Operator - Mbalabala Safaris/MJK Safaris PH - Lin Stanton Animals hunted - Non Trophy Elephant Bull, Hippo and Crocodile
This was my client's second trip with Mbalabala Safaris,he had hunted years before shooting a trophy Elephant. After picking up him and his wife from the beautiful Victoria falls we headed south to our hunting camp in the Deka tail safaris.We would be using the camp as a base then heading out to the Hwange communal land which was ten minutes away.
We started off by checking a few waterholes for fresh sign of elephant bulls, we did see some sign but nothing fresh. Walking almost 15 km the first morning was tough. Whilst having some lunch on the first day we spotted eleven elephant bulls crossing the boundary. The following day we decided to check an area close to the Zambezi River where we had seen some sign of elephant, sure enough as soon as we got into the area we found sign of 12 Bulls. We decided to follow. After following for four hours and covering ten kilometres, we could tell by the sign that the bulls were close. After another ten mins of tracking we heard them moving ahead of us. The wind had been swirling all day so we decided to move off to the left and climb a small hill. We spotted the bulls now resting in the shade. We sat and watched them for several minutes then decided to go in and have a look. Getting the wind right we walked down a river bed until we heard them flapping their ears. We spotted the elephant about 100 yards away. Walking slowly up to them until we were less then 30 yards,lucky for us they were standing in the shade in an open area. Putting the shooting sticks up for my client, we watched and waited for the right bull to present a shot Being a non trophy hunt we were looking for a bull with a big body or broken tusks, we spotted a bull with the biggest body then waited for him to present a shot. After a few mins the bull moved in straight towards us,my client fired for a frontal brain and the bull collapsed after putting in a few finishing shots we took some photos and had a much needed drink of water. It was two o'clock now and the truck was five kilometres away so we decided to walk to the truck and cut a road in to recover the elephant.several hours later we had over 50 villagers there helping recover the elephant.
My client was also interested in hunting a big croc he had previously shot two before but was looking for something big. We had seen some big crocs previously. We spent three days looking at over 100 crocs nothing that really stood out until we saw him!!! He was laying on the bank sunning himself there was a few other crocs around him and he made them look tiny. We stalked up to him unfortunately we could only get to 100 yards of him,using the .270, my client shot the croc just behind the back of the head. The shot was perfect the crocs tail was thrashing around pushing him closer and closer to the water a few more shots into him as he slid back into the water. I quickly ran down to the edge and could see the white of his belly laying dead a few feet under water. After three of us pulled him out onto the bank we then could see how big he was. After some photos we loaded him onto the boat and took him back to camp for skinning we put a tape on him and he measured 15'3"
We spent the rest of the safari looking for a big hippo bull. After looking at several bulls we decided to take a big bull that we had spotted resting close to the bank. My client made a perfect brain shot. Several photos later we got started on the skinning. Once the skin was off we dished out all the meat to the nearby villages who were so grateful.
Thankyou to my client and his wife for a lovely safaris,taking some magnificent trophies. Hope to see you back again.