newsletters - april 2005

 

some great opportunities if you have time in the year ahead...
zambian buffalo - last chance for this year

zambian buffaloHunt magnificent buffalo in Zambia's Luangwa Valley - an area that teems with above 40" mature buffalo, hippo, crocodile ...

SafariBwana has secured the last 4 trophy buffalo on quota for 2005 in this superior hunting area - as a late season booking special for our newsletter subscribers.

The package includes trophy fees for your buffalo as well as crocodile and hippo. The Luangwa River holds one of Africa's highest concentrations of crocodile and hippo. Your chance of success on all three trophies is excellent.

dates available: 10 July - 2nd August / 27th August - 6 September

READ MORE or EMAIL US

luangwa buffalo herd
* read our buffalo shot placement tips - available only to subscribers
stop-over hunting!
stopover hunting

Johannesburg - Cape Town
Got time to kill between flights?...don't waste time hanging out at the airport!

Hunt just outside Johannesburg or Cape Town for a variety of South African species including Cape Eland, Bontebok, Gemsbok, Blue and Black Wildebeest and Red Hartebeest.

It's quick and easy to book and organise. If necessary, guns can also be arranged as can airport pick-ups, accommodation and quick shopping trips...EMAIL JULIA

packing list for africa

don't forget the essentials...download our packing list guide for Africa as a guide to what to bring on safari - essentials, clothing, toilettries, documentation, medical, guns etc...READ MORE

your PH for cape town...

cape town - especially for hunters
Join Julia to experience the best of Cape Town ....great shopping, gourmet African meals, spectacular scenery, hunter-friendly accommodation, gun clearance assistance and safe storage - 7 years experience hosting hunters in Cape Town. EMAIL US or READ MORE - also read our advert in the May issue of Don Causey's The Hunting Report.

mamba - getting to grips with africa's most feared snake

The Black Mamba, Africa’s most feared snake, is not black....

It actually varies with region and habitat from a light grey sheen to a dark olive black with a silvery white underside which runs from the tip of the nose to the very thin tail.
At times, the body appears thick and robust and sometimes just thin and graceful with a small elongated head that (according to the old timers) resembles the coffin you are sure to end up in if one bites you...!

The head always seems too small for the body and reputation of the reptile, a delicate white nose with a long thin unmoving smile running below its black staring eyes. The eye is farther back than other snakes and is not as large but shines pitch black when you stare into its depths. The inside of the mouth is unmistakable, a jet-black sheen from lip to lip and appears as a gaping abyss. Usually, this is when the snake is alarmed and ready to defend itself and most sane people do not wait to inspect the exact shade of black.

Many of the older settlers didn’t believe in the Black Mamba, they said there was only green and brown, the brown having the most deadly venom, killing the victim almost instantly. The Brown Mamba was usually much bigger and could slide much faster, especially when in pursuit.

It is told, the brown could also tell good men from bad - only following through on its deadly intent if the man was of pure and virtuous disposition... after all, mambas were the devil's children and the brown was the older, more daring sibling...

The Mamba is an aggressive snake and will defend its den and nest to the death. The pure ferocity and reputation of this snake make it more deadly and troublesome than even the most bad tempered buffalo bull. The venom acts fast and the average person has about 45 minutes to reach some form of life support. The venom is neurotoxic, shutting down all the bodily systems relying on nerve and muscular support. Usually the coup de grace is the failure of the lungs, resulting in oxygen starvation and coma. Even getting to adequate life support does not ensure your survival and each year people die in hospital from the bite of the Black Mamba.

Most people who have visited and hunted in Africa would challenge my view - saying they didn't see a snake for the entire time they walked in the bush... I have been hunting since I could walk and I have seen a Black Mamba only twice when out walking, both times because I was in its path and close to its den. Snakes are very fine-tuned creatures, possibly one of nature’s most amazing creations and they are able to detect approaching movement well ahead of any confrontation. They are afraid of this and will move off - this is the case in most would-be encounters. That’s why you don’t see them, they will move away and if left unhindered, will not turn to retaliate.

However, the greatest dread is the unknown factor, and even as an experienced hunter, I would choose a wounded buffalo above an angry Mamba. Both my encounters with Mamba were early in the morning, the snake was returning from hunting and was clearly visible ahead.

One of the most tragic Mamba stories I have ever read is that written by Herman Charles Bosman, a writer who lived in the dry and desolate North Western borders of South Africa narrating real-life tales through the eyes of a wizened old cattle farmer called Schalk Lourens, a man who could tell a tale with such heart and enchantment, people came from afar to hear him speak.

The story is titled Brown Mamba and tells of two young brothers, both working for their father on the family farm. One brother, tired from the heavy sun, takes a rest next to a large fallen tree, sitting on the trunk in the welcome shade, resting his rifle alongside him. Unfortunately, hidden beneath the uprooted base is the newly established nest of a pair of mambas and sensing the vibrations, the female snake emerges and without hesitation strikes the young man on his forearm. He is at the far end of the farm and does not make it back, collapsing on the wagon road within sight of the homestead. A few weeks later his brother is out in the same area tending the cattle, the sun is hot and by chance he sees something glinting in the glare to his left. As he nears he realises it is his brother’s rifle and goes to pick it up. The male mamba is on guard this time, two meters long and as thick as a man's wrist, he makes no hesitation and sinks his fangs into the boy's neck....

Pete Swanepoel jnr
READ MORE ABOUT AFRICAN SNAKES...

happy hunting
pete swanepoel jnr & julia seal-swanepoel

phone: +27-82-4691408 / email: [email protected]
 
"I speak of Africa and golden joys" ; the joy of wandering through lonely lands; the joy of hunting the mighty lords of the wilderness, the cunning, the wary, and the grim." Theodore Roosevelt - 1908

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