An Albino Bushbuck And A Classic Hunter's Tale
A rare albino bushbuck taken on the banks of the Zambezi River in Mozambique.
(Editor Note: We don't usually print accounts from hunting operators, but this description from Spanish safari operator Antonio Reguera Bueno is just so interesting and candid, that we thought Hunting Report subscribers would enjoy reading it. Here is Reguera's account of how he came across his unusual albino bushbuck trophy and what he's working on in Mozambique, along with photos he provided.)
We began to work in Mozambique on 1999… long time ago, but as our hunting areas there were not as good as Cameroon ones, we did not use to sell this product at SCI conventions. Even we are selling it not as Mayo Oldiri product, but under "Mozambique Safaris" name.
We left our first area there, Cuotada Six, because in spite of our works, the poachers in the area won our anti-poaching teams. We are working today in two different areas: Luabo, just at the North of Marromeu, on the side north of the Zambezi River, one area good for buffalo, waterbuck, some sables and hippos. The other one is a big area located also bordering for more than 100 km. the Zambezi River, just at the Cahora Bassa Lake. It is excellent for crocodile, hippo, and leopard hunt; but poor in general for plains game, except for bushbuck. We have there a very nice camp from where we also can get without problems very good tiger fishes.
The view of Cahora Bassa Lake from Mozambique Safaris' camp
I went first to Luabo with one of our PHs to prepare the camp (as the area is very wet, we only can hunt there from September to the end of the season), and later I went to visit the area bordering Cahora Bassa Lake, between Zambia and Zimbabwe. We are just finishing the hunting season at this area, where my partner in Mozambique, Andres, was trying to use our last leopard license to get one trophy.
I arrived at the camp very early in the morning of August 5th, when everybody was sleeping. I got up very late in the morning, around 8 o'clock, and I was surprised because just at this moment my partner was taking his breakfast. He told me the hunt was over and the only work for doing was to visit the leopard bait. He was showing me the new camp we finished to built, while the PH was visiting the bait.
One hour later, Dan, the young but expert Zimbabwean PH, came with the good news, the bait was eaten. We went to the bait place to prepare the blind and this afternoon, at seven o'clock, we got the leopard. Wonderful first day!
This big tom leopard was taken at the Cahora Bassa Lake Concession.
The second day, my partner, Andres, proposed to me to go hunting a bushbuck. I have gotten it before in Cameroon and in Tanzania, but never in Mozambique, as I am usually guiding more than hunting. Dan and I, we went, just in the afternoon, to the old camp place, sited also to the lake border and surrounded by many swamps. We saw different hippos and about ten bushbucks, but not any good male. When we arrived to the camp, Andres told me the local authorities came looking for our help to hunt a conflictive elephant that used to come every afternoon to the village's cultivated camps, and had heavily hurt a man.
The third day, early in the morning, I went again with Dan, to visit the swamps sited close to the new camp. Not more than ten minutes after leaving the car, we discover with a big surprise this amazing and rare bushbuck that was eating calm, at not more than eighty meters from us. I shot it, and it fell down and died without doing any movement. Dan and trackers ran towards the animal and began to jump with a lot of happiness, after looking how rare and wonderful the animal was. One hour after leaving the camp we were again there with our trophy.
Antonio Reguera and his white bushbuck trophy.
The vegetation there is very thick, and we only can see the bushbucks when they went out to the swamps for eating just at dawn or early in the morning. We cannot guarantee if there are there more albino bushbucks or not. We hope that yes!
In the afternoon we went to the village trying to see the elephants that were disturbing the population. We found the animals at not more than two hundred meters of the village. The population was completely afraid from them. We did not see any big animal, but one female of the group charged us, and we shot it. The group ran out of the area, and we furnished meat for many time to the village population.
Local villagers were terrorized by elephants raiding their crops. This aggressive cow was shot when she charged Reguera and his team.
The following day we left the camp, and on August the 9th at noon we are at Lusaka airport. All this story sounds like the classical hunter's tale, but everything is the truth. - Antonia Reguera Bueno.
The newly build Cahora Bassa Lake Camp.
|Reguera and his partner have an aggressive anti-poaching effort in their new areas. Here they show a cadre of firearms they seized from poachers|
|Mozambique Safaris no longer turns seized firearms over to local authorities because the guns always seem to end up right back in poachers' hands. Instead, Reguera has his people dump the firearms in the middle of Cahora Bassa Lake.|