Hunting has been a part of Jensen’s life since boyhood. Both his parents are hunters with Africa in their hearts. He shot his first African trophy, a southern impala, at the age of ten. “From then on, there was no way back for me. Africa is in my blood, too,” Jensen says. Surrounded by wildlife in the taxidermy studio his parents own, Jensen grew up with an enhanced perspective of hunting.
Side By Side Safaris is located in the heart of Eastern Cape Province about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Port Elizabeth. Utilizing agreements with selected operators provides access to some of the best hunting areas in the country. More than 90 different species are offered including some exotic and rare. Jensen’s favorite is the mountain reedbuck.
“We have chosen the name Side By Side Safaris for our business because we feel it summarizes perfectly the values we want our clients to associate us with. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our clients and work with them to ensure maximum satisfaction and life experiences,” he explains. Side By Side Safaris has been in business for more than five years while its sister operation, Diana Taxidermy, with the same owners, has operated for more than 30 years.
Viewing literally thousands of heads in the Diana Taxidermy Studio, Jensen developed the ability to accurately judge trophy size in the field. He prefers bolt-action rifles and his personal favorite is Kimber stainless steel action with synthetic stock. For big game, he shoots .375 H&H and for smaller game .30-’06.
During years afield many remarkable experiences occur, but there is always one that eclipses the others. “My most memorable experience hunting with a client was taking a world record trophy of the rare scimitar-horned oryx,” recalls Jensen. “There was an old bull with extraordinarily large horns moving about in the area, but because the bull was normally on his own, he was difficult to find and rarely seen. After two days of hunting for other species in the area, by pure luck we spotted the bull in the distance as he passed a small crest. After an exciting stalk, we caught up with the bull and the client was able to take him with a perfect heart shot. When we saw the horns up close, it was hard to say who was most ecstatic, the client or me, because it’s not often you have the opportunity to bag a super trophy like this. Nobody had any idea beforehand that the old bull was actually a new world record.”
Side By Side Safaris is proud to conduct its business activities in a socially responsible manner. They cooperate with local business and employ only local staff they educate and train. Resources are invested in improving and maintaining game habitats in a way that benefits all stake holders: flora, fauna and humans. Rugby is the South African national sport and Side By Side Safaris sponsors the local village team.
For non-hunting guests, Side by Side Safaris offers a wide variety of activities. Fly fishing and deep-sea fishing trips are available. Photo excursions, guided visits to some of South Africa’s largest game reserves and trips with South Africa’s Rovos Rail can also be arranged.
Jensen became a SCI Life Member in 2009. Side By Side Safaris and Diana Taxidermy owner, Flemming G. Jensen, a SCI Master Measurer, received the Top Measurers of All Time award in 2014. Side by Side Safaris is a member of the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa.