Team Wild Expert and Lamping Foxes Founder – Eddie Nash takes us through his recent once in a lifetime hunting trip to South Africa.
At a shooting show I met up with the Team WIld team Ian Harford, Steve Wild and Keith Anderson, where they kindly offered advice from their own experiences, knowledge and ideas to Wayne and I. This made a considerable contribution to the development and focus of Lamping Foxes going forward, with the vision of running competitions from the page. Back then it was just words and a few ideas on paper but now the dream is very much alive. Our members now have the opportunity to win great hunting equipment, kit and hunting trips all over the world. Lamping Foxes now has some fantastic members that contribute their knowledge of the industry as well as recognising opportunities. Non more so than Lamping Foxes member Don Davidson, whom suggested running a raffle for two people to fly over to South Africa at Sawari Hunting Lodge for a week with him in March 2015.
I considered this to be a fantastic opportunity to generate some engagement to the page and a way to repay our generous members. So, the post was put up and tickets were sold and within less than 24 hours we were able to cover the cost of the trip. The lucky winning member was Nathan Clark, who I had met on several previous occasions. Only a few days later Nathan phoned me to say that, to my astonishment, I would be the second person to be joining him on the trip. I couldn’t believe it. It took a while for the news to sink in and it didn’t quite register until I was on the plane and ready to take off. The arrangements were relatively hassle free as Don generously gave us the opportunity to use his firearms for the week. This included a 30.06 howa fitted with Zeiss Duralyt, 375 cz fitted with a s&b 6×42.
When we landed in Johannesburg and had a five-hour drive to the hunting lodge. The journey provided us with some fantastic scenery along the way. Once we arrived at the lodge Don’s friend Pete was there to greet us with a nice cold drink, which we enjoyed whilst discussing the itinerary for the week ahead. From stalking and range shooting, to sitting in one of the hides at one of the water holes, Pete and Don really had it covered.
Later on, Pete and Don took us out for a drive around and we spotted some of the animals we could be shooting during the week from Wildebeest, Impala, Warthogs and so on. We later returned back to the lodge for tea and an early night.
The following day saw us head out with the 12-gauge pump action shotgun in search for Guineafowl. Accompanied by rifles to check the zero at 50 meters on the range. Now that was fun! I’ve shot a 30.06 but Nathan and Don started pulling my leg by saying the .375 will knock me over but it was ok after shooting it a few times, we did have a tremendous amount of fun shooting it and the zero was BANG ON.
Afterwards we retreated to the jeep and the sound of wildlife surrounded us. As I looked around I could not believe how dense the African bush was. Here, there were no open fields and the only open plane was an old abandoned airstrip. As we were driving through the bush in our open top Land Rover, we spotted copious amounts of animals, which quickly retreated like ghosts at the sound of the engine. Most trees here were covered in huge thorns, which resembled a standard kitchen knife; understandably we had to keep our eyes peeled as we wouldn’t want one going through the soul of our boots. After the tour we returned back to the lodge to a lovely meal and cold drinks where we discussed the hunt for the following morning. Nathan was to be taken on a stalk with Pete, whilst Don and I would head to a hide near a waterhole. Following the conversation and a few drinks later we called it a night.
The sleeping quarters provided were ideal. A safari tent with a solid wall extension and a built in shower, a toilet, two single beds and most importantly of all… the rifle stand! Once in bed the noises generated from the insects was intense but rather calming and before I knew it I was being woken up by the alarm clock. We were all excited for the day ahead. Nathan was out stalking and using the 30.06 with 180 gr bullets. I was using the .375 with the monster 300gr bullets.
Don had been coming here for 12 years and he was truly an expert in the movements and behaviour of the animals. We settled down in the hide, the first morning was quiet and we enjoyed observing the animals coming in for a drink at the waterhole. Unfortunately there was little sign of Warthogs and Impala, the ones we did spot were not the right animals to cull, after a couple of hours we returned back to the lodge for breakfast.
Nathan greeted us on our arrival back with a huge smile on his face. He bagged himself a phenomenal Wildebeest during the stalk thanks to Peter’s expert skills.
After breakfast Don, Nathan and I returned back to the hide and we begin to watch and listen. An hour had past when a single Impala made its way out of the bush and towards the waterhole. Don gave the nod. It was a cull animal, so I got my rifle ready. The crosshairs were fixed when the nerves and excitement seemed to set in. I waited for two long minutes before I got my shot away with the 30.06. BOOM!!! The Impala dropped on the spot. We waited and then the Impala raised its head before I took another shot hitting it perfectly in the neck of the animal. We cautiously went over to assess this magnificent animal. On inspection the first was perfect and second shot was an insurance shot.
We took pictures before returning back to the lodge, allowing the workers to get the carcass prepared and into the chiller. We left for home later the next day. South Africa has been a absolute joy. I’d like to thank Don Davidson and Pete for their fantastic hospitality and not forgetting Nathan for the opportunity of a lifetime.
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