As anyone who has been following my musings in these pages will know, I rounded up the guinea pigs and took them to South Africa last spring. So as not to overindulge you with the riches of South Africa, I’ve been drip feeding the exploits over the months since May. Having already expounded on the outstanding bird shooting and the beautiful fishing, I thought I’d round out the series with a blog on the diversity of plains game (South Africa’s most famous sporting draw) we encountered.
We were in a highly agricultural area (hence the diversity of wild winged game), which meant much of the larger plains game was behind the wire. That said, these enclosures run to numerous thousands of hectares and support self-sustaining populations that are every bit as wild. Vermin like jackal and warthog move freely through the wire, as do antelope species like steinbok and dikdik. Clearly, an unanticipated risk of using gamekeepers as guinea pigs is their tendency to shoot vermin first and stalk game after as we managed the first two and neither of the latter. It has, however, now left me with the yearning to pursue the smaller antelope species, the more exotic Mini-Ten. Anyone (preferably not a vermin-hungry ‘keeper) with a similar inclination should get in touch.
In an attempt to mediate my comments about ‘keepers, I should point out that collectively the group took 4 springbok, an impala and a kudu. So it wasn’t all warthogs and jackals. An advantage of the plethora of plains game operations means we can tailor a trip to suit nearly every interest and pocket – a week’s trip for six hunters (mixture of fur, feather and fin) costs less than your average 300 bird pheasant day.