On our first day of hunting we woke up early, got dressed and went to the dining room where we met with Neil, our PH. We ate breakfast and soon after left to go out hunting with Neil, Namo our tracker and Zaia our driver after we sighted in the guns. We were driving when Neil turned to the right and I saw a dog sitting down on a rock. That was neat. Then I saw a lioness, so I asked Neil to stop. Then a huge male lion came out of the bush! Neil got us closer, but the lion came charging after us. Neil quickly got back on the road driving away from the lion but turned around so we could take pictures. That’s when the lion charged us again. The sound the lion made was awesome!
After all of that we went looking for a warthog to feed to a lioness that had been caught in a poacher’s gin trap. We drove to little riverbed that they used as a road. We stopped and got off to start walking while Zaia stayed in the cruiser. About ten minutes later we saw a group of warthogs. Neil told me to follow him thru some brush and that’s where we got setup. It wasn’t very easy setting up. It was a lot of stopping and being quiet, which was hard for me to do because I was so excited. Finally, we saw a warthog that was feeding. That is when Neil told me to take a shot, but I missed.
We started heading back to the road and about five steps later Namo saw some more warthogs, so we got closer and set-up to try to get a shot. After I hit it Neil took a shot and also hit it and Zaia came to help us look for the warthog. Namo found the blood trail and soon after we found the animal! I was so excited that I finally shot my first animal in Africa! Namo and Zaia dragged the pig back to the Cruiser. That is where Namo and Zaia gutted the warthog and where we were able to take pictures with my kill. Then after pictures we drove to where they set-up a trail camera to see the wounded lioness with her cubs. We got to where the lioness was, set-up the trail cam and put the food up. The rest of the day we saw nothing, but that night we were woken up by the roaring of lions. It was an awesome but scary experience, they sounded like they were so close. We found out the next morning that two lions had walked through camp.
The next two days we saw nothing, but on the fourth day we were in luck, Neil spotted a Lichtenstein hartebeest. My dad took a shot at the animal and a short time later, they came back to the cruiser so that Neil could drive to where the Lichtenstein hartebeest was. When we got there we all took pictures around it. Then again Namo and Zaia gutted the animal, loaded it up and we headed back to camp. We didn’t see anything else the rest of the day, but the next day we saw some impala. We hid in a tree and waited. Once the biggest impala passed and I was able to get a good shot, I went for it. I hit it! Right in the shoulder!
The impala ran into the thick bush, so we went looking for it. It was really hard to track. We found blood here and there when finally Namo found it. Neil and Namo dragged it near a tree so that we could take pictures of my second kill. After pictures, we loaded my impala into the Cruiser and headed back to camp. Instead of going back out hunting after having tea and lunch I decided I wanted to stay with Shayl and go swimming in the dam with Rachel and Daniel, Neil and Shayle’s kids. After swimming we climbed a mountain called “ Chumuyo” and stayed there to watch the sun set.
The next day was a hard one, we walked for three hours in a sandy riverbed and saw no animals, but we did see some huge tracks that belonged to a male lion. Then I got to drink water out of the big riverbed by digging a hole in the ground like the elephants do. On the seventh day, we set out hunting early in the morning and saw an oribi. We parked the Cruiser and set-up in the tall grass. Once Neil said it was ok for me to take a shot I took it. They drove the truck up to where the oribi was and we took pictures with my third kill. We took the oribi to the workshop where Neil’s dad would take it back to camp and went for a little walk around the area. After lunch I stayed with Shayle, Lee and Holly. Holly is going to be a teacher at the new eco camp they were building. I got to help out with painting the tents. That was a lot of fun.
On the eighth day we spotted a kudu while walking. We quietly got closer to it and set-up slowly. That’s when I had my chance to take a shot but I missed. After the kudu my dad shot an oribi that they tied to a stick to help carry it. Once we got to the road we waited for the cruiser and went back to camp.
The next evening we saw a huge 60-inch kudu! At first we weren’t able to get close to it, but were able to get closer to it. I took two shots but missed both times. The next 30 minutes I was so mad at myself for missing and didn’t want to talk to anybody.
On our last day of hunting we saw no animals because we were at the camp half of the day because it was raining. By the afternoon it was still raining, but we decided to go out anyways and drive to the riverbed. That is when an elephant charged us at. I didn’t even know what was going on because I was inside the Cruiser staying dry while my dad and Namo were on the outside of the Cruiser getting wet by the rain. When we were driving back to camp we saw the 60-inch kudu again.
The next morning was a sad one it was time to leave this amazing place. We packed up our bags, ate breakfast, said “goodbye” to everyone and left for our four-hour drive to the airport. I was so sad I cried when we left, I didn’t want to leave Africa. I loved it there and wanted to stay. It’s like my dad says, “It’s time to go back to reality; we were living a fantasy.” This was the greatest experience I have ever had and I got to share it with my dad who I love so much! It wasn’t only a great experience, but I had many new experiences. I got to go to a place I only dreamed of going to, try new foods like tongue and heart learning what I had eaten after I ate it, got to see amazing animals in their natural habitat and got to meet a bunch of amazing people who I will never forget. This trip started off like just a normal trip, but ended up being the most amazing and awesome first African adventure ever and I will never forget it!– Kiara Foght