Highlights from John Sharp Safaris

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Just a quick update to let you know what’s been happening with me in the field.

My first hunt of the was a leopard hunt with Andy from North Dakota.  We hunted on Malangani where I knew there was a huge leopard – we saw him in 2019 lying on a three-quarters-grown wildebeest that he had just killed.  He was 50 yards off the road and we watched him for quite a few minutes before he slunk off. This guy was our obvious target but he proved very elusive. All we could find was 10-day-old tracks in one riverbed but nothing else.

We baited the whole area hoping he would show up but he never did.  Andy ended up taking another cat right near the end of the hunt.  Dropping our baits on the last day we found his tracks from the night before in the same riverbed where we had found his old tracks.  He had followed our drag to our bait but then just walked away.

At the beginning of June, Patrick, a retired policeman from NY, arrived with his nephew, James, for a buffalo hunt out of Nengo camp, again in the BVC. After torrential rains the bush was thicker than I’ve ever seen it, and I’ve been in the area for over 28 years! We caught the tail end of two cyclones that struck Mozambique.

As there was so much water about everywhere it was only after a few days that we found buffalo tracks to follow. Starting at 9.15 a.m. we followed them for many miles, often getting pretty close to them, but were unable to get sight of their horns. We finally called it quits and broke for lunch at 4 p.m.

The next morning we again found their tracks and got after them. The wind wasn’t that good but we spotted two bulls and managed to flank them and get the wind more in our favor. Creeping in close, Isaac and I saw that one bull had a good head and he was feeding into a slightly more open area. Please understand that the bush was still very thick, but at least we could see him. Moving Pat forward he finally got a shot and the bull was swallowed by dense, thick bush.

An example of the incredibly dense bush in which the wounded bull was hiding – totally invisible!

Trying to skirt the very thick stuff, both trackers said they could hear his labored breathing and then announced that he had fallen over. We got around the large thicket and moved closer on the hind side to look for blood. A few feet in front of us the bush suddenly exploded and he launched himself towards us at full speed. There was little time to react even though I was ready. As he passed on my left side at a distance of no more than six feet, I snapped a shot at his head, knowing he was headed straight for Pat and James. I guess the blast in his face and the 500-grain .470 that penetrated the nerve in his horn, persuaded him to change course and he ran between me and my friends as I gave him the second barrel just below the base of his tail. Much to our relief and to cut a long short, we finally put him down after 13 shots. The good Lord was undoubtedly standing with us that morning.  I don’t believe I’ve ever hunted in bush this thick!

We hope that you will us in our little slice of paradise real soon.

Blessings,

John

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