsters are welcomed free of charge. Take us up on our initiative of #Gettingtheyouthhunting
  • A destination that welcomes lady hunters and has been doing so for many years.
  • A destination that welcomes observers and prioritize their experience/s as much as that of the hunter.
  • A destination that welcomes groups, and can cater to groups by having large enough areas and a big enough team ensuring every member of the group leaves us satisfied. Feel free to take us up on #Groupdiscount or #Groupleaderdiscount.
  • Professional Hunters who take your safari seriously, ensuring your priorities are not only met, but your expectations exceeded.
  • An outfit who hunts for a living – You – Our Hunter, is our priority, not the ranch or any sideshows. Our business is hunting, and hunting only. We dedicate 24 hours a day to you ensuring your safari is everything you’d hoped for.
  • Hunting with an outfit that not only “talks” about the good work it does, but actually get’s it hands dirty making a true difference via our John X Foundation.
  • An outfit who believes in hunting for conservation – after all, if we didn’t practice what we preached, how could we still be the leaders after 32 years in the safari industry.

Then John X Safaris is the Outfit for YOU.

So if we have ticked your requirements then we’d like to hear more from you. Bookings for 2016/17/18 are coming in at a steady pace and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible during our upcoming travels across North America.

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Below is a quick reminder of our 2016 show and travel schedule. If you or any of your friends may be interested in meeting with us, please drop us a line, we’d be glad to fit you or them into our schedule.

USA – January/February 2016

  • Dallas Safari Club Show – Dallas, Texas: 7 – 10 January 2016 – Both Carl and Stix will be at the show.
  • Houston, Texas, Cocktail Party/Visit: 11 – 14 January 2016 – Any interested hunters can join us for an evening BBQ Reception at the Travis residence in Cypress, TX, Wednesday, 13 January.
  • Kearney, Nebraska Cocktail Party/Visit: 14 – 15 January 2016 – Cocktail evening with the Hertner’s in Kearney, Friday evening, 15 January.
  • Omaha, Nebraska Cocktail Party/Visit: 16 – 18 January 2016 – Cocktail evening with Steve & Jill Evers from Wildlife Creation Taxidermy, Sunday 17 January. Any folks interested in visiting or meeting up with us while in the Omaha area can plan to do so from 16:00 on wards at the Evers residence in Omaha.
  • The week of 18-22 January 2016 will see Carl enjoy a bird shoot in Vance, MS, while Stix will be visiting with our good friend Sam Cunningham in Amarillo, TX. Any folks interested in meeting up with Stix can schedule a preferred time during the week.
  • Jackson, Mississippi: 22 – 24 January 2015 – Carl & Stix will be visiting with our good friend Mike Jarvis.
  • Salt Lake City / Eagle Mountain, Utah: 24-27 January 2016 –Fun evening with all our friends from Eagle Mountain, Wednesday evening 27 January – Both Carl & Stix will be in Eagle Mountain.
  • Pleasant View, Utah: 28 – 31 January 2016 – Fun Evening with the Nelsen brothers, Friday 29 January – Both Carl & Stix will be in Pleasant View.
  •  Safari Club International – Las Vegas, Nevada: 3 – 6 February 2016 – The entire crew consisting of Carl, Stix, Dave Harwood, Brett Nelson, and Jose, will be at the show.

Hunting with John X Safaris is more than just a hunt – It’s the total safari experience. It is a journey of discovery, a wakening of the senses, and ultimately the realization of the dream of hunting Africa.

Whether it is your first trip to Africa, a hunt for the big five, or the choice of forty different plains game species, we are here to cater to your every need.

Contact us for your next hunt on hunting@johnxsafaris.co.za – We’d gladly assist by dropping you a mail, giving you a call or visiting you in your home state.

For more information and current updates about John X Safaris; follow us on Twitter, connect with us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube Channel and visit our Website!

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Africa

 

When you’ve acquired a taste for dust,
the scent of our first rain,
You’re hooked for life on Africa,
and you’ll not be right again.
Till you can watch the setting moon,
and hear the jackals bark,
And know that they around you,
waiting in the dark.
When you long to see the elephants,
or hear the coucal’s song.
When the moon rise sets your blood on fire, 
You’ve been away to long.
It’s time to cut the traces loose,
and let your heart go free,
Beyond that far horizon,
where your spirit yearns to be.
Africa is waiting, come!
Since you’ve touched the open sky
And learnt to love the rustling grass,
the wild fish eagle’s cry.
You’ll always hunger for the bush,
for the lion’s rasping roar,
To camp out beneath the stars
and be at peace once more.
 Author unknown

As we look back at our 32nd year in the safari industry, John X Safaris, was once again able to fulfill its conservation, humanitarian, and youth initiatives through your continued support. Without you the reality of this past season would merely have been a dream.

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While our trophy quality is a given, the passion of our professional hunters the standard, and our friendly crew our trademark, it is the experiences created at John X Safaris that we pride ourselves on. We hope that experience has been one that alters the course of your life, because after hunting Africa, nothing will ever be the same.

We started our season in March, after the summer rains had fallen, and finished off our last hunts in mid-October. We once again enjoyed hunting our renowned East Cape concessions in South Africa, as well as southern Zimbabwe, and Namibia’s Damaraland.

We welcomed back numerous old friends to the Safari World of John X Safaris this past year, eager to see and experience Africa with John X Safaris once again. A number of new faces embarked on their very first trip to the dark continent, placing their trust in our team. By all accounts the smiles around camp and fantastic mails received upon their return home, told us that their experiences with John X Safaris may have been their first, but most certainly not their last.

Glancing back over this years monthly reports you’d agree special mention needs to be made of our teams in the field, they, together with our loyal agents, trusty lodge crews, and long-standing team members, have once again proven why they’re one of the most recommended teams in the industry. And it seems it’s not only you recommending John X Safaris, but Craig Boddington too. Craig’s endorsement of John X Safaris during 2015 is a testament of the operation and our trophy quality, as I’m sure you would agree, when looking over some of the best from 2015. That together with luxurious lodging and world-class cuisine, combined with our Big 5 Game Reserve base – makes John X Safaris one of the best southern African destinations.

After the amazing success of John X Safaris’ first Safari World publication back in 2010, we’ve continued on with the popular tradition. This year’s book looks to be our finest to date – a must for any past, current or future John X hunter. Feel free to purchase The Safaris world of John X Safaris 2015 and add to the growing collection.

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Looking towards the future and 2016, one finds oneself pressed not to ignore the winds of change that have started blowing. Never before have hunters seen such an attack on their actions, heritage, and passion.

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The world of social media has changed everything. From Cecil the lion to the ban of trophy exports on certain airlines, it seems the momentum has shifted, and if left will see the anti-hunting fraternity gain further ground as they aim to ban hunting around the world. While the threat is real, it is not too late to act, and the battle has most certainly not been lost.

It is now more important than ever that each and every hunter stands up and takes responsibility for their actions. The world is out to judge us – let’s not be found wanting. In saying this we cannot, and must not apologize for being hunters. We must continue to hunt, but more importantly do so in a manner of which we can be proud of.

As you start planning your next safari we’d like to hear more from you. Bookings for 2016/17/18 are coming in at a steady pace and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible during our upcoming travels.

Below is a quick reminder of  our 2016 show and travel schedule. If you or any of your friends may be interested in meeting with us, please drop us a line, we’d be glad to fit you or them into our schedule.

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USA – January/February 2016

  • Dallas Safari Club Show – Dallas, Texas: 7 – 10 January 2016 – Both Carl and Stix will be at the show.
  • Houston, Texas, Cocktail Party/Visit: 11 – 14 January 2016 – Any interested hunters can join us for an evening BBQ Reception at the Travis residence in Cypress, TX, Wednesday, 13 January.
  • Omaha / Kearney, Nebraska Cocktail Party/Visit: 14 – 18 January 2016 – Cocktail evening with the Hertner’s in Kearney, Friday evening, 15 January. Carl & Stix will also be visiting with our good friends the Petersen’s, as well as Steve & Jill Evers. Any folks interested in visiting or meeting up with us while in the Omaha area can plan to do so on Sunday, 17 January.
  • The week of 18-22 January 2016 will see Carl enjoy a bird shoot in Vance, MS, while Stix will be visiting with our good friend Sam Cunningham in Amarillo, TX. Any folks interested in meeting up with Stix can schedule a preferred time during the week.
  • Jackson, Mississippi: 22 – 24 January 2015 – Carl & Stix will be visiting with our good friend Mike Jarvis.
  • Salt Lake City / Eagle Mountain, Utah: 24-27 January 2016 –Fun evening with all our friends from Eagle Mountain, Wednesday evening 27 January – Both Carl & Stix will be in Eagle Mountain.
  • Pleasant View, Utah: 28 – 31 January 2016 – Fun Evening with the Nelsen brothers, Friday 29 January – Both Carl & Stix will be in Pleasant View.
  • Safari Club International – Las Vegas, Nevada: 3 – 6 February 2016 – The entire crew consisting of Carl, Stix, Dave Harwood, Brett Nelson, and Jose, will be at the show.

Lastly, it is with great pride that we can share one of John X Safaris greatest achievements to date. Each year PHASA (The Professional Hunters Association of SA) recognizes the best trophies hunted in South Africa during that particular season via the Uncle Stevie award.

This year saw numerous entries for the award, with world-class trophies from right around South Africa making for stiff competition. As usual John X Safaris had a number of trophies in the running, but it finally came down to Steve Robinson’s Vaal Rhebuck guided by Professional Hunter, Carl van Zyl, during 2015 who took top honors.

What a privilege to have guided a trophy of this class, and one that is most certainly a greater challenge than most. It was the opportunity of a lifetime for Steve, and a dream come true for me.

In closing both Trish and I have some fantastic news to share with you. Trish will be expecting our third child during June 2016, something we’re extremely excited about!

On behalf of the entire team we salute and thank you for choosing one of our southern African destinations as your choice safari during 2015.

Until your next safari – A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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Carl, Trish, Brett & Abigail Van Zyl

Lalibela, December 2015

Please note – John X Safaris will be shutting down from 3 December 2015 until 2 January 2016. We will be checking mail on a weekly basis during the festive season. For any urgent bookings or safari related inquiries, contact Carl on hunting@johnxsafaris.co.za

For more information and current updates about John X Safaris; follow us on Twitter, connect with us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube Channel and visit our Website!

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Bushman legend has it, that once you feel Kalahari sand between your toes, you will always return. Sprinkle some liberally over your toes and see what happens…

So we did it. Chris Petersen, Pierre “Ozzie” Prins, and I – And yes there is no place else like it in Africa. The sights and sounds will linger with the three of us for years to come, with the pictures captured telling a story of a wildlife paradise in one of the harshest environments on earth. And while every bone in my body aches to share the wonders of that grand adventure – It is not my story to tell.

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I’m going to leave that to my good friend, Chris – In time he will share it with us. It’s more than just a story – It’s an extraordinary collection of images that few have seen before.

So upon our return home late last week, inspired by the Kalahari, we looked back over the season that has been. Enjoying safari reviews of various hunts, wanting to share what our hunters have been sharing with us.

From all reports, each and everyone had a blast, with a number of hunters having booked their return safaris already.

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This is what they had to say…

Bobby Heintzelman hunting with PH, Rusty Coetzer.

Thank you to Carl and the entire staff at John X Safaris. The accommodations and overall experience in the camps were exceptional. A special thanks to my friend and PH Rusty. The trophy quality and fun we had hunting together in the coastal areas and the Karoo was second to none. Thanks for a truly unforgettable safari.

See you in the future.

Bobby Heintzelman

We also welcomed back our old friends from Nebraska, Randy and Cherie De Freece, for their second hunt back at John X Safaris. Together with them they brought fellow Nebraskan, Graten Beavers, out on his first African safari. They enjoyed hunting from both our coastal and Karoo regions, enjoying the company and guiding of both Ed Wilson and Ross “Stix” Hoole.

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I loved having Stix as my PH! He entertained with stories of the African culture and life, while finding world-class animals. Not only did the hunt far exceed expectations, I also met many wonderful people. The high point was a monster Sable that will be reminisced about for years to come!

Thank you John X Safaris for the adventure of a lifetime!

Graten Beavers

Our John X Safaris experience was outstanding. The food was perfect and our accommodations were superb. Ed Wilson our PH went above and beyond our expectations to make sure our hunts were memorable. I would be honoured to recommend John X Safaris and our PH Ed Wilson to anyone considering a safari in South Africa. We cant wait to return!

Thanks again to everyone especially Carl, Ed and Stix.

Randy & Cherie De Freece

GTS Productions joined Max Taylor and his son, Matthew, on their return hunt to John X Safaris. The action was fast and furious – all jam-packed into 12 days of epic hunting…

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My third trip with John X Safaris. Ty, Patric and Ozzy were great to hunt with. I look forward to my next hunt with John X Safaris.

Max Taylor

 

 

We had an amazing experience taking 20 trophies over 12 days, despite some rain and cold weather. Ty and Patrick did an awesome job putting us on opportunities and Ozzy did an excellent job capturing all of the adventures. The accommodations and service were A1. We had epic stalks on the Wildebeest and Eland that I will remember forever. I bet we may have the record for the luckiest Klipspringer hunt ever. An all round excellent experience.

I will plan to visit with John X Safaris again.

Matthew Taylor

 

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From beginning to end my safari was an outstanding adventure.  It exceeded my expectations with world-class hospitality and a number of fantastic trophies.  My Kudu required the expert tracking of PH Greg and our tracker, Bless, to recover in the thick bush.  The Waterbuck was spotted by Bless and harvested only after a careful stalk led by Greg who steadied my arm for the shot, an exciting hunt that turned out to be.  My final trophy of the hunt was the Nyala, the icing on the cake.  I am already looking forward to my next adventure with John X Safaris.

Brett Kettelhut

Our first trip to Namibia completed our grand slam of hunting all 5 Southern African countries with John X Safaris. The new camp, on the edge of a pan teeming with game to view over sun-downers, is brand new and very comfortable. The abundance and variety of game including Hartman’s Mountain Zebra, Cheetah, Leopard, Kudu, and Warthog was outstanding. The best quality and largest numbers of Gemsbok that we have ever seen.

We took the trophies we came for, a Mountain Zebra and Warthog for John, and a truly outstanding Gemsbok bull and first Kudu for Lynn. Our professional hunter, Ed Wilson, is the consummate pro that can always be depended upon. This was our eighth safari with John X Safaris and will not be the last. We are looking forward to hunting the mountain species next!

Thanks for a memorable hunt.

Lynn and John Nowlin

Yet another bunch of happy hunters having enjoyed world-class hunts with John X Safaris. If you or any of your friends may be interested in joining us on safari in the future, then don’t delay, limited openings remain for 2016. It’s going to be a great season for hunting, the rains have arrived in Africa….

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Feel free to drop us a line at hunting@johnxsafaris.co.za if you’d like to touch base with any of our recent hunters. Our references are current, giving you an up to date assessment of our areas, professional hunters, trackers, lodges, and trophy quality.

For more information and current updates about John X Safaris; follow us onTwitter, connect with us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube Channel and visit our Website!

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Rising well before dawn, still living off the previous day’s excitement, we headed out to a set of mountains just east of camp. As the crow flies it was a mere three miles to the base, but a Land Cruiser doesn’t fly, and so we crawled and bumped our way along until we reached the foot. All of us were on cloud nine, still in awe at the Vaal Rhebuck we had harvested, with Steve still boasting a smile from here to Cairo.

Having enjoyed watching Hunter, Steve’s son, come through the ranks on our previous safaris together, it gave me great pride knowing both Steve and I had worked hard at instilling great ethics when it came to Hunter in the field.

We had always enjoyed our fair share of luck when hunting together, none more so than our hunt for Cape Bushbuck in July of 2012. That particular ram was the most magnificent ram I had ever seen, and since have not seen one more impressive.

This time round we had discussed a couple of specie options with Hunter. Zwayi and I knew of a massive old blue Eland bull we had spotted on a recent hunt in a set of hills not far from camp, but Hunter wanted a mountain challenge. Which had brought us to the foot of massive mountain at the end of a bumpy track.

From there we set off on foot in search of Klipspringer - one of the most exciting species to pursue up in the high country.

From there we set off on foot in search of Klipspringer – one of the most exciting species to pursue up in the high country.

Ozzie our GTS Productions Videographer joined us for the hike, bringing along his still camera capturing every shot along the way.

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And WOW! It was beautiful!

We had spotted a pair of Klipspringer enjoying the first rays of the morning sun high above the cliff line, closer to the peak of the mountain.

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They were too far to judge at that distance, so we asked Steve and Zwayi to keep an eye on them while we tried to close the distance.

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Within hours we had them spotted, but the pair was still 457 yards out…

We discussed a number of options, knowing full well we were gambling from here on in. We had reached the edge of cover and 457 was a long shot on a target that small. And then suddenly the Klipspringer forced our hand. One minute they were feeding without a care in the world, and the next they were bounding along the ridge to a higher point before coming to a halt. The male immediately started feeding, as the female took up a sunny position on a large boulder. I looked around for further options to close the distance, but there were none.

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Hunter, never one to shy away from a challenge, dully took up his position to make the shot.

At the crack of the shot the Klipspringer took off along the ridge having dodged the first shot falling low. Hunter re-chambered and squeezed off another just as they came to a halt between rocks, this time the bullet hit wide. Miss again. I explained to Hunter where his shot had landed, and once again he re-chambered. Again the shot just missed by mere inches. By now the animals were at 550 and I cautioned Hunter to consider the next shot. He gave me that look I had seen before, re-gathered himself and squeezed of the most perfect shot I had seen at 550 in a long time.

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Reaching Hunter’s Klippie, still not completely certain of its quality, as things happened fast, and sometimes one just follows ones gut, we were relieved to find a magnificent old ram. His secondary growth was immense – the true sign of an old warrior of the mountains.

We took our time to study Hunter’s downed Klipspringer before taking an array of pictures high above the world. Then we gutted the ram and loaded it into Hunters back pack for the descent.

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And then one last moment was taken to enjoy the view and savor the moment before heading back down to the rest of the team.

The following morning we headed south, back towards the coast and our base at Lalibela. Along the way we stopped off at Bankfontein, a famous property in our part of the world, previously owned by Peter Flack, the renowned writer and hunter.

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Peter had invested in Cape Mountain Zebra, very similar to ourselves, but had done so some 15 years ago, and since have seen the population more than double to reach a sustainable off-take. We at John X Safaris had never before hunted one of these Zebra, and duly set off with Steve into the unknown.

We made it quite clear to Steve that there was no legal procedure for him to import the Cape Mountain Zebra trophy into the United States, as US Fish & Wildlife still to date has an import ban in place. Steve understood the situation at hand, but still wanted to hunt the Zebra. An approved permit by our South African Nature Conservation authorities ensured the hunt was a legal one, but then the wait would be on to see how well our friend, John Jackson, could do in Washington as to keep fighting the good fight in getting the ban lifted and removed altogether. We have been able to hunt and export Cape Mountain Zebra to Europe, Mexico, and Canada, for many years now, but still US Fish & Wildlife will not accept any of these fantastic specimens as trophies. We can only hope they would come to their senses sooner rather than later as to understand the importance of sustainable utilization for the future of the Cape Mnt Zebra.

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We ended up hunting a massive stallion late that afternoon after numerous foiled attempts on these weary critters.

Now the wait would be on for Steve as he closely follows developments headed up by the various hunting organizations in the US, hoping for a change in law as to finally have his Cape Mnt Zebra proudly displayed in his trophy room. Until then he will be proudly displayed in my office as to be enjoyed by all, and to further create awareness of the good work hunters continue to do for conservation each day out in the field.

For our last day on the coast we continued on with a tradition started many years ago with the Robinson’s. It would be a day of opportunistic hunting. I opted for an area boasting fantastic Warthog, Bushbuck, Kudu, Nyala, and Blue Wildebeest. None of them in any particular order, but all great to hunt.

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By mid-morning the sun was starting to push the spirals back into the forest and we had not spotted a pig worth writing home about yet, so we opted for taking a closer look at a herd of Blue Wildebeest. Having closed the distance between us and the herd to 120 yards I edged Hunter forward onto the sticks. “Take the bull on the right, quartering us slightly”, I whispered in his ear. The shot rang out and the herd stampeded off in a storm of dust. We called in the dogs for back-up.

Bongo immediately took off at a pace with Chili in hot pursuit. We gave them the standard five minutes or so before starting our search for blood. We picked up the blood trail and headed in the direction where we had last spotted the dogs and Blue’s disappear in. After some time the dogs returned, clearly having lost the bull’s scent among the many other hooves of the herd.

We worked the blood trail slowly, finding a small drop from time to time. Each time Bongo would race ahead, as if he had found it, but each time he returned, working harder to find the scent he was after. In all this time Chili seemed to enjoy the role as an observer learning from the older experienced dog as much as she could. From time to time she would work as hard as any dog I’ve seen scenting before, nose flat to the ground, and veering off to our right into the adjacent forest leading over into a large gorge. After a couple of times, and not having much luck on our trail, Zwayi finally couldn’t take it much longer and decided to take a closer look – giving her the benefit of the doubt. Turns out Chili was no longer observing, she had the trail, but not the confidence to pursue on her own. We called Bongo off his scent and put him onto the correct one.

Within minutes all hell broke loose, as the dogs came into full voice in the gorge below. They had clearly bayed the bull, allowing us to close the distance for a finishing shot. Nearing the chaos in the undergrowth we edged forward until all came into view a mere 15 yards ahead of us. Hunter picked a gap in the undergrowth, being mindful of where the dogs were, and touched off his follow-up shot. The bull turned and stumbled over the dogs before gaining momentum once again down the ridge. One could hear the dogs chasing in hot pursuit, stopping from time to time, as the bull turned to fight.

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Finally two miles later the dogs bayed the bull in a small stream. Hunter crept to the edge above the stream and put in the final shot, bringing one heck of an exciting hunt to an end.

What a hunt our short unexpected safari turned out to be. When we had last seen each other in early February at the end of SCI’s annual convention, there was no way or manner possible for the Robinson’s to have squeezed in a trip to Africa during 2015. And look at us now….

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Take the opportunities life presents you and do the things you’ve always dreamt about. You never know how things will turn out unless you go. Who knows? You may just find yourself sitting on a horse in Africa, with a view like no other, sharing a hunt with friends for the trophy of a lifetime….

For more information and current updates about John X Safaris; follow us onTwitter, connect with us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube Channel and visit our Website!

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Over the course of the past 12 years I have seen the likes of many great hunts enjoyed by numerous lucky hunters. Hunts that carried the camaraderie so familiar to those who choose to share a camp fire in a distant land on a grand adventure. Where trophies abound and the journey that is a safari, is cherished by not the weight of the bag, but more so the greater part that is the experience.

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Gunwerks owner, Aaron Davidson, with his East Cape Kudu from our 2015 hunt.

On this particular hunt it was not only the enormity of the experience, but the added bonus of world-class trophies hitting the salt at a regular basis. It does however go without saying, if it weren’t for the Gunwerks rifles and the technology behind the system, we would not have enjoyed the success we did.

In our growing partnership, together with Gunwerks, it has been rewarding to see the expertise the PH’s have developed under the guidance of the Gunwerks pros. Today we look back at those initial hunts as our first “lessons” in long-range shooting. As each group came and passed the guys have mastered new facets in the requirements of long-range safaris.

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Together with Aaron, Mike, Garrett, and Kregg, we have developed the ultimate long-range safari, giving long-range enthusiast the opportunity to test and improve their long-range shooting expertise. In one safari, you can get a lifetime of long-range hunting experience.

This year saw first timers Jesse Stout, aka “Super Hunter Rule Maker”, and “Long Shot” Trevor Kruger, join us on their first safaris to Africa, while second time returnee and old friend, Peter Corrado, invited his son, Dominic along for an epic father/son battle for long-range supremacy. As for the Gunwerks crew we once again enjoyed the company of owner, Aaron Davidson, and our good friend, Garrett Wall.

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All in all the guys impressed us to no end. The shooting ability of both the pros and what I like to refer to “the up and coming pros” was outstanding, without a doubt the highest standard to date by any group. There were a number of memorable shots over the 700 yard mark, then there were some in that 750-1000 yard range, and of course we once again witnessed a couple of freak shots over a 1000 yards. But for that and much, much more, you will have to wait for our upcoming shows during 2016 on Gunwerks Long Range Pursuit on the Sportsman Channel. For now… Without giving away too much, join us for some of the epic setups and a sneak preview of a couple of fantastic shots.

Be warned – the trophy quality, challenging shots, and all the drama in between is something not to be missed…..

Want to be a part of the Gunwerks 2016 group to John X Safaris?

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Still not sure? Maybe this may help your decision! Eat your heart out and enjoy the quality these hunters came away with during our 2015 safari.

From Mike Davidson

Looking over the guys trophy pictures from this last safari, having sat on the sidelines, totally envious, I can’t wait for our 2016 hunt with John X Safaris.

The funny thing is, I was never interested in hunting Africa until I had the opportunity to do so in 2014. That experience saw me enjoy one of the most amazing places in the world to hunt.

I would like to personally invite you to travel with myself and others from the Gunwerks crew to experience South African hunting at its finest. We will once again be heading back to the East Cape with John X Safaris.

There are very few outfitters who understand long-range shooting and even fewer who will actually let you hunt long-range. Carl and his crew are aware and understand that being able to shoot at further distances only increases the potential of harvesting the biggest and most elusive of trophies. In fact, they are so tuned into long-range shooting and hunting, that they will be able to put you in the perfect position to take the shot. They put the wind, terrain and every other factor in your favor, giving you the time and opportunity you need to make the shot count. You will be amazed by the sheer number of trophy quality animals, size of the hunting areas, and beauty of Africa.

This is one long-range hunting trip you do not want to miss.

Join the Gunwerks team in July 2016 for an action packed safari experience. Call 877.486.9375 or e-mail Mike on mike@gunwerks.com , alternatively feel free to reach Carl on hunting@johnxsafaris.co.za for more details.

For more information and current updates about John X Safaris; follow us on Twitter, connect with us on Facebook and visit our Website!

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Having first met Larry Pendleton and Paul Valentine through our good friend, Bwana Big Jim Smith, at SCI some years ago, it was immediately obvious that we were all men cut from the same cloth. A passion for hunting was the obvious link, but the manner of hunting, combined with the species these two gentleman were after is what truly bonded us.

It would be their fourth trip to Africa, their first having been Zimbabwe, then Tanzania, and finally Namibia. South Africa’s East Cape would be their choice destination this time round, joining up with Professional Hunters, Carl van Zyl and Greg Hayes.

Together with their teams they took on the mountains for the ever elusive Mountain Reedbuck, Vaal Rhebuck and Klipspringer, before pursuing Cape Bushbuck, Nyala, Warthog, Blesbuck, and Zebra, along our coastal belt.

One particular afternoon up in the mountains of the Great Karoo, while searching for Klipspringer, Carl and Larry spotted a group of three animals high on a ridge above their glassing position. The Klipspringer were feeding in a relaxed manner, and while the spotting scope could hardly make out horns at that distance, the ram seemed to look promising between the mirages of a cold winters afternoon.

We immediately set off into the hills, choosing the “long way up”, earring on the side of caution as not to run off an opportunity. That morning we had already looked over two pairs as well as a single male – none of which warranted a closer look.

Reaching a predetermined rocky ledge, hoping the Klipspringer were still settled in a relaxed manner, we crawled up to the edge.

Reaching a predetermined rocky ledge, hoping the Klipspringer were still settled in a relaxed manner, we crawled up to the edge.

At first we spotted nothing, sure of the fact that they had to have moved off during the time it took us to reach the top. We indicated to Michael, our local tracker in the area, to move around the rocky ridge as quiet as he could, to see if he could possibly relocate our quarry. Soon he waved us over.

The animals had moved in under a ledge below our position and were in fact a lot closer than what we had expected. We got Larry in position, straddling the right edge of a large boulder.

The younger of the two females was standing out in the clear, presenting a beautiful shot, but the ram was playing hard to get, popping up from time to time, never presenting a shot.

The younger of the two females was standing out in the clear, presenting a beautiful shot, but the ram was playing hard to get, popping up from time to time, never presenting a shot.

With the sun starting to set in the west we noticed a pair of Black Eagles diving down towards the Klipspringer’s position. The birds were out on the hunt themselves too, immediately catching the attention of the weary Klipspringer. I indicated to Larry to get ready, the Klipspringer would soon be focused on the Eagles, not wanting to let them out of their sight. We waited….

After some time of mock diving by the Eagles it was clear they weren't going to land a Klipspringer so they moved on further down the ridge hunting for "Dassies"(rock rabbits).

After some time of mock diving by the Eagles it was clear they weren’t going to land a Klipspringer so they moved on further down the ridge hunting for rock rabbits.

With the setting sun casting a shadow ever nearer our position, I decided it was time to try my best predator calling imitation. Klipspringer are known to be extremely inquisitive, often responding to a fellow animals distress call in an alarming manner.

No sooner had we started calling, literally seconds, when three hungry looking black backed Jackal popped their heads up over a rock below us. Wow! This was action in its rawest form. The Klipspringer too immediately all jumped onto a large boulder, only to spot the Jackal and head west. Our chances were quite literally blown.

That evening around the campfire we relayed our experiences to Greg and Paul, when Greg suggested everything comes in 3’s. Both the Black Eagles and Jackals had given it their best shot – we would have our turn the following morning.

The next morning we were sure to head out of camp first, heading up the same ridge again.

The next morning we were sure to head out of camp first, heading up the same ridge again.

We immediately spotted the three again, this time at 350 yards. We decided to give it a go, but the 200 grain from Larry’s 300 WinMag was dropping off just too fast, that after the third shot without success we decided to close the gap between us and the animals.

By now the Klipspringer had run off into a side valley, giving us enough time to regather ourselves and get within range, while at the same time settling down again.

This time Larry made sure of his shot earning his dream Klipspringer.

This time Larry made sure of his shot earning his dream Klipspringer.

Our Klipspringer hunt was a mere one experience of the many we shared on safari. The stories around the dinner table will live on in our memories for ever, with Greg’s many comical experiences being a certain highlight.

Towards the end of the hunt when our various team competitions were in full swing, it was decided that hunter against hunter, and PH on PH had been tested, but not tracker on tracker. We dully decided a couple of cull Impala for our trackers, Bless and Zwayi, would provide a great hunt and further challenge as to finally settle who would lay claim to the A-Team status.

The guys did extremely well in fairly limited time and fading light, both earning one shot kills, but more than that breaking out some smiles that will take years to suppress!

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On our last day, having hunted all the guys were after and coming to the conclusion that there were no winners or losers, we headed down to the coast for a day of golfing at the Royal Port Alfred Golf Club. Rick joined us, making for another fun-filled day, closing off a safari with two gentleman who arrived as strangers, but left as friends.

For more information and current updates about John X Safaris; follow us on Twitter, connect with us on Facebook and visit our Website!

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By Professional Hunter, Ross Hoole

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Mid winter in John X Safaris’ Great Karoo northern areas are characterized by frosty mornings, windless days, and dry rugged conditions. The crisp mornings and dry vegetation are synonymous with exciting days high above the world at 6000 feet, where the cold forces even the shy to venture out catching the first morning rays, making the early morning climb well worth the effort getting into a high position to view game basking below.

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On this particular hunt was, Bo Tripp, a seasoned North American Sheep Hunter who shared the same passion as I, always looking to hunt the higher undisturbed areas in search of that exceptional trophy that may be hiding up there. We were on our last hunting day of the safari and had taken many exceptional trophies, including a brute of a 55″ East Cape Kudu, but both decided on taking one last hike to look for a Klipspringer in the mountains.

The Klipspringer forms part of the Tiny Ten and is a big trophy in any hunters collection.

The Klipspringer forms part of the Tiny Ten and is a big trophy in any hunters collection.

We left camp at dawn and by first light we were more than half way up Spitzkop, a mountain which had gained an infamous reputation during the Anglo Boer War. In the early 19th century it was used by the Boers as a lookout in spotting the platoons of English soldiers in their red coats as they crossed the Karoo plains in search of these “guerilla fighters” who had made a living as farmers in the region prior to the English and the arrival of their taxes.

There was local talk of a big Klipspringer up there, however, it had not been seen in at least a year…

We got to the top of the sharp peak and immediately saw reasonably fresh tracks. Bo and I left the trackers Rudi and Thanduxolo on one side to spot, while Bo and I walked over to the other side. There was continued alarm barking from distant baboons with a few fairly close by. I had joked with Bo about them being potentially aggressive and that a big male was fairly close above us on the cliff, no sooner were my words out of my mouth when a baboon hopped up on a boulder right behind us! A few more were not even 10 feet below too!

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Wild troops like these living in the mountain ranges are very wary of humans and usually spots you a mile off – making it quite special to see them so close.

To our benefit they flushed a female Klipspringer which came hopping below us and stood at 150 yards. Klipspringer are almost always in pairs so I was very optimistic about a ram coming along the same path. We ranged a few distances to be prepared, and continued waiting motionless. Bo was shooting a .300 ultra mag, the ultra mag is too much gun for this little antelope, but it was his sheep gun so he was confident shooting it out at longer ranges.

On the other side, one of the trackers was changing position, moving further around the peak to a blind spot we couldn’t quite see. He hadn’t even had a chance to sit down and spot when that unmistakable Klipspringer alarm call sounded. Within minutes the ram came hopping rock to rock below us.

Now at 250 yards, a target not much bigger than a jack rabbit, standing just briefly after being spooked is for one, impossible to judge horn size, and two, impossible to get into your scope quick enough for a shot. Luckily the hunting gods smiled on us that day, for by chance my spotting scope just landed on the ram the first time at 60x zoom and Bo was on it at the same time without assistance. It took 3 seconds from the moment it hopped up on a rock to judge it and for Bo to make a seriously tough shot from the top of the cliff!

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Bo’s little Klipspringer was massive.

Physically one of the biggest I’d ever seen which measured deep into the tail end of 4 3/4 inches. A lucky man indeed!

As we look towards the start of the new season with excitement, envisaging the many days out in the field, we are reminded all to often of the beauty and wonders around us and how we at times take it all for granted. Be it a noisy baboon at 10 feet, or watching the sunrise at 6000 ft on a frosty morning, or taking that exceptional trophy after working hard for it. It’s a privilege to be a part of the safari life – and one I can’t wait to experience for yet another season.

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Cheers – Hunting season has begun, I’ll see you on safari…

For more information and current updates about John X Safaris; follow us on Twitter, connect with us on Facebook and visit our Website!

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