It’s been over a month since we’ve gone to Africa and I have been so busy, cleaning, packing and moving and unpacking and settling in to our new place I haven’t had a chance to breathe let alone sit down and write about our trip!
First off, we booked this trip over two years ago at the Big Outdoors Expo with a few of our good friends, at the time It didn’t really sink in to what we had booked and I think with Covid I literally didn’t think it really was going to happen, so I honestly didn’t put too much thought into all it entailed and I also didn’t really think it through when we put our house on the market right before we left either! I also didn’t really take into consideration how tired I would be when we got back and also couldn’t have predicted I would get a really bad cold on our way home, which made our move extra stressful and painful, but somehow we survived and I am now ready to try to remember our trip, it seems like ages ago!!
This was by no means a vacation to me, I would more call it an experience. The travel time alone was enough to cause me anxiety, I don’t do well sitting for that long and the 29 or however long hours it took to get there about did me in! I did buy a special pillow to sit on and a foot hammock for my legs which helped a ton along with a few leg exercises I tried to do every couple of hours or so. I honestly don’t think I could of done it without those things. I should do a post just on those, total lifesavers if you are not in first class traveling long distance like that like we were.
We arrived in Johannesburg South Africa at like 9:30 pm, South Africa has a curfew at 11, so the Outfitter had someone meet us at the airport and take us to a hotel for the night. That morning for breakfast there were some very weird food choices and me being super picky got my first glimpse of what was to come and I was very nervous. LOL
It happened to be my birthday that day, didn’t seem like my birthday at all and back at home it wasn’t really my birthday yet so it was kind of weird. I think it was the longest birthday in the history of birthdays! LOL Shannon was so sweet at breakfast she had a birthday crown and glasses for me to wear to let everyone know it was my birthday! LOL
After Breakfast we had a 3 or 4 hour drive to the hunting lodge.
When we arrived we were greeted by the sweetest ladies who would be taking care of our rooms the whole time we were there. The rooms were very nice, much better than I was expecting.
After we got all settled in we were served lunch, then the guys all took their guns to make sure they were still shooting straight ( lol I’m sure there is a more technical term for that) After that they took us on a little safari of sorts of their property… I couldn’t believe my eyes, It was so crazy to turn a corner and there would be a Rhino or Giraffe just standing there! It was the coolest thing! But even weirder was the whole time I just felt like I was in Southern Utah, It felt very familiar and not at all like what I expected Africa to be like.
Little did I know I would be climbing in and out of these trucks multiple times a day for the next 10 days!
That night we had dinner and after that they had a meeting with everyone who was hunting. The rest of us hung out by the fire. Doug bought an 8 animal package, Doug is not a big game hunter at all! He hunts ducks or Geese once or maybe twice a year, that’s about it. So this was going to be interesting. I told him from the moment he booked this trip all I wanted was a Zebra Rug. That’s all I really cared about and that animal was in his package deal. When his meeting was done, he told me he traded 5 of his animals for only three, I was like Zebra better be one of them, He assured me it was and the other two were a Sable ( something I had never even heard of before) and a Crocodile! What?! All I could think of was that TV show where those guys are hunting Gators and talk like they have marbles in their mouths! LOL sounded dangerous. This should be interesting. After the meeting we were told what time we were to meet for breakfast. I am pretty sure that first morning was like 6 am! They speak a little differently than we do and they would say 5:30 for 6. Well we learned real quick that meant wake up at 5:30 for 6 o’clock breakfast for a 6:30 go time. After a few days of being ready 30 mins too early we figured that one out! LOL
I knew it was winter in Africa but I also looked at the weather multiple times before we left it seems like 60’s and 70’s were the high so I was thinking San Diego type weather, sandals and short sleeves, boy was I wrong! I was very ill prepared for just how cold it was in the mornings and evenings! It was so freakin cold! I literally wore almost every shirt I brought everyday, lots and lots of layers, and luckily I had thrown in a pair of leggings thinking I may exercise while I was there…Ya right, but they sure came in handy I wore them under my pants every single day! The awesome thing is they washed your clothes every single day, So you literally only needed two outfits and you would be fine, but if you know me at all you know I don’t pack light or would just bring two outfits, but in the end I basically wore the same thing everyday! LOL
I think Doug got his Sable on one of the first or second days. I cant remember now, but it was pretty quick out the shoots, I started to worry what we would do if he got his three animals right away. We thought if that happens we would take a trip to Kruger Park.
Zebra was next on our list but we struggled even finding any let alone shooting one so we spent days and days just riding around with the rest of our group with hopes that we would see one. Doug started to get a little discouraged. While it was fun to watch the others shoot their animals it was getting tiresome going out day after day not even getting a chance to see one let alone hunt one. We were hunting with our friends Dan and Niccole and their good friends Chris and Susan.
Finally they decided after a day of hunting that we would go out right before dark and hunt Crocodile. That was kind of crazy. The hope was that it would be out of the water sunning, and if you shoot it, it better be a good shot, because it will more than likely go into the water and the trackers will have to go in and find it! So the tracker kept saying to Doug you better make a good shot! Also they told him to take the first shot and immediately take a second shot just to be safe, what the crap… this was So crazy, the PH’s and the trackers don’t even carry guns! This time they let me go out and follow them when they were hunting it, I was freakin scared to death of making a noise or ruining his chances of shooting it, not to mention being torn apart by a crocodile! I am the worst video taker, someone else should of went with him, I was too busy being aware of my surroundings to take video!! I literally had no clue where he was shooting I couldn’t see anything, what he was shooting at just looked like a big rock to me! LOL Who invited me? This whole trip was out of my element.
I think I will end on that note, I will post more tomorrow.