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2014 Dries Visser Adventure
My hunting partners and I just returned from another great hunt with our friends at Dries Visser Safaris. We had a great time and killed some excellent animals during our safari. The staff, particularly my PH Willem Van Dyk, was a pleasure to hunt with and of course met all of our expectations. I could be wrong (not totally sure of my partners totals) but I think we shot and recovered over 20 animals in 7 days...and that includes two of us who were targeting only a couple species.
From the critters to the facilities to the staff to the companionship it was an absolute blast and I can't wait to do it again...my 5th "Once in a lifetime" hunt! Here are few pictures from our trip.
We spent the first couple nights at Afton House and did some touring with our friend Bennie Lottering from Aardvark Adventures for You (AAFY). As always, the Afton House was great!
Bennie took us a bow shop near Kempton Park. They had some really neat African 3D targets...and I almost bought one...but settled for a couple paper targets instead.
We went to a rugby match and hung out at a sports bar that night. I ended up being the only "sober" one out of the group so I got to drive back to the Afton House...on the wrong side of the road...the wrond side of the car...and only hit one curb! But I stayed LEFT! Haha...ala Clark Griswold! Haha
We spent the next two days touring Pilanesburg National Park and we stayed at Manyane Resort. The park is about 150,000 acres and hold most of the common plains game species, about 200 elephant and tons of white and a few black rhino. Interesting...In the brochure they tell you approximately how many animals of whatever species are in the park except for the rhino. Bennie said they have rangers assisnged to all the rhino watching them...you just don't know they are there.
Here are few pictures of the resort and the park.
We saw probably 40 elephant in the two days we were in the park.
We grilled our lunches both days in the park...yea...we ate pretty good!
Here are a few more pictures from Manyane Resort, on the outskirts of Pilanesburg. I highly recomend Bennie Lottering with AAFY for any touring you may want to do before or after a trip around Joberg. He also does the airport transports for DVS so it worked out perfect for us to hit Pilansburg on the way to DVS.
Two of us shared a chalet.
After two days in the park we finally made it to Citadel...the main lodge and facilities for DVS. It was great to be back and to see old friends.
My goal this trip was to harvest a nice Nyala and Eland. A buddy of mine also gave me money to shoot a Blue Wildebeest for his taxidermy shop (far be it from me to decline the offer)...but as luck turned out on the second day and nice BW came in and it was just too good to pass up.
Here is a snapshot of the arrow impact.
He piled up within sight of the blind.
Over the next couple days I passed up a pile of gemsbuck! I shot a nice one in 2011 with DVS.
The first few days it was fairly windy during the day...so of course Willem lit some zebra dung to cover our scent. Just love breathing that crap in all day!
Wow nice pictures! We hunted about 20 miles north of Thabazimbi last September, is the Citadel near there?
Great pics. I hunted with Willem last year and he is a fantastic PH.
More pics please!
Aftermerl...yes...DVS is about 45 minutes North of Thabazimbi.
I had a lot of fun playing around my GoPro this trip. I usually mounted it on the reverse side of wherever we thought game may be feeding or drinking. Got some great video!
So we chased Eland for a couple days with no luck...however on the second day, just prior to the WB shot we had a chance and I just couldn't pull the trigger fast enough. A group of Eland came in and fed at 20 yards...but a calf was standing between me and a nice bull. The wind was swirling and they caught our scent and ran off a bit. I ranged the big bull...30 yards...drew back and was just getting settled in on my spot in the crease when he walked off. It was my fault...and looking back I should have shot quicker...but hey, that is hunting.
Sooooo...on the third day we switched gears and chased Nyala! I shot my bull that afternoon. It was nerve racking! He came in with a bunch of kudu and a younger Nyala bull. For nearly 30 minutes (my Gopro's battery ran dead) he milled around not offering a shot. Finally he stood still long enough at 25 yards for me to put an arrow into his chest.
This was my Nyala blind...
Mission accomplished! The "Hero" shots were taken with a beautiful sunset in our eyes....it was perfect.
The center of the circle was my impact hole, you can barely see it...it was a great shot and the end of a great day!
So finally on the 6th day I got my shot at big...big wide Eland bull. Between shooting the Nyala and finally getting up on an Eland I passed up shots on Kudu, Gemsbok, WB, Warthogs, Impala, Waterbuck and who knows what else...all because I didn't want to screw up a chance at an Eland. It finally came together and he is a dandy!
Getting one of these loaded is quite the operation, although pretty slick. I wish I could shoot a moose and get him loaded this easy!
Here are few GoPro shots. If you don't have one these they are a great investment, although not cheap. But dang...they work great!
Here is a GoPro still shot from video taken while we were tracking a baboon I had shot. He climbed straight up a mountain behind the blind. At times we were looking straight down!...it was pretty neat and I was expecting to see a goat at the top!
I snuck the GoPro out while we were landing and took some video.
Here are some additional still shots from my video...now this...is a BIG Kudu!!! The video was taken shooting through some netting.
Sorry for the double post...or...he is just so big he needs two pics! Haha
Some elephant pics from video in the park.
I'm not much of a bird watcher...but this bird was posing...along with a turtle and juvenile croc.
Hey, congrats on a great hunt and THANKS for taking the time to post all the neat photos, with captions.
Great stuff, a real day maker.
I can't say enough good things about my experience this trip (or my last trip in 2011) with DVS. I'm not an expert by any stretch...but with that being said this was my 4th trip to RSA so I guess I've been around the block a time or two. I know there are some great safari companines in RSA and several that sponsor on Bowsite. But...I can tell you that Dries will take care of you and he is a gracious host.
I don't have the pictures to post...but my two of my hunting partners shot a civet and honey badger. The night huntnig was great this trip...something that the PH's at DVS put a lot of effort into. I plan doing some myself...next trip!
My PH, Willem van Dyke.
For those of you read Craig Boddington...in his book "Mt. Kenya to the Cape" CB chronicles his first 10 years of African hunting. Willem's father was Craig's PH on his FIRST safari in Africa in Kenya. This hunt is of course documented in that book. Willem recently was Craig's PH on a buffalo hunt in Moz.
Grant...It is fun!
Writer...you are more than welcome. I realize that a lot of folks that lurk here will not be able to experience a trip to Africa. I know I am very, very fortunate that I am able to go every few years. I'm not weathly by any stretch...I'm a cop with 4 kids...I just make these trips happen one way or another and I'm lucky I have a supportive wife who knows it's a passion you can't just drop.
Oh yea...almost forgot to mention my sponsors (kidding)...
I was shooting a Mathews Drenalin (70lbs) this trip, Easton Wildgame arrows and G5 T3 broadheads.
That a boy Peyton. Looks like you guys had a great time!
Thanks for taking us along, congrats on a great hunt!
Great Hunt--Dries can make it happen-- Congrats
You are so rigth about not being to go only once....I just returned from my first trip to SA and I'm already saving my pennies to go back.
Looking at some of your pictures....I need to invest in a better camera for next trip.
How long do the batteries last in your GoPro, if you are in video mode? What type of batteries do they use?....and knowing that temperature will affect battery life, what was the temperature?
Thanks guys! Glad you enjoy the pictures.
Jake...The batteries that come with the GoPro are made just for the GoPro. If I left the GoPro OFF all day but left the WIFI feature ON (so I could turn it on remotely) the batteries would last all day. I would just turn the GoPro on and off and record as I wanted. IF you leave the go GoPro turned ON and RECORDING it will only last about 30 minutes on a full battery. So I would just turn it off and on whenever I wanted to record something. The temps were in the 40's in the morning and probably 78F during the day...so I don't think the temps affected anything.
There are two ways to acitivate the GoPro remotely...either with a remote control that comes with it...or an APP on your phone. Both are through WIFI emitted from the GoPro unit.
The reason my battery went dead during the Nyala hunt was because I turned it on and hit record when he came in and it took forever to get a good shot...so they went dead at some point. Plus...I had already used it some that day so the batteries were a little drained.
Looks like your group had a grand time.
Thanks for taking us along on your latest visit to Africa.
Awesome! Great pics and congrats on some wonderful trophies! That Kudu would have been VERY hard to pass up!
No Mercy....my VISA was screaming "Shoot"!!!
Wow, I get to relive my hunt through your pictures. Also an interesting point, My PH was K.P. Van Dyk. A local police officer. Seldom were we out of sight of the Marakele National Park and on at least 2 occasions right across the road. What a wild and ruggedly beautiful piece of real estate those 260 sq miles are.
Peyton, I was just in Pilanesberg on Wednesday. I have almost the identical picture you have! What day were you there. We hunted Tshepe safaris.
I didn't even look at the first picture, much less read the caption. I spent a lonely night in the Afton House myself at the end of my safari due to a technical issue. Very nice folks, even though it felt like was staying in a CIA safe house.
808...We were there on the 27th and 28th of July. Funny about the picture!
Cub...Nico left a couple seasons ago. He is managing a new private farm not far from Thabazimbi. I got to see him this trip and we caught up a little. He was my PH in 2011. He and his family are doing very well!
Looks like a fantastic trip. Congratulations!
...thanks for sharing.
Great Pics! thanks for sharing!!!
Cub...I will PM his email address to you.
Awesome pics Peyton. I miss Africa badly. I will scrape the money together to go again soon.
Tsebe is kinda growing on me...might look for one next time.
Any idea if the nick in that rhino's ear is done for identification purposes, perhaps when the animal was sedated? Where were you when that photo was taken?
You know Jake, I have no idea. That picuture was taken in Pilanesburg Park. I just looked at a few more rhino pics and they all have them, so maybe?
Kudos on a great trip. I just got back from DVS last month. Everything you said about Dries Visser is absolutely true. Greatest hunt of my life. Willem was my PH and I can't say enough about him or the whole staff for that matter. I've already booked for next July. Oh, you forgot to mention the food is incredible!
Yea...didn't exactly lose any weight this trip! Haha
Awesome pics. Jealous. I'm putting down a deposit for my first trip soon, and am already pretty stinking amped, and it's a long long way out
I just found this picture...this steenbok was just posing for us while the sun was setting. It was pretty neat.
Please keep me posted about where you're going, and when. I'm not ready to put down the deposit, but it's only because I'm not sure where I'm going or when...but I AM going.
firstname.lastname@example.org (pms don't work for me, sorry)
Great stuff right there...
Email forthcoming writer.
Beautiful pics & great thread as well Peyton. Thanks for sharing them with us. My wife & I are going next July & I can't wait!
Super hunt Peyton. Congrats on some great trophies. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us. Hard to beat time spent in Africa.
Thanks guys, I appreciate it.