The story behind Chap's 45" Buffalo

Plains game Hunt with Mbalabala Safaris

This was a short 5 day buffalo and plains game safari in Bishopstone in the Southern area of Zimbabwe. On arrival into Bulawayo, headed straight for camp, which was about a 4hr drive.

We woke up early the next day, headed out to look for a buffalo. After driving for about half an hour we found 2 dagga boy tracks, which led us into the thickest possible jesse, I have experienced. We tracked them for an hour mostly on our hands and knees, till they heard us and ran off.

We decided to let them settle a bit before following them again, without success. The majority of the day was spent tracking these 2 dagga boys. Towards the end of the afternoon, we decided to call it a day and headed back to camp. On our way back, we came across a nice herd of impala rams. I got Dean into position on the sticks and he squeezed off a shot. It hit the impala, which ran 40 yards before collapsing.

The next day, we decided to try out luck with the 2 dagga boys again, we found them in the same area, amongst some even thicker jesse. We tracked them again for about 2 hours before we caught a glimpse of them. As I saw the one bull, I didn’t even need my binos to see how big he was, this was indeed going to be a trophy of a lifetime. Before we could get into position, they were off... I decided to leave them to settle again and come back and try again in the afternoon. Having chatted to Russel and Dean about the bull, we all agreed that it was a good plan for them both to shoot when the opportunity came.

That afternoon, thankfully they headed out of the jesse, into some open Mopane scrub. It was not long after that, that Japhet (my tracker) caught a glimpse of them walking. We quickly got the wind right and headed in towards them. It wasn’t long before our buffalo, stopped in some shade, and he presented himself. The sticks were up in a flash and Russel and Dean were in position. Both rifles went off simultaneously and the buffalo took off. We walked to where he was standing and I caught sight of a black object, I looked through my binos and he was down! We walked up to the buffalo and realized the actual size of him. He was a giant! High fives all around. We loaded him up and took him to the skinning shed and measured him. He was 45 and 3/8ths, the biggest buffalo I’ve ever taken.

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