South Africa is a great hunting destination; lots of species, quality and options make it a very affordable way to see Africa. My first hunt was to South Africa many years ago for some free range Nyala hunting. My first African safari shared with my ‘old man’ was a great experience. However, I yearned for more than the fenced ranches of South Africa and spent the last decade exploring wild Africa, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
We are never too old to learn. A recent safari with Andrew Pringle and Crusader Safaris opened my eyes to the wonderful free range hunting Crusader Safaris offers in the Umkomaas valley KwaZulu Natal and the Baviaansriver conservancies.
Nyala are an iconic African animal, beautiful shy spiral-horned animals that are always a great challenge to hunt, especially where they are free range and indigenous. Crusader Safaris is the only outfit offering this type of authentic hunting experience in South Africa. The Umkomaas valley conservancy is about 100,000 acres of 100 per cent free ranging contiguous property. The big drawcard to this area is Nyala, but you can also hunt Southern Greater Kudu, Bushbuck, Impala, Common Reedbuck, Warthog, Bushpig and many more.
When I arrived in camp, I discussed the hunt with Andrew and told him I wanted to find an old Nyala bull and preferably one with horns that flared. He assured me we would see lots of mature bulls and would be very selective.
Early on the third morning, our tracker Toolbag banged on the roof of the cruiser. He had spotted a Nyala bull about 700 yards away in a clearing. The beauty of hunting big free range country is that we had hunted this area the day before and only saw young bulls. This was a bull Tools had seen on another safari a few months earlier. Old wide and flaring horns, exactly what I was looking for. After a long stalk through some thick vegetation, we got into position for a shot. 185-yards and slightly quartered, Andrews 300 win mag custom made by Hill country rifles in Texas, probably the best camp gun in the business did the job, and we had our Nyala.
When looking and researching free range Nyala hunting my criteria were pretty specific. Free range (of course), wild, trophy quality, and the ability to pursue these beautiful animals in their indigenous environments.
After years of searching for real hunting all over Africa, it was great to find Crusader Safaris in South Africa, where it had all started for me many years ago. The ease of getting to SA, value for money, and now having found an outfit offering real wild hunting made a follow-up trip to the Baviaansriver a great option. For more information on Crusader Safaris and free range hunting in South Africa, get in touch with Andrew on firstname.lastname@example.org.