Lindon's 3rd Safari of the Season - Ngamo - Sikumi
Area. Ngamo-sikumi Operator MJK/ Mbalabala safaris Booking agent - Hunting Consortuim Hunter- Doug PH Lin Stanton Dates 1-10 July 2016 Camp- Inthundla Doug and I would be hunting the famous Ngamo Sikumi forests. This area is bordering the eastern side of Hwange National Park. Large numbers of elephant and buffalo move between the two areas.
The first few days was spent following a herd of buff, the grass was still long, so made it difficult to get close to the buff without making noise. Several stalks later we found that there was nothing worth shooting in that particular herd. About day six on the ten day safaris we found a huge herd that had crossed the road about an hour or so before us. We took up there tracks and it wasn't long before we caught them bedded down in some open teak forest. After sneaking in and having a look at several young bulls, we backed out to return in the afternoon when they start feeding. Finding a nice shady tree we parked and had a lovely lunch as well as a hour long siesta. At about three o'clock, we got our weapons and our trackers and headed to where we had left the herd,in arrival. We found the buff had just started to feed. We snuck in to about 50 yards where there was a clearing in which the buffalo herd would pass. Seeing lots of cows passing as well as a few young bulls, we waited for mature bull to pass. I spotted a lovely old bull feeding towards the clearing. Unfortunately a cow spotted us and took off, the bull did the same luckily they didn't go far and didn't disturb the herd.We stood there for a few minutes allowing the herd to carry on feeding then we started following cautiously. Not long and we spotted various cows and young bulls feeding in an open grassland. Moving closer to the herd a beautiful old bull stepped out at about 120 yards, I gave Doug the thumbs up and said that we should take him. Setting the shooting sticks up Doug took careful aim with his Ruger .416. The rifle exploded and the hard hitting thump of the expandable bullet hitting the buff just behind the shoulder. The bull took off following a few cows. We gave a few minutes for the trackers to catch up, then we took up his tracks. Following very cautiously we found a large amount of blood. I was relieved to see the blood, it wasn't long before we found the bull standing facing us with his head down in some short grass. Setting up the shooting sticks for Doug we waited until he lifted his head to make sure he was the same bull. He must have seen movement because just as we got on the sticks he raised his head giving us that look " you owe me money" he was the right bull and Doug let him have in with a solid in the center of his chest. He took off but didn't go far before he collapsed,a final "insurance" shot and it was all over. After taking pictures we loaded the bull up and headed into camp for a few light refreshments.
We spent the next day looking for sable,kudu and eland. We saw several sable Bulls and a couple young kudu bulls but nothing big enough. The following day we had just left a watering hole when the trackers tapped on the roof. They had seen a lone sable bull. I hoped on the roof rack to see if I could get a better view but all I could see was his tips moving about in the long grass. We decided to have a closer look. Getting up to him we saw he was huge. Doug took the shot freehand as we were so close, the bull collapsed on closer inspection we realized the size of the bull. This was a true trophy of a lifetime. After photos I found my tape measure and he was 45" long.
The last few days was spent looking for a Kudu. Fortunately for us we managed to make a stalk on fantastic wide kudu bull. When arriving in camp I measured him to be 55" another trophy of a lifetime.
We left a day early to spend the final night in Sidinda fishing lodge before making our way to Victoria falls