What Tanzania is all about...BIG BUFFALO!...OK, one of the things.

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Tanzania is “the man” when it comes to African big game hunting. Selous, Rungwa, Moyowosi, Serengeti, Burigi and Masailand are all names that strike fear, wonderment and desire into the hearts of all African hunters. Big buffalo, big lion, big ivory; whether you’re on your first safari or twentieth, this is East Africa of yore. Kenya, Tanganyika, Kilimanjaro, the places; Maydon, Taylor, Hunter, Ruark; the writers.

AFRICAN PROFESSIONAL HUNTERS (APH) is working with TANZANIA BUNDU SAFARIS in the Mahenge North concession on the western Selous plus, the world renowned concessions of Loibor Serrit (Lobo) and Lolkisale on the eastern border of the Tarangire National park in Masailand, roughly 120 kilometers SW of Arusha as the hornbill flies. These areas are some of Tanzania's finest concessions, particularly for huge Lion, huge Leopard and Godzilla Buffalo… “Jaws” of the big three. Just have a look at the record book!!

The Mahenge is The Selous, the world's largest game reserve (15,500 sq mi/40,145 sq km). With rolling savannah, and miombo woodlands, there are over 110,000 reasons to be here…BUFFALO! Massive as a boulder, 1500 pounds of bovine gristle await you in the The Selous, home to more Cape Buffalo than any other game reserve in Africa, not to mention the 40,000 hippos that reside along and within the Great Ruaha, the Luwego and Kilombero and their associated network of tributaries and back-water pools. Tanzanian southern species abound here: elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, zebra (baumannii), Nyasa wildebeest, Roosevelt sable, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, common waterbuck, common reedbuck, warthog, and East African bushbuck, eland and impala. In compliment and contrast, the fabulous Lobo and Lolkisale provide opportunities for many of the northern species: lesser kudu, oryx, gerenuk, Coke’s hartebeest, white bearded wildebeest, Grant's gazelle, dik dik, and of course, monster buffalo, lion, leopard.

Additionally, APH is hunting with NORTHERN HUNTING ENTERPRISES in Moyowosi North, Burigi/Biharamulo, and Burunge in Masailand, Moyowasi, Burigi and Biharamulo providing the western species…of note and contrast: eastern bohor reedbuck, defassa waterbuck, topi, and sitatunga as well as good cats, buff, C. Sable and L. Hartebeest. Burigi and the contiguous Biharamulo are notably good for roan, klipspringer, dik dik, oribi and excellent East African Impala. Burunge, is great for northern species 11/2 hrs southwest of Arusha. It’s good for leopard, white-bearded wildebeest, zebra, dik dik, Tommy's, eastern bohor reedbuck. A fly camp at Gallapo 3hrs drive south affords excellent lesser kudu and leopard. This area also provides lion, buffalo (very good early and late), Cokes hartebeest, fringe-eared oryx and Grant's gazelle. On this hunt, a short side trip (1 or 2 days) can be made toLongido for excellent gerenuk and Grants.

The Maasai Steppe, the heartland of northern Tanzania and one of the worlds richest refuges of wildlife, rises up and away from the coastal lowlands to an elevation of around 1300 meters…the result being that the days are warm, the nights cool to cold with very low humidity (except during the rainy season). To the south and west away from Mt Meru and the 30 meter plus Podocarpus trees that inhabit it slopes, you enter the vast Simanjiro plains and grasslands interspersed with winding luggas and korongos. This is the land of giant baobab trees, flat top and scrub acacia, vast areas of Commifora woodlands, and wait-a-bit bush. Here the megafauna differs as some species not found in the south flourish…Gerenuk, Grants and Roberts Gazelle, East African Impala, Fringe Eared Oryx, White Bearded Wildebeest, Cokes Hartebeest and Lesser Kudu to name but a few. Excellent hunting within the Siminjaro, Lolkisale and Mto Wa Mbu Game Control Areas (GCAs) are but a couple of hours from Arusha. This area of Tanzania is also home to around 3000 elephant, the largest population in northern Tanzania.

Situated in western Tanzania is a vast wetland of limited access (even in the dry season) defined by the flood-plains of the Malagarasi, Moyowosi, Nikonga, Kigosi and Gombe rivers. Sitatunga, Topi and Roan define some of the unique megafauna for this corner of Tanzania. Permanent swamps are dominated by papyrus with the riverine margins primarily made up of Borassus and Phoenix palms with occasional stands of Acacia woodland. The higher ground between the rivers is dominated by Brachystegia (Miombo) Woodlands. The Moyowosi Game Reserve (GR) is in the Kibondo District in Kigoma Region and is probably the most famous of the western game reserves. Kigosi GR is just to the east and separated from the Moyowosi by the Nikonga River The Ugala GR to the south is separated from the Moyowosi by the Gombe River. To the north of Moyowosi lies the Burigi GR bordered on the west by Rwanda and dominated by valleys and rolling hills, rocky outcrops and cliffs. Swampy vegetation and riverine forests also exist within this reserve as well as half of Lake Burgi. Just to the east lies the Biharamulo GR.

There are many other Game Reserves (GR), Game Control Area (GCA) and Open Areas(OA) in Tanzania not discussed here. These are but a few of the well known areas (and known to us).

African Professional Hunters

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It was a year of change, struggle and new horizons. After the nightmare of last year where we were hunting in the midst of Zimbabwe’s disintegration and particularly the loss of our lands in the Gwaai, it was refreshing and exciting to be exploring a new country – Tanzania.

Zimbabwe ’s troubles continue as I write. It seems harder and harder to find hunting where there is absolutely no possibility of lining the pockets of undeserving jasminlive individuals. Many outfitters in Zimbabwe have made the decision to deal with the devil, and in order to survive it seems this may be the only way. However, in our case this feels much too close to the bone and as such we will only be offering a few hunts in Zimbabwe where we can be absolutely sure that things are squeaky clean.

Tanzania was very exciting, with a lot learned, some fantastic hunting and new, wide open spaces. It is a vast country with lots to offer and a host of new species and habitats to see and hunt. We also found, to our cost, that it is a very expensive place and we came very quickly to learn exactly why a safari in Tanzania costs what it does. However we still feel that it really does offer good value for money – there are few places in Africa that offer the vast areas and array of species available there. We also made some good friends and business alliances and as such we have now got some of the finest hunting in Tanzania on offer. Furthermore our prices at www.livejasmin.cc remain very competitive in comparison to the bulk of Tanzanian outfitters – top areas, top Professional Hunters and reasonable prices.

Cap and Barb Horning with excellent 43” sable.

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We welcomed back Cap and Barb Horning on their third trip with us, and old friends Karl and Cindy Brosig. The Midland outfit as usual had a ball, Cap hunting with Albert Fritz and Karl and Cindy with Jonathan. We hunted the Matetsi ICA area, so both hunters took excellent sable over 42” as well as buffalo and lots of other species. Cap invented a new cocktail, the Matetsi Sable, which had something to do with vodka and Amarula and God knows what, but appeared to be lethal! Jonathan and Cindy had bad luck and a very unusual experience when we lost a badly wounded leopard. Despite tracking him for quite some distance he never charged, and eventually Matetsi rocks robbed us of spoor.

Soon after the Brosigs and Hornings left us we hit the road North. This was a mission, as we say here, trying to get all our equipment through four borders and up to Tanzania as soon as possible. Con left ahead of us and just in case things weren’t stressed enough, had an accident near Mbeya, when his trailer pushed him off the road and down a hill. Luckily there were no serious injuries to Con and crew, but his brand new Landcruiser was badly damaged and all our equipment was stolen – from sat-phones to cutlery, GPS’s to towels. Deon, Jonathan and Albie drove up behind Con, and were delayed by the Tanzanian game department who were somewhat confused as to where we could place our camp in Mahenge North, on the Western edge of the Selous Game Reserve.

Karl Brosig with his 42 ½” Matetsi sable.

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After various trips back and forth to Dar es Salaam and camping in a rice paddy for a few days we achieved a compromise and started building the camp just days before the arrival of our first hunters.

The first hunts were extremely difficult due to the tall grass and greenery prevalent in the Selous early on. Next year we will only start hunting there after July. Leonard Burke and Steve were first up and after quite a struggle and took good old dagga boy buffaloes within a couple of hours of each other on day seven. JN Grimes and Ron Boren hunted at the same time – JN taking a good buffalo while Ron got skunked on the last day. Deon had by now finished building the camp and had taken on the duties of chief cook and concession explorer, opening roads and discovering hot spots. He continued to cook up until September and did a sterling job.

Con and Deon with some of the first Buffalo taken in Mahenge.

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As Leonard and Steve left we were joined by the Mitchell family, also from West Texas. FR and son Ben hunted and Nancy and Kristal observed and kept us honest. FR is an extremely experiened African hunter and pole-axed his 26th buffalo with one shot from his .450 double. Ben took a good Hartebeest and Warthog and unfortunately lost his buffalo after a long, difficult follow up. The ladies were great fun and good sports and Kristal enjoyed Deon’s vegetarian meals! Ben and Jonathan did some serious walking, discovering new Elephant and Buffalo hideouts.

Meanwhile Con and John Pardi headed off to Burigi in NW Tanzania. They also encountered high grass and wet, but did well, getting a nice Leopard, a couple of good Buffalo, outstanding Defassa Waterbuck and East African Bushbuck amongst others. As John left Butch Smith and Shawn Andreas arrived in Burigi to be guided by Con and Pete Waddelow respectively. By now the grass had begun to burn and both hunters did very well, Shawn in particular having an outstanding hunt. He took a superb Lion, an 8’ Leopard, 44” Buffalo and many other species. Butch also took and excellent Leopard, Defassa Waterbuck and Buffalo.

Jonathan hunted in the Selous with Spanish hunters Manuel Ron and Antonio Moyena, accompanied by their agent Javier Meyer. Each took a nice Buffalo and Manuel took a charging Hippo bull at three yards. We were camped on the Ruaha River in our friend Licky Abdallah’s Malagarassi’s Safaris Camp – a particularly pretty place.

July Selous Newsletter

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As the sunrises over the Luwego River and I sit staring at the waterbuck with a hot cup of coffee I realise how blessed we truly are. Our camp this year is situated right on the Luwego River in the Selous game reserve in a block called LU3. Set up in the traditional east African tented style with no modern distractions you get to appreciate just how awesome Africa really is. At night you fall asleep with the sound of lions roaring and hyenas scavenging around your tents.

All our tents are en suite with hot showers to come home to at the end of a hard days’ hunt. With a full bar you can sit and relax whilst taking in the beauty that surrounds you.

First Hunt:

Viateur Dube, Roger Berube and Normand Berube were our first three hunters this year with Timothy Frechette accompanying them as their observer. Their 21-day safari started on 3rd July. With the rains ending so late the grass was unbelievably long and so hunting was very dangerous. But I’m happy to say that the hunt went amazingly well with them getting five out of the six cats.

Normand Berube:

Normand hunted with Con van Wyk and had a great hunt. Shooting 10 animals and some great trophies. Normand got both his cats with the leopard being a great trophy. The lion he shot was one of Tanzania’s maneless lion but nice and big anyway. On the second last day they had a go at a monster elephant but after 1 and ½ days of tracking it finally eluded them. Normand was the only one successful in shooting a buffalo and a zebra on his hunt. The other trophies he shot were a great waterbuck, a hippo, a hyena, a baboon and an impala.

Roger Berube:

Roger hunted with John Martin Venter and went home with the most number of trophies. There was great rivalry in camp between the three hunters and the friendly banter added a great atmosphere. Roger also went home with both his cats as well as numerous other trophies including a hyena, a hippo, waterbuck, a hartebeest, a wildebeest and .two impala. He had the hardest time sleeping as his tent was the last in line and so heard the most animals roaming around outside.

Viateur and Timothy:

Viateur brought a cameraman, Timothy, along as an observer and they both accompanied their professional hunter Geoff Wainright. Although Viateur did not get the most trophies he did however get some of the biggest. I believe his hyena and Hippo bought a huge smile to his face. His leopard was also an awesome hunt as it was shot in daylight and so they managed to capture it all on film. He also went home with an impala and a baboon. Overall the hunt went great with us obtaining twenty-four trophies in total and some great experiences to talk about for years to come.

Bob Gartrell and lunker leopard, Burigi 2003.

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Back in Burigi Con hosted Bob Gartrell for 21 days and Pete hunted with Chip Crosby on a ten day Buffalo hunt. Both were very successful, with Bob shooting in particular another monster Leopard and super Roan as well as excellent specimens of many other species.

Jonathan met George Pensel and Colleen who came to hunt Buffalo with more old friends of ours, Bill and Gayle Adair of Alaska. George took a particularly heavy bossed Buffalo and Bill finally broke his Buffalo jinx with an excellent bull. As usual with Bill we had a few too late campfire sessions as well.

Con and Jonathan finally managed to catch up for a day in Dar after Con’s three month exile in Burigi. Con looked something of a mountain man until we took the beard trimmer to him. Con’s new vehicle was ready after three months in hospital and he took off with Pete to guide Tom Benson and George Holzhaus in Mahenge for Buffalo, where all were successful.

We made a new friend in Gerald Melcher, a South African / Professional Hunter. Gerald brought several Buffalo hunters to Mahenge and all took nice Buffalo. We particularly enjoyed George Till and Helmut who were great fun.

Jonathan picked up Rick and Pat Nagle from Australia, in Arusha. They took excellent Lesser Kudu, Grant’s and Thompson’s Gazelles, Gerenuk and Dik Dik in Burunge and Longido. We then drove through the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti National Park to Mwanza. This was a long but spectacular drive and we should have taken more time over it. At Mwanza we bordered the ferry crossing Lake Victoria to Bukoba, which was quite a chaturbate experience – especially for Pat. In Burgi Rick took Hippo, Oribi and a couple of Buffalo, including one in a full, unprovoked charge. Lion of any quality unfortunately eluded us.

Rick Nagle, Jonathan and super gerenuk.

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Deon had a nice side safari taking the well known wildlife artist Kim Donaldson around Tanzania. They covered the Tarangire and Manyara National Parks in the north, as well as the Selous and Ruaha in the south. A nice trip for Deon to see more of Tanzania.

Deon and Pete then packed up and left for home, and Pete reported en route that Deon discovered a new way of dealing with the particularly corrupt and aggressive police roadblocks in Zambia – he simply drove straight through them without stopping!

Back to back after Rick came Steve and Mark McManus, with their friend Tom Pewitz, all from Victoria, Texas. Steve is another staunch supporter and old Africa hand. We all did a short hunt in Mahenge and took some nice buffalo, Steve 42” standing out. Steve also took an outstanding Eland and Tom and Con stood a serious charge from Tom’s 40” Buffalo. It was a fun group with no mercy asked or received around the table. Thanks for joining us again Steve – next year maybe Loibor!

Dave, Mike and Bob:

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David was the first 7-day hunt with Geoff Wainwright and then was to stay on as an observer for a further 7 days. Unfortunately then Geoff Wainwright fell ill. Luckily we had Jason Davies in the camp and so he took over the hunt. Geoff stayed in camp to see if he could try and recuperate but did not get any better so he had to fly out with the charter that flew the rest of the family in

All three came for Buffalo and all went home happy. Dave Shot his first buffalo in the long grass with a perfect shot through the heart and lungs and what a beauty it was. The surrounding area was so thick that they spent hours trying to cut a road so they could the cruiser close enough to load the buffalo. Dave couldn’t let his dad be the only one to have a buffalo charge; his second buffalo was also a nail biting experience once again in the long grass. Everyone came away from the charge unscathed and with huge smiles on their faces from the adrenalin. Dave also went home with a nice impala trophy.

Mike was the second 7-day hunt and Jason Davies was his PH. With the rains being so late this year, hunting was hard as the area was extremely dense with a lot of hiding places for the animals. He managed to get a great Wildebeest trophy as well as an awesome Buffalo. The buffalo is just a great story as he shot it 15 minutes before sundown on his last day. Luckily it was a great shot, the buffalo took off but after a few minutes they found it again. It took a few more shots to make 100% sure it wouldn’t get up again and it was just a great finish to the hunt.

Bob Decided to do a 2 on 1 with his dad and so hunted with Con van Wyk. Con was really impressed with Bob when Bob had a perfect shot at a Zebra but passed as it was too beautiful to shoot and took a picture instead. He did get a great buffalo trophy to go home with though. Overall this was just a great hunt. Everyone walked away from his trip with great experiences and some great friendships. I can’t wait for next safari.

Steve McManus and trackers with 42” buffalo

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Now into October, Jonathan hosted Danny Masonwells and his son Clint on another 21 day safari. Despite things beginning shakily with a malarial Professional Hunter and a malfunctioning gun, the hunt went off superbly. Danny, an Australian, was willing to do or try anything and the results showed. We took Lesser Kudu, Tommy’s, Fringe-eared Oryx, Dik Dik, and others in Burunge, then drove to Moyowosi North – 40 hours of bad road. In six days in Moyowosi we took a super lion, excellent Eland and Sitatunga, an exceptional Bohor Reedbuck as well as many other good specimens. Having taken the Eland in the early morning, we packed up and headed for Biharamulo where, that evening, Danny took an outstanding Roan. Back in the car for another 42 hours and we rounded off in Longido with nice Gerenuk and Grant’s Gazelle. Fly camps, wading chest deep in swamps, all day road trips bore fruit in 18 good to exceptional trophies. It was a great safari to end the season.

Danny’s excellent lion, outstanding Bohor Reedbuck

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Con meanwhile took old friend Jeff Reynolds into Mahenge for the last hunt of 2003. They passed up several elephant in search of a +60lb and also passed on eight lions seeking a really good male. They took a couple of excellent Buffalo, a super Roosevelt’s Sable and Bushbuck amongst other good trophies.

Jonathan spent a couple of days in Behobeho in the northern Selous where he had the chance to visit the grave of F.C.Selous. Good to pay respects to one of our pioneers in the hunting game. After the usual few days in Dar winding up, we hit the road and all got home safely.

Looking back we were lucky to have had such a good first season in Tanzania. We learned a lot about areas and as mentioned above made some very good arrangements for the future. We also learned that Tanzania is not for the faint hearted or budget-minded hunter. The areas are vast and the distances are huge. There is also something very special about hunting within the view of Kilimanjaro, crossing the Kilombera River by ferry, seeing Lake Victoria while hunting Roan and generally retracing the footsteps so often written about by Ruark and his peers.

2004 is looking very exciting. We will continue to hunt Mahenge with Krystyna Alexiou’s Tanzania Bundu Safaris, and are privileged that Krystyna has given us the opportunity to hunt her world renowned Lolkisale and Loibor Serrit blocks. These Masailand areas have produced a high percentage of the best buffalo ever taken as well as superb cats and other game. We also continue to work with Sheni Abdallah and Northern Hunting Enterprises offering excellent Western and Northern species hunting on the same safari. These are all great blocks and we have the back up in Tanzania and the area knowledge necessary to be set for a really good season.