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For six weeks long we have spent numerous days and countless hours trying to share the wonder and beauty of Africa. Trying to relay the feeling that stirs within when the dark continent creeps under your skin and into your soul. The onslaught on ones senses is like nowhere else on earth.

Even after all these years it seems the traveling abroad only gets longer and the longing for Africa greater. This year, like the many before, saw us once again embarked on our journey to secure the future and prosperity of Africa and her wildlife. The commitment from the American hunter is something that is spoken about often, but needs mentioning again. Without you and your support our wildlife would not enjoy the growth and security it has become accustomed to today. For that we are forever grateful. Thank you.

Record numbers were reached on the booking front this year. From Dallas to Las Vegas and the many stops in between – So many people to thank. So many to welcome on board as they look to embark on their first safari to Africa with John X Safaris. And of course, so many to be indebted to as they once again chose John X Safaris as their choice destination for 2017/18/19. The support, referrals, and recommendations from our returning hunters has left us astounded once again. It only drives us on to keep doing what we’ve been doing – ensuring our safaris are so much more than a hunt, but the complete African experience.

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The acceptance and excitement around Woodlands Game Reserve, our new base and home, combined with our renowned Karoo concessions, has seen us return home even more invigorated than before. The experience of 34 years in the safari industry and knowing the commitment it takes to ensure you as individual will enjoy a world-class safari, is not merely a given, but our word. The success and enjoyment derived from being a part of your safari is something we as a team gain much enjoyment from. It’s something we’re proud of and something that goes far further than the hunt.

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Our traditional season in South Africa will kick off in mid-April, at the completion of our new Colonial Safari Manor at Woodlands. This year will see hunters enjoy safari camps like no other, with our northern Karoo camp having enjoyed an upgrade too. While it had been dry for the most part of 2016, late summer rains have fallen across the majority of our areas, with the promise of more on the horizon each evening. The retention of our renowned coastal and Karoo plains game concessions, combined with Woodlands and the Big 5 dynamic that has added, will ensure our hunters enjoy arguably the finest hunting Southern Africa has to offer.

Between now and April we will be gearing up for the season ahead with scouting, building and planning being the focus in and around John X Safaris. There’s a lot to be done, but so much to look forward to.

Here’s hoping my team at home can get it done – As for me, I’m off to Cameroon to get our season off to a big start, and at the same time tick another adventure from my “half full” bucket list. It doesn’t get much bigger than a Lord Derby Eland for a hunter or for that matter, his Professional Hunter.

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In closing I’d like to thank you once again for your American hospitality, your continued support, and your unrelenting trust in John X Safaris is something we’re extremely proud of as a team. Our appreciation is something that goes beyond words.

Thank you!

Catch you in Africa – Carl & Team

For more information and current updates about John X Safaris; follow us on Twitter, connect with us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube Channel and visit our Website!

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Ever considered the possibility of an African hunt? If you’ve never looked into a safari to the dark continent you may be surprised at how affordable it actually is. The reality of an African hunt might be much closer than you may realize.

Are you after…

  • An outfit that welcomes all hunters, no matter what your age, physical condition or hunting capabilities.
  • Over 30 Species of World-Class Plains Game in abundance across large concessions in the game rich East Cape.
  • Fair Chase Big 5 on our private 30 000 acre concession, Woodlands Game Reserve.
  • Lodging second to none. Where you can choose 1 of 3 different lodges throughout the East Cape. Hunt the game in their natural environment where they are naturally of better quality.
  • Unlimited Tiny 10.
  • Mountain hunting like nowhere else in Southern Africa.
  • Both large high-fenced concessions or free-range areas. We have access to over 3 million acres in the East Cape alone.
  • A hunt that caters to you the hunter – serious about achieving your desired results without “package deals” standing in the way of your goals.
  • A family friendly atmosphere where youngsters are welcomed free of charge. Take us up on our initiative of #Gettingtheyouthhuntingatjxs
  • A destination that welcomes lady hunters and has been doing so for many years.
  • A destination that welcomes observers and prioritize their experience/s as much as that of the hunter.
  • A destination that welcomes groups, and can cater to groups by having large enough areas and a big enough team ensuring every member of the group leaves us satisfied.
  • Professional Hunters who take your safari seriously, ensuring your priorities are not only met, but your expectations exceeded.
  • An outfit who hunts for a living – You – Our Hunter, is our priority, not the ranch or any sideshows. Our business is hunting, and hunting only. We dedicate 24 hours a day to you ensuring your safari is everything you’d hoped for.
  • Hunting with an outfit that not only “talks” about the good work it does, but actually get’s it hands dirty making a true difference via our John X Foundation.
  • An outfit who believes in hunting for conservation – after all, if we didn’t practice what we preached, how could we still be the leaders after 33 years in the safari industry.

IF the above is what you’re after then why not join John X Safaris in Africa – It’s your ultimate safari destination…

Below are some of our most popular safari/hunt options on offer – There’s something for everyone.

  • Single or Multi Area Hunt – Make the most of our traditional 7/10 Day Hunt in the East Cape. Limited dates remain for 2017.
  • Get the Youth Hunting – Bring your son/daughter/any minor along on their spring/summer break and we’ll comp his/her day fee. Only pay for trophies.
  • 2017 Cape Buffalo Special – Opening Season Woodlands Cape Buffalo Hunt $15000 (7 Days All Incl) This will be real hunting in a large extensive concession with amazing quality Cape Buffalo. Numbers are high and quotas are conservative  – Expect to be amazed!
  • Tiny 10 Hunts – We’re the team hunters turn to when it comes to their Tiny 10 collections. From Vaal Rhebuck to the Livingstone Suni and everything in between.
  • Mountain Hunts in Africa – You’re an altitude hunting enthusiast? Then we’ve got the hunt for you in Africa. Vaal Rhebuck, Klipspringer and Mnt Reedbuck – There’s no one with more experience and larger/better areas when it comes to hunting the high country in Africa. Our track record and the amount of 10″ Vaal Rhebuck hitting the salt on an annual basis speaks for itself.
  • Hunt the Spiral Slam – East Cape Kudu, Cape Bushbuck, Nyala & Cape Eland. Could there be a more beautiful slam with such challenging hunting.

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Below is a quick reminder of our 2017 show and travel schedule. If you or any of your friends may be interested in meeting with us, please drop us a line, we’d be glad to fit you or them into our schedule.

  • Dallas Safari Club Show – Dallas, Texas: 5 – 8 January 2017. Booth # 4360
  • Houston, TX, Cocktail Party: 11 January 2017 – Any interested hunters can join us for an evening BBQ Reception at the Travis residence.
  • College Station, TX, Cocktail Party: 13 January 2017 – Any interested hunters can join us for Africa Info Night with Horizon Firearms at their amazing factory.
  • Amarillo, TX, Visit: 16 – 20 January 2017 – Any folks interested in meeting up with Stix can schedule a preferred time during the week.
  • Omaha, NE,  Cocktail Party/Visit: 20 – 25 January 2017 – Carl will be hosting a cocktail evening with Steve & Jill Evers from Wildlife Creations Taxidermy on Saturday, 21 January 2017.
  • Jackson, MS: 20 – 25 January 2017 – Stix will be visiting with our good friends Alex Good & Mike Jarvis. Feel free to meet up with Stix while he’s in Mississippi.
  • Salt Lake City / Eagle Mountain / Pleasant View, UT: 25 – 29 January 2017 – Feel free to meet up with Carl/Stix while they’re in Utah.
  • Safari Club International – Las Vegas, Nevada: 1 – 4 February 2017.Booth # 3052 & 3054

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Hunting with John X Safaris is more than just a hunt – It’s the total safari experience. It is a journey of discovery, a wakening of the senses, and ultimately the realization of the dream of hunting Africa.

Whether it is your first trip to Africa, a hunt for the big five, or the choice of forty different plains game species, we are here to cater to your every need.

Contact us for your next hunt on hunting@johnxsafaris.co.za or alternatively call Carl Van Zyl on US Cell 6824108377 or PH Ross ‘Stix’ Hoole on 6824108373– We’d gladly assist by dropping you a mail, giving you a call or visiting you in your home state.

For more information and current updates about John X Safaris; follow us on Twitter, connect with us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube Channel and visit our Website!

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As I started my final forward from Lalibela during late September, I found myself gazing out over the game rich plains deep in thought… the moment had finally come for us to say goodbye and close a chapter on twenty memorable years. I would be lying if I were to try to convince you that at that moment I was not feeling overly sentimental or emotional. Twenty years of dreaming, sacrifice, hard work, and achievement. It had been a journey like few.

If we were to rewind the clock by twenty years, to be more precise, October 1996, and I were to tell you about that first sunny afternoon on Hillside Farm, Sidbury, East Cape, South Africa, you would have been excused for being a pessimist like the many others. Rick and Sue van Zyl had just acquired the first property in what would become today’s world-renowned Lalibela Game Reserve, and the home of John X Safaris.

At first it was a meager colonial homestead turned into a “rustic camp” for the few loyal hunters, who unbeknownst to them were playing a major role in getting the dream of a wildlife reserve off to a slow, but gradual start. Soon the first lodge, Lentaba, was completed, giving our hunters a taste of what was to come. With the acquisition of more land and the re-introduction of 22 game species and the first White Rhino, things started coming together nicely.

With 20 000 acres, a lodge, one of the Big 5, over 3000 head of game, and an eager team we set off to launch Lalibela to tourists in the summer of 2002. The concept was a brilliant one; our hunters would occupy and utilize the winter hunting months, while the tourists would take up the summer months, when hunters preferred to stay home for their traditional northern hemisphere hunting season.

By 2003 a second lodge, Mark’s Camp, was completed, the very year both Elephant and Cape Buffalo, joined the White Rhino as members of the Big 5, once again roaming free where they had not set foot for over a hundred years. A masterstroke in developments it turned out to be, with the reserve taking an even bigger step with the introduction of free roaming Lion, Leopard, and Cheetah in the early part of 2004. With the addition of a further 10 000 acres and completion of our flagship lodge, Treetops Luxurious Tented Camp, a first of its kind, during September that same year, Lalibela had established itself and was now a successful brand in both the hunting and tourist industries respectively.

Throughout the years and the numerous developments we have been privileged to have grown as a family, calling a place such as Lalibela, home. It is something that we have not taken lightly in our responsibility to the land, wildlife, our people, hospitality, and business. Your support and safari contributions have allowed us to build and live an extraordinary life – one we could not have been a part of without each and every one of you – after all, Lalibela only became a reality because of you and your commitment to conservation through hunting. It has been a journey we are immensely proud of and an achievement of a goal reached through untold sacrifice and hard work.

With that said we had reached for the stars and fallen amongst them, but something was lacking, it was time to move on… time to let go of the familiarity. It was time to go back to the beginning, to our people, to John X Safaris and the most enjoyable years of our lives.

New Beginnings – Woodlands Game Reserve

“And suddenly you just know… it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings…”

Woodlands Game Reserve – 30 000 Acres, big 5, plains game, over 2500 head of game, 20 + species, rifle, archery, wing shooting, and a brand new colonial safari lodge opening in March 2017 + the very same trusted team – Dedicated to hunters and hunting only. 

We will still be offering our multi-area option safaris in both the coastal and northern Karoo regions, like we’ve been doing for the past 33 years, with Woodlands becoming our coastal base. Those hunters who have booked safaris can rest assured that Woodlands will be everything and more of what Lalibela could have ever offered as a destination.

We have found our new home. It’s a hidden gem like no other, and you’re invited to join us on your next safari as we turn the industry on its head and launch the greatest hunting destination the East Cape has ever seen.

Until your next safari – We thank you for being a part of the Safari World of John X Safaris during the past year and the many before. It has been a privilege hosting and having you on safari. Your support and friendship means the world to us. A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Carl & Family

For more information and current updates about John X Safaris; follow us on Twitter, connect with us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube Channel and visit our Website!

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No matter where you find yourself around the world, there comes a time in any given week that the outdoor enthusiasts sits back and reminisces about a past adventure or a future destination. The word “safari” alone veers one off from the task at hand sending you into a day-dream of sights and sounds of a distant land. As our season draws to a close we are forced into the realm of the real world and the office jobs we’ve put off for so long come beckoning, so too we find ourselves day dreaming from time to time.

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Just this past Monday, as with any “blue Monday” in the office, I had barely reached mid-morning when I found myself deep in thought staring out of the window while watching my three-year old son interacting with my tracker while conversing in fluent Xhosa. I’m not sure what exactly the conversation on the far end of the garden was about, but there was a bow involved, and hunting was most obviously the only thing on their minds. It took me back to happy days on safari with my Dad, Rick, when I was a young boy like my own son. I had always dreamnt about a big safari with just my Dad and I, but that never materialized due to the nature of our family business. Luckily for me my Dad always took me along and I got to see and visit some of the most remarkable safari destinations southern Africa has to offer.

It led me onto the extraordinary father/son duo of Joe and Grant Kapaun who joined us on safari during June.

My thoughts led me onto the extraordinary father/son duo of Joe and Grant Kapaun who joined us on safari during June.

Joe had joined us on a previous hunt with our great friend, Brett Nelson, during 2013, expressing a desire after that first safari to have his son, Grant, join him upon his return. The Kapaun’s made the most of our #Gettingtheyouthhuntingatjxs initiative, ensuring money was saved on day fees which could be enjoyed out in the field.

P.H. Rusty Coetzer had made a habit of hunting big East Cape Kudu during the early part of the season and continued on where he had started. Joe was the lucky man to win a head to head game of “rock/paper/scissors” on their first bull, with Grant coming away with a superb bull of his own towards the end of the hunt late one afternoon. From a Caracal with hounds along the Indian Ocean to Gemsbuck and Wildebeest on the plains of the Great Karoo… This and so much more.

But Grant's Cape Eland was the one that caught my attention the most. I had heard about the epic hunt for this beast of a bullfantastic trophies with memories to match.

But it was Grant’s Cape Eland that caught my attention first and foremost. I had heard about the epic hunt for this beast of a bull. He had everything that made for a fantastic trophy. It summed up their hunt. Not only did they come away with the bragging rights on one heck of a bag of trophies, but the memories to match a father/son hunt like few had seen before.

Tuesday didn’t go any better on the work front either. I skimmed through my mails, got the rest of the crew going, and then settled into a cup of warm coffee just after 7am.

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The smell of the fragrant Kenyan coffee soon had me off on a journey to a cold evening hustled around a crackling fire in the middle of Zimbabwe’s lowveldt.

That particular evening, and the nine before, combined with the chill in our bones and the ache in our hearts would be the final straw of an unsuccessful Leopard hunt with my dear friend, Dave Kjelstrup. We had thrown EVERYTHING at harvesting a large tom, but it seemed the harder we tried the bleaker the light. Some things it seemed are just not meant to be. Or who knows?

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Further south, Dave’s friends, Alex Good and Paul Latchford, were into some nasty weather too.

While Dave and I were up north of the border, P.H.’s Ross “Stix” Hoole and Greg Hayes, were battling the coldest storm of the year on a Gray Wing Shoot over English Pointer at 5000 feet.

Luckily for them the weather improved during the hunt, but the birds had been scattered deep into cover, making for long walks on steep terrain in search of wild coveys.

As for Alex, he always makes the most of everything, ensuring a smile is never far below the surface.

As for Alex, he always makes the most of everything, ensuring a smile is never far below the surface.

With our hunt in Zimbabwe coming to an end, we headed south to join Alex and Paul for the remainder of our safari. A combination of trophies and culls, combined with never-ending laughter from three great friends and a certain new landmark aptly named “The Latchford” blind made for a fun-filled last five days in Africa. Don’t ask us why it’s called “The Latchford” we’ll leave Alex to explain this marvel of a landmark when next you’re in the Great Karoo.

While Dave and my hunt in Zimbabwe saw little reward, I personally found reward in our last few days in the East Cape. I had arranged for Dave to link up with our friends from Gunwerks, recommending the 6.5×284 as a great fit for him. Within months he had his gun and was hunting with it in the US. Soon our hunt had arrived, but Dave was yet to master his rifle and gain sufficient trust in the system I’ve come to trust so much from my experience with it. His growth in confidence as the days passed, and the belief in his capabilities, but more so the sight of seeing him enjoy every minute of it made for one of the highlights in my year.

How fun it was to see him find pleasure in a rifle that has opened the door to so many opportunities in the future.

How rewarding it was to see him find pleasure in a rifle that has opened the door to so many opportunities in the future.

By Wednesday I had at least made it to the halfway mark of my week in the office. The work was somehow finding its way into the ‘done” column and I had reasoned a well-earned break to cast back over a couple of hunts from July. Pretty impressive stuff if I could say so myself…

Here's a certaib Warthog neither P.H. Martin Neuper or Tom Lincoln will be forgetting anytime soon.

Here’s a certain Warthog neither P.H. Martin Neuper or Tom Lincoln will be forgetting anytime soon.

How about Mike Grier's massive East Cape Kudu. How clearly the memory sits with me now. Mike had been on two previous hunts with us before, this was his third and a dream of a 50" Kudu was all Mike had in mind. Phew! It's great to produce the results! Better lucky than good I say!

How about Mike Grier’s massive East Cape Kudu. How clearly the memory sits with me now. Mike had been on two previous hunts with us before, this was his third and a dream of a 50″ Kudu was all Mike had in mind. Phew! It’s great to produce the goods! Better lucky than good is all I’m thinking about right now! Then again the harder we try the luckier our hunters seem to get.

Here’s another great hunt from July. John and Anita Hertner have become more than just good friends over the years. They have become involved in John X Safaris making their home and their trophy room available to our many friends in and around Kearney, Nebraska, each January for a cocktail evening.

This years hunt was their second to John X Safaris and one I most certainly enjoyed guiding.

This years hunt was their second to John X Safaris and one I most certainly enjoyed guiding.

Having spoken at length about the various trophy preferences for their return hunt we settled on a number of great choices. Red Hartebeest, Black Wildebeest, Blesbuck and Cape Bushbuck, all made for great hunting yet relaxing days out on safari.

By Thursday my day dreaming was starting to see the light and an escape plan of eluding the office on Friday was starting to become a reality. No normal P.H. could possibly complete an entire week in the office, so as to celebrate the nearing of my freedom back into the bush early on Friday morning I quickly glanced over one of my favorite safaris from 2016.

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Tyler Geer was back making the most of our #Gettingtheyouthhuntingatjxs initiative too, bringing his son, Hunter, along on his second adventure to John X Safaris joining P.H., Greg Hayes, and Tracker, Bless.

The guys hunted both our southern Coastal region as well as our northern Karoo areas.

Tyler’s appreciation of every aspect that goes into any given safari, combined with his mannerism around camp has turned him into not only a pleasure, but a great friend we all so enjoy having on safari. One of their toughest days up in the Great Karoo saw both hunters work extremely hard to achieve a double for Dad and Son on Black Springbuck.

It made for some amazing memories for the entire team involved in the hunt, but also one of my favorite safari pictures from 2016.

It made for some amazing memories for the entire team involved in the hunt, but also produced one of my favorite safari pictures from 2016. Isn’t that what it’s all about!

A hectic week in the office is just about behind me, thank goodness for the many safari day dreams.

Until next month – Enjoy the outdoors and do so responsibly.

I’m out of here.. The bush has been calling all week-long.

Ps. I wont be answering emails until Monday – Enjoy the weekend and get outdoors!

For more information and current updates about John X Safaris; follow us on Twitter, connect with us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube Channel and visit our Website!

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This year saw the return of Max and Pam King once again. Having thoroughly enjoyed their first hunt with Professional Hunter, Greg Hayes, tracker, Bless, and Jack Russel, Jock, they were back to enjoy the diversity of the East Cape, as well as meeting the newest member to the team, Jackson. Thanks to Max we had diverted Greg off naming his new dog “Hammer” – Thank goodness for that!

The plan was for the hunt to start in the north as a Vaal Rhebuck was one of Max's priority species. Unfortunataly, their arrival coincided with our first cold spel of the year.

The plan was for the hunt to start in the north as a Vaal Rhebuck was one of Max’s priority species. Unfortunately, their arrival coincided with our first cold spell of the year.

Never the less, the guys kept at it, seeing a number of Vaal Rhebuck whenever the weather gave them the slightest chance.

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And when it finally did give them an opportunity they got lucky on a great old ram.

Having spent a couple of days in the north, the safari headed back south to warmer weather and a baited Bushpig that would gain legendary status by the time the safari came to an end.

The pigs were feeding beautifully night after night during the month leading up to Max’s hunt. The ground work had been done. The pigs were on bait and a blind was built. All it would take from here on wards was a bunch of patience and a little bit of luck.

Past experience had told us, get into the blind early and wait - The guys did exactly that.

Past experience had told us, check your lights, get into the blind early, and wait – The guys did exactly that.

Night after night the guys headed to the blind. And each evening the sow and her piglet’s would come in to feed, giving the hunters enough action to keep their appetites going.

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The boar not once came in with the sow and piglet’s, and when he did our cameras would catch him in action, feeding tentatively, as if he knew something was up.

Realizing this particular boar was somewhat of a “Chevy with different hub caps”, Greg and Max started looking around more and more each evening. Surely he wasn’t far? Soon they noticed the big old boar in the shadows beyond the feeding frenzy. He would pace up and down, but never dared enter the area under the feeder, where a dim red light was lighting up the outlines of the various pigs feeding contentedly. He had been happy to feed under the light all month-long, but now trusted his sixth sense.

Between their nightly vigils the crew kept their score ticking over each day, enjoying a number of good hunts in some beautiful country.

Then each evening, as the previous, they would head back for a rematch with the smartest Bushpig in Africa. And each evening they’d retire back to camp when all were worn out and done, having given it their best shot.

With the Bushpig hunting dominating proceedings it was decided that a break would be the best cure for two despondent hunters and a smart Bushpig. It was possibly the best approach after going at it that hard.

An afternoon duck shoot sounded like a welcome break.

An afternoon duck shoot sounded like a welcome break.

The birds came in hard and fast, giving us a great shoot right up until dark when all we could was hear them hitting the water with nothing to aim at. An enjoyable afternoon was enjoyed by all to say the least!

The birds came in hard and fast, giving us a great shoot right up until dark when all we could hear was the ducks hitting the water with nothing to aim at. An enjoyable afternoon to say the least!

On the second last evening of their safari, having sat in the blind for a fifth night, and still no pig to show for their efforts, Max dully summed up the match; “5-0 Retired hurt.”  They had given their all and then some. Committed and dedicated to the point of obsession right to the end.

And then on our last evening, while we were enjoying one another’s company toasting our friendship and the safari that had been, our fury friend decided to rub further salt into battered wounds….

Of course he'd come, joining the rest of his group at 18:45, like clock work old sport!

Of course he’d come, joining the rest of his group at 18:45. “Like clock work old sport!”- Max would say.

His sixth sense had won him not only the day, but the entire match.

For more information and current updates about John X Safaris; follow us on Twitter, connect with us on Facebook and visit our Website!

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John X Safaris is proud to announce its support of PHASA’s CONSERVATION & EMPOWERMENT FUND AFRICAN HERITAGE GALA DINNER set to take place in Johannesburg on March 15th.

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Conservation is and will remain the only manner in which the last vestiges of African wilderness can continue to flourish and expand. The past decade has seen a concerted effort from people across Southern Africa, supporting a like-minded conservation ethic.

The Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa (PHASA), through its Conservation and Empowerment Fund, has been at the forefront of efforts to raise funds going directly to the heart of conservation in the training of future wildlife officers and individuals who will take up the challenge of an ongoing conservation drive across southern Africa.

PHASA, in conjunction with the Fund and the Southern African Wildlife College, based in Hoedspruit, Limpopo, will once again host the annual Gala Dinner / Auction during which exclusive donations, including hunts, photographic safaris, art and luxury weekend retreats, are auctioned to raise much-needed conservation and development funds. Funds raised during the auction are utilised for the training of previously disadvantaged students in the conservation arena, and aid/assistance is provided for specific conservation projects  identified by the PHASA Fund.

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The past six events yielded over R8 million in funding(+- USD $1,000,000), an unprecedented achievement that resulted in the training of hundreds of students in conservation and aided many projects, from collaring cheetah, to funding anti-poaching efforts to protect our rhino population.

Now, more than ever before, funding will continue to play a critical role in maintaining our wildlife heritage. To this end John X Safaris felt its support of the 7th Annual Wildlife Heritage Gala Dinner is of paramount importance.

John X Safaris support will not only ensure the continuation of this event but will also contribute to the survival and sustainability of one of the world’s greatest natural wonders – southern Africa’s  fauna and flora.

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John x Safaris wishes PHASA all the best for this prestigious event and hope that our donation for Greywing Partridge over English Pointer for 2 hunters + 2 observers will fetch record bids ensuring we do our part in turning the evening into a roaring success.

For more information and current updates about John X Safaris; follow us on Twitter, connect with us on Facebook and visit our Website!

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Bill Satterfield, Dave Kjelstrup, Alex Good and Paul Latchford were still on safari heading north hoping to carry on from where they left off in the south.

Arriving in the north, the guys settled into camp before the afternoon’s hunt was set to begin.

Professional Hunter, Juan MacDonald, together with his hunters, Alex and Paul, were after Gemsbuck and Springbuck. Dave was on the hunt for Cape Hartebeest, Gemsbuck, Eland, Mnt Reedbuck and Springbuck, while Bill would soon be joining the hunt with a day of upland birds over English Pointer.

Alex was the first to strike gold – A superb Gemsbuck.

Paul soon followed with a bull of his own.

Dave was finding the north slow at first, we were spotting game, but weren’t getting those lucky breaks we’d become accustomed to in the south.

We were forced to hit the mountains in search of game.

We finally spotted a heard of Gemsbuck across a small valley, feeding on the next plateau. We left Bill to shelter and made the final ascend. Dave was finding the terrain hard, as loose rocks were making conditions under foot extremely difficult to navigate in.

We finally got into position and Dave added to his tally of one shot kills.

Day 5 was capped off with a great late afternoon Impala.

The following morning was a slow one, the previous evenings party had been good, possibly too good. The mornings hunt saw us coming up empty-handed, so we decided to head back to camp for lunch. On the way back to camp Boy spotted a group of Mnt Reedbuck bedded down in a secluded valley. A closer inspection revealed a ram worth pursuing. We edged our way along a wooded area and came up and over, looking down for the hidden animals. Once we’d spotted them it was a matter of patience.

Boy and Dave with Dave’s old Mnt Reedbuck ram.

The bow hunters hadn’t run into any sort of luck during the course of the morning. The area was massive, making it difficult to locate the required game. Whenever we were after Eland, all we could find was Springbuck and tons of Gemsbuck, while the other crew was finding loads of Eland. We decided to join forces and plan our attack for the afternoon. If we could help each other by spotting game the other was after, we could cover double the distance in half the time. We headed out.

Within hours our plan worked! Dave coming away with a monster Cape Hartebeest.

Day seven saw us rising to a windless morning, the perfect start to a day of upland birds. Bill and Alex joined me, while Juan, Dave, and Paul were on the hunt for Cape Springbuck.

The bird hunters travelled 45 mins north to Niel’s place, ready for an enjoyable morning.

The bird hunters were after Grey Wing Partridge, a small covey bird living on the high ground at + – 5000 feet above sea level. These birds are wild and are hunted in their natural terrain, making for exciting shooting over trained English Pointer.

Our English Pointer, Bones, is a camp favorite and a great character to have around, the fact that he’s really good at what he does only adds to the excitement and the hunters’ entire experience.

Bones kept us going for 5 hours without a single break. Now that’s hunting by an old dog.

The terrain often tested us in various ways, Bill soon finding himself head high in brush with Bones on a point.

While our morning was a slow one, extremely strange for that particular area, we enjoyed a great laugh. During midmorning while flushing a covey of Grey Wing, Bill soon knocked down the lead bird, only to see Alex follow-up on the double with an escaping Jack Rabbit! Needless to say we were rolling with laughter after seeing the blank expression on Bones’ face!

On the other side of the mountain things were going pretty well. Dave had hunted a Cape Eland and both hunters had lucked into Springbuck.

A happy Paul with a well-earned Common Springbuck.

Our time in the Karoo had come and gone so quickly, we had spent 3 enjoyable days hunting some of the biggest open country that Africa has to offer.

Before heading south we said our final farewells; it was truly a fantastic place to have hunted….

Day eight would still provide many adventures. The day was young and the Land Cruiser felt strong, eating away at the many miles south.

Arriving back south in time for the afternoon hunt, we got onto a roll like I haven’t seen in years.

Dave first dropped his Black Wildebeest with another well placed shot. A great bull to add to his growing trophy collection.

Having taken a liking to the bow hunters Blesbuck, he was keen on hunting a ram of his own.

And when we had all called it a day and were heading back to the skinning shed, that familiar whistle rang out from the back. Boy had spotted something. We dropped off the rest and headed out again.

Dave’s much wanted Warthog was what Boy had spotted.

Needless to say we were all worn out after such an eventful day.

That evening saw us enjoy a well-earned dinner back at base camp, reliving the stories of what had been thus far.

Day nine saw us rise at 4am, we were going waterfowl shooting.

Hides were in place.

Decoys were set.

The birds were coming.

The guys enjoyed a successful morning, with a personal highlight, seeing Dave use the callers with such skill. We were told he was the North Dakota champion; we now know he really is!

Apart from Dave’s great calling it seemed these guys could shoot just as well.

That afternoon we set out for the last time trying to find Alex a big Kudu bull. We had taken on so much, in the end we simply ran out of time. With the setting sun, Juan and I decided to introduce our new friends to an entire different world. We hooked up the spotlight and brought the night to life. We spotted Jackal, Springhare, Jack Rabbit, Aardwolf, Bushbuck, Kudu, Bat Eared Fox, Porcupine and a host of birds.

Dave bagged this beauty of a Common Duiker to end what had been an amazing hunt.

Our last day of our hunt was put aside for R&R. We headed down towards the coast on a meandering pub crawl, stopping in at the many water holes along the way.

Including the pub with the longest standing liquor license in South Africa.

We then capped it off with a seafood lunch on the ocean.

And finally a Big 5 Game Drive – Spotting Lion, Elephant, Hippo and Giraffe in the same afternoon.

So you cost me a buck and you never even knew it. Value for money, I’ve never had that much fun with any one group before. Both Juan and I still find ourselves laughing at the many crazy things you guys did. If Alex wasn’t inventing a new species on a daily basis, he was practicing trick shooting with his rifle and bow, how else could one explain the mayhem. If Dave wasn’t taking on every hunter and his mother, then Paul was there to edge him along even deeper into another bet. As for Bill, the elderly gentleman who came strolling down the aisle and cost me a buck. I’d gladly pay that buck again!

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