As our plane circled to get downwind of the runway, we could see small herds of buffalo on the hills and in the valleys below. This was a seven day hunt in rough country and son Russell, amazed at seeing all the small herds, excitedly exclaimed that he wanted to hunt buffalo all week long and shoot one on the last day. You see, buffalo hunting can be pretty exciting!
The Dande Safari area is communal land, which means that native people live in and around the area – as compared to national forest land where no one lives. It is located along the Zambezi River in north central Zimbabwe. This was a family safari, with Russell and Sara doing the all the hunting and Brenda and I just along for the ride.
There were a good many elephant in the area, but only a few plains game; however, all that mattered to us was buffalo and there were lots of them. One day we saw two young bulls sparing, like a couple of white tail bucks. I have never seen that before or since. Another day Russell and his PH were 50 yards out in front and sat down beside a tree to watch a large herd on the opposite hillside. But then, the herd shifted direction and fed right past them – some within 20 feet; pretty scary!
Nearly noon on the sixth day, a single bull ran across the dirt track about a hundred yards ahead of our safari car. We tracked him for a couple of hundred yards and he was still running, so the PH suggested we go back to the safari car and have our lunch, then start the track on a
Lunch was about over when I glassed the hills in the direction the buffalo had gone and saw a lone bull walking up the hill a mile or so away. We looked him over as best we could with 10x40s and Russell said “That’s my bull; let’s go!” Taking a straight line across the bottom and up the hill, rather than following his track, we caught up to him in a short hour. He was bedded and we were quite close before he jumped and ran. Russell said it was like shooting a rabbit on the sporting clays course; one high shoulder shot from his 500 Nitro Express and this buffalo on the mountain hunt was over.