On safari with Pete de Villiers

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My ancestors were from the two original de Villiers brothers who came to the Cape in the 1670s and started Boschendal Wine Farm.

I was born in Harare, Zimbabwe in 1959. We ranched at Matetsi in Zimbabwe. In the 1950s and 1960s in that area, my father, Max de Villiers hunted problem lions that killed cattle there, and I hunted with him, so that is what started my hunting interest. I did my apprenticeship under the late Ian Lennox and Clive Lennox, and an important aspect I learnt was to respect all wildlife, otherwise you will get hurt.

I moved to South Africa and hunted for Bophuthatswana Parks Board under the State-owned Parks Board hunting company, and then I opened my own hunting company. I have hunted mainly in South Africa.

My favorite trophy animals to hunt are buffalo and kudu. I hunted a beautiful 46” inch spread buffalo on the State Reserve of Letaba Ranch, and received the award from PHASA for the Outstanding Trophy Taken in 2018.

The weapon I recommend to my clients to hunt Africa is a .375 H&H as a good allrounder caliber, with Swift A-Frame and FMJ Solids.

In the old days, hunting logistics and everything pertaining to the hunt was easy and not so modern. The way it should be. Nowadays the technology is crazy, and I prefer not to deal with modern stuff, just good old basics to conduct a good safari.

I always suggest to clients to practice well before a safari and be totally familiar with their firearm, and equipment.

For the future of wildlife, the industry must continue to plough back into conservation so that hunting can continue and wildlife can be managed and protected.

If I could ever go back to sometime in Africa for a classic hunt, it would be 21 days of collecting an array of species with the old traditions in place.