du Plessis grew up on a ranch where he hunted, fished, and was an avid reader inspired by Capstick, Ruark, J.A. Hunter and other iconic authors. His career choice was obvious – he aspired to be a PH. He achieved his objective and 16 years ago founded Intrepid Safaris, a private preserve about five miles from the Limpopo River. du Plessis points out that the magical word “safari,” a Swahili word meaning “long journey,” opens the doors of discovery to the great and diverse beauty of Africa.
du Plessis hunts in South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, Cameroon and Namabia for the dangerous seven and all plains game species. He personally accompanies clients on all hunts. His choice to carry afield is a bolt-action .416 Rem. Mag. because he likes the versatility of the caliber.
During his career, du Plessis has hunted some unique species from blue duiker to elephant. Every hunt is a challenge, but du Plessis recounts one spine tingling experience. “This hunt took place in Uganda on the Ssese Islands,” he says. “It was a driven hunt with dogs since the vegetation is so thick. We were hunting on the shores of Lake Victoria. I was sitting behind my client and cameraman when the sitatunga bull broke cover behind us. We all thought he would come out on the bottom. When he saw me, he just flattened his head and went for me with everything he had. I was lucky that I sat next to a huge tree that fell over and there was a big hole right there in the ground. When the bull came for me, I just fell down into the hole. He just got me with the front part of his head and stepped on me, but luckily he did not get horns in me. My good friend and client, Tommy Freestone, shot the bull point blank. Besides a bruised ego and some scratches I was OK.”
For non-hunters, Intrepid Safaris offers fishing and photo safaris. An itinerary of attraction, including Krueger National Park, can be arranged. du Plessis supports anti-poaching operations and conservation projects including rhino. He is an SCI Member and exhibits at the annual convention.
This Spotlight originally appeared in March/April 2017 Safari Magazine