This past August I made my third 21-day African safari. I have pursued dangerous game on each trip - in Zambia before it changed significantly; in the Timbavati Preserve in South Africa; and most recently in the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania with Luke Samaras Safaris, PH Natie Oelofse. In spite of the high daily fees for hunting in Tanzania, I feel the country continues to provide the purest hunting experience available in Africa. That's particularly true of the Selous, which is unique in that it has no villages and no human residents. As a result, it is unusual to see other hunters, other vehicles or even other people. It is African hunting as I imagine it a century ago. Game is abundant and virtually undisturbed. During my 21 days I saw more than 300 elephants. On the seventh day we harvested a 45-pound bull with nearly six feet of ivory. This hunt was conducted in the classic fashion by stalking. The bulls were found in extremely thick brush. The bull I harvested was guarded by, and protected by, four younger bulls. I shot my elephant at 18 steps after crawling on hands and knees for nearly 30 minutes. No other hunting experience can exceed this for excitement, danger, uncertainty and the pure essence of being in nature.
I also spent six nights in a leopard blind and saw eight different toms. I was even able to watch two toms fight over our bait one night and we had tom leopards walk within three steps of our blind. Leopard sign and track were everywhere. Furthermore, not a day passed when we didn't see a herd of at least 100 Cape buffalo. We spent almost a full hour each day pursuing the herds looking for a Cape buffalo to exceed my previous best of 47 inches. Although we could not find any of that size, the 41-inch buffalo I shot was an old "dugga boy" with massive bosses. Buffalo hunting in the Selous is outstanding and a bargain. On another note, my professional hunter, Natie Oelofse, is bubbling over with enthusiasm. He has a keen........(continued)