This trip had started out as a leopard and buffalo hunt but a lion tag became available, and Barb jumped at the opportunity. I had come along and planned to hunt a buffalo, and possibly a tuskless elephant, so we had a pretty full bag. I could write a short buck chronicling this safari but in short, Barb took a great leopard, an 8- to 10-year-old lion, roan, kudu, puku, Chobe bushbuck, zebra, Cookson’s wildebeest, and I shot a 40″ and 41″ buffalo with a few days to spare. It seemed that everything we did, worked.
So at that point, we wanted to get Barb a good, hard-bossed buffalo, and after that I would hunt a tuskless elephant if there was time. Talking to the locals, we learned that there had been a big herd of 200–250 buffalo using the area, as well as several groups of dagga boys. We wanted to concentrate on the bachelor groups and leave the big herd undisturbed so they would stay in the area.
As the soft glow of the African sun lit up the morning, we immediately found bull tracks in the sandy road. We decided to drive around a bit more to see if the group of what looked to be about six buffalo had crossed another road in front of us, thus saving time on the tracking. Holding true to our good luck, we cut the tracks again about a kilometre further on.
We got out, loaded our rifles and took up the tracks. Doves were calling, the very slight breeze was in our faces, and the tracks and droppings were fresh – it was a good morning to be a hunter!
We walked through scrub mopane, then areas of 12-foot high elephant grass and then to small pans that still held water. The walking was easy as the area was flat. However, the buffalo sign was so fresh that we moved slowly, expecting to catch up to the bulls any minute.
After maybe an hour, we entered our third stand of elephant grass, and we hadn’t gone 20 yards in, when suddenly Jason stopped and looked to his right. There, at a mere ten paces, was a buffalo bull staring at us, and within seconds, the group crashed off in the opposite direction. Jason reacted immediately. He turned back the way we had come, told Barb and me to follow him, and we soon hit a dirt trail that looped back in the direction the buffalo had taken.