It isn’t often these days that a truly new and exciting hunt emerges anywhere on the African continent, but that is just what has happened in the northeastern corner of Limpopo Province in South Africa, where Danish hunting entrepreneur Jan Krossteig has gained the right, in collaboration with the Makuya tribe, to offer big game safaris in an area bordering Kruger National Park. Lion, leopard, buffalo and elephant (perhaps very big elephant), along with plains game, are all available in the area.
The area in question is immediately adjacent to Kruger National Park. No fence separates the hunting area from Kruger Park, only the Levuvhu River, which animals can cross easily. The area is completely uninhabited bush. No hunting has occurred here since 1996.
This area of South Africa is a much-celebrated big game hunting area. It is not far from the spot where the legendary Harry Manners shot a bull elephant with tusks weighing 187 pounds. Back then, 80-pounders were commonplace, and it is not out of the question that 80-pounders (and even larger) bulls can still be found here, along with buffalo well into the 40-inch range. Good cats are almost a given, too.
To be sure, it is probably wise to be wary of claims about outsize trophies at this point, but there is no question the area Krossteig has reopened is worthy of consideration by the hunter who has done it all in Africa. Not surprisingly, safaris here are on the premium side, with 14-day lion hunts priced at 17,500 Euros, plus a trophy fee of 17,500 Euros. With a US dollar worth only 64 cents vis a vis the Euro at this writing, a lion hunt here costs $54,600. A 14-day elephant hunt is pegged at 15,400 Euros ($24,024), plus a trophy fee of 10,000 Euros ($15,600) for a jumbo up to 50 pounds. A jumbo larger than that will cost considerably more, with a 71- to 80-pounder going for $39,000 and a 80-plus-pounder going for $46,800. You can see the entire price list by going to www.limpopo-travel.com.
There have been claims in the past about exciting hunts along the border of Kruger, of course; and, for a while, more than a decade ago, there was hunting inside Kruger Park in an area called Makuleke. These latter hunts – and there weren’t many of them before the opportunity vanished - did not turn out all that well. No big jumbo were taken and few good buffalo. As the opportunity faded, the operator was accused of using Kruger Park as a drawing card for a series of what turned out to be bait-and-switch hunts which were conducted elsewhere.
I mention this past fiasco to temper excitement about the area Krossteig has developed and to imbue would-be hunters with a modicum of skepticism. I do so and then hasten to add that I have personally seen the quota documents relating to this area, and I have looked into it deeply enough to be excited myself about this area and its apparent potential. The history of the area and the reputation of the person developing it both inspire a lot of confidence. Krossteig, in case you don’t know, founded Diana Hunting Tours in 1974 and built it into the largest hunting agency in Europe. In 1996, he sold part of Diana and at the same time bought Limpopo Safaris in South Africa, which controls a well-regarded, 125,000-acre hunting area along the Limpopo River. He has since then sold the rest of Diana Hunting Tours and concentrated his efforts on developing Limpopo Safaris and on developing a company called Limpopo Travel in Denmark, which has grown in a short time from a staff of three to 16 persons. The man has success written all over him. And so does this area.....