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Archive for the ‘John X Foundation’ Category

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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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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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When we first set out to launch our foundations mission for 2016, it was probably one of the greatest unknowns I’ve ever taken on within the safari industry. The questions mulling over in my head and the fears of launching a successful program felt more daunting than my first Cape Buffalo hunt. While the John X Foundation has been supporting a number of worthy initiatives and causes over the past five years, this one seemed closer to home. It was my brainchild, something I had been quietly thinking about for a number of years ~ I knew my passion and the unrelenting support from my team would ensure success, but this was still a first for all of us.

Counting down the days and then the arrival at Orange Grove Adventures… The first Jr Hunters Course

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Having raised the necessary funds through the support of our generous hunters, whom we cannot thank enough, we plotted and planned every detail of the course with Patrick Cairns. Trish jumped to work on sourcing the various items of clothing, toiletries, and food requirements. Greg, Stix and I covered the various topics of the course with Patrick, while Ozzie and Jose from GTS Productions worked on the script of how we would be sharing this very first Jr Hunters course with the rest of the world.

The months soon turned to days and before we knew it we were unpacking the trucks at Orange Grove, Tarkastad. With us we had eight shy boys from various backgrounds and communities – all linked to the safari industry in one way or another.

At first I wasn’t sure who was more nervous than the other? Patrick had warned me of something I had never considered when the idea first came to mind. While most of us grew up “wanting” to hunt or have been introduced to hunting at a young age, and would have given anything to have been accepted to a Jr Hunters course at age 13/14, none of these boys from our previously disadvantaged communities had ever hunted before. They understood the concept, but not a single boy had ever held a gun in their lives! Did they even want to be here I kept asking myself. Was it my “want” for them to be here? Or was I being overly ambitious in my concept?

If you don’t dare you cannot succeed….

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Nelson Mandela once remarked; “If your plan is for 1 year, plant rice. If your plan is for 10 years, plant trees. If your plan is for 100 years, educate children.” And it was with those words that we jumped in head first. We were determined to make an impact through hunting and the great outdoors on these young men.

That first afternoon and evenings’ schedule was dominated by lectures on topics such as; why hunting plays an important role in conservation, what the correct ethics were in hunting – the do’s and dont’s, and of course we wanted to hear from them what they thought hunting was. How did they see this age-old tradition?

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We spoke about the various methods of hunting and then capped off our day with a rifle cleaning session and dinner around the campfire. Some of the boys had never traveled this far away from home before – so all were pretty exhausted after an overwhelming first day. The boys settled into their campsite and were fast asleep before we even realized they had quietly disappeared from the fire.

The following morning saw the “shy” boys from the previous day rise to slightly more confident young men. With their smiles and imminent signs of genuine interest, my fears started dissipating. Things started falling in place as we started the morning lecture off with tracking and track identification in the field. By mid morning we had them back to the final lecture session of the day – animal identification. This proved to be an interesting one as soon one could judge the region a child was from by the game he was able to identify. With our huge variety of game one could understand how a kid from the Karoo didn’t have the slightest idea of what a Blue Duiker or Bushbuck looked like, while the coastal kids had never seen a Gemsbuck in their lives before.

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After lunch we were off to the range. This proved to be one of the most rewarding afternoons I have ever experienced. There we were, Greg, Stix, Asisipho, Patrick’s trainer assistant, and myself, each at a bench with the boys taking turns. Patrick covered the various gun safety aspects once again, and then we had the boys take their first shots with a .22. The results were astounding. Expecting a full afternoon on the range we had not planned or banked on how fast they would master the art of handling a firearm in a safe manner, and then becoming crack shots at the same time. We were astounded!

Soon we had them shooting off sticks, and then we put away the .22’s and took out the 243’s – which they would be using the following day to hopefully harvest their first Springbuck.

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By the early evening we felt confident in our young hunters capabilities and headed back to camp to discuss the various shot placement scenarios and the general characteristics and habits of their target specie the following day.

8/8 – What a day!

That morning we woke the boys at 04:30 am and headed out for Springbuck. Four teams consisting of a Professional Hunter and two boys, accompanied by a GTS Productions cameraman, set out in various directions. The Springbuck were plentiful and the opportunities numerous. The boys had clearly listened the previous day, and while there were some spectacular misses, there were some pretty amazing shots too. In the end we got home at 17:30 that afternoon with 8 boys, and 8 Springbuck. It was a remarkable feat to say the least. We had taken a bunch of serious “green horns” and achieved a level of success we had not envisaged, but more important than any kill, we had introduced hunting and the benefits of that lifestyle to a group of young men who now clearly seemed hooked.

We had taken 8 boys and turned them into 8 enthusiastic hunters. There’s something to be said about that particular experience.

Wrapping things up in fun –  A Charging Buffalo and Clays…

Our final day saw the weather continue to treat us well, as we set out to work and process the Springbuck carcasses from the previous days hunt. Each boy dismantled the various portions and cuts from his own Springbuck, while Patrick and Asisipho explained what each portion of meat could be used for, or prepared into a scrumptious meal. Once the meat was processed and packed away we were off to the range once again. This time round we had a surprise up our sleeve for the boys.

Arriving at the range the boys soon realized they wouldn’t be shooting at stationary targets, but a mobile one – in the form of a charging Cape Buffalo on a sled. One of the boys would tie a long rope around his waist, which was connected to a life-size Cape Buffalo target, and upon Patrick’s command the runner would take off at a full gallop pulling the sled along at a rapid pace towards a second boy with a loaded .22. The concept was quite simple ~ hit the Buffalo in the head or chest before the sled reached your position. This proved to be a hit with the boys, as the laughter and excitement reached new levels. Soon we pulled out the “Elephant gun” as they referred to the 458, and offered then an opportunity to shoot with a big bore rifle for the very first time. Once those who opted to try the 458 had each had a couple of turns, the instructors and PH’s set out on a small competition of our own, taking on the charging Buffalo with the 458. I can proudly declare each one of the guys made the required kill shots, with our Mexican friend, Jose, out shooting us all! (He just got lucky! LOL) By the end of the charging Buffalo challenge one could see that the boys had now truly come into their own and were engaging in every aspect of every challenge we threw at them.

From one challenge we headed to the next – Clays on the range and the concept of wing shooting. This particular session proved to be an amazing one as some of the boys were recording 3/5 scores on their first round. We all agreed that was pretty impressive considering the time it takes most of us to master the art of successful clay pigeon shooting. We finished up the clays and shells, satisfied with a morning well spent and headed to camp for our final afternoon and evening around the camp fire.

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We had all had a blast!

Giving Thanks where Thanks is due…

As I proudly reflect back over the course I can truly say we have achieved everything we had hoped for and so much more. More importantly we have realized how much we take for granted, and how important it is for each and every one of us as hunters, to take responsibility of our actions, by committing ourselves to introducing our age-old tradition we hold so dear, to the next generation. While it is important that we continue to raise our young boys and girls in a manner that accepts hunting and the role it plays in the future of our wildlife, we need to challenge ourselves to introduce a complete “outsider” to the world of hunting. This is something harder than most would realize, and something we could not have done without the support of a number of committed hunters who made this first Jr Hunters Course a reality during 2016.

Most of them, as on previous occasions would prefer to remain anonymous, as they feel it’s not about them, but about the kids. They are the true saints of our Foundation, the people whom I cannot leave out at this time.

Sam Cunningham, Jim and Chris Smith, John Thompson, David and Mary-Lynn West – Words cannot express my gratitude. You all know how close to my heart this mission was, and every one of you never asked a single question, except how many kids the Foundation needed sponsorship for. You are the ones that have truly made a difference. Thank you.

Enjoy the memories with us as GTS Productions takes us back to a week of fun on the first of many Jr Hunters courses to come.

If you’ve enjoyed hearing about the John X Foundations Jr Hunter initiative and would like to get more involved by sponsoring a boy/s for our 2017 course, then please feel free to contact Carl directly on hunting@johnxsafaris.co.za  or catch up with him in the US during Jan/Feb 2017. Also note as of 2017 we will be able to offer our donors the opportunity to claim back 100% of their donations through an agreement reached with the Ithembu Trust via a 501(c)3 Registered Organization under the Jernigan Foundation. We’d be glad to have you on board as we strive to make a difference through hunting.

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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Looking towards the future, it is becoming more evident with each passing day, that without the involvement of the youth, our proud hunting heritage, stands to lose further ground. Gone are the days of SCI and Dallas Safari Club standing alone in carrying the torch of responsibility. While those organizations work relentlessly in their goals of involving the youth in hunting, it is up to us to do our part too.

If each one of us, who proudly claim to be passionate hunters, were to look back at that watershed moment when the penny dropped and you became a hunter, were to pin the period in your life that, that happened, the majority would surely point towards their younger years. When a father, uncle, older brother, or grand father, introduced you to this amazing past time and instilled the values of hunting. And it is with these fundamentals that we are proud to launch the John X Foundations’ initiative for 2016.

THE LAUNCH – FINDING THE RIGHT PARTNER

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Our Foundation will be teaming up with Patrick Cairns from the Ithemba Trust, initiating a Junior Hunters Course for previously disadvantaged youth from our local impoverished communities.

The aim of this course is to encourage youngsters to get out to the great outdoors and to create a genuine love for outdoor activities and lifestyle. As such it aims to introduce nature, hunting, and conservation, to a part of our community that has never had the opportunity until now. While hunting is the focus, it will be within a conservation style setting and ethos. The course is open to both young ladies and gentlemen.

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The course will be held on the 2000 acre, Orange Grove Farm, outside Tarkastad in the Eastern Cape.  The property has wonderful camping facilities where the junior hunters will be based.

The emphasis of the course will be on acquiring practical skills on the following topics and activities –

  • Conservation – The Role Hunting Plays
  • Animal Identification
  • Hunter and Gun safety
  • Introduction to Ballistics
  • Introduction to Shooting
  • Basic Hunting Principals – Stalking and bullet placement.
  • Tracking skills – Track one of the big five – Buffalo
  • Archery
  • Survival skills
  • Judging Trophy Animals
  • Each child will be offered the opportunity to hunt their first Springbuck.
  • Gutting, Caping, and Skinning – Learning about the process where nothing goes to waste.
  • Camping
  • Night Drives

At the completion of the course, each participant will receive a tanned hide of his or her Springbuck hunted, kindly sponsored by Splitting Image Taxidermy.

SO HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED?

John X Safaris will be sponsoring all the required clothing, equipment, and foot wear for the children, as well as assisting in transportation to and from Orange Grove. GTS Productions has come on board as to capture the entire experience on film for not only the participants, but the sponsors too, ensuring these first fond memories of hunting are immortalized forever.

WE ASKED YOU TO SPONSOR 1 of 8 KIDS

The cost for the course is US $500 per kid covering:

  • Accommodation in canvas tents at Orange Grove Farm for four nights.
  • All meals, cool drinks, tea, coffee etc for the duration of the course.
  • Transportation throughout the course with 4X4 hunting vehicles.
  • All rifles and ammunition.
  • Instructors – Professional Hunters, Trackers, and Skinner’s.
  • The opportunity to hunt one Springbuck.

YOUR RESPONSE WAS ASTOUNDING!

Having initially launched our Jr Hunters Course initiative during Thanksgiving 2015, it didn’t take long for the first mails to start trickling in. Many asked to have a couple of kids reserved for their sponsorship, while others planned to meet with Carl and Ross during Jan/Feb 2016 in the US.

Having met a number of you on our travels, it soon became evident how much we as hunters truly care. It’s one thing talking and saying all the right things, it’s a whole different story when fellow hunters step up to the challenge and sponsor the heck out of the initiative. At one stage both Ross and Carl had to push sponsorship over to 2017, as we had run out of spots for our 2016 course. It was like nothing they had ever experienced with the Foundation!

A special word of appreciation must go out to the sponsors of this inaugural Jr Hunters Course. Some of our sponsors did not want their names mentioned, as they didn’t want the recognition for their sponsorship. To them it was about the kids and the opportunities their funds could provide. While we respect their requests we cannot honor it. These are the true heroes among us – these are the people who need mentioning – no matter what they might tell you – without them this new initiative would not have happened. We salute and thank…

  • David & Mary-Lynn West
  • John Thompson
  • Bwana Big Jim & Chris Smith
  • Sam Cunningham

WHERE ARE WE AT NOW – THE DATE HAS BEEN SET.

Together with Patrick we have secured and set a date for the course. The course will be held during our third quarter school vacation, from 4-8 October 2016. Trish, Ross, Patrick and Carl, have started the purchasing of equipment and supplies. There’s a lot more that goes into a course such as this than what one would think!

The selection process of eligible kids falling between the ages of 10/11 -15/16 years of age has started, with kids required to apply via a letter reasoning their interest in the course and why they feel they should be selected. Our trackers, camp staff, and all hunting areas staff children have been given first option on the first six spots on the course, with a further two being offered to PHASA(Professional Hunters Ass of SA).

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Through PHASA’s Fund and its #HuntersCare initiative we felt we would challenge our competitors in the industry by offering these two spots to some of their interested staff members, seeing them benefit via this initiative in giving their children an opportunity to.

Between now and August we will complete the selection process of the kids, with further purchasing of supplies taking place on our monthly town runs.

We feel we’re onto something special here. Where this initiative may end up in years to come who knows? One thing is for sure, with your continued support we can do anything we set our minds on. Together we can bridge a gap for previously disadvantaged communities by developing a passion for wildlife and hunting in their children beyond the boundaries of their social background.

Let’s stand together and keep the rally of support going – We’re not just talking about doing the right thing – The hunters are doing it.

The John X Team & Foundation

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 you start planning your next safari, we beg to ask the obvious question; “How do you know you’re choosing the right outfitter for your next African hunt?”

We know how limited your time is and we understand your concerns. You have a predetermined budget for your next safari, and you’re not only after getting your monies worth in hunting, but the entire experience. You want to hunt large areas and have a shot at world-class trophies day in and day out. You’re after an enjoyable hassle free trip from the time of booking until your beautiful trophies are proudly displayed on your wall back home. You’re after the turn-key experience with a professionally guaranteed outfit , and we’re here to ensure that’s exactly what you’ll get.

In fact we’re so confident in our product that we asked Craig Boddington what he thought of John X Safaris after his first experience on safari with us.

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Carl van Zyl and his team at John X Safaris are a real class act! Carl’s “home lodge” at Lalibela is one of the nicest lodges I’ve ever seen…and Carl has other concessions scattered around the Eastern Cape. Depending on the game you’re looking for, you can hunt coastal thorn-bush, high mountains, or the Great Karoo. Carl was my choice when I took my daughter Caroline on her first safari, and a great choice it was!
Craig Boddington

We then went one step further and asked Aaron Davidson, owner of Gunwerks, leaders of the long-range industry, whom have joined us on numerous safaris, to share his views on John X Safaris.

There is one thing I’ve learned from 10 years of international hunting, if you go with the right outfitter to the right place, you will have an excellent experience. If you’ve ever made the mistake of making the selection about the “deal” or package, you know what I’m talking about. 
For a South African safari, John X Safaris is the right place, and Carl Van Zyl is the right outfitter. He knows how to put you on big animals in an environment suited for lifelong memories. Our partnership to develop a “Long Range Safari” experience is in its fourth year, and I can recommend no other hunting trip or shooting event that will give you a better opportunity to test and improve your long-range shooting expertise.
On one trip, you can get a lifetime of not only long-range hunting experiences, but opportunities at big game like nowhere else.

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Carl and his team have a passion for your success, and they know how to find and stalk game the Gunwerks way.
Aaron Davidson

At John X Safaris we pride ourselves on our high percentage of repeat clientele, a direct result of our dedicated team of professional hunters, trackers, skinners, camp staff and office personnel taking care of your every need.

The Eastern Cape of South Africa is our base and home. This Malaria Free area offers a diverse combination of landscapes, vegetation and wildlife, together making it a unique hunting destination for the first time hunter to Africa. We hunt large Big 5 game reserves/ranches offering world-class Plains Game, Cape Buffalo, and White Rhino.

Further north, Mozambique’s Zambezi Delta is our flag-ship in concession hunting, making it one of the few areas where one has the opportunity of a true classical big five safari combined with a variety of plains game. In Cameroon we hunt the Savannah for the magnificent Lord Derby Eland, or enjoy the thrill of a Pygmy led chase on the ever impressive Bongo in the rain forest. Botswana and Namibia’s Kalahari Desert offers some of the best bow areas in Africa, with numerous opportunities on trophy quality plains game. While Zimbabwe and Zambia plays host to some of the best Leopard and Lion hunting in Africa.

SO if you’re 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.
  • Fair Chase Big 5 on large concessions/reserves.
  • Lodging second to none. Where you can choose 1 of 3 different lodges throughout the East Cape, with our base camp located on our Big 5 Game Reserve. Yes – you will hear free-roaming lions at night, and experience Elephants, Giraffe, Cheetah, Hippo, Rhino, Buffalo, and Zebra in the wild. You do not have to be on a Big 5 hunt to experience this at John X Safaris.
  • 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 #Gettingtheyouthhunting
  • 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. Feel free to take us up on #Groupdiscount or #Groupleaderdiscount.
  • 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 32 years in the safari industry.

Then John X Safaris is the Outfit for YOU.

So if we have ticked your requirements then we’d like to hear more from you. Bookings for 2016/17/18 are coming in at a steady pace and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible during our upcoming travels across North America.

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Below is a quick reminder of our 2016 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.

USA – January/February 2016

  • Dallas Safari Club Show – Dallas, Texas: 7 – 10 January 2016 – Both Carl and Stix will be at the show.
  • Houston, Texas, Cocktail Party/Visit: 11 – 14 January 2016 – Any interested hunters can join us for an evening BBQ Reception at the Travis residence in Cypress, TX, Wednesday, 13 January.
  • Kearney, Nebraska Cocktail Party/Visit: 14 – 15 January 2016 – Cocktail evening with the Hertner’s in Kearney, Friday evening, 15 January.
  • Omaha, Nebraska Cocktail Party/Visit: 16 – 18 January 2016 – Cocktail evening with Steve & Jill Evers from Wildlife Creation Taxidermy, Sunday 17 January. Any folks interested in visiting or meeting up with us while in the Omaha area can plan to do so from 16:00 on wards at the Evers residence in Omaha.
  • The week of 18-22 January 2016 will see Carl enjoy a bird shoot in Vance, MS, while Stix will be visiting with our good friend Sam Cunningham in Amarillo, TX. Any folks interested in meeting up with Stix can schedule a preferred time during the week.
  • Jackson, Mississippi: 22 – 24 January 2015 – Carl & Stix will be visiting with our good friend Mike Jarvis.
  • Salt Lake City / Eagle Mountain, Utah: 24-27 January 2016 –Fun evening with all our friends from Eagle Mountain, Wednesday evening 27 January – Both Carl & Stix will be in Eagle Mountain.
  • Pleasant View, Utah: 28 – 31 January 2016 – Fun Evening with the Nelsen brothers, Friday 29 January – Both Carl & Stix will be in Pleasant View.
  •  Safari Club International – Las Vegas, Nevada: 3 – 6 February 2016 – The entire crew consisting of Carl, Stix, Dave Harwood, Brett Nelson, and Jose, will be at the show.

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 – 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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Since the inception of the John X Foundation seven years ago – John X Safaris and our valued supporters have seen numerous projects bear fruit through the collective effort of like-minded people.

Some of our most recent success has been with our Serval program. This program was first introduced to our Foundation supporters a mere three years ago.

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At that stage our resident Serval population was much the same as this picture. They were there, well camouflaged, but the population was a long way off from its hidden potential.

Our goal at the time was to successfully breed Serval in captivity, before releasing the offspring into the reserve. The project ran its course and soon we realized through the various donors generous support, our Serval were breeding much better naturally in the wild, so we dully did away with the breeding enclosures, and released all into the reserve. That combined with Rick’s relentless effort of beating back the encroaching exotic Black Wattle trees on the reserve, has seen numerous stretches of once open grassland slowly but surely return to its original state, ensuring 2015 turned out to be a watershed year in Serval sightings.

Images such as these are now a daily occurrence at Lalibela - nowhere else in Africa will one view Serval this often and at such close quarters. The future now looks better than ever before for our thriving Serval project - every single hunter who took part in this initiative can feel proud of a truly successful project.

Images such as these are now a daily occurrence at Lalibela – nowhere else in Africa will one view Serval this often and at such close quarters. The future now looks brighter than ever before for our thriving Serval population – every single hunter who took part in this initiative can feel proud of a truly successful project.

This year, for the first time ever, we used sport, through the great game of baseball, to give hope and opportunity to the kids in our local community.

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Like our iconic late president Nelson Mandela used to say; “Sport has the power to change the world. Sport has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to the youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.”

Having enjoyed a memorable hunt with Justin Travis, we soon came to realize there’s so much more to this young man than what meets the eye. As the only child of Steve and Haylee Travis, growing up in Houston, Texas, Justin has enjoyed the many privileges of a caring home.

Here’s Justin story and how he together with the John X Foundation made a difference in the lives of those less fortunate during 2015.

We thank you Justin for all your effort in getting this project up and running. By achieving your goal you have not only succeeded in launching this new initiative, but more importantly have set the marker and offered a challenge to other young hunters out there. Sport can unite like nothing else on earth,through sport hope is only a game away. We salute you Justin.

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Looking towards the future, it is becoming more evident with each passing day, that without the involvement of the youth, our proud heritage of hunting, stands to lose further ground. Gone are the days of SCI and Dallas Safari Club standing alone in carrying the torch of responsibility. While those organizations work relentlessly in their goals of involving the youth in hunting, it is up to us to do our part too.

If each one of us, who proudly claim to be passionate hunters, were to look back at that watershed moment when the penny dropped and you became a hunter, were to pin the period in your life that, that happened, the majority would surely point towards their younger years. When a father, uncle, older brother, or grand father, introduced you to this amazing past time and instilled the values of hunting. And it is with these fundamentals that we are proud to launch the John X Foundations’ initiative for 2016.

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Our Foundation will be teaming up with Patrick Cairns from the Ithemba Trust, initiating a Junior Hunters Course for previously disadvantaged youth from our local impoverished communities.

The aim of this course is to encourage youngsters to get out to the great outdoors and to create a genuine love for outdoor activities and lifestyle. As such it aims to introduce nature, hunting, and conservation, to a part of our community that has never had the opportunity until now. While hunting is the focus, it will be within a conservation style setting and ethos. The course is open to both young ladies and gentlemen.

Orange Grove

The course will be held on the 2000 acre, Orange Grove Farm, outside Tarkastad in the Eastern Cape.  The property has wonderful camping facilities were the junior hunters will be based.

The emphasis of the course will be on acquiring practical skills on the following topics and activities –

  • Conservation – The Role Hunting Plays
  • Animal Identification
  • Hunter and Gun safety
  • Introduction to Ballistics
  • Introduction to Shooting
  • Basic Hunting Principals – Stalking and bullet placement.
  • Tracking skills – Track one of the big five – Buffalo
  • Archery
  • Survival skills
  • Judging Trophy Animals
  • Each child will be offered the opportunity to hunt their first Springbuck.
  • Gutting, Caping, and Skinning – Learning about the process where nothing goes to waste.
  • Camping
  • Night Drives

At the completion of the course, each participant will receive a tanned hide of his or her Springbuck hunted, kindly sponsored by Splitting Image Taxidermy.

SO HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED?

John X Safaris will be sponsoring all the required clothing and foot wear for the children, as well as assisting in transportation to and from Orange Grove. GTS Productions has come on board as to capture the entire experience on film for not only the participants, but the sponsors too, ensuring these first fond memories of hunting are immortalized forever.

SPONSOR 1 of 8 KIDS

The cost for the course is US $500 per kid covering:

  • Accommodation in canvas tents at Orange Grove Farm for four nights.
  • All meals, cool drinks, tea, coffee etc for the duration of the course.
  • Transportation throughout the course with 4X4 hunting vehicles.
  • All rifles and ammunition.
  • Instructors – Professional Hunters, Trackers, and Skinner’s.
  • The opportunity to hunt one Springbuck.

Feel free to contact Carl on hunting@johnxsafaris.co.za or Trish on info@johnxsafaris.co.za if you would be interested in sponsoring a kid for this opportunity of a lifetime. If there may be corporate sponsors wishing to come on board we would be more than happy to include brands/ing of any of those organizations too.

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2016 will be an exciting year for the John X Foundation, join us and become a part of securing the future of hunting for generations to come.

Happy memories, happy times, and happy moments – These we wish for you to enjoy with loved ones on this Thanksgiving Day. A blessed Thanksgiving to you and yours.

The John X Team & Foundation

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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If you had asked the founder of the John X Foundation, Chris Petersen, at the initial onset of the project, if he believed we would be where we are today, he would have laughed at you. At the time we were like many other companies around the world, doing our bit “financially” forming part of a growing economy providing jobs, skills, opportunities, and livelihoods.

We have AFRICA – a setting and destination like no other…

Our hunters hunt for conservation….

While supporting and sustaining an economy within an economy….

BUT we wanted to do more than “just” form part of the economy, we wanted to show how much we as hunters care.

And so through the continued support and generous contributions from so many of you we have been able to take giant leaps from those initial ideas and humble beginnings. What started out as a one man show SCI Blue Bag donation, has snowballed into numerous projects supported by many of our hunters.

We partnered up with you, our proud hunters, and brought back the smiles through your caring donations….

We then challenged you to not only donate and provide school supplies and an abundance of stationary, but to join us on our dream of an entire make over of our little school. No longer did we want our kids to have to endure empty play grounds and graffiti riddled walls, or the thought of cold school lunches – no the winds of change had to blow through our little school.

And blow they did….

Today our little school has been transformed into a kiddies wonderland where the daily reality of poverty can be forgotten for just a while to let the colors of the rainbow flow into their lives as they take strides in the right direction with an education.

It goes without saying that without each and everyone who donated in his or her own way, we would not have reached the John X Foundations goal during 2014. Special mention needs to be made of a number of people who went the extra mile, taking on our project with invigorating energy – It all matters and counts at the end of the day – no matter how big or small.

Phillip & Paige Nelsen / Jason, Tracey, Hunter & Jordan Nelsen / Jason Maxwell / Jarod Wallace / Chris & Collette Ashcroft / Robert & La Shanda Terry / Kelly & Suzanne Edwards / Jim & Cari Smith / Larry & Claudia Fullmer / Brett & Shelie Wright / Brad & Leslie Wilson / Randy & Emily B Spence

Both Trish and I, and the entire John X Team, cannot thank you enough for the opportunity and trust you placed in us and the foundation during 2014. Next year sees us taking on a new project, taking our foundation to the masses. John X Safaris, together with Splitting Image Taxidermy, looks forward to launching our 2015 initiative early in the new year. We will once again be calling on you to assist with “Hunters Feeding the Hungry”. Exciting times await…..

A happy Thanksgiving to you and yours,

Carl & Trish van Zyl

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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