THE PROGRESSION OF A DREAM
The Mauser M03 Africa .458 Lott New thunder in the Bushveld
African Game Animals PREDICTING BULLET PERFORMANCE Clear skies or rain?
The Kudu: Grace in grey
Rescuing a Black Rhino in Zimbabwe ● Destinations ● Press Releases ● Product News & Reviews ● African Bush ● Cuisine ● True North ● www.africanxmag.com
E D I TO R I A L
It is the beginning of winter here in Africa. I feel the slight chill creeping up on me early in the morning and the cold, wild smell reaches me when I go to the office or take a drive. I smell a fire made from Mopane wood, speak to a friend or taste biltong. My office starts to feel small and I look up to the mountains a lot. I find myself resharpening my old hunting knife and checking my camo clothing which seems to shrink every year. I polish my old hunting boots and remember the wild places they have taken me in the past. It is at those times that I realise that I have been working too much. The pressures of running things and acting important become an irritation. A wrinkled old black man gave me words of African wisdom many years ago: “Basie, die werk word nie klaar nie. Jy word klaar” (Young master, the work is never finished - You become finished!) Sometimes we do too much for too long. Of course we all want to give our families the best, and we are willing to give the pound of flesh that it costs. But sometimes our jobs become who we are - and we forget that a man only truly sees himself when he is alone in the wild places. No man finds his true self in front of the TV or at a business lunch. We need much more space than that. If we keep our noses to the grindstone year after year, we begin to live apart from our own hearts. Living in a jungle is hard on a heart Soon you learn to live without it By the time you wake up Hardly find your way back home
Published by Safari Media Africa Editors United States of America
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Billy Crockett: The Basic Stuff
When the entrapments of modern life has fallen away and the midnight roar of the lion cuts through my fragile tent in the cold Okavango swamps, then I am home. All the men from the past had to find themselves in the wild places. Roosevelt goes to Africa, William Wallace go to the glens of Scotland and Jesus goes to the desert. We need those wild places because we find ourselves: we need to feel our own hearts, we need to feel alive again. There in the lonely places the grace of a kudu can cause us to ask ourselves the questions that are never asked in the traffic or board meetings. When a man goes to the wild places he is going home. I have heard the savage, far-off call of the bushveld. And I know it is time.
Mitch Mitchell 3 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE May 2009
Disclaimer While all precautions have been taken to ensure the accuracy of advice and information provided, the Proprietor. Publisher, Editor or Writers cannot accept responsibility for any damages, inconvenience or injury whatsoever that may result from incorrect information. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher or its agents. African Expedition Magazine assumes no responsibility to return graphics unsolicited editorial, or other material. All rights in unsolicited editorial, letters, emails, graphics and other material will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright purposes and material will be subject to African Expedition Magazine’s unrestricted right to edit and editorial comment. All material and/ or editorial in African Expedition is the property of African Expedition and/or the various contributors. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the prior written consent of the Publisher.
conte 8 The BorderLine Walk
THE PROGRESSION OF A DREAM
20 PREDICTING BULLET PERFORMANCE
Clear skies or rain?
34 The Mauser M03 Africa .458 Lott
New thunder in the Bushveld 4 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE May 2009
46 African Game Animals The Kudu: Grace in grey
54 Finding Jimmy
Rescuing a Black Rhino in Zimbabwe
80 Press Releases
ents 88 Product News & Reviews
98 African Bush Cuisine
Prawns with olive oil, garlic and peri-peri
101 True North
The Great Stories
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The BorderLine Walk
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SION OF A DREAM David Hulme
ithin the next few weeks, my companion (Jephita Tumwi) and I will embark on a journey that has been a decade-long dream of mine. It is to be a foot journey and will ultimately see us completely circumambulate Zimbabwe, beginning and ending at Victoria Falls and following the borderline the entire distance.
When the Borderline concept was first put to me, I was a mere twenty-four years old. I am now thirty-seven and finally ready to put it into practice. At first it was an interesting idea that was worthy of conversation. Then it became a possibility worth looking into. Now it is a fixation, something that must be done, for so many reasons. Soon it shall be a reality. Dean McGregor (a.k.a. Mac the knife) is responsible for planting the seed in my mind, all those years ago. Although the seed was planted in soil none too fertile and neglected much of the time, it somehow sprouted and ultimately sunk its roots deep into the bedrock. At the time, I’m sure Dean never believed his idea would develop into what it has – I certainly didn’t. But times change and ideas become imaginings which grow on us until they demand to be fulfilled. It began over a cup of coffee in a dingy coffee shop in downtown Harare, some time in 1996. Hardly an inspirational setting, but Mr McGregor is capable of seizing inspiration in even the most mundane of settings. Such is his adventurous spirit and incisive mind. As with most brilliant ideas, it came out of the blue, without preamble. ‘Imagine…’ said Dean, sipping his coffee with a faraway look in his eyes. ‘Imagine going on an expedition right around the country.’ May 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 9
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I didn’t realize that Deano was in inspired frame and his opening comment did nothing to enlighten me. ‘We do that all the time,’ I said. ‘The Valley, the Falls, the Lowveld, eastern highlands…. We are on a continuous expedition around the country!’
more strength and lengthens its stride accordingly. And that when it does reach the crossroads and is presented with a definite choice of destination, it finds the wings it once had and takes an open highway, never looking back.
Throughout the late nineties and into the new century, I continued the seemingly aimless and neverending quest that I embarked upon early on in life. A quest it certainly was, but in search of what nobody quite knew, least of all myself. On the surface, those years may have appeared a futile and unproductive Then he had my attention and he knew it, giving it phase of my life, and it certainly felt that way much of time to sink in. the time, but at the end of the day it was educational and there is nothing futile or unproductive about edu‘You mean walk the borderline of Zim?’ I asked. cation. That period of erratic and restless wandering ‘That’s exactly what I mean – backpack the bordertaught me about life. It was carried out mainly within line. Although, I reckon I’d like to canoe the Zambezi the boundaries of Zimbabwe, and I learnt a great stage, if I ever got really serious about doing it….’ deal about myself, my country and its people along the way. I also The topic dominated conversation witnessed the systematic destrucfor days, but once we went our ‘Imagine…’ said Dean, tion of our once prosperous land. separate ways – Dean back to his sipping his coffee with a Through it all, ideas, dreams and job and me to try and find another schemes came and went, either faraway look in his eye. job – I pushed the notion forcefully fulfilled or unfulfilled, and if I am from my mind, or so I thought. It ‘Imagine going on an honest with myself, few of them was far too impractical a concept, meant much. But one dream has expedition right around even for an impractical fellow like always stood head and shoulme. At that stage, I felt that what the country.’ ders above all others, and never was required was a real job, not dimmed in the slightest. In fact, some hair-brained scheme involvthe rheostat of that dream has ing walking around the country. been gradually turned up, and at this moment it ilSuch is the sad influence that the modern world has luminates even the darkest recesses of my mind. on one, and today I am most relieved that that stage ‘No, no,’ said Dean, in that patient tone often used by the inspired when addressing those in the dark. ‘I mean right around the country, following the borderline the entire distance, by means of manpower alone.’
of misguided practicality is well behind me.
Much has transpired and much has changed in both my life and Zimbabwe since the borderline concept was first proposed. Although the events in my own life are dwarfed by those of my country, I can say that, at times and for lengthy periods, my personal journey has been remarkably similar to that of my country, leading me down the same self-destructive path. The difference is, of course, that I have always had a choice – Zimbabwe and its people have not. I chose to stumble down that particular path; Zimbabwean society was manacled and force-marched against its will. The good news is that at some point I managed to turn and crawl back up that ruinous path, reaching crossroads and setting out on a different, more enlightened route. As I write this, our country has shattered the manacles that bound it for so long and is also making its way back to those hypothetical crossroads, strengthening as it goes and keeping yesteryear’s flagging captor at arms length. It is the hope of millions that this fair land builds up
God alone knows why it has taken me so long to commit to the Borderline expedition, but as it turns out the timing is perfect. To be sure, the time has never been right until recently, and that is undoubtedly why commitment was previously lacking. There has never been any question that I would get around to doing the walk, but I guess my attitude before was that there was plenty of time in hand. That outlook changed at some point (about the time I was crawling back to the crossroads!), and through the last half-dozen years the urge to get going has built up increasingly. At present, that urge is all-consuming. No longer do I feel that there is plenty of time, for the time has come. Naturally, having had such a long time to ponder it all, the original ‘coffee shop’ plan has been amended somewhat, insofar as both the actual walk and its results are concerned. Dean’s original idea was to canoe the Zambezi stretch, but Jephita and I intend walking the entire distance; for years I envisaged May 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 11
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journeying clockwise from Kariba, though now we shall leave from Victoria Falls in an anti-clockwise direction; initially the walk was simply about adventure, today it is more complex and far-reaching than that…. The Borderline expedition is no longer the fantasy of youth that it once was – it has been built upon steadily and become a defined strategy with specific purpose. Although the strategy is somewhat involved, the purpose of the Borderline project is straightforward: we intend using it as a medium to assist in the reconstruction of our remarkable homeland.
ished rural area that flanks the Save Conservancy’s eastern front. These community programs will be transparent, well-managed and viable, and will be all about production, education and restoration: the production of food, by establishing a well-managed irrigation scheme; the education of the populace, insofar as wildlife conservation is concerned; and the restoration of the shell-shocked community vitality, with the emphasis on creating employment, child welfare, health services and infrastructure.
As stated, the Borderline project shall be used to publicize and raise support for the cause(s) championed by Hunters for Borderline is a project that falls under Jephita and I inZimbabwe. This shall be done in a the banner of Hunters for Zimbabwe, variety of ways, beginning with the an organization founded with the inten- tend walking the of regular Borderline en tion of alleviating the plight of Zimbaentire distance: we publishing route articles, written by me and run bwe’s rural communities and wildlife. shall leave from by the African Expedition magazine – The expedition’s primary objective is to the primary sponsor of the expedition. raise awareness and support for these Victoria Falls in Funding for the expedition and the worthy causes. Initially, the emphasis an anti-clockwise initiation of the HFZ community dewill be on rural areas bordering the direction. velopment programs shall be realized Save Valley Conservancy, in Zimbathrough the sale of my book about the bwe’s south-east Lowveld. For many Zimbabwean lowveld, The Shangaan years the Save Conservancy has born Song, and through the sale of Borderline T-shirts and the brunt of poaching activity from neighboring rural memorabilia, all of which shall be available online, on areas, with a marked upsurge in recent years. This the African Expedition and Borderline websites. poaching upsurge can be directly attributed to the decline of Zimbabwe as a whole. HFZ trustees and This is what the Borderline expedition is all about. other progressive people believe that the existing Of course, it is much more involved than what is or confrontational stalemate requires a proactive ‘hearts can be written here, and this article is meant only to and minds’ approach. It is the opinion of HFZ that the serve as an introduction to the venture – an outline present situation cannot produce a winner, only losof the game-plan and goals. The issue of greatest ers, and that if the issue is not positively addressed importance at this time is to get walking, and that is as a matter of urgency, the area shall continue its what currently dominates my thoughts. one-way journey to absolute self-destruction. So We intend to leave by June 1, 2009. We shall leave many other areas in Zimbabwe have reached this from Victoria Falls and travel west, to Kazangula, and calamitous end, and HFZ intends doing all it can to then south, down the length of Zimbabwe’s western avert the same disaster befalling the Save region. It should go without saying that both the communal and border with Botswana, to Plumtree and the Limpopo Valley beyond. That is the first stage of four distinct wildlife areas depend on each other for survival – as stages, the other three being do any adjoining areas throughout the world – and cohesion is actually the only way to bring about posi- the Limpopo Valley/lowveld, the eastern highlands/highveld and tive change and future prosperity. There is no alterthe Zambezi Valley. We will walk native – policy thus far employed has failed dismally and a fresh slant is desperately needed, for the sake through semi-desert, mighty river valleys and mountain ranges, of all. Hunters for Zimbabwe intends to bring about big game country and communal this fresh slant, and in the process show Zimbabwe lands, cities and rural villages. and the world that hunters care – for people, wildlife Our intention is to adhere to the borderline as much and the environment in general. as possible, but we will be forced to move inland at The first step towards bringing about change in the times, to avoid swamps, landmine fields and army Save region will come in the form of the implementano-go areas, and to ford a few major rivers. Our tion of community development programs in Chibuwe route will be tracked on Google Earth for all to follow, communal land – a densely populated and impoverMay 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 13
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The BorderLine walk will support anti-poaching efforts to prevent this from happening again: a young black rhino caught in a poacher’s snare. This baby died a few days after this photograph was taken.
and regular updates in the African Expedition Magazine will keep the public informed of progress, or the lack of it! We shall ultimately cover 3000 kilometers or so and envisage taking up to a year to complete the journey, bearing in mind that we shall have minimal back-up and carry all that is needed, which shall equate to between 20 and 25 kilograms per man. In any case, there is no time frame or any other control measure attached to this walk – it may take more than a year, or only eight months, who knows. The only defined rules are that we cover the distance by way of foot alone, and that we thoroughly enjoy what will be the adventure of a lifetime.
It is our hope that many other people will enjoy the adventure with us, if not in body then in spirit, by following our progress and supporting our mission. Upon the walk’s conclusion an account of our travels through this wondrous land will be published. As with The Shangaan Song, certain proceeds from the Borderline book will be donated to Hunters for Zimbabwe, to further finance that organization’s endeavors. I wonder when and where I will once again cross paths with Dean McGregor. One place I’m certain that meeting won’t take place is in a dingy coffee shop in downtown Harare. I have recently heard, on the adventurer’s grapevine, that Deano is now guiding somewhere in the Kariba area. If this is indeed May 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 15
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the case, we will undoubtedly meet up with him there, as we enter the final stretch. I actually believe there is a strong possibility of teaming up with him before then – there are three and three quarter lengthy stages and many months between the starting post and Kariba, and I know that once he reads this article, ‘Mac the knife’ will be champing at the bit. Footnote: I would like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to those who are making this expedition possible: The staff of the African Expedition Magazine, particularly the editors, Mitch Mitchell and Alan Bunn; the director general of the Zimbabwe National Parks Authority, Dr Morris Mtsambiwa; Dean McGregor, Jephita Tumwi and my longsuffering family. Last but by no means least, special thanks to my best friend – you know who you are and why I thank you.
David Hulme is a Zimbabwean writer and professional wanderer who spends most of his time searching for new stories and country, never staying too long in any one place.’ May 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 17
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PREDICTING BULLET PERFORMANCE Clear skies or rain?
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omorrow there will be a 30% chance of rain with the possibility of scattered thundershowers which might spread from the southern Freestate to the Mpumalanga lowveld. Talk about keeping your options open! Well predicting bullet performance on an animal that you are hunting can be pretty much like predicting the weather. There are just so many variables involved. Take a look at Figure 1. These .223 bullets (apart from the unused one on the far right which is shown for the purposes of comparison), were all recovered from the same species of animal shot by the same ranger on the same day at approximately (give or take 30m) the same range - but just look how differently they have performed! What is going on here? We here enter the rather unpredictable realm of terminal ballistics where many of our expectations on how a bullet will perform seem to dissipate into one big question mark. A bulletâ€™s flight path from the moment it leaves the muzzle until just before it impacts with a target animal, assuming its flight path is not interrupted by a twig or other unexpected object, is reasonably predictable. With some experimentation the marksman will know how much the bullet he is shooting will drop at different ranges and how much it will be steered off course by a crosswind. The shape of the bullets profile (ballistic coefficient) and its mass will be the main determinants influencing how it will fly through the air as it is subjected to the onrushing air stream and downward pull of gravity. Height above sea level (air pressure), ambient temperature and humidity can be factored into the equation and still make the impact point on the target reasonably predictable.
Figure 1: Six 55 grain .223 bullets recovered from blesbok and one unused bullet (far right) May 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 23
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mer plastic tips, spitzer (pointed), round nosed, hot core bonded, partitioned or whatever, they can be basically divided into two groups – expanding and nonexpanding bullet types. The behaviour of any bullet once it hits and then enters into the tissues of a living animal is determined by four factors: ●●The construction of the bullet ●●Its impact velocity ●●Shape ●●The path that the bullet follows through the target animal.
Figure 2: Bullets come in a bewildering variety all designed for a specific purpose.
The moment the bullet impacts the target, however, is the point where confusion sets in and hunters are often caught unawares as the expected effect of their chosen bullet fails to materialize resulting in either the animal running off, or in the case of dangerous big game charging, when it (whatever “it” might be) was supposed to fall down dead in its tracks!
Bullet construction is one of the most important factors influencing penetration. Here we can identify two main animal types that ballistic engineers have in mind when they design bullets for hunting them. The first group is relatively thin skinned with a light to medium bone structure and the second comprises animals with a thick, tough skin, large muscle muss and heavy bone structure protecting vital organs such as the brain, heart and lungs.
Bullets designed for the first group are usually of the expanding type consisting of an outer gilded copper layer enclosing a metal alloy (usually lead and antimony) having its tip exposed or having a polymer plastic tip. Some are also designed with a hollow point. See Figure 3 for typical examples.
What is this variable that is often not well understood by the average hunter? Before we can begin to answer this question we should first clarify what is supposed to happen when a bullet impacts living tissue. Refer if you will to Figure 2. Here you will see a variety of bullet types and designs. They differ significantly from one another in shape, mass and construction but all have one thing in common. As hunting bullets, they were designed to kill animals as effectively as possible. Each bullet was however designed for a specific application. In other words they were designed to be used on a specific group of animals. Whereas there are differences in construction with some having exposed lead alloy tips, others having a copper alloy full metal jacket, poly-
Figure 3: Examples of expanding hunting bullets
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The design features of these bullets allow for the bullet to peel back on itself on making contact with and passing through animal tissue. This is referred to as “mushrooming” and the reason for designing it to work in this way is to increase the size of the wound channel so that more damage is done and the animal will die as quickly as possible. See Figure 4. Now some bullets are specifically designed not to mushroom but to enter and pass through animal tissue with little or no expansion. The bullet is designed for penetration into vital areas that might be protected by tough skin, muscle and bone. When a bullet expands it loses energy and begins slowing up because the wider diameter of the expanded bullet has a greater frontal surface area and experiences greater resistance to forward travel.
know it all, to all the ballistic aficionados out there but it brings us back to our original question. Why do identical bullets, shot into the same type of animal at approximately the same range behave differently? Now all things being equal – the same type of bullet, hitting the same type of animal at the same impact velocity at the same range, one would expect all the bullets to behave in the same manner and have the same effect on the animal and therefore be predictable. But they don’t and they often behave in the most unexpected way. Look at Figure 1 again.
Hence an expanded bullet will have less penetration than a solid non-expanding bullet and might not be able to reach the vitals and may even break up or fragment on hitting solid, dense material like bone. These solids may consist of solid brass or a core of heavy lead alloy completely surrounded with a jacket of copper allow. Bullets like these are intended for big dangerous game such as elephant, rhino, hippo and buffalo and examples are shown in Figure 5. The impact velocity will also have an effect on penetration. Too slow and the bullet is going nowhere. Too fast and the bullet will disintegrate on impact causing a shallow “cratering wound”. Impact velocity determines the hydrodynamic pressure and the effects on bullet deformation. But, over and above this it also determines the amount of cavitation in tissue (creating a temporary and permanent cavity) which is proportional to its kinetic energy. The greater the cavitation the less the penetration. The shape of a bullet will have an influence on how it passes through animal tissue. Spitzer bullets which do not deform become unstable at normal hunting bullet velocities and will not penetrate as far as round or flat nosed bullets fired at the same velocity. Non-deforming round nosed bullets in turn will generally have better penetration than flat nosed bullets but this depends on the width of the flat nose and the radius of the round nose. Most rifle hunting bullets today are of a pointed shape and are designed to expand but the amount of penetration based on shape also applies to them as well.
Figure 4: An expanded .270 Winchester bullet recovered from a blue wildebeest..
Now the foregoing might be pretty “ho hum” we May 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 27
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such as ballistic gelatin, or wet phone books and this gives rise to certain expectations. Valuable information is gained from these tests. It has been shown for example in tests using a variety of bullets at different velocities that increasing velocity (within a range of 1600 â€“ 3200 feet per second) has a tendency to decrease penetration. The problem with these tests is that the material used to measure bullet performance is homogenous and this can lead to expectations which might not necessarily work out in reality because animals are not homogenous. Ballistic gelatin might closely approximate muscle tissue but is very different to horn, bone, tendons and gas filled organs such as lungs or fragile blood filled organs such as the liver, kidneys or spleen. A bullet shot into an animal can follow very different paths through materials of very different density and strength. Bullets of any given construction and impact velocity may have significant differences in performance depending on the part of the animal struck and the shotline through the target. Let us now look at some case scenarios to illustrate the point. Refer please if you will to Figure 6. Let us set up a hypothetical case scenario. It is 30 years ago and a hunter is using a .375 H&H Magnum to hunt Cape buffalo. He has decided on a Winchester 300 grain Silvertip bullet traveling at 2600 feet per second to dispatch the animal with. Assuming shots 1, 2, 4, and 5 were taken from different angles but were all aimed at the heart lung area, shot 3 was intended as a neck (spinal) shot and shot 6 was an abdominal shot that the hunter took as the animal was running away.
Figure 5: Solids for thick skinned, heavy boned dangerous game. A monolithic (top) and a full metal jacket (bottom) showing their â€œinnardsâ€?.
Of the six bullets, two have mushroomed perfectly (this was what most would have predicted based on their knowledge of the bullets design), two have partially mushroomed, and two have hardly mushroomed at all! All the variables we mentioned earlier on which effect bullet performance are equal barring the one which hunters often neglect to consider when they predict how their bullet of choice is going to perform on the animal they are shooting at. By a process of elimination you should by now have figured out that the final arbiter of a bullets performance which can negate all the others, is the line or path that a bullet travels from its point of entry to its point of exit or to the point where it finally comes to rest within the body of an animal. Bullet performance is most often tested on materials
Now at this point we are not discussing the merits or demerits of the different shots. We are investigating the possible way in which the bullets could perform and how the animal would respond given the different shotlines.
Shot 1 A side on presentation in which the hunter aims for the heart with a shot placed through the shoulder. May 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 29
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Path of bullet travel: The bullet forces its way through a layer of tough skin, connective tissue and thick muscle. It penetrates well and begins mushrooming. Now it encounters the top end of the humerus which in the case of buffalo is a rather substantial bone. The bullet expands fully but, because of the increased resistance it slows significantly. It punches through the bone and through the soft pleura (membrane) lining the thoracic cavity. It now enters soft, air filled lung tissue and passes easily through before hitting the heart itself, composed of strong muscle. The bullet is fully expanded and the kinetic energy is dropping off quickly but enough energy remains to drive the bullet through the right lung before finally coming to rest against the bones of the opposite shoulder. Condition of bullet: Fully expanded (mushroomed) and mostly intact. Moderate weight retention. Effect on and response from animal: A temporary cavity was momentarily created and a permanent cavity remained behind in the bone, lungs and heart tissue. Severe bleeding resulted, the lungs collapsed and the damaged heart stopped beating. However enough oxygen remains in the blood of the mortally wounded buffalo to live for up to three minutes. It might drag the fractured leg and run off with pink frothy blood spewing from the nostrils or, if it sees the hunter, and is that way inclined may charge and cause some damage or even death to the hunter before it finally expires. There was a clear blood trail to follow of bright arterial blood.
Shot 2 The hunter approaches the buffalo from slightly behind and attempts a shot high up through the hind leg angling towards the heart/lung area. Path of bullet travel: The bullet travels through tough skin and thick gluteus muscle and begins to expand. It then hits the very thick and hard pelvic bone and fragments in a number of pieces each of which travel a short way before coming to rest in the pelvic or abdominal cavity. No vital organ has been reached.
wound channels. Blood loss is not significant (assuming no major blood vessel has been hit). If the pelvis is badly broken the animal might not be able to run but may still pull itself forward by using its front legs. If the pelvis is only fractured or not badly broken the buffalo may run off (or charge). If it runs off it will have to be tracked until another shot (hopefully a fatal one) can be taken. There will probably be a very insignificant blood trail to follow (unless by chance a major blood vessel has been hit). If the buffalo gets away and cannot be found it could over time recover but may be crippled or if the wound is of such a nature that severe infection sets in may die a slow, painful and lingering death (especially if the bullet has lodged in the abdomen and peritonitis sets in).
Shot 3 From a side on presentation the hunter places a shot about one third way down in the neck, aiming for the cervical vertebrae. Path of bullet travel: The bullet passes through the thick and tough neck skin and then on through the powerful neck muscles. It then breaks into and through the strong cervical vertebrae deforming somewhat and losing some of the mushroom petals but pushing on through the opposite neck muscles rapidly losing energy before finally coming to rest just under the skin on the far side. Condition of bullet: It has mushroomed well but some of the mushroom petals have broken off and remained behind in the vertebra. Weight retention is fair. Effect on and response from animal: The animal was immediately incapacitated as the spinal chord was severed. It fell immediately to the ground and made no attempt to rise. There was still some movement in the face and ears for a minute or two before the animal died.
Condition of bullet: The bullet has broken up into several pieces and failed to penetrate far beyond the pelvis.
Here the hunter takes a quartering away shot from the left side angling the shot forward to hit the heart and or lungs.
Effect on and response from animal: No vital organ has been damaged. The permanent cavity is short and not well developed as the bullet broke up and the pieces formed small but rather insignificant
Path of bullet travel: The bullet penetrated the flank skin, a relatively thin layer of abdominal muscle and angling forward perforated the liver, the lungs, and the heart finally coming to rest against the inside of May 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 31
Figure 6: Examples of shotlines through a buffalo
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the humerus fracturing but not penetrating it. Condition of bullet: The bullet did not encounter any hard material (i.e. bone) during its travel from entry to exiting the right hand lung. By which time much of its energy had dissipated due the long distance of travel. It mushroomed predictably and by the time it hit the inside of the humerus had enough energy to crack the bone but not penetrate it. The bullet mushroomed well, retained most of its weight, held up well when it hit the leg bone and was pretty much intact on recovery. Effect on and response from animal: The animal responded by running off (or charging the hunter) but will die soon of oxygen starvation of the brain as blood pours from the heart, liver and lungs (all of which have been severely damaged). There will in all likelihood be a good arterial blood trail to follow. It may run for a couple of hundred meters before slowing and finally collapsing to the ground as it sounds the mournful death bellow characteristic of these magnificent beasts.
Shot 5 A similar shot as shot 2 but lower. Path of bullet travel: The bullet penetrate the rump skin and traveled a short way through thick thigh muscle before hitting the femur â€“ a thick and very tough bone. It shattered the bone dissipating most of its energy in doing so. The impact also caused the bullet jacket and core to separate each traveling for a short distance before coming to rest in the pelvic cavity. Condition of bullet: Weight retention very poor as the internal core and the copper jacket keeping the bullet together have separated resulting in very poor penetration. Effect on and response from animal: Perhaps (if the hunter is lucky) the large femoral artery might be severed which can cause the buffalo to bleed to death fairly quickly (there will be a good blood trail). If not there will be no significant blood trail to follow up and even with a broken leg the buffalo may run off and lie in wait for the unwary hunter daring to follow up. If the wounded animal cannot be tracked down it may survive but be crippled and in pain or if severe infection sets in eventually die after having suffered severe pain and discomfort.
Shot 6 From a side on shot presentation the animal gets a fright and jumps forward a moment before the shot goes off. The bullet hits far back in the abdomen passing well below the spine. Path of bullet travel: The bullet enters the skin and passes through a thin layer of muscle then through thin gut walls with their watery content again encounters a thin layer of muscle and exits the skin on the far side. During its passage through the buffalo the bullet has encountered little tough tissue and no hard bone. Condition of bullet: The bullet has only mushroomed to about a third of its capacity but has about 98% weight retention. Effect on and response from animal: A small wound channel (permanent cavity) has resulted with little bleeding and no vital organ or major blood vessel damaged. The buffalo ran off looking a little hunched up or may charge the hunter if he is spotted.The wound which has ruptured gut walls will cause abdominal contents to spill into the abdominal cavity and cause peritonitis which is generally fatal after a time and will cause the animal to die a lingering and painful death if it cannot be found.
Summary Well what have we learned by this little exercise? The same bullet fired at the same animal, at the same velocity and at the same range can behave very differently. The behaviour of the bullet will ultimately be determined by and large by the shotline through the animal. It is difficult to predict bullet performance in the real world but we can better do so if we know where to place our shots and if we know something about the anatomy of the Cleve Cheney holds animal we are a bachelor of science hunting. degree in zoology and But be prepared, even then, for the unexpected.
a masterâ€™s degree in animal physiology. He is a wilderness trail leader, rated field guide instructor and the author of many leading articles on the subjects of tracking, guiding, bowhunting and survival. Cleve has unrivalled experience in wildlife management, game capture and hunting, both with bow and rifle.
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The Mauser M03 Africa .458 Lott New thunder in the Bushveld
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Hans J. Wild
have used rifles in calibre .458 Lott on seven African safaris, where I shot plains game (impala, hartebeest, oryx, kudu, eland, and warthog) as well as big game (hippo, buffalo, and elephant). Based on my own experiences, and on numerous comments and reports published in the hunting literature, the .458 Lott seems to be ideally suited for African hunting because of its high efficiency and penetration. Another major advantage of the Lott is that almost every supplier offers .458 bullets in various weights. Before the Lott was CIP regulated a few years back, you had to load your ammunition yourself. However, both Norma and Hornady now offer cartridges in this calibre, and more and more suppliers are producing affordable rifles. Bigger cartridges in the .500 class and upwards may offer more power, but the downside is they come in very heavy rifles weighing 12 pounds (5.4 kg.) or more. In comparison, .458 Lott rifles usually weigh around 9.5 pounds (4.3 kg.).
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If you are not an Olympic decathlon competitor, you will be glad that the rifle you have to carry all day is not too heavy. In this respect, the .458 Lott offers an ideal compromise between portability and the power. Another advantage of the .458 Lott is that it is not only useful on big game; it also excels on plains game. While it is not possible—or only in a very limited way—to upload small calibres, you can always download a big bore. For instance, you can download the .458 Lott with 400 grains bullets to the level of a .416 Rigby, and with 300 grains bullets to .375 H&H performance. (Some .458 Lott loading data is given below). In other words, you can use the .458 Lott for the whole spectrum of African game from elephant down to small antelopes.
Rifle on SAFE
23-inch Lothar Walter barrel with a laminated wood stock.
Mausers M03 For the first time I held the new Mauser M03 in my hands during the 2005 hunting fair at Dortmund, Germany. I was surprised how well the rifle balanced. That is something almost everybody mentions when they handle a rifle. When you take the M03 to your shoulder, it almost naturally lines up to the target. That is probably due to the classic styled straight comb of the “English type” stock. The stock has an black forearm tip and very fine and crisp checkering. Mauser’s so called “hunting bolt action rifle M03” is available in a large range of interchangeable calibres. The basic model comes in calibres from .222 Remington up to .375. The M03 model “Africa” is offered in calibres .300 Win. Mag, 8x68 S and 9,3x62, .404 Jeffrey, .416 Remington and .458 Lott. An interchangeable calibre means that for instance I could exchange my .458 Lott barrel against a .222 Remington barrel. To do this, I would just need the new barrel and another bolt head for calibre .222 Remington. The M03 features a manual cocking system, detachable magazine (4 shots in cal. 458 Lott) and six large locking lugs. The rifle can be taken down for transport. The M03 is an “all steel” rifle, i. e. not only the barrel but also the receiver, the bolt, the bolt head and the magazine are manufactured from steel. These attractive features motivated me to buy this rifle. Let’s have a look at the M03 in more detail.
Manual cocking system
Shooting game with the .458 Lott sometimes seems to attain an almost magical quality: you point your rifle at the game, pull the trigger and down it goes as if a photon torpedo from the Starship Enterprise hit it.
My .458 Lott rifles Back in 2000, I bought my first .458 Lott rifle. It was a Blaser R93 converted by a custom maker. Later on, I had a complete custom .458 Lott rifle built on an old (pre-WWI) DWM model 98 lock. This rifle featured a 38 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE May 2009
The M03 has many innovative features. What comes to mind here first is the new Mauser manual cocking system. There is no safety catch; instead, you have a cocking device. You can carry the rifle uncocked, with one cartridge “up the spout”. This is totally safe, there is NO possibility that the Mauser could accidentally fire in this mode. In the picture on the left, you see the cocking lever in the left “S” (safe) position. Prior to shooting, you cock the rifle by pushing the horizontal cocking lever from left to right. In the next picture, you see the cocking lever in the left “F” (fire) position. When you cycle the lock after shooting, the rifle is automatically cocked again. To uncock the lock, you push the little rectangular button that is under the cocking lever. The cocking lever
Rifle on FIRE
walnut. Nevertheless, when I bought my M03 in 2005 the synthetic stock was not available, so I had to take the walnut stock. The stock with a length of around 80 cm. (31.5 in.) is the longest part of the rifle. This means that the M03 fits into a short guncase, very convenient if you are travelling with the rifle. I have taken down the M03 for cleaning or for transportation and afterwards put it together again many times. Despite many repetitions of this procedure, the point of impact never changed at all.
then moves back into the safe position.
Take Down Feature
The M03 is a “take down” rifle. The barrel is bedded into a solid piece of steel. First, you have to remove the bolt. Then you loosen two Torx screws. After this, you can take out the barrel. Stock length (length of pull) can vary between 34.5 cm and 38.5 cm. (13.6 - 15.2 in.). My rifle has a nice walnut stock with straight grain. There is also available a synthetic stock with black, nonslip ‘elastomer’ inlays. It is understood that for use in Africa a synthetic stock is much more practical than
The bolt head locks directly into the barrel. The M03 has six large lugs directly inside the barrel, instead of two dual opposed locking lugs of the old Mauser M 98. This, together with modern steel, makes for a very strong locking system. The M03 has a short bolt lift of only 60°. This requires less arm movement and, together with a very smooth feeding, speeds up the loading process. The M03 does not have the old Mauser M98 type non rotating long extractor. Instead, it has a spring loaded plunger ejector and the small hook-type
extractor claw recessed into the bolt head typical for many modern rifles. Many of us have been
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somewhat brainwashed, believing that one is in grave danger and laying one’s life on the line facing dangerous game, if ones gun has not the claw-type Mauser-style extractor. Presumably feeding with a push feed action is not as positive when holding the
column type. In calibre .458 Lott the magazine capacity is four shots. The M03 can either easily be reload from the top with the magazine inserted. Or alternatively by exchanging the magazine. Therefore, if you found yourself doing battle with an elephant cow herd, you could quickly drop the empty magazine by pushing the magazine release button in front, and insert another fully loaded four shot magazine. Although admittedly not many of us will have to do battle with enraged elephant cows, it still is a comforting thought that an additional magazine will give you so much firepower. For those who fear that they might inadvertently drop the magazine from the rifle there is a magazine stop button, which prevents removing or loosing the magazine.
Barrel and Sights rifle sideways or upside down. I have tried it out several times with my M03, holding it upside down or sideways and never encountered any feeding problem. Boddington, in his new book “Safari Rifles II”, says on page 267 about comparing the push feed system with the Mod. 98 action: “Rarely is there a clear-cut disadvantage or advantage to either system, but it must be recognized that modern actions are stronger than any Mauser — and if an action is going to blow, a Mauser … or even a pre-64 Winchester will blow long before a … modern action”.
The barrel of the standard M03 Africa is 65 cm. (25.6 in.) long. I choose a barrel length of 60 cm. (23.6 in.)
In the picture you see the M03 bolt together with bolt heads, which would have to be exchanged if you would want change to another calibre.
Detachable Magazine The M03 has a detachable magazine of the double
which makes the rifle handier. The barrels of the magnum calibres are quite heavy and strong; the muzzle diameter is 19 mm. (.75 in.) The steel of the barrels is plasma nitrated. This means the barrels have a non-reflecting and fully rustproof surface. The sling swivel is barrel-banded, because a standard, forearm mounted sling swivel is not a not a good idea for a heavy rifle because of the damage you could do to your hand if it slipped forward under recoil. May 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 41
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The rifle shoots very precise. Please see three shot group below. The distance was 100 meter (109 yards) and the scope was set on 5X magnification.
hate set triggers; I do not need them and I feel that they are an abomination on a big game rifle.
The rear sight is sideways adjustable.
The M03 has a barrel-banded, pearl, cupro-nickel,
The M03 features a so-called double square bridge with integral scope mount bases. Here you see a Swarovski scope mounted on a M03. I have installed a Leupold 1, 5 – 5 x 20. I am using this type of Leupold scopes on all my big bore rifles. The eye relieve on these scopes is very long which helps to avoid a “Weatherby eyebrow”. Leupold scopes are very robust and shock resistant; they have never let me down during my African hunts. Walking through the bush I usually set the scope at a 1.5X magnification. This allows me to pick up game quickly, should the situation require this.
Rifle Weight The rifle without cartridges and without scope weighs 4,3 kg. (9.5 lbs.). This weight may not seem much for a big bore rifle. However, with five cartridges and the scope mounted, total weight goes up to nearly 4,9 kg. (10.8 lbs) and dampens recoil sufficiently for most shooters. front sight, which is vertically adjustable. The M03 has a very fast lock time, faster than MOD 98 locks. The trigger has a clean, crisp, shotgun type release. A set trigger is available as option. I myself
Loading data for the .458 Lott When I started using a .458 Lott, it was very difficult to find a proof house that owned a .458 Lott barrel.
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Then with the help of a friend, I contacted the Vienna government proof house. This proof house in later years performed the CIP standardization and was very helpful in testing my ammunition. If you wish to contact them, their phone number is ++ (431) 734-6268. Please ask for Mr. Hallusch, as he is the specialist for the .458 Lott. All the loads shown below were tested by Mr. Hallusch and released according to Â§ 15, Abs. 2 of the Austrian proof law. All tests were performed with a 65 cm. (25.6 in.) test barrel. Of course, in my 60 cm. (23.6 in.) barrel, the muzzle velocity would be a few meter/sec lower. Kemira N540 seems to temperature stable. I never had any problems with these loads as a result of African temperatures. Click on the MO3 image to have a look at the MO3 feature Explorer or go to http:// www.mauserwaffen.de/M-03-FeatureExplorer.385.0.html?&no_cache=1&L=1 WARNING - Hand loading is potentially dangerous - The loading data contained in this article is offered as a reference only, and relates to individual weapons. While it may be safe in one weapon, it may not be in others. Neither the author, nor the publisher is responsible for the use or abuse of this data, or
The intrepid Hans J. Wild is 74 years old and has been involved in the IT industry for 40 years. He is a veteran safari hunter and has been on 12 African safaris so far including safaris to Zimbabwe and Namibia. He plans to continue his safari career this yearâ€Ś May 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 45
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Action Hunting in Namibia
Experience real Hunting on Okondura
CLICK HERE to email email@example.com Phone (Office): + 264-62-503 968 Phone (Mobile): +264-81-128 5039
Professional Hunter & Outfitter
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African Game Animals
The Kudu: Grace in grey
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y fascination with the greater kudu started at an early age when we lived in the then South West Africa (Namibia). We lived in Dordabis, a small settlement or outpost ,if you wish, 60 miles southeast from the capitol Windhoek. The hilly and mountainous bushveld surrounding Dordabis was a kudu paradise and as there were so many of them around it was inevitable that my father mainly hunted kudu. Grey duiker, steenbuck and baboons abounded and even cheetahs were encountered on a regular basis, but none of these were regarded as huntable game.
I could listen for hours to my father’s stories. He always told us how crafty the old kudu bulls were and how difficult it was to carry the meat down a mountain - especially in the pitch darkness of a cold winter’s night. He had the scars to prove it too. I clearly remember the night he returned home all bruised, with a bloodied leg and a badly hurt left hand. He was carrying his rifle and a kudu bull’s back leg when he stepped into a donga in the dark. If he had broken his leg he would have been in serious trouble.
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When I was about nine I accompanied Father and three hunters on a memorable kudu hunt. We spotted a big bull on a mountainside and the three men filled the air with lead. This majestic old bull galloped almost lazily along the slope, seemingly unperturbed by the flying bullets. He looked so beautiful and regal that I almost cheered when he finally disappeared out of sight. My father, who did not fire a single shot, looked at the men and said with a wry smile, “None of you even touched a hair on his body.” I will always remember that kudu. Another incident, my first walk-and-stalk kudu hunt with Dad, perhaps had the biggest influence on me as a future kudu hunter. No talking was allowed, I had to communicate with Dad through sign language. The kudus evaded us all day and when we finally caught up with them late in the afternoon I was instructed to wait while Dad sneaked closer. Many long minutes passed... then a hoarse bark echoed through the bush. It was the first time that I had heard a kudu’s alarm call and it frightened me. From Dad’s stories I knew that kudu bark, but never expected it to be so loud. As far as I know the kudu has the loudest alarm call of all the African antelope species. I stood there, rooted to the ground, breathless with fear, yet strangely intrigued by the almost primeval sounds echoing through the bush. Those kudu stirred something deep inside me that afternoon. A desire perhaps to be free, to wander like them, where and when it pleases me. Like them, I wanted to drift through the bush to explore secluded, secret places. Kudu are great wanderers and very adaptable - the kudu is the only large antelope to survive in large numbers outside national parks and fenced game farms in South Africa. Whether that is true of kudu elsewhere in Africa I cannot tell. In South Africa they have increased their range over the last hundred years and are now even found in the middle of the dry Great Karoo. While kudu can obtain their moisture requirements from their feed, in arid areas they do need water and will drink daily when they can. As farming regions have spread, livestock farmers have sunk boreholes providing permanent surface water in areas which could not support kudu in the past. Great jumpers, kudu can easily clear ordinary livestock fences so they have no problem accessing this water. Kudus are now numerous in parts of South Africa and Namibia that once were the domain of the gemsbuck and springbuck only.
What sets the kudu apart from other antelope is their wariness and their elusiveness, plus their sly and secretive nature and here I am especially referring to the old bulls. Blessed with exceptional senses good eyes, phenomenal hearing, keen noses and the ability to jump two metre fences with ease, they are able to elude humans at will. Also, their grey-brown colouring provides perfect camouflage in the African bush. Cows are generally not difficult to hunt, but bagging a big old bull on foot is a different story - especially on so-called open farms where there are no high game fences preventing the kudus from escaping. Stealth, patience, knowledge, good legs and sharp eyes are required to get one of those “grey ghosts of Africa”. Kudu cows usually bark at the first sign of danger, but the big bulls simply vanish without a sound which is perhaps the most frustrating aspect of hunting them. If you spook a herd with a big bull among them and then follow, you can almost be certain that he will, at some stage, leave the herd quietly and slip away on his own. Where they are hunted regularly, kudu are often largely nocturnal. During the day they rest in dense stands of trees or thickly-bushed areas, preferably on high ground. Kudu will move down from the mountains late in the afternoon to feed in their favourite browsing areas. My father used to call the late afternoon “kudu time”. Many prefer not to hunt late in the afternoon as a wounded animal will easily be lost. However, this is my preferred time for hunting kudu - of all the kudu I have shot over the years, I have probably taken less than 10 between sunrise and noon. Hunting the bulls during the peak of the rut (April and May) is slightly easier as they will then spend most of their time with the cows. Although kudu are regarded as gentle, timid and inoffensive, bulls will fight to the death for the right to mate, and I know of several instances where wounded kudu bulls have charged hunters. Kudu are not particularly tough or hard to kill (gemsbuck and blue wildebeest are much tougher) but they are big, especially the bulls which can weigh over 400kg on the hoof in certain areas. Cows normally weigh between 160 and 200kg. Under ideal conditions and at ranges up to 200m, practically any 150gr and heavier bullet, from 7mm up, and leaving the muzzle at 2500fps, will kill kudu reliably if placed in the vitals. I have used my 7x57 Mauser with great success on both bulls and cows. However, rather err on the side of caution and use enough gun. The .308 and .30-06 are often recommended as safe May 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 51
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minimums but some feel that a .300 Magnum loaded with 220 grainers are preferable. Where long shots (200 to 300m) are the norm I would definitely recommend a .300 Magnum stoked with 180gr bullets and a .338 is even better, provided the hunter can handle the recoil and shoot accurately with it. A .375H&H might be regarded as overkill by some, but if you can handle this magnum, it makes a deadly kudu calibre When hunting, keep the wind in your favour, walk very slowly and stop after every ten to fifteen steps to look and listen. Kudu often stand stock-still beneath a tree with their bodies concealed by the lower branches, so look low and around tree trunks - a leg might just give an animal away. Be as silent as possible and freeze the moment you see a kudu. If you see several cows, wait patiently there will often be a bull with them and he will always be the last to show himself. Bulls are normally at the rear of a herd and often some distance behind the rest of the animals. And when you finally have a big kudu bull in your sights, you will all of a sudden know why it has captured the imagination of hunters all over the world. A big bull is a picture of stately dignity. His movements are measured and regal, even when he flees. And those huge horns further enhance the image. To me the kudu is the ultimate trophy. Regal and mysterious in his ways, there is an aura about a big bull that sets him apart. In every step he takes, I see the faraway places and unfathomable mysteries of Africa. And as generation after generation of these grey ghosts drift through the African bush, I instinctively follow - always trying to capture those elusive mysteries, so that I can mend my soul.
Koos Barnard is an ex-professional hunter and a full time gun writer, having published hundreds of articles. He was born in Namibia and has been a keen hunter since his youth. May 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 53
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Rescuing a Black Rhino in Zimbabwe
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ver so slowly I inch my way through the scrub, closing in purposefully on the result of what was possibly my life’s crowning achievement. I keep low and don’t yet have him visual, though I hear him shuffling about and know he is close. The wind is in my face and of no concern, but rhinos have acute hearing and I watch my step. Ten yards ahead and slightly to the right is a conveniently placed anthill and I make for it, using it as approach cover. Then I cautiously ascend the mound on hands and knees and peep over the top. There, not twenty paces away, browsing brush in a small clearing, is the result of what was possibly my life’s crowning achievement: finding Jimmy.
Lying flat and wriggling myself as comfortable as possible, I am soon totally absorbed by the scene before me – a black rhino going about its business in its natural habitat. And not just any black rhino, either. It has been a long time, but thanks to his extended foster family (Anne Whittall in particular), Jimmy is finally back where he belongs. That knowledge fills me with indescribable satisfaction. I watch him for about twenty minutes and then he ambles from the clearing, into the trees and out of sight – totally oblivious to my presence, as I had wanted. Walking slowly back to the road, my thoughts begin wandering, to that miraculous day two years ago, when I stumbled upon Jim, huddled in terror beneath that bush…. May 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 57
The carcass of Jimmy’s mother
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It was early April, 2007, and I was doing an antipoaching stint for Roger Whittall on Humani, in the Save Conservancy. Although anti-poaching is mostly a tiresome, unrewarding and depressing task, the gamescouts had enjoyed a series of recent successes and we were all in upbeat frame. Until we heard that another rhino had been poached, that is. I had been out on patrol all day and only heard the news that evening. As Roger informed me, the carcass of a poached female rhino had been discovered by scouts that morning, in a vast mopani forest that offsets an area of open plain known as Jurus. Reacting to the news, Humani management and conservancy anti-poaching personnel discovered that the rhino had been shot days before, any clues long since erased by nature. If, indeed, there ever had been any clues – after taking in the scene, investigators were left in no doubt that the heinous crime had been committed by a thorough professional, and that it was an inside job.
was thought of it. She had been dead for several days and her calf’s chances of survival were considered non-existent. Especially since investigators reported an abundance of fresh lion spoor crisscrossing the area, and no trace of the calf whatsoever. It seemed an absolute impossibility that the calf could have survived, and yet there was a twist in the tale. That twist was little Jimmy’s will to live. To this day, I don’t know what prompted me to ask if I could go to the scene of the crime the following morning. There was no need – the carcass and vicinity had already been thoroughly checked over. Anyway, I just wanted to take a look and Roger thought it a good idea. As an afterthought, Roger instructed me to take a couple of scouts along and dig around for a bullet in the rotten carcass – an order that didn’t
The poacher had known exactly where to find his victim and had struck swiftly, during a period of wet weather. The drizzle had fast erased all sign of his passing. One well-placed frontal brain shot was all it took. The horns were sawn off flush with the rhino’s face, and not one shaving was overlooked. Because the poacher knew the conservancy identifies its rhino with ear markings and tags, he lopped the ears off. Then he covered the carcass with foliage to deceive the vultures and delay its discovery, before departing as efficiently as he had committed his dastardly deed. Was it simply coincidence that the shooting occurred a day or two after Roger had sent that area’s scouts off for a few days R&R? Somehow, after all the facts became known, none of us could quite swallow that. Although we were aware that the rhino in question had recently | iTunes | The Hunting birthed and had had a very young calf at heel, nothing much
Jimmy on the day we found him
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exactly fill me with enthusiasm. Soon I was on my way, with Isaac Bangai and Rindai Rindai, two trusty RWS trackers who operate as senior gamescouts in the hunting off-season. I have worked with Isaac and Rindai extensively and know them both to be capable and willing fellows. As it turned out, I couldn’t have had a couple of better guys along for the ride. We arranged to meet with the scouts who had made the grisly discovery, and they were waiting when we arrived in the Jurus area an hour later. After driving a short distance further, we left the vehicle on the roadside and entered close-knit mopani forest, walking off in single file behind Daniel, the stick leader of that particular patrol. There were three scouts, so we were six in total. Great, I thought to myself, I wouldn’t need to do too much digging around in the rotting rhino – there were plenty of hands for the job! Can’t totally give up on the old colonial bit, you know. I mean, who built Southern Africa anyway? After Daniel lost his way a couple of times, we came to the place. As we approached the pathetic lump of dead mass that represented what was once the pride of this land’s wildlife heritage, a huge lump came to my throat. Who could do this thing, I silently wondered? All was quiet for long minutes as we stared in disbelief at the horrific scene before our eyes. It was a truly shocking sight and every man amongst us felt bitter resentment. Not resentment actually – rage and hatred. But it was wasted emotion because we were helpless to do anything. Unless…Unless we could find something, some clue for investigators to work with. We got to work severing the head and dissecting. I actually did assist in the gruesome labor initially, but only to get the others inspired. After about thirty minutes of inhaling and groping the maggot-infested, putrid flesh, however, I decided that the others were by then well inspired and decided to go on a little reconnaissance patrol. I informed the guys that I was off to take a look about, suggesting that maybe I would find a clue – the poacher may have dropped a bullet, or something? My suggestion was met with skepticism, but it was reluctantly agreed that finding a clue was a remote possibility. The general reaction told me that I had about a one in a zillion chance of finding anything, but hey, one never knows. Besides, I just enjoy scouting about unfamiliar country. It is amazing what I have discovered in the past by simply heading off and roaming around the woods for a while. After walking a large semi-circle through the forest for about an hour, seeing many lion tracks but nothing out of the ordinary, I decided to return. I find it 60 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE May 2009
pretty easy to get lost in the bush, and it took me a while to work out my bearings and make off in what I kind of thumb-sucked was the right direction. Changing tack a few times, I soon set on a course and began walking in what I thought to be a straight line. I always imagine I’m holding a straight line when walking in the bush, though usually that is not the case. In fact, I don’t ever remember walking a straight line! Anyway, I was headed where I was headed and off I went, striding through the mopani and whistling a little ditty. Not fifteen minutes later, I walked onto Jimmy. It was an absolute miracle that I walked onto him. He was hidden beneath a leafy bush, and had I walked ten yards either side of that bush I would have missed him. As it was, I almost literally walked onto him. Taking a step, I glanced casually to my left in the same motion, and then froze in mid-stride. I froze for only a second or two, but much took place in that time. There was the baby rhino lying prone beneath the bush, with only his forequarters visible, staring wide-eyed up at me. Due to his wide-eyed expression, my first reaction was that he was dead, and in that instant I felt the double-whammy of loss. But then he blinked and I saw that he was definitely not dead, just too petrified to move and risk discovery. Although very young, Jimmy had already been given impressionable insight into the cruel nature of human beings. I paused for only that second or two, and then I continued on my way without any other reaction, so as to not unduly alarm the little guy. About forty yards further, when I was well away from him, I burst into a flat sprint through the mopani. It was the fastest I have moved in years and thoughts were pounding through my mind. Where were the guys? Was I going in the right direction? How far did I walk, how far was I from the others? As I ran, fending off whippy branches with my arms, I tried to figure where I was, and more importantly, where the guys were. I ran wildly for several hundred meters, before stopping to listen for the first time. It was probably the first several hundred meter sprint I’ve ever done! Blood was pumping through my veins, my breathing was ragged, and I found it difficult to tune my ears to surrounding sound. Where was I, where were they? Almost panicking, I wanted to scream out my frustration. I closed my eyes for a minute and allowed the blood rush to slow slightly, working my jaw and trying to clear my ears. And then I heard the deep booming laugh of Isaac Bangai, carrying faintly on the wind. The guys were somewhere up ahead, slightly off to the left. Had I thought about it then, I would have realized that I had almost achieved a straight line
Another victim - this one did not make it
on my return route. But I didn’t think about anything, because I was sprinting off through the bush again.
death, by running as fast as I did to get here.’ My heart-rate was returning to normal.
The scouts appraised me quizzically as I approached at the run and came to an untidy halt beside them. Between gasps, I told them that I had seen a rhino in the bush.
‘Let us go and catch it then.’
‘Did it chase you?’ asked Isaac.
‘Is it dead?’ asked Isaac, getting down to business in his no-nonsense manner.
A short argument ensued, as I tried to convince Daniel and the other two scouts that the rhino would do anything but bite them. It could charge them, butt them, run them over, but it would definitely not bite them. They remained unconvinced and I ended up with the support of only Isaac and Rindai. As it turned out, it was probably a good thing – less is sometimes more. Without further ado, Isaac, Rindai and I retraced my headlong flight through the mopani. As we went, we discussed our plan of action – our rhino capture strategy.
‘No, otherwise I would not have tried to join it in
Stealthily, we approached the bush where I knew the
‘No, it is a young rhino.’ ‘Even a young rhino can chase you,’ stated Daniel, matter of factly. ‘It is very young,’ I said, hands on knees, getting my breathing back under control. ‘It is the baby of this dead rhino.’
‘Yes, let us go and catch it.’ ‘Handidi.’ ‘I won’t,’ said Daniel, ‘it will bite someone!’
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little calf to be. Now, when I say ‘little’, I had already estimated it to be about 50 kilograms. Although I imagined it would have next to no strength, having been without milk for days on end, I really didn’t know what it was capable of. Our intention was to capture the rhino fast, with as little commotion as possible, in order to avoid causing it more trauma than it had already endured. Above all, I did not want to risk it getting away and heading off into the mopani. It had survived as long as it had, how much longer could it live? Bearing all of the above in mind, we sneaked in on whom we would soon get to know as Jimmy, me from the front, and Isaac and Rindai from the rear. We were well prepped and all knew what to do, although the game-plan was not exactly complicated. It basically boiled down to ‘grab the rhino and don’t let go!’ Actually, there was a little more to it – I was to try a soft approach initially, and test the little chap’s strength. But Isaac and Rindai knew they needed to be very close when I made contact – I ensured they were clear on that! As I slowly and silently crept in the last few yards, I thought it was going to be a cinch. Jimmy did not stir, but his little eyes followed my approach all the way in. And then I was within a yard, slowly and purposefully bending my knees, lowering myself to his level. There was no reaction whatsoever as I squatted down, and so I reached out my hand to touch his
face. And that was the point when I realized the capture was not going to be a cinch, as Jimmy exploded from the ground and butted me viciously about the knees! I toppled over backwards onto my backside, but as I went, I grabbed hold of an ear and held on for dear life! Huffing and snorting, Jimmy fast intensified the attack, the barrage of head-butts crashing into my legs and torso intensifying by the second. The fact that that month old creature possessed that amount of power after four days without nourishment is beyond me to this day. Whilst not a WWF wrestler or anything; I am relatively strong and I struggled with all my strength to hold on to Jimmy for those few seconds. The head-butting was enough to bring out bruises on my legs the following day. What a fight he put up! Poor little guy must have thought it was his last fight. Although I was certainly on the receiving end of a serious thrashing, the tag team fortunately wasted no time lending their weight. Within seconds, Isaac had a back leg grasped firmly, whilst Rindai came to assist up front. Then we dropped Jimmy like a sheep, whipping all his legs out from under him. Once down, Jimmy began squealing hysterically, probably assuming the fight was now really over and death imminent. You assume animals don’t think that way? Specifically month old animals? Let me assure you that they do. Animals know all about death from the day they are born. Anyway, Jimmy began squealing like a stuck pig and trying his utmost to tear his head from my grasp. In the process, he swept me around in the dust a little. Isaac and Rindai held onto his legs resolutely, and Daniel and the other scouts observed proceedings from a safe distance. During that struggle, Jimmy satisfactorily demonstrated the awesome power a rhino possesses, specifically in the neck and May 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 63
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shoulder region. Three strong men struggled for minutes to restrain a 50 kg animal that had not fed for four days, and that is almost unbelievable. A semblance of order eventually came about when I whipped off my shirt and covered the exposed side of Jimmy’s face. Then he could not see and the crazy head threshing eased. But I still had to clasp his head tightly to my body – the slightest release of pressure brought about a renewed effort. Once he had calmed a little, Daniel and the other scouts plucked up the courage to approach closer. I barked out orders. ‘Daniel, wuya kuno!’ ‘Come here!’ There must have been something in my tone that made Daniel temporarily forget his fear of being bitten by a rhino, and he obeyed with alacrity. I ordered him to take over Rindai’s position holding the front legs – Rindai is a driver and we needed him to go and fetch the vehicle. I instructed Rindai not to waste time looking for a suitable route through the forest, but to return with all due haste. About half an hour later, we heard him returning – from the sound of things he had taken my instructions to heart! Soon he was revving and ramming his way up to us through the last hundred meters of mopani scrub. As the truck approached, I turned to Isaac who was still patiently manning the rear end of a now fairly subdued rhino. ‘What is its name?’ I asked. Of course, although I have been referring to Jimmy as a ‘he’ throughout this story, we had no idea what sex he was. In a similar vein, I have been referring to him as Jimmy, but we obviously had no name for him. That was the case until Isaac peered between his back legs and made a positive identification regarding sex. Isaac did not ponder the name choice for long. ‘James. Jimmy, we shall call him Jimmy,’ stated the deep voice. It was easy to agree with Isaac’s name choice: Roger Whittall’s father, James, was known as Jimmy, and Roger’s grandson is also named James. And so, Jimmy the rhino officially joined the fold. Read the second part of Jimmy’s story – ‘Raising Jimmy’ – in the next issue of African Expedition. David Hulme is a Zimbabwean writer and professional wanderer who spends most of his time searching for new stories and country, never staying too long in any one place.’ May 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 65
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John with Henness a e Bush monste y r pig B oar
th a t
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click to email
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he 2M beer is ice cold and the warm tropical air forms tiny droplets on the bottle. I sit under a coconut leaf roof on the veranda of a small restaurant in Coconut Bay in Southern Mozambique near Inhambane. The warm tropical sun makes me yawn and I consider again how tough life in Africa really is. I watch as a lone fisherman walks on the sugar-white beach, balancing a large barracuda on his head - food for his family or he will sell it on the Inhambane market. A cool breeze blows in over the turquoise sea and I savour the wild, fresh, briny smell. I feel the tiredness of my shoulder muscles as I stretch lazily. Earlier that morning I made my first kayak fishing attempt. Rods and reels, sardine, various spinners and lots of paddling. The water was colder than usual because of a cold front coming in from Madagascar, but it was as clear as Perrier and as blue as my grandsonâ€™s Joshâ€™s eyes. May 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 73
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Moments after I let my rigged sardine sink into the blue depths and started trolling, a monstrous fish jumped out of the water behind me and splashed into the water with a noise like a small thunderbolt. Deciding that discretion was indeed the greater part of valor, I meekly reeled in my tempting sardine before I get towed to Australia on my unstable little craft. My indefatigable friend Johan is an unrepentant fisherman and kept at it. Not long after, he let out a startled yelp and started a furious battle with a Dorado which he hauled out a bit later, the fish shining like a newly minted gold Kruger coin in the bright early morning sunlight. Yep, life is good. Isaac arrives with the freshly made rissois (a small, delicious Portuguese cake stuffed with crab and prawn) and battata fritta (french fries). He places it in front of me with a flourish. “Peri-peri meester Meech?” His open, honest face cracks with a wide, brilliantly white smile. He knows that the fiery peri-peri is never refused - feared and respected, but never refused. It is has been Mozambique’s national condiment for centuries. My dive the previous day was spectacular. I prefer my large scuba tank which allows me to stay on the bottom long after the others are out of air. My cunning plan gives me more dive time and less waiting on the heaving boat - the appetizing smell of 2-stroke smoke never fails to induce a dedicated fish-feeding effort on my part. Manta Reef is one of the top 10 diving sites in the world, and we dived the 30m reef with Ian and Kay of Centro de Mergulho. I hear just the sound of my breathing in my ears and experience the sensation of flying in the gin-clear water. The bewildering profusion of colour and shape, the astonishing variety of design and the perfect function and cooperation never cease to astonish. Any fool can see that this is design - evolution my white backside. Mozambique is Southern Africa’s best kept secret. 2,800 Kilometers of spectacular beaches, clear, warm oceans, abundant marine life, friendly people and great food make this country unique.
Money Mozambique’s currency is the metical (plural – meticais). All major towns have ATMs, often operated by
Banco Internacional de Moçambique (BIM), and all accepting Visa, but not MasterCard. You can change US dollars cash at most banks (though not at most BIM branches) without paying commission, and South African rands are widely accepted in southern Mozambique. Travellers cheques can be changed only at Standard Bank (minimum US$35 commission per transaction, original purchase receipt required
Visas All visitors (except citizens of Swaziland, South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, & Zambia) need a visa, and while there are rumors that some borders and airports may issue them on arrival, don’t count on it and obtain a visa before arrival. At the South African land border (Lebombo/Ressano Garcia) you can choose the currency in which you want to pay for your visa, meticais being slightly cheaper than rand. Applying for a visitor visa, valid for 90 days, before arriving costs $20 (single-entry) or $40 (double/multiple entry). A letter of invitation is required. A transit visa, valid 7 days, is also an option for travelers as only a visa for the final destination is required.
Stay healthy Malarial prophylaxis is essential in all parts of Mozambique. Chloroquine/Paludrine are now as ineffective as in other parts of east Africa, and it’s worth going to see your doctor to get decent protection. Get all your vaccine shots before arriving Medical facilities in Mozambique are now generally reasonably stocked, but it is always worth getting a range of vaccinations before you leave. Prevention is better than cure. It is worth considering carrying some clean needles if you are visiting out of the way areas, purely as remote medical facilities may have problems getting hold of them. Mind what you eat. As common in most countries in the world, if you are concerned about the standards of hygiene in a place, don’t eat there. Do not drink tap water or use any ice. If you are ever unsure about the quality of the tap water, waterpurifying liquids (normally chlorine-based) are widely available and very cheap - normally much cheaper than buying bottled water, also consider bringing puritabs if you are planning on going well off the beaten track. May 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 75
Two divers touching a whale shark in the bay
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Private clinics. There are a few private health clinics in Maputo that will also arrange repatriation in emergencies. Clinica da Sommerschield (tel: 21 493924) Clinica Suedoise (tel: 21 492922).
Get there Most international flights arrive from South Africa, although direct international routes also exist between Mozambique and Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya and Portugal. There are several flights daily from Johannesburg to Maputo, operated by South African Airways (SAA) and the Mozambican flag-carrier Linhas Aereas de Moรงambique (LAM). These and other airlines such as Kenya Airways, Swazi Express Airways, TAP Portugal also fly from Durban, Swaziland, Dar es Salaam, Harare, Nairobi and Lisbon. In addition, local carrier Air Corridor may start operating one or more international routes soon. There are also several flights during the week from Johannesburg, Dar Es Salaam, and Nairobi to Pemba in the North, operated by either South African Airlink (SAA) or LAM. After checking in you need to get a tax stamp on your boarding card. For internal flights the tax is 200 Mts and for International flights 500 Mts to be paid in cash.
Language The official language of Mozambique is Portuguese, though many people speak English in the capital Maputo and in tourist areas. The further north you travel the less likely you are to encounter English speakers, and as you enter more rural areas even Portuguese is limited. May 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 77
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Press Releases WILEY X® SABER™ PROVIDES HIGH VELOCITY PROTECTION™
As a leading provider of high performance protective eyewear for the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines, to name a few, it’s no surprise that Wiley X® Eyewear is recognized worldwide for advanced eye protection and visual enhancement under extreme conditions. However, it might come as a surprise to hunters, competitive shooters and other shooting sports enthusiasts that Wiley X can offer its proven High Velocity Protection™ (HVP) at an affordable MSRP of just $38. The surprisingly affordable Wiley X Saber™ combines advanced militarygrade protection across a wide array 82 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE May 2009
of lens options — each suited for various lighting conditions. Hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts can choose from shatterproof Wiley X protective lenses in Pale Yellow, Light Rust, Smoke, Clear or Pale Rose. No matter what the situation, Wiley X has the ideal lens to match any indoor or outdoor shooting environment, providing the best combination of eye comfort and visual contrast. Many shooters wear eye protection when shooting on the range — but this affordable eyewear system is suited just as well for recreational “plinking,” as well as hunting for big game, waterfowl, upland birds or a host of other shooting sports activities. Whatever you wear them for, you can be confident in the most advanced eye protection available — since
the Wiley X Saber meets stringent ANSI Z87.1-2003 High Velocity Impact standards. The wrap-around design and full coverage of these glasses combine to protect the entire eye cavity against ejecting shells, cordite, dirt, debris, branches or ricocheting fragments. This lightweight system is so comfortable, shooters might forget they have them on. These glasses are also designed to stay in place even during strenuous outdoor activities — thanks in part to patented, adjustable, “saber-tipped” rubber temples designed to secure the Wiley X Saber during military and law enforcement training exercises. For more information on the affordable new Wiley X Saber, or the company’s complete line of protective eyewear systems for hunting, shooting, and other outdoor activities, contact Wiley X, Inc. at 7491 Longard Road, Livermore, CA 94551 • Telephone: (800) 776-7842 • Or visit www.wileyx.com.
HANDS-FREE CARRY AND STABLE OFFHAND SHOOTING WITH THE NEW BACKPACK STYLE DOUBLE RIFLE SLING FROM VERO VELLINI Moorestown, NJ (April 23, 2009) — When carrying your rifle afield, it is often necessary to have both arms free for overcoming obstacles, climbing into treestands or scaling mountains—especially when carrying other gear. With the Vero Vellini Double Sling, both hands can remain free while your rifle will be comfortably and securely slung to your back. The design of the Vero Vellini “Backpack” Double Sling also provides a solid, expedient off-hand shooting platform, deriving its support from one arm or both. By looping the sling behind the elbows to firmly hold the rifle stock, a secure rest can be made. This is ideal when quick off-hand shots are necessary or when no other support is available. Like all the Vero Vellini slings, the Double Sling of-
fers handcrafted workmanship and superior comfort. Made with high-performance materials and durable non-corrosive hardware and proprietary closed-cell Air Cushion material, this Vero Vellini double sling offers maximum luxury, durability and ease of use. All edges are piped to prevent fraying and accent an exceptionally tasteful design. Available in forest green, handsomely accented with brown leather end panels, the Vero Vellini Backpack Double Sling retails for $89.99 and is available at retailers nationwide. Manufactured in Germany, Vero Vellini has been the acknowledged leader in comfortable handcrafted gun slings. For the past 15 years, the company has been crafting these beautifully detailed and highly durable slings. Vero Vellini created the Air Cushion concept, which sandwiches neoprene and other natural and synthetic material to create an almost weightless feeling when carrying a firearm. The company also claims to have the most slip-proof sling available from the use of a unique, highly durable rubber backing. Vero Vellini also manufactures fast-access cartridge cases, scope covers, and straps for binoculars and cameras. For more information on Vero
Vellini contact: Pioneer Research, 97 Foster Road, Moorestown, NJ 08057; call toll-free 1-800- 257-7742, or visit the web site at http://www.pioneer-research. com/verovellini.asp.
Z3: 1-inch Rifle Scope in a New Slim Design Cranston, Rhode Island – SWAROVSKI OPTIK announces the new Z3 line of rifle scopes. The Z3 is a one inch series scope hat is impressive due to its time tested reputation in a new, shapely design. The slim construction allows it to be mounted close to the barrel and is suitable for all hunting firearms. With the new redesign, SWAROVSKI OPTIK focused on the essential needs of the hunter. The AV scope from SWAROVSKI OPTIK has proven itself May 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 83
over many years and this new scope takes all of those rugged, compact, and reliable features and put them in a new compact shape. Improved anti-reflective lens coatings deliver the highest optical performance in all light conditions. â€œThe AV series of rifle scopes have been a benchmark in our product line for many years. We wanted to be able to improve on those time tested scopes and I am very excited that we did that in a new low profile design,â€? commented Dustin Woods, National Sales Manager of SWAROVSKI OPTIK NORTH AMERICA. The scopes will be available in the 3-9x36, 3-10x42 and 4-12x50. It will also be available in a wide range of standard reticles, long range reticles and the SWAROVSKI OPTIK Ballistic Turret. They will begin to ship in mid-summer 2009.
SwarovskiZ5: 1 inch Rifle Scope with 5X zoom Cranston, Rhode Island SWAROVSKI OPTIK announces the Z5, which is a 1-inch rifle scope with 5x zoom, an innovative combination. Due to its high magnification and its large field of view, it is particularly versatile and is suitable for various types of hunting. The Z5 offers exceptional optical perfor84 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE May 2009
mance in a slim rifle scope. The new 1-inch scope with 5x zoom from SWAROVSKI OPTIK delivers performance that has only rarely been achieved previously by any other rifle scope of the 30 mm class. The slim, compact Z5 rifle scopes are designed for harsh everyday hunting and they are reliable companions in many hunting situations. The scopes will be available in the 3.5-18x44 and 5-25x52. It will also be available in a wide range of standard reticles, long range reticles and the SWAROVSKI OPTIK Ballistic Turret. They will begin to ship in mid-summer 2009. “We are very excited to bring this new and very innovative product to the market. We saw the success of our Z6 and realized that growing need for long range shooting products. The new Z5 will take the standards of the one inch riflescope to a new level,” commented Albert Wannenmacher, CEO of SWAROVSKI OPTIK North America.
SWAROVSKI OPTIK Presents the Latest Rifle Scope of the Z6 Generation Cranston, Rhode Island – SWAROVSKI OPTIK announces the Z6 5-30x50 which extends the successful generation of Z6 riflescopes. It offers all the revolutionary benefits of the Z6 and is particularly well suited for long distance shooting. The HD optic and 3rd turret parallax correction ensures an accurate target image at any distance. The 5x magnification offers the security of a large field of view combined with the 30x magnification that is very helpful for very long range shots. In January 2007, SWAROVSKI OPTIK revolutionized the hunting market and launched rifle scopes with 6x zoom. The Z6 models are universally usable and are the perfect companion for all types of hunting, from still-hunting to long range shooting. The Z6 series is being supplemented by another versatile model in the Z6 5-30x50, the hunter now has a rifle scope which enables high precision even in poor light conditions. The BR Reticle and Ballistic Turret which are specifically designed for long distance shooters will also be available. “This new very versatile magnification scope extends our successful family of Z6 rifle scopes, and will be an excellent addition to the Z6 Line. We are very excited to bring this product to market,” commented Albert Wannenmacher, CEO of SWAROVSKI OPTIK NORTH AMERICA. If you require any further information or photography please contact: Dean J. Capuano, Communications Manager, SWAROVSKI OPTIK NORTH AMERICA LTD, 2 Slater Road, Cranston, Rhode Island 02920, Tel. 800-4263089 x2957, Fax 877-287May 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 85
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Product News & Reviews THERMACELL MOSQUITO REPELLENT SYSTEM - THE CHOICE OF SERIOUS HUNTERS Time in the field no longer has to include swatting bugs or messing with smelly sprays, greasy lotions or cumbersome netting. ThermaCELL®, the unique butane-operated mosquito repellent system, is the perfect hunting companion-small, portable and highly-effective, and it fits nicely into a pack or vest pocket. ThermaCELL creates an odorless 15 x 15-foot comfort zone, which offers up to 98% effective protection against mosquitoes and other biting insects. With the click of a button, ThermaCELL is on and repelling insects by creating a comfort zone in under 10 minutes. The unit operates on a single butane cartridge, which heats a mat releasing allethrin, an insect repellent that is a synthetic copy of a natural insecticide found in chrysanthemum flowers. Each mat contains enough repellent for four hours of protection and each butane cartridge will operate the unit for 12 hours. Used by professionals around the world, including the U.S. Army in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan, 90 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE May 2009
as well as many well-known names in the hunting industry, ThermaCELL is a must have. “ThermaCELL is one product that will change the way you hunt,” said Huntin’ the World Southern Style co-host Hal Schaffer. “It really is the most innovative product to be introduced to the hunting market in the last 20-years.” ThermaCELL has been evaluated and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for safety and effectiveness. The unit is available in Olive or Grey, Woodland Camouflage, and TEAM REALTREE® version in REALTREE Hardwoods Green HD camouflage. MSRP for the unit is $21.99 for Olive or Grey, $24.99 for Woodland, and $29.99 for TEAM REALTREE. The ThermaCELL unit measures 7.5” x 3” x 1.5” at the top, and 7.5” x 1.5” x 1.5” at the bottom. It weighs a mere 6.4 ounces with a full butane cartridge. Now available, Earth Scent refills. Utilizing the same highly effective mosquito repellent as the original ThermaCELL unscented mats, the new Earth Scent also emits the smell of musky dirt and decaying leaves -- a convincing scent designed to mask human odors and linger continuously for up to four hours per mat. The ThermaCELL Earth Scent mosquito repellent refill kit includes one butane cartridge, three Earth Scent mosquito repellent refill mats and MSRP is $6.99. ThermaCELL, a division of The Schawbel Corporation of Bedford, Massachusetts, utilizes patented technology to create cordless, portable appliances powered by replaceable butane cartridges. For more information on ThermaCELL’s complete line of products or store locations please visit www.thermacell.com or call 1-8-NO-SKEETERS (866-753-3837)
Hornady® honored with 2008 Academy of Excellence Award for their 300 and 338 RCM Cartridges (Grand Island, NE) The 300 and 338 Ruger Compact Magnum (RCM) cartridges from Hornady® received the 2008 Academy of Excellence Award for “Ammunition of the Year.” This is the fifth consecutive year that a Hornady® ammunition product has received this award.
world leader in innovative bullet, ammunition, reloading tool and accessory design and manufacture. For More Information, contact: Steve Johnson, Hornady Manufacturing Company, 308-382-1390
New Texas Hunting Co Products Mini Pocket Organizer This little beauty puts your small items in one easy access storage unit! Keeps items from getting lost and is great as a standalone organizer pouch. ●● 2 internal pockets for notepads, PDA, etc. ●● Gear leash for keys, mini-light, etc. ●● 5 elastic loops on inside panel for, Spare rounds, pens, Flashlights, extra batteries, etc. ●● Zip-open “Clamshell” design allows for writing on notepads, PDA operation and provides quick and complete access to contents. ●● “Quick-access” outer “Tactical mesh” storage pocket with Hook & Loop closure.
The Academy of Excellence Award honors exceptional design, innovation, and service in a variety of categories, and is highly coveted within the shooting industry. Winners are chosen by a select group of 500 shooting industry affiliates including manufacturers, distributors, storefront dealers, and outdoor writers. A tedious two-tiered nomination and voting system protects the integrity and significance of the award by preventing influence from any single group.
●● Integrated pull handle, belt loop combo allows for quick access from pockets and allows the “Mini Cargo Pocket Organizer” to be worn on belts. ●● High contrast yellow interior for easy low-light viewing of contents. Built to last, made from the best materials available; 1000D Cordura®, YKK® zippers with exclusive “STEALTH” zipper pull, double stitched, fully seam
Hornady® purpose-built the 300 and 338 RCMs for the toughest hunting in the world. Based on the bestless 375 Ruger case, the 300 and 338 RCMs match or exceed 300 and 338 Win Mag performance from a shorter, more compact, 20” barrel. This compact rifle/ cartridge combination provides a lighter and easierto-handle package, providing ease and flexibility in even the most rugged hunting environments. The 300 RCM is available in 150, 165 and 180 grain offerings. The 338 RCM is offered in a 200 grain SST® and 225 grain SST®. Its efficient design requires 10-15% less propellant which helps extend barrel life, and reduces recoil and muzzle blast. Innovative propellant technology ensures velocity performance and very little temperature sensitivity from -15° to 140°F. Founded in 1949, Hornady Manufacturing Company, a second generation family-owned business headquartered in Grand Island, Nebraska, has become a May 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 91
taped interior - Stitched together with high-tenacity Nylon 6/6 #69 thread - the best! Colors: American Walnut, Coyote Brown. 100% Made in the U.S.A. Guaranteed for life! Price: $27.95 Dry-Cell On-Board Cargo Pocket Organizer ●● Cargo Pocket/Pack Organizer with Waterproof Storage helps keep important hunting gear dry. ●● First product of its kind, designed to keep the contents of large side cargo pockets organized, quiet and dry. ●● VERSATILE: designed to fit in cargo pockets of BDU pants, lower jacket pockets, and even has belt loops. Makes a great all-purpose organizer.
MAMBA-Extreme Sling The MAMBA-EXTREME is a combat proven weapon carrying system that affords the shooter a customized carrying position, rapid targeting and ease of use for all AR type weapons as well as most bolt action rifles and shotguns. Its fully adjustable padded shoulder strap, multiple weapons compatibility and being fully ambidextrous makes the MAMBA EXTREME the only choice for those that prefer the AR for their style of hunting. The first of its kind for AR-Hunters. It’s really 2 slings in one! It can be set up as a 3-point or a 2 point sling. ●● UNIVERSAL DESIGN: fits ALL “AR-style” weapons. Sling can be mounted, to virtually any
●● DURABLE: Made from high quality 1000D Cordura®. Nylon fabric and YKK® premium grade zippers. ●● Includes two watertight/submersible ALOKSAK® liners to keep contents dry. ●● FUNCTIONAL: divided mesh “Gear Rack” on the outside, internal mesh divider on the inside and extra long key/gear leash. COLORS: American Walnut, Coyote Brown. 00% Made in the U.S.A. Guaranteed for life! Price: $34.95
sling mount location, quickly and easily. Also fits most shotguns, bolt action rifles and semi-automatic rifle platforms: AK, SKS, FAL, Sig 556, etc. ●● 2 SLINGS IN ONE: Easily sets-up as a Three-Point or Two-Point sling. ●● AMBIDEXTROUS: Can easily be set-up for left or right-handed shooters. ●● HIGH PERFORMANCE: Multiple carry and shooting options and “Power ●● S-T-R-E-T-C-H Zone”: stretch feature for the ultimate in flexibility and ease of carry while on the move through thick brush or over varying terrain. 92 | AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE May 2009
●● INNOVATIVE: The “Uni-Link” Buttstock Strap feature (patent pending) allows the user to mount the sling without the cumbersome adaptors and failure-prone hook-and-loop attachment points found on other slings. ●● STRONG: Tubular web design IS SUPER STRONG AND VIRTUALLY TWIST and TANGLE FREE. ●● COMFORTABLE: The PADDED shoulder strap distributes the weight of the weapon for a more comfortable carry. ●● SPEED RELEASE: Allows the weapon to be easily released while wearing the sling. ●● DURABLE: Made from the best “Battle-Tested” materials available. Our patented Battle Buckles™ are molded from a high-tensile/impact resistant polymer. Our unique Tubular- Nylon webbing is highly abrasion resistant and won’t break-down over time or mar the finish on your prized weapon.
COLORS: American Walnut, Coyote Brown, Black, Olive Backed by T.H.E. GEAR’s unique lifetime guarantee – 100% Made In USA! Price: $69.95 Master Blaster With or Without Swivel High Performance sling for all types of shotguns and rifles. The only sling that mounts to any rifle, or Shotgun with front and rear sling swivels! Features and Benefits ●● HIGH-PERFORMANCE SHOOTING / CARRYING: Built in “S-T-R-E-T-C-H” Zone (a THC Exclusive) gives the shooter a steady hold, improving accuracy and minimizes the affects of recoil. ●● COMFORTABLE: Integral shoulder pad design provides body hugging profile for all day carrying comfort. ●● SUPER-FAST ADJUSTMENT AND TARGETING: Has no snag points and is instantly adjustable via our patented BATTLE BUCKLES™ Hardware. May 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 93
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●● QUICK-RELEASE feature for fast and safe removal of weapon from around body. ●● SECURE CARRY: Low profile thumb/ hand loop provides extra comfort and securely when negotiating difficult terrain. ●● DURABLE: Built with our combat tested materials, construction and patented BATTLE BUCKLES™ hardware. ●● FITS ALL WEAPONS with or without front and rear sling swivels. We chose TALON® Swivels - the best on the market today. COLORS: American Walnut, Coyote Brown, Black, Olive MODELS AVAILABLE: 1” NonSwivel, 1.25” Non-Swivel, 1” Swivel.100% Made in the U.S.A. Guaranteed for life. Prices: 1” Non-Swivel $34.95, 1” Swivel $44.95 KNIFE and TOOL UTILITY POUCH - For Belt Every hunter knows the importance of carrying along a multitool and a good blade. This dual compartment pouch adjusts to fit your folding knives, multi-tools, flashlights, pistol magazines, or other essential gear. The KNIFE & TOOL POUCH lets the shooter have quick access to these vitally important gear items. ●● FULLY ADJUSTABLE: Unique flap design allows flap to be adjusted up-down for a correct and secure fit for your gear. Will also hold pistol magazines; (2 hi-capacity, 4 single stack) ●● SECURE: Oversized hook and loop closure with easy-pull “Power-tab” stays closed under the worst of conditions. ●● UNIVERSAL CARRY: Fits on any Belt up to 2-1/2 inches wide, including our PH Modular Utility Belt or T.H.E. Airport Friendly Belt. ●● BUILT TO LAST: Double wall 1000 Denier Cordura® and heavy duty Nylon webbing construction with Bar-tacked stress points for maximum durability. ●● 100% Made In USA. Guaranteed for life! Dimensions: 5.500” x 4.380” x 1.130”. Available Colors: Coyote Brown, American Walnut, Advantage® MAX-1™, Mossy Oak® Break-Up™, M.S.R.P. $24.95 For more information contact Texas Hunt Company, 1-888-894-8682 or 432-943-2705, Fax: 432-943-5565, info@texashuntco. com, www.texashuntco.com May 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 95
Your African hunting safari is a unique experience. Now you can document your hunt day by day and revisit those exciting times for years to come. 31 Full days of journaling space with vital information: ●● safari clothing ●● personal item checklists ●● health and first aid ●● mammal identification information with photographs, tracks, dung and SCI and Rowland Ward qualification minimums.
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Know how to administer CPR. Deal with dangerous animals up close. Identify and treat bites from snakes, spiders and scorpions. Know the right emergency numbers to dial in an emergency – it’s all there. A must-have item for every serious hunter. Sturdy PlastiCoil binding for durability and easy opening, 110 pages, 6.0 x 9.0 in. Full color covers and cream interior printed in black and white.
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African Bush Cuisine
Prawns with olive oil, garlic and peri-peri
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We just don’t get it. You guys in the USA, New Zealand and other places simply cook up the shrimps (we call them prawns) and hope for the best. Why spoil such a great meal that way? They taste - well - damn awful. Unlike you guys, we cannot convince ourselves that this is food for for a king. So, welcome to taste central. Here’s how we do it in spectacular Mozambique - the Portuguese way. WARNING: Once you’ve had prawns this way, there’s no going back to boiled shrimps. We have a support group. You have been warned. What you need: ●● About 2 kilos (4 pounds) of nice big prawns. ●● Half a liter (one pint) of virgin olive oil ●● A scoop of butter ●● A liter of beer, preferably 2M or Laurentina ●● 4 large lemons ●● 1 teaspoon paprika ●● Lots of fresh garlic ●● Peri-peri (or fresh chilli) ●● a large metal frying pan
●● A hot fire Preparation ●● Cut the prawns open from the back to the belly with a pair of small, sharp scissors ●● Remove the thin, dark vein that runs from the head to the tail ●● Open the prawns like a butterflied fillet and grill them flesh side down ●● Make a marinade with the beer, garlic, paprika, peri-peri and lemon juice ●● Pour it over the cleaned prawns and leave in a cool place for 2 hours ●● Heat up the large pan over the fire ●● Pour in enough olive oil to cover the base about 2 mm deep and add the butter ●● Lay the prawns one by one open side down into the olive oil ●● Fry for 3 minutes ●● Remove and add some deep-fried potato wedges ●● Generously squeeze fresh lemon over the prawns ●● Season with salt and ground black pepper. May 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 101
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True North The Great Stories Every man wants a battle to fight. It’s the whole thing with boys and weapons. And look at the movies men love—Braveheart, Gladiator, Top Gun, High Noon, Saving Private Ryan. Men are made for battle. (And ladies, don’t you love the heroes of those movies? You might not want to fight in a war, but don’t you long for a man who will fight for you? To have Daniel Day Lewis look you in the eyes and say, “No matter how long it takes, no matter how far, I will find you”? Women don’t fear a man’s strength if he is a good man.) Men also long for adventure. Adventure is a deeply spiritual longing in the heart of every man. Adventure requires something of us, puts us to the test. Though we may fear the test, at the same time we yearn to be tested, to discover that we have what it takes. Finally, every man longs for a Beauty to rescue. He really does. Where would Robin Hood be without Marian, or King Arthur without Guinevere? Lonely men fighting lonely battles. You see, it’s not just that a man needs a battle to fight. He needs someone to fight for. There is nothing that inspires a man to courage so much as the woman he loves. Most of the daring (and okay, sometimes ridiculous) things young men do are to impress the girls. Men go to war carrying photos of their sweethearts in their wallets—that is a metaphor of this deeper longing to fight for the Beauty. This is not to say that a woman is a “helpless creature” who can’t live her life without a man. I’m saying that men long to offer their strength on behalf of a woman. Now—can you see how the desires of a man’s heart and the desires of a woman’s heart were at least meant to fit beautifully together? A woman in the presence of a good man, a real man, loves being a woman. His strength allows her feminine heart to flourish. His pursuit draws out her beauty. And a man in the presence of a real woman loves being a man. Her beauty arouses him to play the man; it draws out his strength. She inspires him to be a hero. Used with permission from John Eldredge. To subscribe to John’s emails, click on www.ransomedheart.com/myprofile to create a profile. See also the Ransomed Heart Podcast at www.ransomedheart.com/podcast May 2009 AFRICAN EXPEDITION MAGAZINE | 103
The BorderLine Walk: The progression of a dream ▪ Predicting bullet performance: Clear skies or rain? ▪ The Mauser M03 Africa .458 Lott: New...