Volume - 8
An introduction of Rock and Surf fishing
A jewel in the Garden Route
Elephant Dream The thrill of stalking in Zimbabwe
Meet Mr Spots also in this edition HUNTING
Leopard, Dolphin and much more
I FISHING I DIVING I ADVENTURES I DESTINATIONS
Vol 8 2012
With this year being in the final verse of her swan song we reflect back on a year filled with highlights and fantastic memories. I want to make use of this opportunity to thank the people that contributed in making it a memorable journey. A great deal of appreciation to all our loyal advertisers and my dedicated staff for their valuable contributions and efforts in establishing African Adventures Magazine. The patience and support of my loving wife and kids is the cornerstone of my being and it would not have been possible without them. Most importantly are you, our readers. Thanks for all the compliments and contributions we’ve received and for your loyal support to our advertisers. Great news! You can now enjoy African Adventures, anytime, anywhere! Yes, we’ve created a platform were outdoor enthusiast can share and enjoy their adventures with one another. With all the contributions we’ve received and wish to share with you, we had to look at alternatives of bringing this to you in a “Green” way. So a social, intractable web site was created. Please visit this www.africanadventures.co.za to read all our favourite stories, view videos and photos at your terms. We invite you to start interacting with like minded people and join this community of nature lovers. We will populate this site on a weekly basis to keep you entertained at all times, so pop in at any time for your weekly fix of adventure. I’m sure that nature will present you with wonderful opportunities and unique experiences these holidays. Treasure them with your family and remember to share it with us in the New Year. Please take care in your travels and a Merry Christmas and prosperous 2013 to you all! “I got a boat for my wife....... what a trade.”
Vol 8 2012
Vol 8 2012
Vol 8 2012
Regulars Letter from the editor Letter to the editor
Get hooked on Rock and Surf
Durban basics - Trolling lures
for game ďŹ sh Pg 20
Featured species: The Leopard
Recipe of the month Christmas Gammon
Top 10 dive sites continues
How to choose your softs
38 Pg 38
Hunting Elephant Dream Hunting as a conservational tool
11 14 Pg 11
Adventures Nonstop Adventure at Ngiri Safari
The Rhinoâ€™s eye
You are dumd, I am not
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o hear It’s the “we want t re” u about your advent
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Vir alle wapensmidwerk en jagtersbenodighede www.magalieswapensmede.co.za Johan 083 284 9785 email@example.com Grobbies 082 447 9391 firstname.lastname@example.org Eufeesgebou Nr.5, Gerrit Maritzstraat Pretoria-Noord
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Vol 8 2012
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Vol 8 2012
Get a little closer to nature.
Anywhere! Anytime! The Free Magazine for the Adventurer
www.africanadventures.co.za Scuba diving, conservation, bush adventures, travel and outdoor lifestyle...
Life doesn’t get bigger than this.
There’s nothing more gripping than getting “up close and personal” to the might and enchantment of nature; facing its challenges and enjoying its subtle pleasures. From stalking the savannas, reef diving with the seductive Manta Ray, sipping champagne in the pools of the Victoria Falls or fly-fishing in Dullstroom, we take you on an exhilirating African Adventure.
Vol 8 2012
The best gift you can give a Hunter
R599 Festive special includes Carry Bag
Small game carry frame
Willie - 082 883 2113
Vol 8 2012
Fritz Rabe & His Spanish client Ya wan
ctober is hot along the Ume River in Zimbabwe. The Zambezi escarpment feels like a sauna in the mid-day heat. The only moving thing is the small stream of water that flowed below us. We were high on a hill overlooking the panoramic view of Lala Palm, Jesse bush and some Ana trees - (Faiderbia Albida). My eyes were bloodshot from the constant strain looking through the Swarovski bino’s, searching for the great grey bodies of Elephant. Crack! The loud break of a tree branch made us all jump. No one had seen them come into the gully below us. “Nzo” confirmed Namabwe, one of the two Matabele trackers with us pointing at them. The old bull could not resist the ripe curly pods of the Ana trees. There were four of them. One was a truly old monarch with broken tusks and torn ears. He was massive in body and head although the years that he wandered around showed clearly even at this distance. There was one nice bull and two younger Askaris with the old one. I looked at Kirk, my friend and PH from Zimbabwe and smiled. No words were needed. Yawan, my Spanish client and long time friend just knew that this was it, the hunt was on. The three of us has done this many times before and formed a close strong team. This time though, we would be hunting Elephant with a bow and arrow.
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hunting Yawan has hunted all of the Big 6 with a rifle many times over. It did not “do it” for him anymore. I introduced him to bow hunting a few years before and he was totally hooked. He has found what he was looking for. Now he was totally addicted and could not get enough. The wind was good, the visibility was +-20 yards and the going awful in the Jesse bush. After 90 minutes of crawling we came close enough to hear and smell them although we could see nothing of these huge mammals. It amazes me how something as big as a truck just disappears if they do not move. Suddenly a splash of white caught my eye. Up came the bino’s and brought a tusk into view. Fifty pounds flashes through my mind. Kirk saw it as well and winked at me. I moved Yawan into a spot where we could see better and pointed at the bull with the nice tusks. They moved a bit through all the Lala palm and one has to be aware of every animal the whole time so as not to be surprised. Yawan was as calm as always. The 90lb Hoyt Viper came to full draw. The bull took a step forward and a low growing Lala palm obscured the heart. “High lung” I urgently whispered to Yawan as I was worried that his aiming would prevent him from seeing the plant in the way. The range was 24 yards. One hundred and ten foot pounds of energy were released as the silent arrow flew to a spot +- 15 inches from the top of the elephants lungs. The 210gr Steel Force Broad head cut a path one inch wide and 35 inches long through both lungs and stopped against the shoulder bone on the opposite side. The sound of the arrow finding the mark sounded like a wet towel slap. The elephant went from standing still to full flight in a split second. He cleared the Lala Palm like a runaway Bulldozer.
The elephant went from standing still to full flight in a split second 12
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hunting His companions followed in his wake, not sure what caused him to take flight. We were drenched with sweat and stood like statues trying to make sense of the braking branches and noise. Then all went silent around us. We tried to see if any of the others had stayed behind. Suddenly a loud yell broke the stillness as Namabwe vented his lungs high on the hill where we left him to observe proceedings. â€œHe is downâ€? he kept yelling. I looked at my watch and could not believe that 90 seconds ago, the arrow was still on the rest. I smoked a cigarette and then we took the track. Blood was everywhere. It showed a perfect lung-shot. The bull was on a death run as he went straight over the bush and plants. We came in from behind him as quietly as we could. He laid on his brisket with his front and back legs folded to the rear as if he was given a frontal brain shot with a heavy rifle. We moved to the side and Yawan gave him another arrow behind the shoulder to make sure that he was dead and not fooling us. Finally Kirk and I lowered our rifles and cleared the chambers. Nobody said a word. It was time to reflect the hunt and pay the respect that this great animal deserved. There was no jumping up and down and yelling or slapping each other on the back. This was not the time. This has become a dream come true for Yawan ever since he drew his first bow a few years ago. There were tears in my eyes when I took the photos. It all came together after many miles of walking, hard work and good preparation. This would be the first Jumbo of many that Yawan would hunt with his bow in the years to follow. It was a great hunt shared with good friends and done the right way. The tusks were 53 and 51 a side and that made it even more special.
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Hunting As a Conservation Tool Jacquie Geldart - “The wife of a cattle farmer and Professional hunter” I know to some people, the thought of “hunting as a conservation tool” is like “fighting for peace”. It seems both ridiculous and impossible. I used to feel that way too. I have grown up in Africa and my family has been here for generations. I grew up in Zimbabwe, where we tended to take seeing wildlife for granted. I moved to South Africa to attend University and stayed after marrying a South African man. At that time in South Africa (1990’s), there was an abundance of wildlife in certain areas, but not in the farming areas. I was privy to many conversations between farmers in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, where farmers were planning driven hunts to reduce the numbers of Bushbuck and Common Reedbuck as they were eating the winter feed planted for the livestock. Within the next 8 years things started to change drastically. Hunting in South Africa suddenly became popular for the overseas hunters, and hunting outfitters, not allowed to hunt on state owned conservation land, were pushed to find enough animals to fill their quota. The untapped, naturally occurring animals, which had been free ranging on farming land became an overnight commodity.
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Suddenly those Bushbuck and Common Reedbuck had an economic value. Definitely worth more than a sheep, and not so prone to be stolen, they were now seen as a viable alternative to stock farming. More winter-feed was grown, for the buck (smaller antelope) this time, not the domestic livestock. Numbers of the antelope grew steadily, farmers started to actively get involved in conservation of the natural species, and the management of the wildlife has become entrenched in farming policies. ALL THIS BECAUSE A MONETARY VALUE WAS GIVEN TO THESE ANIMALS. Hunting in South Africa is very carefully controlled and very tightly legislated, to ensure sustainable usage. Game counts are done annually, permits for hunting have to be obtained from the wildlife conservation authorities, and careful management of the natural resources has become a working model. No matter how much anti hunting lobbyists try to convince us that we can bring money into the country by building eco-tourism and having animals for visitors to see, it is a known fact that it takes numerous busloads of tourists paying at the gate of a game farm, to get the same amount of money that can be generated by one hunter who shoots one trophy animal. Suddenly my interpretation of conservation and my adversity for hunting has been turned on its head, and now I say thank you to hunters every morning, as I look out of my bedroom window onto the slopes of a working COMMERCIAL BEEF FARM and see Blesbuck, Common Reedbuck, Waterbuck, Warthog and Kudu grazing on the hill, where ten years ago there were none.
Hunting as a conservation tool really is possible. www.africanhuntingsafaris.net
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Vol 8 2012
Featured specie hunting
The Leopard is the largest spotted cat in Africa, and is a powerful symbol of the last wild places on earth: it is solitary, breathtaking, elegant, powerful, agile and cunning. Leopards are the most widely distributed and successful big cat on earth, from the sub-continent, the Americas and Europe all the way down to the most Southern tip of Africa. Although smaller than lions and tigers, the mysterious leopard is the most feared and elusive. It is ferocious, brave and very intelligent. This perfect killing machine with exceptional hearing, good vision and sensitive, extra-long whiskers which helps it navigate the dark, rightfully earned it an entry into Africaâ€™s Big 5. Itâ€™s built is stocky and cat-like, the head is large in relation to the body, and the very sharp, curved claws are fully retractable. Leopards are also remarkably good climbers and athletic, capable of swimming across rivers, leaping as high as three meters, as well as hoisting pray into trees, out of reach of predators. Habitat Leopards inhabit a diverse array of habitats, ranging from rainforests to mountain ranges and everything in between. Leopards of specific habitats developed their own adaptations in order to thrive in its domain. For example, Leopards that are found in semi-desert areas obtains moisture from eating Tsamman melons and from the pray they devour.
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Featured specie Hunting This solitary hunter is mainly nocturnal but will not pass on a hunting opportunity during the day. Their diet is extremely diverse, from small rodents and primates to young giraffe. This will normally be determined by habitat and prey availability. Its spotted skin makes for the perfect camouflage. Never more apparent than when lying motionless in the shade or resting high in a tree top. Leopards will seldom engage in a long chase, they would much rather ambush from a branch or a stealthy stalk conducted on its own terms. They kill their victims through suffocation and will feast on a large kill for several days. Leopard, like most predators have no tolerance for other carnivores in their territory and will fight off intruders. Habits and reproduction Leopards are predominantly territorial, and defend their territories against individuals of the same sex. Males and females mark their territories by spraying urine and by leaving scratch marks on tree trunks at the edges of their realm. In spite of these avoidance techniques, fighting among male leopards is not uncommon, and can be fatal. The home ranges of female leopards are smaller than those of the males, but male territories can overlap with that of multiple females. Leopards mate all year round. A female in oestrus will wonder out of her territory and attract possible suitors by leaving her scent in the area. Copulation last only a few seconds but will take place repeatedly in a short space of time. A den, carefully selected by the mother, plays witness to the birth of two to three cubs. Cubs are moved every two to three days to prevent hungry predators picking up their scent. They suckle for about three months after which their lives as a carnivore begin. Leopard cubs have a high mortality rate in their first year, falling prey to snakes, baboons and other predators. They gain independence after about a year but siblings will stay together for several more months before setting out on their solitary lives. When wounded, confronted, or suddenly disturbed, leopards can become exceptionally dangerous, and there are many recorded cases, predominantly among hunters, of people being critically injured or killed.
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Get hooked on rock and surf Fishing
The December holidays marks the start of the great migration of inland residents to the coast. This is also when small coastal towns and their small businesses wake from hibernation. Thousands of fishing starter kits and essential equipment will be sold. Dads will spend countless hours next to the water hoping that his kid catches a fish. This is easier said than done. Our fish stocks are under severe pressure and success is well earned even by the experienced angler. We want to equip the novice angler with the basic techniques to increase his or her chances of success this holiday. We will take a look at traces, bait presentation and how to target certain species. A good starting point is obtaining a fishing permit from any Post Office. Visit the local tackle shop for advice on target species and good, safe fishing spots. Knowing where to fish and what to fish for is half the battle won. Familiarize yourself with minimum legal size and bag limits per specie and be sure to study the tides.
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fishing Basic Fishing Knots •
The Improved Clinch Knot
The Improved Clinch is a time-tested and a very popular choice for tying terminal tackle to your main line or leader line. It is quick, easy to tie and reliable.
STEP 1: Thread the line trough the eye of the
STEP 2: Twist the tag end back up the line,
6 or 7 times.
STEP 3: Thread the tag end back thought the
STEP 4: Pull the knot tight and clip excess
opening at the eye off the hook and back
to finish knot.
though the large loop opening. ”A”
The Albright Knot
The Albright Knot is one of the most reliable knots for joining lines of unequal diameters or different materials such as monofilament to braided line. It is easy to tie and reliable.
STEP 1: Create a loop, in the thicker line. Pass
STEP 2: Take the thinner line and wrap it 10
about 25cm of the thiner line through the
times nealty around itself and the loop.
10X STEP 3: Pass the end back through the loop,
Step 4: Trim the tag ends.
lubricate and pul tight. www.africanadventures.co.za
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fishing fishing â€˘
A haywire twist is used to tie single strand wire to terminal tackle. STEP 1: Place the tag end of the wire through the hook eye. Cross the tag over the main strand forming and X. Pinch with your thumb and forefinger to keep in place.
STEP 2: Hold the wire and make a half-turn with the main strand, 5 or 6 times. The tag and main strand must be held so that such an X forms each time a turn is completed. Now the main strand should be straight, and the tag end should be perpendicular to it.
STEP 3: Make three or four sequential wraps around the main line with tag end.
STEP 4: Take the tag end and form a small handle at a 90-degree angle to the knot. Work the handle back and forth in a parallel motion to the main strand, breaking the wire flush to the last wrap.
STEP 5: Make sure the wire breaks cleanly. If not, cut it and start over. NEVER trim the tag with cutters; this will result in a small, sharp tag that can result in injury.
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Estuary Fishing Main line
All Purpose Estuary Trace Ball or barrel sinker Small barrel swivel
Pink Prawn Used with the ultra-light or light outfit this trace is ideal for most estuarine species, particularly targeting Grunter, Cob, Garrick, Rock Cod and Bream. It incorporates a ball or barrel sinker that slides freely up the line to reduce resistance when a fish picks up the bait. Hook sizes from no. 8 to 1/0 is advised. The hook snood should be about 60cm long and as light as possible, around 4kg to 6kg breaking strain unless bigger fish are targeted. Bait for estuary fishing is usually shrimps or prawns, strips of sardine fillet and even squid. Experiment with baits and combinations until you find what the fish is feeding on. Main line
Basic Gully Fishing
Basic Gully Trace
Pink Prawn & Chokka Combo
Hook size no.4-2/0
Fishing gullies with light tackle is a popular and effective technique for catching species such as Galjoen, Blacktail, zStonebream and Carenteen feeding in these turbulent waters. Hook sizes from no.4 to 2/0 tied to a hook snood of 40cm with 5kg to 10kg breaking strain. A light tear drop sinker works best because you don’t want to anchor the bait – it needs to move with in the current. The sinker snood should be slightly shorter than the hook snood and substantially lighter in breaking strain. This will brake off should the sinker become stuck in the rocks and you will not lose the entire trace. Redbait, white mussel, marine worms, prawns, sardines and “chokka” are baits that is used with great success.
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Shad fishing Whole Sardine
Basic Shad (Elf)Bottom Trace Main line 3-way swivel 50cm nylon Float Barrel swivel
10cm piano wire
Shad have razor sharp teeth so piano wire is used for the hook snood. Tie a 10cm long piano wire to a barrel swivel and a 2/0 to 4/0 hook with the haywire twist. Now tie a piece of Nylon of 50cm to the other end of the barrel swivel. Thread a cork or some form of floatation on to the nylon and tie the lose end to a 3-way swivel. Tie your mainline to the 3-way swivel and a piece of nylon of 30cm to the remaining eye of the 3-way swivel and secure your sinker to it. Medium or light tackle are advised to target this favoured specie. Use a whole or cut sardine but when shad are on the bite revert to spoons to stay part of the action. Experiment with the size of your bait to increase your chances of catching these delicious edible fish. There are many variations for these traces and pre-rigged traces are available from most tackle stores. Be sure to release your catch after photos and remember to share it with us.
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Bottlenose Dolphin Tursiops Truncatus
Description Bottlenose dolphins, the genus Tursiops, are the most common and well-known members of the family Delphinidae, the family of oceanic dolphin. Recent molecular studies show the genus contains three species, the common bottlenose dolphin (Tursiopstruncatus), Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiopsaduncus) and the Burrunan dolphin (Tursiopsaustralis). They are grey, varying from dark grey at the top near the dorsal fin to very light grey and almost white at the underside. This counter shading makes them hard to see, both from above and below, when swimming. Adults range in length between 2 and 4 metres, and in weight between 150 and 650 kilograms. Males are, on average, slightly longer and considerably heavier than females. Their size varies considerably with habitat. Except in the eastern Pacific, dolphins in warmer, shallower waters tend to be smaller than those in cooler, pelagic waters. Bottlenose dolphins live in groups typically of 10â€“30 members called pods. There have been numerous surveys on bottlenose dolphin intelligence. Research on bottlenose dolphins has examined mimicry, use of artificial language, object categorization and selfrecognition. Their considerable intelligence has driven interaction with humans. Bottlenose dolphins are popular from aquarium shows and television programs. They have also been trained by militaries to locate sea mines or detect and mark enemy divers. In some areas, they co-operate with local fishermen by driving fish into their nets and eating the fish that escape.
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Feartured specie Diet
Their diets consist mainly of fish. A variety of techniques are used depending on the pray specie and habitat. Dolphins often work as a team to herd a school of fish, but they also hunt individually. Dolphins search for prey primarily using echolocation, which is similar to sonar. They emit clicking sounds and listen for the return echos to determine the location and shape of nearby items, including potential prey.
Dolphins have sharp eyesight. The eyes are located at the sides of the head and have a reflecting membrane, at the back of the retina, which aids vision in dim light. Their horseshoe-shaped, double-slit pupils enable dolphins to have good vision both in and out of water, despite the different densities of these spheres. When under water, the eyeball’s lens serves to focus light, whereas out of water, the typically bright light serves to contract the specialized pupil, resulting in sharpness from a smaller aperture.
By contrast, a bottlenose’s sense of smell is poor, because its blowhole, the analogue to the nose, is closed when underwater and it opens only for breathing. It has no olfactory nerves or olfactory lobe in the brain. Bottlenose dolphins are able to detect salty, sweet, bitter and sour tastes, but this has not been well-studied.
Bottlenose dolphins communicate through burst pulsed sounds, whistles and body language. Examples of body language include leaping out of the water, snapping jaws, slapping the tail on the surface and butting heads. Sounds and gestures help keep track of other dolphins in the group, and alert others to danger and nearby food. Lacking vocal cords, they produce sounds using six air sacs near their blow hole. Each animal has a uniquely identifying, frequencymodulated narrow-band signature vocalization. The tonal whistle sounds (the most melodious ones) allow dolphins to stay in contact with each other, mostly mothers and offspring and to coordinate hunting strategies. The burst-pulsed sounds (which are more complex and varied than the whistles) are used to avoid physical aggression in situations of high excitement, such as when competing for the same piece of food. The dolphins emit these strident sounds when in the presence of other individuals moving towards the same prey. The “least dominant” one soon moves away to avoid confrontation.
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Boulyn kolletjie Feed / Voer Once youâ€™ve tried us... you will be caught
Contact George: 082 410 7843
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Durban Basics - Trolling Lures for Mike Laubscher of Blue Water Game Fish Charters | Durban Targeting the various species of Game Fish that we find off Durban using artificial lures can be rewarding, but ones needs to apply a little bit of thought, organisation and order to make it work. There is a variety of fish species that one can target and they are found in different locations and you need different methods to target them. I am going to list the most common species that are targeted but there are more and then we also have Marlin which is a subject on its own. Remember that this is just a guideline and the fish do not read these articles, so anything can happen out there and it does. continues on pg 34
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Not to be missed KwaZulu-Natal
Umhlanga Summer Carnival 10 - 23 December Umhlanga
Hazel food Candlelight Market 8 December Pretoria
Xmas Gift Expo Ballito 14 -24 December Ballito
Vodacom Jazz Picnic 16 December Kempton Park
Shongweni Farmers Christmas Market 16 December Gillitts
Mpumalanga Sabie Experience
Carols by Candlelight with KZNPO 12 December Durban
15 - 18 December Sabie Ubanâ€™inkunzi Cultural Competition & Exhibition 28 - 30 December Piet Retief
KwaZulu Weavers Summer Holiday 23km Run and Walk 16 December Bergville
NORTH WEST Summer Retreat Groot Marico 21-22 December
16-24 December Parys
Parys Christmas Market
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Dirtopia Mountain Bike Festival 14 – 17 December Greyton Festival of Chariots 29 December Green Point
Friends of St Francis Nature Areas 10km 28 December Cape St Francis New Years Festival of Lights 31 December Nieu-Bethesda
Cape Town Minstrel Carnival 2 January Cape Town
Coﬀee Bay New Year’s Party
West Coast Classic 15 December 2012 Langebaan
Gonubie Christmas Fair
Fynbos and Food Event 15 December Scarborough
31 December 2012 Coffee Bay
16-18 December Gonubie Kenton Music Fest 31 December Kenton on Sea
If you would like to publish your event here, please send details of event to: firstname.lastname@example.org www.africanadventures.co.za
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fishing Game Fish Species found in our Waters Game Fish Species Queen Mackerel (Natal Snoek) King Mackerel (Couta) Queenfish Garrick Wahoo
Season All Year SummerAutumn SummerAutumn Winter Spring Spring Autumn
Eastern Little Tuna
Found Usually found near backline until about 15m depth near the surface to mid-water. Usually found from 10m – 50m depth from the bottom till mid -water. Usually found from 10m – 50m depth from the bottom till mid -water. Usually found from 10m – 50m depth from the bottom till mid -water. Usually found from 50m to very deep in sub surface water. Usually found from 30m to very deep water from the surface to 200m deep. Usually found from Backline to 100m depth near the surface to mid-water. Usually found from 100m depth to very deep water on the surface and sub surface. Usually found from 30m to deep water. These can be found anywhere as they move from the shallows to the deep.
Other species are King Fish, Yellow Tail, Amber Jacks, Prodigal Son, Garfish, Sea Pike, etc. Lure trolling is not a hap hazard way of fishing and if you think you going to go out on and pull a lure behind the boat your results will be dismal. Lure trolling requires teamwork and each rod requires its position and the lures need to be set in the right positions. You can troll anything from 2 – 9 lures at a time but it is best to work with 4 or 5 rods at once. For this article I will focus on 4 lures at a time as this is reasonably basic and easy to manage and a good place to start. Trolling 4 Lures without outriggers. Here you can divide your boat in 2 halves and each side will work the same with 2 rods per side. One rod pointing out the side and 1 rod pointing back, it is important that the side rod’s tip is at least 300mm higher that the back rod, on the other half of the boat you do the same. Most boats have trolling boards with 4 rod holders which can tilt so the side ones are tilted up at around 1530 degrees and the back ones are flat parallel with the deck. This will also mean that the lures on the side rods which have higher tips will always be further back than the back pointing flat rods, this is to ensure you do not get tangles especially when you need to turn. The lures on the side rods that are further back must always be let out first and then you let out the lures on the back rods. It is important to note that the fish are not scared of your moving boat and that they are
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fishing in fact attracted to the prop wash and wake, and so letting lures out 100’s of meters behind the boat will achieve nothing. You need to use your boat as a mobile FAD (Fish aggregating device) and place your lures in key areas that the fish are attracted to. The 2 back lures need to be on the sides of your prop wash, and the 2 side lures need to be in your wake. Typically the side lures would be 25-30m back from the boat and the back lures 15-20m from the boat. It is also better to place the larger lures closer to the boat and the smaller ones further back. There are a variety of lures that one can use to troll and one can use combinations of these lures. A nice general spread would be a combination of skirted lures like Feathers or Kona’s on the side lures and Lipped hard plastic lures like Rapala’s on the back lures as most of the fish above would go for these and so you would have a better chance of catching what ever is around. You can run smaller ones closer to shore and larger ones deeper out. Wahoo like deeper run lures and Couta like very deep runners. Snoek, Dorado and Sailfish prefer surface or subsurface lures and the Tuna Species will go for any of them. Couta and Snoek prefer slower speeds of 4-6 km/h whilst Dorado, Tuna and Sailfish prefer then a little faster at 8-12km/h. Wahoo like it fast. Rapala type lures will be limited to a maximum of 10km/h. Feathers and Kona’s can be trolled much faster. When trolling on the backline zig zag from the back wave to 10m and back as you go along, for deeper waters pull over pinnacles, reefs, ledges and contour lines, look for birds, debris, scum lines, current lines, etc. When out there you will encounter conditions where you have to go into the swell which is most uncomfortable and here it is better to zig zag keeping the boat on the quarter bow. When dealing with a following sea you will find that you accelerate and slow down which is no good and so again zig zag keeping the boat on the quarter stern. When it is flat or you are riding beam sea straight trolling will be OK although I do prefer directional changes with a light zig zag pattern. Be prepared as with these methods you will often get multiple hook ups.
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Top 10 dive sites Paquita wreck – Knysna heads
Explore with Pro dive Plettenburg Bay
During the early morning hours of 18th October 1908 in poor visibility, the British built 460 ton Barque Paquita “fouled her anchors” and ran aground on Beacon Rocks located off the Knysna Heads. Owned by a German shipping company and carrying only sand ballast, a lot of mystery surrounds the incident with suggestions that it was a deliberate attempt to claim on the insurance money. Lying parallel to the channel in a depth ranging from 6m to 16m, she offers a unique diving experience with some of the superstructure, in particular her bow (facing seaward) and anchors, still clearly visible. Blacktail, Steenbras and a variety of soft corals can be seen on the wreck itself while Pipefish and the elusive Knysna Seahorse can be spotted in the seaweed growing in the calmer sections of the lagoon. The strong tidal current running between the heads makes dive planning essential and dives should be started just before high tide and completed before the slack period has passed. The best entry and exit point is the small beach next to the slipway of the NSRI station in the more sheltered lagoon. Permanent guide ropes lead divers onto the wreck (although these are sometimes covered by sand) and several escape routes are situated along the channel should a diver get caught by the current. 36
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diving Lying in the calmer section between the Heads, the site can generally be dived all year round but conditions at the Heads have a reputation of being deceptive. Although not deep, it is prone to strong currents and should preferably not be attempted by novice divers â€“ it does however offer experienced divers a challenging and adventurous dive in an otherwise beautiful and serene part of the Garden Route. www.prodive.co.za 041 581 1144
Storms river mouth
Explore with untouched adventures
Scuba diving in Storms river mouth in the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park is a true underwater treasure just waiting to be explored! Because it is one of the oldest marine protected areas the sea life is still abundant. On the shore dive the maximum depth is 12 meters, it is an easy dive ideal for all levels of experience. The shore dive is inside the bay and well protected from the swell, visibility can range from 4m to 8m. During summer the bay is filled with local Houndsharks, Stingrays and friendly Red Romans. Make sure your buoyancy is correct on the sand patches as the bay gets filled with hundreds of Sandsharks looking for warmer water during easterly upwellingâ€™s. On the deeper boat dives the reefs are abundant with soft corals and depth ranges from 15m to 24m. During a recent dive an inquisitive Sea Otter came to play with the scuba divers, it was trying to figure out what these strange creators where doing on its hunting grounds! You never now what to expect on a dive in the Tsitsikamma! All the dives needs to be guided and therefore pre bookings are important. Equipment rental and cylinder fills can be done at the dive shop next to the dive site. www.untouchedadventures.com 076 959 2817
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How to choose your softs. Divetek pro staff Choosing your diving equipment can prove quite the challenge. We have a look at the basic equipment that will made your time under water more enjoyable.
It is important to understand that the choice of wetsuit is very important. Ideally you need several wetsuits with each one suited to the different temperatures. The more neoprene you wear the warmer you are …….BUT…. it’s more uncomfortable and causes all sorts of grief with your buoyancy. So we aim to have the smallest amount of neoprene and still be warm. Different folks get cold at different rates. Women and tall, skinny okes get cold quicker. Neoprene Quality There are 9 ratings of neoprene quality and the number one criteria is the resistance to pressure compression damage. Compression damage is where the little insulating cells in the neoprene are compressed on a dive and do not re-inflate on surfacing. The wetsuit becomes thinner and thinner and you get colder and colder. As a rule the more flexible the neoprene the less compression it can take. Unfortunately several wetsuits sold in South Africa are in fact made of surface Surfing material and not diving neoprene. SO BEWARE ! These suits will be much cheaper than normal. Recommendations: Cape Town - Either a dry suit or a 7 mm one piece with a shorty worn over the top. A hoodie is essential, you can get away with a 5mm but it’s a bit lightweight. Eastern Cape - One piece 5mm wetsuit with 5mm shorty over the top and a separate hood. This will give some flexibility as the one piece will be great for KZN without the hood and shorty.
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KZN - One piece 5mm will be good enough for most folk. Add on a separate hood and the a shorty if still cold. Mozambique - 5mm one piece is great but a 3mm will be better when its warmer. Warmer water - 3mm one piece. This gives protection against the sun and stingy things.
The snorkel is an important safety bit of kit. The reason is that if you ever have the misfortune of having to swim back to shore…. It’s almost impossible to swim when you have to keep raising your head in order to breathe. There are two main types: • A snorkel that attaches to your mask. (The best place for it). • A folding snorkel that fi ts in your BC pocket for those that are irritated by a snorkel hanging at the side of their face. Other features: Size - This counts, you get little bores for kids and bigger ones for adults. • Mouthpiece - Can be made of cheaper Siliter which is hard ….. or soft Silicone • Flexi hose - Has a flexible tube or part that makes it fall away from the mouth when not being used. • Dry top - A fitting at the um ….top that diverts water droplets and spray from the breathing tube. • Drain Valve or Purge - A one way valve that allows water to drain out, making it easier to clear. The choice of a snorkel is not a very important one for a scuba diver, they are not expensive and all work as advertised. A simple snorkel with no purges or floppy hoses is best for free diving. •
Our faces are different shapes and sizes. Masks also come in different shapes and sizes. Using a mask that doesn’t fit perfectly enters you into a world of frustration. It is essential that you try on as many masks as you can. Select the mask that is most comfortable and has the features you want. Try and avoid buying the mask for its look or colour. Fit and comfort is the rule.
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Features: • Skirt material - The cheap masks are made of Silita or PVC. This is a hard material that does not seal well. Usually found in chain stores and sports shops. Avoid! Proper masks are silicone of various thickness. The thinner silicone skirts are softer and very comfortable but not hardy. They usually have a name such as crystal, ultra or liquid silicone. You pay much more for these! • Lenses - You get 1,2,3 or even 6 lens masks. There are also curved wrap around masks, but be warned that there is often vision distortion with these and the lens is plastic and prone to scratching. Side lenses are great for increasing vision so well worth getting. • Straps - The standard straps have an incredible ability to get tangled in long hair. Fit an add on neoprene strap to reduce this bad behaviour. They are also far more comfortable and float. • Frames - You get masks with frames or frameless. The frameless use the glass lens as support and allow the lens to be closer to the eye. Better vision but more money. Really expensive top quality masks have metal frames instead of plastic. Black or clear skirts? Clear skirts give the impression of lightness. They look better but will yellow quite quickly. This is normal. Black masks have better view when in bright light. It’s like looking out from a cave or a green house. So black, although less attractive ….works better. • Volume and Size - The small minimal volume masks are for free divers that have to equalise them with only limited air. These have sacrificed vision for low volume and are like diving wearing blinkers. • Peripheral Vision - Most important! - You want to see as much as you can. Try on the best fitting masks and compare how much you can see. Up, down and side to side. • Style - Some masks just look good. Others are the dog’s breakfast. While it’s nice to have a cool mask, the other features should come first. Lastly nothing is worse than a misty mask. Get yourself some defogger. Sprays are better than drops. They work best when the mask is dry.
There is a lot of hot air spoken about fins. Every brand is trying to have some gimmick that will entice you to part with more of your hard earned dosh. The reality is that there is very little difference between the performance of fins. The most expensive probably are only about 10% more efficient than the cheapest. 40
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There are two types of fins • Stiff fins that use a wide fin stroke and bite the water. • Flutter fins that use a flutter kick. If you are an ex rugby player and hail from the Free State (in other words a very large fellow), stiff fins will be the best choice as the floppy fins do not work well with the high drag of the giant folk. However if you are normal sized, the stiff fins are very sore on legs, ankles and feet when you have to swim fast. Flutter fins consist of flap fins or split fins. Split fins are not great in a current. These fins feel very soft but work really well and are very fast. The down side is they tend to be heavy for traveling and it is hard to kick up to get a boat. Open or closed heel? Closed will fit the foot better and are cheaper but…. You really need to have the protection of booties when scuba diving so open heel and booties is the way to go. Features and Gimmicks: • Blade or paddle fins - These are simple fins with a blade and no other “features” They are generally cheap and do the job. They are hard on the soft bits when swimming fast. A well priced good choice. • Membrane fins - They have a blade with rubber flexible bits that cup or scoop the water. Hard on the body when used fast. • Pivot fins - Allow more bending on the down stroke and less on the upstroke. These are also hard fins. • Split fins - Have a big well ….. split down the blade. Very soft to use and have their fans. Not great in a current and some models tend to twist the foot. Not easy to get back in the boat with. • Flap fins - Similar to split fins in that they are very soft to use yet powerful. Good in a current but not good in getting back in boat. Heavy out of the water. Have many fans and are a good choice. • Straps - You need easy to use and easy to adjust straps. The best straps by a huge margin are quality spring straps that are bought as an add on. If you are looking for fashion and “bling” there are many different options but all fins will work well.
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Christmas Gammon Graham - www.cookbook.co.za
I just love gammon at Christmas, in fact Iâ€™m not sure why we seem to make it only at Christmas. Itâ€™s fantastic and it sits in the fridge after Christmas for those perfect snack and sandwiches and is completely foolproof to make. Glaze
What you need 1 deboned uncooked gammon of about 2.5kg 1 onion halved cloves 2 sticks celery water
50g butter 75g dark brown sugar 1 tablespoon mustard
Place the ham into a large pot and cover with cold water, then toss in the onion halves and celery. Bring the pot to the boil and drain. Clean out the pot, place the gammon back into the pot and refill with water. Stud the onion halves with 2 cloves and add to the pot. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer on low for 2 1/2 hours. Take the pot off the heat and set aside allowing the gammon to cool in the liquid. When cool remove from the water, the skin will be east to remove now. Remove the skin and score the fat diagonally into diamond shapes. Melt the butter in a pot over a low heat, add the sugar and mustard and mix until well combined. Brush the gammon with glaze and stud with cloves, then place it in a 200 Celsius preheated oven for about 40 minutes until nicely brown. Remove and brush with the rest of the glaze. Thats it, youâ€™re done. www.cookbook.co.za
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COMPACT BINOCULARS, IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE THE NEW CL COMPANION 30. CLOSE AT HAND
Extensive knowledge and a wealth of experience are the secret to understanding nature and successful hunting. Sharing special moments and experiences broaden our horizons and our focus becomes sharper. For this you need more than just a piece of equipment, you need binoculars that are a reliable companion. You need CL Companion binoculars that are always to hand whenever you need them.
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The Wandering Albatross Diomedea Exulans
n albatross in flight is a spectacular sight. These feathered giants, often mistaken for large seagulls, have the longest wingspan of any bird measuring up to 3.4 meters. This specific species is the biggest of some two dozen different species. Albatrosses use their formidable wingspans to ride the ocean winds and can soar for hundreds of kilometres without a flap of their wings, crossing ocean basins and circumnavigating the globe. They also bobber on the seaâ€™s surface, though the position makes them vulnerable to aquatic predators. As some other seabirds. Albatrosses drink salt water due to the amount of time they spend away from land. It has been documented that these long-lived birds can reach an age in excess of 50 years. A bird of this age would have flown at least 6,000,000 kilometres. Breeding They are rarely seen on land and congregate only to breed, at which time they form large colonies on remote islands. Pairs of Wandering Albatrosses mate for life and breed every two years. Breeding takes place on Sub-Antarctic islands and commences in early November. The nest is a mound of mud and vegetation, and is placed on a high cliff near the sea. These windy conditions assist in taking to the air. During the early stages of the eggsâ€™ development, the parents take www.africanadventures.co.za
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turns to incubate while the other searches for food. After hatching, both adults hunt for food and visit the chick at irregular intervals. Young albatrosses may fly from as young as three months, depending on the species, but then leave the mainland behind for up to ten years until they themselves reach sexual maturity. Feeding They are night feeders and feed on cephalopods, small fish, and crustaceans and on decomposing animal refuse that floats on the sea. Sometimes over indulging to an extent that they are unable to fly and rest helplessly on the water. They can also make shallow dives to find food sources. Albatrosses are familiar to mariners because they often follow ships in hope of dining on handouts or garbage. Conservation It is estimated that there are only 4,200 breeding pairs in South African waters. Their breeding grounds are on Prince Edward and Marion Islands where they are under threat from poachers.The biggest threat to their survival, is man with pollution and over fishing taking its toll on its food sources. Many Albatrosses has been hooked on a fishermanâ€™s line. Should something like that happen to you, please contact your nearest marine authority.
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Cappuccino, Hot Chocolate, Black Coffee Michael 076 592 0568 Stephen 082 459 1585 OďŹƒce 012 751 1960
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Hot with just one click
Nonstop adventure at Ngiri Safaris Written & adventured by Johan Viljoen & Cobus Steyl Do you find yourself sitting around wondering what to do for the weekend? Donâ€™t feel like spending hours on the road to your destination, but still find yourself in the middle of nature? Then Ngiri Safaris is your answer. Nestled in the North-Western part of the Dinokeng Big 5 Game Reserve, on the banks of the Boekenhoutspruit lies this stunning piece of Africa, a mere 50 kilometres from Pretoria. This tranquil setting will allow you to escape everyday city live and rediscover your essence. Picturesque scenes along with the comfortable self catering accommodation will ensure you wake rejuvenated and ready for the diverse number of activities on offer. Strategically placed in
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adventure the landscape the 2 x two sleeper cabins along with 3 x four sleeper chalets is your ideal retreat to enjoy the crackling of a camp fire and sounds of the bush at night. Your hosts, Andrew and Sue go to great lengths to ensure that the whole family stays entertained at all times. With help from Mother Nature they are able to provide various adventures to outdoor enthusiasts. Most of us are familiar with a game drive on a safari vehicle, and it’s great. The height of the comfortable seats is a great vantage point and allows you to spot game at great distances. Its protection comforts you in a close encounter with dangerous game and more often than not will the guide share his or her intimate knowledge of the local fauna and flora with you. In addition to this, Ngiri Safaris also allows you to get up close and personal with the Big 5 on the back of quad bikes. This is truly a unique and wonderful experience and a must for the more adventurous. It allows you access to parts of the reserve where vehicles can’t travel and should you spot a specie of interest, you can drive into the bush up to the animals’ flight zone. This presents you with wonderful photographical opportunities as you observe the animals undeterred. Here you can admire the beauty of the animal and savour the encounter on your own terms. Travelling through the dense undergrowth in the ravine proved very rewarding. The unpleasant odour of Silver cluster leaves in bloom was soon forgotten when we stumbled upon a Leopards lair. Several animal remains were visible and the fresh spoor and peacock kill sent shivers down our spines. We left the ravine for the safety of an open plain on a plato. The views from the top were breathtaking and the scattered Acacias were favoured by the many animals seeking refuge from the relentless sun. The diversity of the vegetation and landscape ensured for a great variety of birdlife and animals which we observed on this enthralling drive. Game can also be viewed from horseback in a small party guided by Sue but is only for the experienced rider. This corner of Eden is also ideal for the keen angler. Talapia, Barbell and Bass can be targeted in the Boekenhoutspruit a stone’s throw away. This beautiful stretch of river offers a diversity of structure and an abundance of fish. There is a strict catch and release policy to ensure the balance of the eco system and protection of fish stocks. Several access points along the shore allows for bank angling but the thought of predators on the prowl might just convince you to rent a small boat from Ngiri. Day trips can also be arranged to nearby Rust de Winter dam. After a quick dip in the pool, we rigged our rods and launched the small boat with great ease. Having fished Rust de Winter quite often, I decided to go for the same strategy. Armed with a
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adventure “Mojo-rigged” Baby Bass Fluke and a first timer on the boat, I was confident that this contest was over even before it began. Although competitive, I really wanted to put my boat partner onto his first Bass. The water was very dirty so a Green pumpkin Brush Hogg was “Texas rigged” in the hope that the extra movement will assist the fish in picking up his lure. His first cast delivered his first fish. The excitement was soon replaced by constant mocking. I persevered with the fluke while he was dropping fish like its hot and continually reminding me of his expertise. A quick change over to a Brush Hogg and success was instant, but our time on the water was cut short by a thunder storm with the newcomer taking the honours 5-3, a story I will be reminded of for a long time. Scuba diving in the bushveld? Yes, this is the most alluring activity offered by Ngiri. Andrew, your instructor has more than 25 years experience and along with the setting will ensure a professional and a unique scuba training course. Introductory pool sessions are done in the 3m deep pool surrounded by wildlife and qualifying dives at Miracle waters and Sodwana or Inhaca. They are fully equipped and offer all their facilities to other instructors who wish to present their training course in this unique setting. Visitors can also do a short introductory session with Andrew during their stay. A well equipped clay pigeon shooting range is available to test your marksman skills. You are welcome to bring your own shotgun, while clays and ammunition can be bought onsite. There are also shotguns for hire and Andrew will gladly advise novices on how to achieve success in this fun activity. Adventure doesn’t stop here, grab you binoculars and camera, we are going on a croc and hippo safaris to Rust de Winter dam. Cruising around on a 21 foot Rubber Duck you can sit back and sip on sundowners whilst appreciating these water giants. If you are a nature loving family, constantly in search of your next African Adventure, be sure to visit Ngiri Safaris. Nature awaits you just around the corner.
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Christmas Gift Ideas
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Silver Cluster-leaf Terminalia sericea
The silver cluster-leaf is a medium to large-sized deciduous tree which grows up to 9 m with individual trees reaching 23 m in height. It is part of the Combretaceae family and other common names are Mususu (Venda) or Vaalboom (Afrikaans). It prefers deep, wel drained, sandy soils and is particularly prolific on the mid slope seep- lines of these Ecozones, where it grows in dense groups of various sizes. Description This is a silvery-blue, upright, single trunked tree with branches that grows from the trunk at different levels to form distinct, horizontal layers. The name derives from the silver shine that you see caused by the silver hairs on young leaves. The rough, dark bark is deeply fissured lengthwise. The slender branches are dark brown or purplish, peeling and flaking in rings and strips, exposing light brown under bark; young stems are often parasitized and, as a result, bear round galls often up to 2 or 3 cm in diameter, frequently with leaves growing from them. Flowers grown in axillary spikes up to 7 cm long. It has a rather unpleasant, sweet odour with an off-white to yellow colour and blooms between September and January. Two-winged pods are produced in bunches at the ends of the branches. Pods ripen during March and April, and change from light red to light brown in colour. They remain on the tree almost until the following flowering season. Uses Although the nutritional values are low, leaves and young shoots are eaten by elephant, giraffe, kudu and impala. Leave droplets are favoured by several grazers. The leaves and roots have several traditional uses. When boiled together this cocktail is taken orally for the treatment of coughs, diarrhoea and stomach aches. In case of bleeding, a paste can be made by cooking the leaves in water and placing them on the wounds. The wood is yellow and fairly dense, making it suitable for firewood, furniture and fence poles. Some potters use the silky silvery hairs to decorate their creations.
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DIE OU HAAS SE EEN SKOOT. – Lynette Haasbroek So gebeur dit toe dat die oudste van 3 geslagte saamgenooi word op die jagtrip. Ook bekend as “My visserman vriend se Pa…” dit is nou Brand Haasbroek, my ou man. Die e-pos beplanning is aan die orde van die dag en deel van die pret is ook die ewige geterg. Dit vorm ook deel van die beplanning wat die jaarlikse jagtrip voorafgaan.
Die spyskaart vir die jagtrip word ook voor die tyd bekend gemaak, en vir my klink dit soos ‘n uitgerekte “bring en braai”, minus die poeding. In sulke detail soos nagereg stel hierdie mutcho jagters egter glad nie belang nie….
bier of brandewyn en coke is mos soos poeding!
Brand wil ook graag sy spesiale dis voorberei vir die klomp jagters. Hy beplan sy famous niertjie in suursous, vir ontbyt, asook ’n vars wildslewerpot, “ as daar ‘n bok val”. Nog ‘n treffer van Brand is die swart ysterpot vetkoekies, met botter en stroop, “ golden syrup” (caramel), vanuit die
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adventure spuitbotteltjie, “selfraising” meel, EN bakpoeier moet ek inpak vir die oujagter chef, oupa Brand. Nog ‘n goue reël vir die jagtrip kom by… geen bier word geknak alvorens die bok nie hang nie….?
Met hierdie reël of voorwaarde vir ‘n drankie met skuim bo-op in gedagte, gebeur dit toe dat Brand, vroeg na die aankoms op die jagplaas, in die tenk gaan sit… Hy gaan sit en wag sy beurt af. Dit is ‘n groot ou sink watertenk wat vol loergate gesny is vir “obserwasie”. Die leë watertenk is strategies naby die soutlek geplaas. Elke opening is uitgevoer met ‘n rubberpyp wat gehalveer is, om aan die jaggeweer rus te verleen. Al wat die jagter moet doen is om te wag en kyk…
Ten spyte van Brand se siggebrek, loer hy tog getrou deur die loergat. Vanaf 2- uur die snikhete middag, doen Brand en Anton ”tenksitjag”. “Hulle behoort so teen 3- uur se kant te kom, dis nou die Rooibokke,…..ja dis hulle tyd…” voorspel Brand, die oujagter, geduldig.
Brand se voorspelling word toe ook waar, toe Rooibok ewe senuagtig presies 5 voor 3 sy opwagting maak, om n bietjie te kom soutsmaak. So kry my geduldige, fynwaarnemer en jarelange “dedicated hunter” sy kans om die sneller te trek. Hoog op die blad tref Brand die rooibok wat met een triomfanklike sprong deur die lug trek.
Hierdie een skoot beteken vir ou Brand net eending : “My korrel is nog in…!”
Ek verwonder myself oor die ou Haas, Brand. Hy was nou werklik gemotiveerd om sy rooibok te kry op hierdie jagtrip, wat dalk sy laaste sal wees…? Hy wou seker maak hy kry sy bok, om twee redes. Die een rede is die nuwe jagreël: Die “goue“ reël, naamlik GEEN biertjie alvorens die bok nie hang nie. Brand leun agteroor en behaaglik word die goue drankie met die skuim op, geknak! Soos hy die rook langsaam voor hom uitblaas, sug hy: ”Ja nee, na al daai inspuitings in my oog, is my korrel nog in!!! ONE BULLET ONE BUCK!!!
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Eye Bruce Missing
“A great deal of appreciation to Bruce for sharing this wonderful encounter with this majestic animal. We invite you to share your unique adventures on the Dark Continent with fellow enthusiasts”
It is said that it is not the moments and not the minutes that make life special. I strive to measure my life in moments and not minutes. I am only 21 yet I am able to share special stories like the one I am about to share with you. And yes it’s about a Rhino but it not a sad story about poaching or exposing an illegal syndicate but rather the whole reason why I am a ranger and have dedicated my life to protecting all animals. No two days are the same in my profession and even the most simple of tasks can become complicated in a matter of seconds. This was demonstrated when I went for a job interview last year. This story revolves around a simple job interview but resulted in a moment that changed my perception of animals and humility. And still to this day I believe that humans could learn so much from animals if we just gave them a chance. The day of the interview started at 2am. I was cramming for an exam at 8am. I wrote the exam and finished at about 10 then got in my car and drove the 400km to Hoedspruit for my interview. It was a very special drive as my GPS decided that it would only take me on quiet country roads. This was frustrating at first but within five minutes of driving on these roads I realized how much I love this country we live in and just sat back and enjoyed it. The heat was memorable, while I was driving my thermometer was reading 38 ° C and my aircon was on strike so I just opened all my windows and turned my radio a bit louder which made me enjoy the drive even more. I arrived at the lodge at about 14h00. 56
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adventure adventure On my way in I was greeted by the manager Collin who seemed to have a lot on his mind because he stopped me, answered his phone before I could introduce myself, spoke to the person on the other end of the line for about 5mins before driving off without exchanging a greeting. So I went to the office where I was shown the room that I would be staying in for the night. The first thing I did was remove my shirt and lie on the nice cold concrete floor (a luxury which everybody who visits a lodge with a smooth concrete floor has to try). By now I had been awake for twelve hours and under any normal circumstances a nap would have done me the world of good but in heat like that (regardless of how long you’ve been awake) sleep is the last thing on your mind. I had barely had enough time to put on some sun cream when before Collin was outside my door in the cruiser hooting for me to hurry up. I grabbed my hat and sunglasses and got into the cruiser. Finally getting my chance to introduce myself I was answered with a truly South African “Ja”. Still I could see that there was a lot happening so I gave him the benefit of the doubt and attempted to inquire what we were going to be doing without much success. We drove around the reserve for about 20 minutes checking the rhinos which all had guards watching them. With the heightened threat of poaching I thought that guards with the rhinos was only a security measure. Next, we approached the reserves runway. We had cleared the Eland off of it when and I overheard Collin on the phone speaking about a helicopter when I asked what we were going to be doing. Collin said (and keep in mind that this was only a job interview) “we have a few rhinos that we need to de-horned”. Not knowing what my role in all of this was I didn’t want to get too excited and I was disappointed when Collin went and dropped me back at my room. Luckily this was only because it was too hot to do anesthetize the rhinos. I quickly phoned my Mom telling her about the upcoming events. Collin fetched me again at about 15h30 and we headed out. We were going to be de-horning three rhinos. Two of them had been shot by poachers a few months earlier and had recovered. They were due to be released from their boma’s the next day. The third rhino was a female who was pregnant at the time all the other rhinos were de-horned now that she had given birth it was her turn. We also had to notch the calves’ ears for identification purposes. The first rhino was a huge male named Dennis with a massive horn, I remember thinking to myself that he looked just like the rhino on the R10n note. He was truly majestic. We darted him and waited for him to go down. When I went into the boma with him I couldn’t believe the size of this animal. He was lying on his sternum and the tops of his shoulders were in line with my eyes (and I’m about 1,76m tall). We took all the samples we had to take and gave him the shots he needed. Then we began cutting the horn off with the most pathetic electric hack saw ever created, I doubted its ability to chop through paper, never mind this massive horn. But we persisted and half an hour and about half a dozen blades later the horns were off. Then we moved out of the bomas to the female and her calf (as we were losing light we decided to do her before the other rhino in the boma). At this stage we had the chopper in the air relaying the rhinos position to us who were in the cruiser. We darted her, and the pair bolted. When she finally fell the calf about 100m before we darted it as well. We learnt our lesson with Dennis
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adventure so we used a petrol chainsaw this time and the horn was off in under a minute. However as I said earlier nothing is as easy as it seems when you are in the bush, in this case the calf decided it had forgotten how to walk, and no matter how much reversal drugs we gave him he would not move. So the only solution was to get five of us to carry a very heavy, very awkward rhino calf. And after some choice English words and a few stumbles we finally got the youngster back to his mom. We gave the mother her reversal and waited for her to get up, this time without a hitch. Then we moved back to the bomas to do the last rhino. The last rhino was called Marekele. And was the angriest rhino in history (not sure I can blame it after what had happened to it). Either way we darted Marekele and headed into the boma when we thought he was sedated enough. We thought wrong. Never before has such a small tree hid so many men. We all hid behind what was essentially a sapling while the vet topped up Marekele. We managed to get a rope around his head so we could control him better, which was working well until the rhino started to fall on its side. For those who don’t know rhinos should never rest on their sides because they have a radial nerve and this can get damaged if they are placed on their sides. So I was tasked with pushing this beast from the side so he went down properly. And I only got crushed a little bit so I think it could be called a success. And so we proceeded with the process of dehorning, taking various samples and giving the appropriate immunizations. I was then taken back to my room where I was able to shower, in a shower with (for a change) no cold water. But it was better than nothing. And I went to dinner where I was told that I must take a group of kids on a game drive, luckily I wasn’t driving and even better one of the kids teachers used to be a guide so he kept them amused for the few hours we were out. I was barely in a state to be breathing never mind conducting a drive. But it wasn’t too painful and it wasn’t too long before we were back at the lodge and I was back in the shower and then in bed. The next day Dennis and Marekele were due to be released from their bomas. Marekele wasn’t a problem he ran off straight away and never looked back. Dennis on the other hand needed
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adventure a bit more motivation. But after about 15 minutes of coaxing he started heading out. Once again his size left me awestruck. I remember seeing one of the labourers running out the boma with Dennis in pursuit and it looked like this gentleman was being chased by a bus. Dennis wasn’t too keen on moving off straight away and he hung around the boma area for a while leaving Collin and myself stranded on the viewing deck of the boma. We eventually plucked up the courage to run up to the feed shed about 50m away. Here, Collin gave the labourers the run down for the rest of the day. I decided to go outside where I was greeted by Dennis. With my back against the shed wall and several tonnes of Dennis in front of me I was out of options and wondering if this was it. But when Dennis was about half a meter away from me, he stopped, and just looked me straight in the eye and we starred each other down for a few seconds (which felt like a few hours) and then walked off. This doesn’t sound too dramatic but was the single most amazing moments of my life because the moment he looked me in the eye I had an overwhelming feeling of comfort and calm? I’m not sure if it was the fact that he was more than capable then killing me with a shake of his head and he chose just to look me in the eye, or the fact that this animal was showing humility towards me when only a few weeks prior he was sitting in the sights of a member of my species’ gun. Either way it was there and then that chose to dedicate my life to protecting these beasts. I understand that experiences like this aren’t always open to members of the public, but there are many places in and around the cities that offer one on one interactions with animals. So I encourage anybody reading this to take some time to find such a place and go just interact with some animals which you wouldn’t normally find yourself around. And should you get the opportunity to lock eyes with a wild animal, you will be truly inspired for the rest of your life. I promise.
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I am Fritz Rabe
up that’s right, you’re dumb and I am smart. While the Lion may be the king, I’m the prince. Let me introduce myself, -
they call me Mr. Spots.
You have come from far away, in a big noisy contraption that flies like the vulture. I’ve seen you coming, I have sensed you coming, and I am ready. You think you’re so smart, sitting in the wheeled thing, carrying thunder in your hands and killing my impala and hanging them from trees. Ha, I know about all that. You travel on 2 legs like the ostriches. You go down the dry riverbeds looking for where I have been. But I am not there. I am too smart for you. I can smell the meat hanging from the tree, and I will eat it, but only tease you. You will not be there, only me. That black thing that leads your path is pretty smart, and the white thing following is also, but, the third thing - he smells funny although he looks like you. I know that odor, my mother taught me about it. My father was very old. So old that he could not kill for himself anymore. He fell to that loud sound when he was eating the meat from the tree. I watched and learned. I’m too smart for the likes of you. You have hung meat from many trees all over my territory. I can smell it, and I am watching you. Yesterday you came by my cave on the hill. I could see 6 of your beings in the wheeled thing. You came back soon, but there were only 4 then. I can count, I am smart. You think that in only a 60
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half a moon that you can catch me. Think again. I’m smarter than you. It will take many half moons before you can catch sight of me. Every day you come and every day I watch. You make loud noises and my impala fall dead. I don’t like the noise, I don’t like your smell or your looks and I don’t like you. Last night I almost made a mistake. I smelled the meat, but on the way to it I found a young bushbuck. He provided my dinner, you didn’t . For all your efforts you should be commended, but I’m smarter than you, for I am the prince, I am Mr. Spots , I’m the world’s most beautiful cat, I am the world’s most cunning, the worlds smartest and to top it all I’m smarter than you. You might not know it but I am the most dangerous animal if you upset me. If you hurt me I will come at you with the speed of light. I will come in low so that you cannot see me and I will come from close, where you are not looking. You are dumb. I am the Prince. I will use my claws to wrap you up and I will bite your face so that my back feet can rake your guts. I will take all of you on at the same time so that you think that I am many. There will be no time for you to react because you are dumb and I am smart. I am the Prince. I will come into your den late at night and steal your food because you do not hide it like I do. You only take the skin and horns of my Impala that you steal and you let the meat dry out like wood. You are dumb. You have some tame Hyena that follows you around and live off the scraps that you feed them. If they smell me and make a noise I will kill them and eat them. You keep funny looking Guiney fowl, trapped in a cage and I will come and steal them from you like you do with my Impala. You will make it easy for me to kill them all in one go because you are dumb and I am the Prince. I get an extra spot for every time that I am smarter than you. My coat is full of spots, you have none. I will teach all my children how to make your life difficult. You will think that you have killed all of my kind while we live silently among you, learning and watching because we are smart and I am the Prince. I am Mr. Spots and you are not.
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145kW, 436Nm Torque, 2.2L R-Type Diesel, Hill Descent Control, 6 Airbags, ABS, EBD, ESP, 5 or 7 seats, Rear-View Reverse Camera, Smart Key/Push Button Start, Sun Roof, Leather Interior, Climate Control, Driver and Passenger Power Seats. From R419 900 Visit www.hyundai.co.za to book a test drive.
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